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Spectrum E-News, the editorial and news division of Spectrum Institute, uses print and broadcast journalism to promote greater public support for equal rights and justice for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. We conduct research and investigative reporting on systemic problems with conservatorship and guardianship systems and the need for reform.
Our research and reporting also focuses on the duty of governmental agenies to respect the freedom all adults, including those who have cognitive challenges, to make important life choices on matters such as residence, health care, finances, education, work, marital status, social contacts, sexual relationships, and recreational activities. Our reporting also focuses on the right of people with developmental disabilities to have access to a full range of mental health therapies and the duty of guardians, conservators, and other care providers to ensure that such access occurs in a timely manner.
Our work products are shared with the public through periodic website updates about the activities and projects of Spectrum Institute, publishing legal and other commentaries, releasing video blogs on matters of public interest, releasing audio news items through Audiocast, and publishing a monthly newsletter. Our staff collaborates with The Freedom Files — a Pursuit of Justice Podcast — by helping produce podcast episodes. Spectrum E-News publishes feature stories associated with these podcasts.
Attorney Thomas F. Coleman is the executive editor of Spectrum E-News. He has 49 years of experience in civil rights education and advocacy on issues such as personal privacy, sexual civil liberties, family diversity, freedom from violence and abuse, and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and marital status. For the past decade, his activities have focused on conservatorship and guardianship reform and protecting the rights of people with cognitive disabilities in these proceedings under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Coleman is the founding executive director and the current legal director of Spectrum Institute. He is the author of many policy reports and legal commentaries on the rights of people with disabilities.
Francis Cast is a student at Western Washington University. He is studying creative writing and will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree on June 22, 2022. Francis is taking on the role of Assistant Producer where he will help run and mix AudioCast, a new feature of Spectrum E-News, the editorial and news division of Spectrum Institute. He will also become the institute’s resident poet. Francis is thrilled to be interning for Spectrum Institute, where he will be utilizing his growing skills and knowledge in the audio world and the writing world.
Growing up with a speech disability has made Francis passionate to contribute to advocacy for the rights of people with disabilities. His youthful experience with a communication disability has shaped him into the writer, worker, musician, and overall person he is today. Francis is pleased to be a member of the team at Spectrum Institute.
When he has the time, Francis enjoys playing chess, learning new instruments, exploring the wilderness, and going to museums and art galleries. He has also enjoyed learning Muay Thai from the wonderful people at Pure Fitness Martial Arts.
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