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Invitation & Overview


Dear Colleagues,


AUCD2016 logoI am thrilled to invite you to attend the AUCD 2016 Conference, "Navigating Change: Building our Future Together," in Washington, DC on December 4-7. This year's theme highlights both the change that comes at the end of a Presidential term as well as the need to work together to create a future in which children and adults with disabilities are able to participate fully in all aspects of life as valued members of their communities. I am truly looking forward to engaging in powerful, important, and inspiring personal and professional discourse as we gather this coming December in our nation's capital.


What happens politically in the next several months will have a huge impact on the disability community. Regardless of who is in the White House, some amount of change is certain. We as a community can and will move forward together as we continue to build a future based on inclusion and which values diversity and the contributions of all people.


It is often said that change is the only constant in life. Yet we as human beings are predisposed to resist change because of the associated risk. However, it is more important than ever for us to acknowledge the potentially greater risk of remaining stagnant as a community, and instead forge ahead with our research, training, information dissemination, and advocacy.


The AUCD Conference presents us with opportunities to understand change from a variety of perspectives - from the vantage point of individuals with disabilities, families, trainees, faculty, staff, researchers, administrators, and partners. The popular Driving Change sessions will provide a forum for engaging and brainstorming around how we build a future together, with partners and stakeholders, in several areas of importance. The plenary sessions of AUCD 2016 will reflect on the last eight years, take stock of our current reality, and begin a conversation about what we can expect from the new Administration and Congress. Poster symposia will highlight efforts in interdisciplinary training, community training and technical assistance, research, information dissemination, advocacy, and more.


From a personal perspective, the many years that I have been involved in and attending AUCD conferences have allowed me to grow and gain in both my head and heart. The opportunities for professional networking, new and everlasting friendships, chances to engage in important and critical dialogue and discourse, and occasions for teaching and learning all embody what this conference is all about. I am so humbled and excited to encourage you to join me this December to continue in this inspirational journey.


Celia sitting at her deskSincerely,

The AUCD 2016 Conference Planning Team

Celia Feinstein
AUCD Board President-Elect
Co-UCEDD Director, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University

Andy Imparato, AUCD Executive Director
Laura Martin, AUCD Director of Operations
Crystal Pariseau, AUCD Director of Marketing & Public Engagement