"Good parents give their children roots and wings: roots to know where home is, and wings to fly off and practice what has been taught them." ~Jonas Salk
Our theme for 2013 is Deep Roots, Broad Branches & Strong Wings.
Meet our 2013 Keynote Speakers!
Lynne Seagle - Thursday, May 30, 10:15-11:15 am - Moving from Programs to Supports. Lynne is the Executive Director of Hope House Foundation, a private not-for-profit- serving people with disabilities in Hampton Roads. For the past 20 years she has also been providing organizational development consultation to business, government and agencies here in the United States as well as internationally. Her focus is on team-building, participative management, and communication and decision-making systems. She has consulted with a wide variety of groups including the ODU women’s basketball team, police departments, architectural and engineering firms, health authorities and the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Lynne has also worked with private industry and business in Canada and Japan. She holds a Master’s degree in public administration and Education Leadership and received the Joseph P. Kennedy International Award of Excellence in Leadership in 1997.
Watch Lynn Seagle Receive the Kennedy Award
Jennifer O'Toole - Friday, May 31, 10:15-11:15 am - See-Through Eggshells and Chalk on the Trampoline: Building Extraordinary People through Ordinary Stuff. Jennifer has Asperger syndrome and is the mother to three young Aspie children. She graduated from Brown University, and attended Columbia University's Graduate School of Social Work. She has previously worked as a social worker, and a teacher in both special needs and mainstream education. She has also served on the Family Advisory Board for Levine Children's Hospital, North Carolina, and regularly gives presentations at hospitals and local universities on special needs parenting. In 2002 she was nominated for Disney's Teacher of the Year Award. More recently, she has been honored with the GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership) 2012 Distinguished Spectrumite Medal, as well as the 2012 Temple Grandin Award for outstanding accomplishment and contribution to [her] family and community. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Watch Jennifer present on Practical Life Skills, Part 1
Watch Jennifer present on Practical Life Skills, Part 2
Watch Jennifer present on Practical Life Skills, Part 3
Fiona Hawks - Friday, May 31, 1:30-2:30 - Independent Living. Fiona was born in England 33 years ago. She emigrated to the USA with her family at the age of 5. She attended regular public school in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She had full inclusion, sometimes with the help of a tutor. Fiona repeated kindergarten and first grade, but then stayed with the same group of kids until she graduated in 1999, just before her 20th birthday. During her last two years of High School, Fiona took a vocational course where she learned office and computer skills. For the last twelve years Fiona has been employed as a clerk in the accounts department of Middle Tennessee Electric, which is a full time position with benefits. Eight years ago, Fiona moved into her own apartment. She passed her driver’s test in 1999 and uses her own car to drive to work, stores, church, restaurants, and the local recreation center. Since starting work, Fiona has given many presentations to groups such as the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee and the National Down Syndrome Association. She once introduced author, Martha Beck and was Master of Ceremonies at a concert where she introduced Chris Burke. She has appeared on Channel 4 in Nashville and on a local TV station in Chattanooga. Fiona has a younger brother living near Washington, DC. Her interests include music, travel, movies and exercising to keep fit. She is a member of Best Buddies. Fiona enjoys excellent health and has a strong work ethic.
Lisa Mills, Ph.D. - Thursday, May 30, 3:30-4:30 pm - Employment First: Going forward Together. Lisa is currently a consultant on employment policy and systems change for the federal Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities, and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. Prior to filling these roles, she served as employment policy consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for seven years. In this role, she researched and identified nationwide best practices for increasing integrated employment outcomes for people with developmental disabilities. In 2007 and 2008, she served as lead staff to Wisconsin’s Managed Care and Employment Task Force, and in the four years that followed, Lisa was one of the key people responsible for implementation of Task Force recommendations. She led the state’s initiatives around customized employment, systematic instruction and outcome-based reimbursement, as well as Wisconsin’s CRP Rebalancing Initiative which supports sheltered workshop and facility-based day service providers to transition to a primary focus on integrated employment services. Lisa was also centrally involved in rewriting the state’s employment service definitions during the 2010 HCBS waiver renewal process. Lisa previously consulted with ODEP on three customized employment projects and also does customized employment training with Marc Gold & Associates. She currently works with states on waiver renewals, policy and funding models, supporting service provider capacity-building and engaging the workforce system as critical partners with Medicaid and VR. Lisa also serves as a board member and public policy chair for TASH and senior technical advisor for the Coalition to Promote Self-Determination.
Gareth Laffely will be performing Thursday before they keynote and during lunch. He will be selling CDs during MegaMarketplace. He is a 14 year old singer, songwriter and musician. Gareth plays Native American Flute, keyboard, drums and violin. He recently won a national award for his Native American Flute playing. His music video, “Move On”, has gotten national attention – he wrote the song after a very close friend lost her battle with cancer. The video was made to honor the memory of those who have lost their lives to Cancer and also for the families that are dealing with the grief of having to say good-bye. Gareth’s goal is to help raise awareness and get the word out that early diagnosis gives the greatest chance of survival. Gareth hopes to be a positive role model and encourage other kids to get involved to help make a difference.
The temperature of meeting rooms throughout the conference center will be set at 72 degrees. Please dress accordingly and if you are cold-natured, dress in layers and bring a sweater or jacket.
Photographs and videos will be taken throughout the conference. Attendance constitutes permission to use images and videos of those at the event on this website, by sponsoring disability agencies and in other promotional materials.
This conference is FRAGRANCE FREE! Please refrain from using perfumes, colognes, or scented personal products in consideration of people with chemical sensitivities.