“Blind Advantage” author Bill Henderson and Arts Educator Deborah Sunya Moore to speak at CODO Conference

Port of Spain May 6, 2014: Former educator and author of “The Blind Advantage” Bill Henderson will visit Trinidad and Tobago to deliver the keynote address at the 2nd Arts and Disabilities Conference hosted by the Consortium of Disability Organizations (CODO) in collaboration with the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).  The conference is scheduled for May 15-16, 2014 at the UTT Campus, Keate Street, Port of Spain.

Deborah Sunya Moore, percussionist and arts educator, will speak at the conference on “Arts Integration for the Inclusive Classroom.”

Mr. Henderson’s visit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s speaker program where, local organizations partner with U.S. experts who share their knowledge internationally.

Mr. Henderson was an educator in the Boston Public Schools for 36 years. As a teacher in his early twenties, he was told by doctors that he would be blind in a matter of years and urged to leave the field of education.  He ignored that advice and went on to pursue degrees in the field, later being appointed principal of the Patrick O’Hearn Elementary School in 1989 with a mandate to develop an inclusive program.  He remained its leader for 20 years.  The elementary school is now renamed the William W. Henderson Inclusion Elementary School.  It is an ethnically and economically diverse school where about a third of the students have mild, moderate, or significant disabilities.

Mr. Henderson is the author of “Blind Advantage” which provides an insight into the challenges, possibilities, and practicalities of including students with disabilities in the classroom.  His book also describes how his journey into blindness helped him develop the qualities that made him an effective Principal.

Deborah Sunya Moore, is a percussionist and arts educator with a long history as an advocate of performing arts programs for children and youth.  She is currently the Associate Director of Programming for the Chautauqua Institution and a National Workshop Leader for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Previously, Ms. Moore held the positions of Arts Education and Community Engagement Specialist and Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (2010-2013).  She served as the Director of Education and Community Engagement for the Louisville Orchestra from 2004 to 2009 and performs regularly with the Chautauqua Symphony in New York.  She was the artistic director (1999-2005) and percussionist (1996-2003) of Tales & Scales, an instrumental quartet for youth that tours nationally.  With Tales & Scales, Ms. Moore commissioned and performed “musictales” for thousands of children and families in schools and theaters, and with the Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Phoenix, and Indianapolis symphony orchestras.