Assistive Technology and Accessible Media: Fifth Annual Conference
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Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ken Rutherford

Doctor Ken Rutherford

While studying political science at the University of Colorado in the mid-1980s, Ken Rutherford decided to work in international development.  Since graduating in 1985, he has worked in Bosnia for the Department of Defense and Department of State, and in Africa for the Peace Corps (Mauritania), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Senegal), and International Rescue Committee (Kenya and Somalia).

After losing his legs to a landmine in Somalia in 1993, he has traveled worldwide to speak out to promote awareness of the mass suffering caused by these weapons and for the economic and social rights for the landmine disabled. Rutherford has testified before congress and published articles on the landmine issue in academic and policy journals. Rutherford was awarded the 1999 Leadership in International Rehabilitation Award presented by the Northwestern University Institute for International Rehabilitation and is co-founder of the Landmine Survivors Network, which serves on the coordinating committee of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

As an advocate for people with disabilities affected by landmines, he has appeared on all the major network evening news shows, Dateline, Nightline, and National Public Radio's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. His personal story of recovering from his accident to pursue his dreams of marrying his fiancÚ, have children and becoming a professor have been profiled by the Oprah Winfrey show, Reader's Digest and the BBC.  Rutherford's co-edited book, Enduring Legacy: The International Movement to Ban Landmines will be published by SUNY Press in Fall 2002. He has published in numerous academic and policy journals. One of his most recent articles, "State Legal Obligations to Landmine Victim Assistance" appears in the Journal of International Law and Policy. This article examines the international legal obligations of states for their landmine disabled populations.

Since being injured in Somalia, he married CU graduate Kim Schwers (class of 1989), helps raise their four children as Bronco fans, received his doctorate in Government from Georgetown University, and teaches international relations at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.


For more information contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 (v/tty), fax: 303-492-5601, or e-mail us at dsinfo@colorado.edu