Center for Disabilities & Development Sponsors Successful Empowerment Conference

February 23, 2009

Iowa's National Service Inclusion Project recently hosted a consumer empowerment conference at Wartburg College.  The conference brought together young people with disabilities, educators, family members, and service providers.  Participants attended sessions covering the topics of self-advocacy, disability disclosure, and National Service.  The sessions included information on assistive technology and its benefits to volunteers, particularly senior volunteers, as well as valuable resources and funding strategies to purchase needed devices. The keynote presenter, a college freshman who experiences narcolepsy, challenged her audience to recognize their experience with disability as an opportunity to educate others and to volunteer.

Conference evaluations revealed that participants learned valuable self-advocacy techniques, gained a new appreciation for the experiences of individuals with disabilities in school and at work, and acquired knowledge which they will utilize when teaching or providing services to individuals with disabilities.  Partners included CDD, Wartburg College, The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, Inclusion Connection (a grass-roots organization of young persons with and without disabilities and their supporters), and Iowa Workforce Development.

For more information, contact Amy Mikelson