Virtual Ability, Inc.® presents the 7th Annual
International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference
October 5 and 6, 2018
in Second Life at

Virtual Ability, Inc.® presents the International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC), which will take place October 5-6, 2018. This is an annual professional conference held online, that is free and open to the public. The conference will take place in Second Life® at The Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island.

This year’s theme is “Taking Care of Us”.  This theme is broad and open to interpretation by the presenters we invited to this year’s event. If past conferences are any indication, we look forward to lively discussions and information sharing among presenters and our very interested and interactive audience.

Below is an at-a-glance schedule of the presenters who will share their observations of the progress, benefits and challenges in disability rights in different parts of the world as applied to the current theme. We will provide more information about the speakers and their presentations as it becomes available. Note: All times are listed in US Pacific Time.

IDRAC 2018 Schedule of Events

All times are in SLT/PDT.
Friday, October 5
7:00 AM Lusha HuangEnhancing Visually Impaired People’s Traveling Experience through Mobile Applications
8:30 AM Coomara Pyaneandee The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
10:00 AMDebbie Engelen-EiglesLearning from Korean Women with Disabilities: Lessons from the Field
11:30 AMJason DaSilvaDocumenting Disability & Looking Towards the Future
1:00 PM Lauren Bruno and
Cassandra Willis
A Survey of Alternative and Traditional Special Education Teachers’ Perception of Preparedness
Saturday, October 6
8:00 AMPatrick McKearney Care and Visibility: Modes of Agency in L’Arche
9:30 AMReginald Nii OdoiWe Are The World: Making It a Better Place
11:00 AMPeter Catapano Interview with Peter Catapano
12:30 PMRev. Olutayo ShodipoSpirituality, Disability and Coping Strategy – Its Implication for Faith Communities
2:00 PMAmra Mohammed Creating Policies to Support Twice-Exceptional Students in Saudi Arabia

IDRAC 2018 Speaker Biographies

Biographies are listed in alphabetical order by last name.
Lauren Bruno
Peter Catapano
Jason DaSilva

Debbie Engelen-Eigles
Dr. Debbie Engelen-Eigles teaches sociology and gender studies at Century College in White Bear Lake, MN. She has taught disability studies for over twenty years, integrating the material into a range of courses as well as developing a stand-alone course, Sociology of Disability.

In 2011-2012, Debbie received a Fulbright Scholar Award to Seoul, Korea, to research the experiences of has women with disabilities in accessing health care.

When not teaching, Debbie enjoys outdoor activities, travel, and learning languages, and recently discovered sailboat racing.

Lusha Huang
Lusha Huang is a graduate student at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is an industrial designer, interaction designer, and researcher with a keen understanding of innovation and a passion for culture change. She is from Guangzhou, China where she gained her BA in Industrial Design at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. She earned her MFA in Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Her passion for design has been recognized in various international design competitions, including the IF Concept Award. She holds five patents for her work, and she was the only Chinese student asked to participate in Milano Salone in 2012. During her undergraduate years, Ms. Huang was invited to Japan, North Europe and the US to exchange ideas about design.

Ms. Huang worked as an industrial designer at Pip Tompkins Studio in Los Angeles, before joining the School of Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a PhD student to explore the needs of visually impaired people. She wants to use her design power to promote equality for real people in the real world.
Patrick McKearney
Amra Mohammed
Reginald Nii Odoi
Coomara Pyaneandee
Rev. Olutayo Shodipo
Cassandra Willis