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Social worker named to state task force

June 9, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Barbara Barton, a member of the School of Social Work faculty at Western Michigan University, has been appointed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council for a two-year term.

The council represents the interests of people with disabilities as well as their parents, guardians and advocates. Members are appointed by the governor, and a majority must be people with disabilities.

Overall, the council promotes integration and full inclusion of people with disabilities into the mainstream of American society. More specifically, it promotes a philosophy of independent living in such areas as consumer control, peer support, self-help, equal access, and individual and systems advocacy to maximize the leadership, empowerment, independence and productivity of people with disabilities.

The council also works cooperatively with the Michigan Commission for the Blind and Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth-Rehabilitation Services to develop and submit the State Plan for Independent Living, which establishes a blueprint for present and future independent living programs and services across Michigan.

Barton, who joined WMU's faculty in 2005, teaches interpersonal practice and policy, planning, and administration in both the graduate and undergraduate social work programs. Her research expertise is in organizational development, disability studies, violence against women with disabilities, macro-level community organizing and positive psychology.

An assistant professor, Barton earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Michigan State University. She was employed for more than 20 years in the rehabilitation and health care industries before returning to school to pursue her doctoral degree in rehabilitation counseling.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400