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Center for Advanced Property Studies at BBI

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), located at Syracuse University, is a premier organization aimed to advance civic, economic, and social participation of persons with disabilities in a global society.  PCSE joins with BBI to advance the exploration of property law and policy directed at inclusion of persons with disabilities.  

As of Summer 2006, PCSE is a Center for Advanced Property Studies at the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI). This means we are fully committed to BBI's mission of pursuing creative excellence in the areas of disability law and policy. In form PCSE is a Center for research and learning at the College of Law, and our partnership with BBI makes us a Center for Advanced Property Studies at BBI. In this capacity we explore a number of important issues at the intersections of property law, and disability law and policy. Our goal is to work as an integrated part of BBI by addressing areas of concern to BBI that have a fit with our areas of expertise.

At the College of Law, PCSE continues to offer research, publications, and learning opportunities, including Certificate Programs in Advance Property Studies, and in Corporate Counsel.  In this respect PCSE operates in two distinct and complimentary capacities - as the College of Law's Center on PCSE, and as a Center for Advanced Property Studies at BBI.

Current Projects of PCSE at BBI

1.  We are working on a project to address shelter and re-housing issues related to hurricane Katrina and applicable to any major disaster. On the Katrina project PCSE is looking into issues related to persons with disabilities in an emergency situation, with particular emphasis on two related matters. First, the evacuation process to short-term and emergency shelter, and second, the return of people to long-term housing after the initial emergency. Our initial investigation into the situation in New Orleans reveals a number of short-comings with respect to people with special needs. Examples include: inadequate planning, inaccessible shelters, shelters with inaccessible bathrooms, and lack of support personnel. Likewise, similar issues confront people trying to move back into New Orleans as plans are made for rebuilding.

2.  Partnering on the Southside Initiative in Syracuse with work being done by our Community Development Clinic, BBI, and The Whitman School of Business. This includes work on assisting residents in selecting a development project, putting it in place, and making sure it is accessible to everyone.

3.  Working on ideas to advance self-employment opportunities and entrepreneurism for persons with special needs.

4.  Addressing access to technology and intellectual property for persons with disabilities.

5.  Addressing law and policy in terms of current and proposed legislation at all levels of government that relate to such things as building code requirements of accessibility and universal design, that address zoning code requirements, urban landscapes and barrier free communities, and by identifying ways of making financial access to real, personal, and intellectual property more affordable by working on credit market mechanisms.

6.  PCSE will also work to develop an expertise in a new concept that we refer to as Supportive Communities. The idea of Supportive Communities is one that looks beyond barrier free offices and buildings and thinks 'globally' in terms of neighborhood and broad community environments. Supportive Communities integrate barrier free environments with social service support networks, and access to all the social networks of community involvement so that all people can fully participate in the benefits of citizenship. Supportive Communities address an urban landscape in terms of access to citizenship rather than simply in terms of access to buildings or particular places.

New Cambridge Book Series

Working together BBI and PCSE have been selected by Cambridge University Press to launch a new series on "Disability Law and Policy", with series editors being Peter Blanck and Robin Paul Malloy. This will be an international series with leading experts from a number of countries as contributors. This is a wonderful achievement as the series will be the premiere series on Disability Law and Policy, and will help bring academic recognition to the importance of the work of BBI and Syracuse University in this area.

The PCSE/BBI Partnership is of Critical Importance

The partnership making PCSE a Center for Advanced Property Studies at BBI, is a critically important one as we all come to see that many of our most pressing social problems have significant foundations and connections to property law and policy. This is particularly true once one thinks beyond the typical layman's understanding of property as land. Property is a very broad area of legal and social concern. It covers land, housing, personal property, technology, ideas, rights to one's own body, genetic information, the tools of communications, and is the basic building block to market participation. There is an increasing awareness of the need to focus on property related issues in the area of disability law and policy. In the past much thinking was in terms of compartmentalized understandings of particular areas of access such as to housing, to education, and to employment. This kind of thinking has been helpful but now it is time to think more holistically as many of the underlying concepts that run across the various particular areas deal with property, citizenship, and market participation. BBI is on the cutting edge of creativity and innovation in the areas of disability law and policy and PCSE is a part of BBI that concerns itself with creativity and innovation in areas of property,