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UCR education expert named to national caregivers’ panel

UCR education expert named to national caregivers’ panel

(February 27, 2002)

Jan Blacher, a professor of education at the University of California, Riverside, has joined a panel of national experts convened at The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta to address issues of providing care for children and adults in general, and for those with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities.

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development at Georgia Southwestern State University recently formed a nine-member advisory panel to address caregiving challenges. The group, known as the Caregiving Across the Life Span panel, held its inaugural meeting in January.

Blacher is among the experts—covering infancy through old age—who addressed age specific, current and future care-giving needs in policy, practice, research, education and training.

She is nationally known for her research on mental retardation, other developmental disabilities and special education. Blacher’s current research, a 20-year study, focuses on families of children and young adults with retardation; on disability and family coping in different cultures; on issues of dual diagnosis in Anglo and Latino families; and on the transition to adulthood for young adults with severe retardation and for their families.

Additional panels will convene in the coming year to address a range of other caregiving issues. The Rosalynn Carter Institute will develop a new caregiving book series after the panels complete their work.

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Human Development was formed in 1987 in honor of the former first lady. The institute promotes the mental health and well being of individuals, families and professional caregivers. It encourages effective caregiving practices. It builds public awareness of caregiving needs and advances public and social policies that enhance caring communities.

Blacher also sits on a 15-member Committee on Disability Determination for the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, which advises the Social Security Administration on how to improve their determination of mental retardation in order to provide benefits.

Photos of Blacher can be obtained by contacting UCR media representative Ricardo Duran. Additional information about the institute is available by contacting Wes Sumner at Georgia Southwestern State University’s Division of University Relations, telephone (229) 931-2038, fax (229) 931-2072, email

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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