FORA.tv Speaker - Clarence Sundram

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Biography

Clarence J. Sundram is a nationally recognized expert on conditions in institutions and community programs for persons with mental disabilities. He currently serves New York State as Special Advisor to the Governor on Vulnerable Persons. Mr. Sundram has served as the Special Master & Court Monitor in class action lawsuits in Washington, DC involving the rights of persons with mental disabilities. He has served as President of the Board of Directors of Mental Disability Rights International, a non-governmental agency which advocates on behalf of persons with mental disabilities worldwide. For 20 years, he served as the founding Chairman of the New York State Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled, an independent state oversight agency charged with advising the governor and legislature, investigating deaths, child abuse, patient abuse, and financial fraud and abuse in programs serving persons with mental disabilities. Mr. Sundram has also served as Vice-Chairman of the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Protection & Advocacy Systems (now National Disability Rights Network). Mr. Sundram has also served by appointment as a member of court monitoring bodies in several landmark class action cases involving institutional reforms, and as a Court Monitor, Neutral Fact-Finder and Expert Witness. He has consulted in more than 20 states and Canadian provinces, and for the U.S. Department of Justice on issues of protection from abuse, neglect and exploitation; investigations; restraint and seclusion; and Quality Assurance and risk management. Mr. Sundram has participated in international efforts to reform mental health services in Argentina, Armenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, the Russian Federation and Uruguay as a member of the Board of Mental Disability Rights International and as a consultant to UNICEF and WHO.

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