Kwancheol Koh was an International Visiting Scholar from Seoul, South Korea at the Research and Training Center on Independent Living for the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 semesters.
Koh has been involved in the rehabilitation and independent living field for more than 10 years. He established several centers for independent living (CILs) in South Korea and has expertise and experience in developing, managing and overseeing peer counseling at Korean CILs. He also established the Korean Federation of Centers for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities (KOIL) and managed it from 2006 to 2009.
Koh has testified to the National Korean Assembly about laws related to people with disabilities, resulting in new policies that benefit people with disabilities. In 2007, he opened the Global Summit for Independent Living as a part of the 7th Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) World Assembly in Seoul.
He is currently a policy advisor to the Human Rights Forum of Persons with Disabilities in Korea and is an invited lecturer about peer-counseling throughout Korea.
Koh is interested in peer counseling and peer support systems as part of community-based services to support independent living by people with disabilities. In this regard, he is conducting research to identify the configuration and operating principles of peer support systems in the U.S. He is visiting several centers for independent living and meeting with CIL staff and consumers with disabilities who live in these communities.
Koh has a Master’s degree in Social Welfare and Philosophy of Religion from Dongguk University in Seoul, Korea. The title of his Master’s thesis is “A study on the Korean development of centers for independent living in 2011.”