Thursday, December 4, 2008

Partners in Policymaking December Session

Partners normally meets on Friday/Saturday, but for December, the Indiana Governor's Council for People with Disabilities puts on thier annual conference. Mission Ready: Countdown to Change!

DAY ONE: Tuesday, December 2

8 – 9:30 a.m. Registration/Exhibit Viewing

9:30 – 10 a.m. Mission Control: Welcome and opening remarks
Unveiling of the 2009 March Disability Awareness Month campaign and poster

10 – 11:30 a.m. Keynote Session
Present Reality: Future Journey
Status Check: David Braddock, Ph.D., executive director of the University of Colorado’s Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, will report on the State of the State in Disability Services and how Indiana compares with other states and national trends.

Quest for New Worlds: A panel of Indiana experts will respond from their particular viewpoints on the direction of Indiana services.

11:30 a.m. – noon Break/Exhibit Viewing

Noon - 2 p.m. Lunch
First Encounters: Federal election results and the disability agenda
Curt Decker, J.D., executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, will discuss the impact of this year’s federal elections and what is likely to happen when the new crew takes their stations in January.

2 – 2:15 p.m. Break

2:15 – 4 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
Transportation: Riding the Comet’s Tail
With gasoline prices reaching outer orbits, there is renewed interest in public transit options. What is in the works and how can you ensure that the disability community is part of the planning?

New Frontiers in Assistive Technology
For many people with disabilities, assistive technology is the key to employment, education and to just being part of the community. Staff members from Indiana’s new Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) program will provide information about innovative solutions, let you get your hands on some assistive technology and discuss policy issues in assistive technology and resources.

YouTube and Beyond: Using the Social Web to Transform the Future
The Internet is more than just documents floating through space. The Social Web is about connecting with other people and sharing information, news, opinions and media. This workshop will explore how you can use social Web sites like YouTube, Digg and Facebook to shape opinion about disability issues and promote the causes most important to you.

Systems Go: Influencing the New Congress and Administration
If you want to help make change happen, you need to know how to identify the key people and the effective ways to get your viewpoint across. Lunch speaker Curt Decker will offer an interactive workshop that will explore the art of negotiating, interacting with policymakers, and understanding power and how to influence it.

4 – 4:15 p.m. Break

4:15 – 6 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
The ADA: Mission Community Access
Improving community access and opportunities is not always easy. Hear from representatives of two Indiana communities and ADA Indiana about tools and resources that can help you successfully advocate for change in your community.

Waiver Services: Navigating New Worlds
New priorities insure that eligible students leave school with a Support Services Waiver in place. Hear from advocates and families about creative ways to use the Waiver to support an inclusive lifestyle.

March Disability Awareness Month: Stand by for Blast Off
A new Web site and new materials for the March 2009 campaign will inspire you to begin your planning. Join us to learn more, as well as to hear from a panel of advocates who have implemented exemplary campaigns.

ArtsWORK Indiana: Exploring the Universe of Arts Careers
Discover new opportunities through ArtsWORK Indiana. You will learn from Indiana artists with disabilities who will discuss how they have achieved success. Come and hear their advice on how you can launch your career.

6 – 6:30 p.m. Exhibit Viewing

6:30 – 9 p.m. Universe of Stars Reception
Come as your favorite space alien; astronaut; Star Wars, Star Trek or other science fiction character. Dance to Rock ‘N Roll music and enjoy light refreshments.


National Speakers

David Braddock, Ph.D.,executive director of the University of Colorado’s Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, is nationally recognized for his contributions in the field of cognitive disability research and policy. He has published more than 200 books, book chapters, articles and technical reports. David has received career research awards from The Arc of the United States (1987), the American Association on Mental Retardation (1998) and the University Scholar Award from the President of the University of Illinois (1998). He received The Arc of the United States’ Franklin Smith Award for Distinguished National Service to the Field of Mental Retardation in 2000.

Curt Decker, JD, is the executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, a membership association comprised of 90 protection and advocacy agencies and client assistant programs that provide legal representation to people with disabilities. Curt is also the chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition that includes more than 100 national consumer, advocacy, provider and professional organizations that advocate on behalf of people of all ages with physical and mental disabilities and their families.

Dale DiLeo, president of the Training Resource Network in St. Augustine, Florida, is a widely sought-after speaker and consultant, and well-known advocate for people with disabilities. Dale has trained more than 75,000 people over the past 30 years throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe on community inclusion for persons with disabilities. He is the past president of the board of the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE), and is the lead author of that organization’s highly respected Ethical Guidelines in Supported Employment. His latest book, Raymond’s Room, focuses on ending the shameful segregation of people with disabilities from community life.

Juliette Rizzo, Ms. Wheelchair America 2005, speaks and advocates nationally about the needs and achievements of people with disabilities. She has proven through her experience that personal dreams and goals are within reach for people with disabilities when the appropriate supports are in place. Juliette currently is director of exhibits and events planning in the U.S. Department of Education, raising awareness of educational opportunities for all Americans. Among a long list of accomplishments and awards, she is most proud of receiving the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport.

Partial Presenters List

Emily Abel, INDATA Education and Outreach Coordinator, Easter Seals Crossroads
Peter Bisbecos, Director, Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services, FSSA
Sheri Caveda, Executive Director, Fifth Freedom Network
John Dickerson, Executive Director, The Arc of Indiana
Ric Edwards, Director of Safety and ADA Compliance, Department of Natural Resources
Tom Gallagher, Executive Director, Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services
Mike Garberg, INDATA ReUse/Distance Education Technician
Carol Girt, INDATA Equipment Specialist
Amy Hanna, Vice President, Borshoff
Chris Karson, Chair, ArtsWORK Indiana
Kassie Mills, Account Associate, Borshoff
Juli Paini, Coordinator, Indianapolis Mayor’s Office of Disability Affairs
Vicki Pappas, Ph.D., Center Director, The Center for Planning and Policy Studies, Indiana Institute for Disability and Community
Peter Schauer, Principal, Peter Schauer Associates
Ewart Solomon, INDATA Information, Referral and Funding Specialist
Stefanie Walker, Account Associate, Borshoff
Nanette Whightsel, Director of Family Education and Community Resources, The Arc of Indiana
Betty Williams, President, Self Advocates of Indiana

The first day on Monday, we as the 2008-2009 class had our afternoon class session. Curt Decker came and presented to us as well as Mary Pedevilla from IPAS. Mr. Decker worked with us in groups of how to meet with and how to interact with a congressman or woman. It was a VERY educational session for me, as all the sessions have been so far.

The Conference itself was just amazing and mindblowing as well, to network with so many organizations and to learn so many places of resources that I never knew was out there. I am really proud too to be able to help others and have done so already with the knowledge that I've gained from these sessions.

I met many past Partners grads and they were more than happy to talk with me and have so many influential positions within the advocacy world and we are all working and striving to improve things on an ongoing basis.

Again, I know I've said it before, but really, anyone that wants to make a difference the world of disabilities, you should really go through this program! For those that aren't able to give the time, they do have quite a bit of information, including free online courses through the national Partners website based out of Minnesota.

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