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You're Invited!

 

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Tawara Goode

The AUCD 2020 Conference: Achieving Equity: Leading the Way in the Next Decade, is currently scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on December 6-9. Due to the continued uncertainty of the impact of COVID-19, AUCD is evaluating the option of a virtual conference instead of an in-person event, on or very near the same dates in December. There are many factors involved in this decision and we hope to provide an official announcement by the end of May. I strongly encourage you to submit a proposal, giving consideration as you do so to how the content could be presented virtually, if necessary. We envision providing both concurrent and poster sessions in either conference scenario and want everyone to have the opportunity to be reviewed and considered. Given our current environment, our theme is more important than ever - so submit your proposal today! 

 

I am very excited to share with you what we have planned thus far. The theme of this year's conference is─ "Achieving Equity: Leading the Way in the Next Decade." AUCD's Strategic Map outlines key priority areas to guide our network and align our collective work and mission, and. "Model Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" is one of those four priority areas. We as a network and larger disability community continue to make significant strides in our efforts to advance diversity and inclusion. However, we lag behind other fields regarding equity because we have yet to define it; and more specifically, what it means in the disability space in general and for our network in particular. In 2020 we celebrate 30 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In keeping with the tenets of the ADA and as we begin this new decade, it is time to put equity for people with disabilities at the forefront of our work together.

 

AUCD's annual conference attracts a national and international audience of people with disabilities, leaders from multiple disciplines, researchers, scientists, advocates, policy experts, and other key stakeholders from across the U.S., territories, and tribal nations. This year's theme will serve as a call to action for the AUCD network to create a national equity agenda in partnership with people with disabilities, their families, and the communities in which they live. The opening plenary will offer a thought provoking framework for health equity and a facilitated panel examining the meaning and implications of equity in the disability space. In response to this call to action, I hope the conference will serve as a forum to recognize the individual work that is occurring within the network, celebrate accomplishments, engage in meaningful dialogue on what it will take achieve equity in the next decade, and define the role of the AUCD network in leading the way.

 

I am hopeful that we can come together in December 2020, either in-person or virtually, for an inspiring annual conference, and commit to leading equity in the disability space in fulfillment of the promise of the ADA.

 

Sincerely,


Tawara D. Goode
AUCD Board President-Elect and 2020 AUCD Conference Chair
Director, Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities