2020 LIFE Conference Offers Keynote from Self-Advocates
More than 500 people are expected to attend the 2020 LIFE Conference, the largest annual cross-disability conference in Delaware in support of people with disabilities and their families, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center.
The conference brings together people with disabilities, their families, advocates, providers, educators, legislators and government officials for educational and networking opportunities. LIFE stands for Liberty and Independence For Everyone, and the conference addresses the topics of legislation, independence (through assistive technology), families and education.
The 21st annual conference, organized by a coalition of Delaware groups serving people with disabilities, runs from 8 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. Registration ($35-$95) is required. Conference participants can choose from 12 different workshops, with break times scheduled throughout the day to allow time to visit conference exhibitors.
Jarrett Butler, a 2019 graduate of the Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) Junior Partners in Policymaking Program, will provide opening remarks at the conference. Butler is a frequent presence at Legislative Hall in Dover, where he is a passionate advocate for full accessibility in the community and for upholding rights and standards under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Junior Partners in Policymaking offers policy training for Delawareans ages 15-22 with disabilities.
This year’s keynote speakers are also self-advocates. Donna and Ricardo Thornton of Washington believe that people should make their own decisions and choices, and individuals with disabilities can achieve almost anything with support. The keynote presentation will focus on “ADA 30 Years Later: How Far We’ve Come and the Work Left to Do.”
“For Delawareans with disabilities and their families, the LIFE Conference is an important opportunity to connect with educational and occupational resources that people with disabilities need to live, work and participate as active members of our communities,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. “I am excited about the role that self-advocates are playing in this year’s LIFE Conference because empowerment, inspiration and information are all critical in building a more inclusive Delaware. All of us at DHSS are proud to be a part of the LIFE Conference and to support Delawareans with disabilities and their families.”
More details about the conference, including session descriptions, the schedule, and a link to the online registration form are available on the conference website, www.lifeconferencede.org.