Exterior of Musco Center for the Arts. The Musco Center of the Arts is three story building with windows from first floor to third floor. In front of Musco is a large green lawn with tables set up on the lawn. Attendees of the Summit are standing around the tables talking and mingling on the lawn.
2022 Summit on Disability and Inclusion

» 2022 Summit on Disability and Inclusion

Thompson Policy Institute on Disability Presents the

2022 Summit on Disability and Inclusion: Building Spaces for Belonging

This event was presented at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University on Friday, August 12, 2022.

Watch the full presentation below. 


  • Welcome from Dr. Reginald Chhen Stewart, Vice President Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Chapman University
  • Keynote address from Diana Pastora Carson, Disability Rights Advocate and Educator
  • Transition Services Panel with Self-Advocate and Orange County Service Providers
  • Current Research and Initiatives in Teacher Education and Inclusive Education
  • Excellence in Disability Award Presentation to the Honorable Dave Cortese, California State Senate

For the Summit agenda and information about the presenters, please click here.

Keynote Presenter

A woman with long brown, wavy hair and wearing a white shirt is smiling while standing in front of a light blue shiplap wall.

Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed.
Disability Advocate and Educator

Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed. has been an educator for over 30 years, teaching both at the elementary school level and the university level. She is a consultant and trainer on diversity as it relates to disability and is the author of several articles and books including Beyond Awareness: Bringing Disability into Diversity Work in K-12 Schools & Communities, as well as her children’s book, Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights. She has compiled her disability awareness teachings in a digital course entitled "Beyond Awareness: Disability Awareness That Matters." Her Beyond Awareness work has earned her statewide PTA recognitions in the areas of advocacy and outreach, as well as her school’s designation of Teacher of the Year. She has also been featured on several radio programs and television news stories and served two terms on the board of directors of Disability Rights California. She currently serves as a board member of Disability Voices United. Although Diana experiences disability herself, she credits her brother, Joaquin Carson, for her passion for inclusion, disability advocacy, and activism. Joaquin endured years of segregated schooling and subsequent institutionalization. Diana takes the most pride in knowing that after many years of fighting for his release, Joaquin now lives a life of inclusion and quality, in the community, as her next door neighbor.

Transition Services Panel

Alex Zavala is standing in the breakroom at Kaiser holding a thank you card from Kaiser staffAlex Zavala, Environmental Services Attendant, Kaiser Permanente, Irvine

Alex Zavala, a 37 year-old with autism, is a grad-uate of Goodwill of Orange County’s Project SEARCH program. Alex joined Project SEARCH in 2019, with support from Regional Center of Orange County. He graduated from the program in 2021 and was hired at Kaiser Permanente in Irvine in the Environmental Services department. After a year working part-time, Alex was promoted to full-time employment. He was recently honored with Region-al Center of Orange County’s Spotlight Award for Self-Advocacy for his strong work ethic and positive attitude. When he is not working, Alex enjoys play-ing video games on his PS5 and Nintendo Switch.



Cover of 2022 Research, Practice, and Impact ReportRead the 2022 Research, Practice, and Impact Report

Alex Zavala is standing with his arm resting on a specimen collection hand-truck. Alex is wearing medical scrubs and smiling. On the image are the logos of the service organizations that worked with Alex through Project Search.View the Transition Services Panel Information