Breakout Sessions: Learn Leadership & Advocacy Skills


Session A


You Have Power as a Self Advocate

A high energy session that will give you tips on how to set your own goals, check your progress, and use proven strategies to help you finish a winner! In this breakout, you will decide your personal empowerment goals and learn how to track your progress.
Presenter: Casidi Jobe, Parent Advocate, Partners in Policymaking graduate, National Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Emerging Leader.

Become Independent and Live your Own “Good Life”

Self-Advocates who use the right supports can lead a life of independence in their communities. Find out how a self-advocate worked with his support team to build a life based on principles of Self-Determination using Self-Directed Supports. Learn how his Remote Monitoring, backup plan, and natural supports protect his health and safety. The second part of this talk will show how Charting the LifeCourse tools can support your journey to a Good Life and give you ways to tell others about your real needs.
Presenters: Tonda Lain, Self-Directed Support Coordinator and Self-Advocate; John Layden, Self-Advocate; Elise Mercer, Enrollment Specialist, Financial Management Service; Lydia Lasley, Support Coordinator; Penny Mata, Night Owl Remote Monitoring Technician; Georgia Mueller, Missouri Family 2 Family

The Determination Game – Finding Your Path to Advocacy

Define exactly what self-advocacy and supported decision making means to you. Self advocates can answer questions on self-advocacy and Supported Decision Making through a game show style presentation. Learn problem solving skills and the steps to increasing your independence, finding your voice, and understanding the difference between wants and needs.
Presenters: Angie Perryman, Terra Caudill, Elizabeth Obrey, and Craig Kelsay; STIR Trainers, Arc of the Ozarks

The Basics of Leadership: Self-Advocate Style

Learn about the power YOU have as a leader. Develop your own leadership challenge with help from the self-advocate presenters. Learn how to engage with others in your advocacy work and avoid the pitfalls of partnering with others.
Presenters: Brad Linnenkamp, Kathy Lobb, Jason Barrett, Aaron Alspach, and Colin Ulenick; Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas

The Nebraska Disability Policy Specialist Program: A 5-way collaboration to support Self-Advocate Policy Specialists

Would you like to have PAID Self-Advocates working as Disability Policy Specialists at your state capitol to make sure the voices of people with disabilities are heard at every hearing and in every elected official’s office? Learn how People First of Nebraska (PFN) is partnering with the Nebraska LEND training program (there’s one in EVERY state), The Arc, Protection & Advocacy, and the Statewide Independent Living Council to train, mentor, and PAY self-advocates to work as Disability Rights specialists.
Presenters: Erin Phillips & Jennifer James, PFN Disability Policy Specialists; Mary Angus, LEND Disability Advocacy Faculty; Kellie Ellerbusch, PFN State Coordinator and LEND Training Director

Session B


Seizure Awareness/Living with Epilepsy

Seizures are part of life for many people with disabilities. But most people don’t know how to help a person who is having a seizure. You will learn about different kinds of seizures, what triggers them, and how you can help someone who is having a seizure. You’ll also hear from a self-advocate who has lived with epilepsy for 22 years. When she was young she struggled with embarrassment. Find out how epilepsy no longer defines who she is, and how she now lives independently, holds a job, and enjoys life.
Presenters: Linda Mercer, R.N. and Parent Advocate; Hannah Mercer, Self-Advocate

The Independent Living Movement and Leadership/Self-Advocacy in Iowa

This presentation will give a brief history of the Independent Living Movement and share stories from and about self-advocates and the impact their leadership has had in Iowa to promote independence for people with disabilities. Hear about their advocacy and leadership struggles with Medicaid Managed Care, accessible refueling at the gas pump, and filing and winning lawsuits to make businesses and communities more accessible!
Presenters: Jeremy Beavers, People First of North Iowa; Don Dew, Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland; Dawn Francis, Iowa Statewide Independent Living Council; Gary McDermott , Disability and Veterans Advocate; Mia Peterson, National Self Advocate

Raising the Heat

This session will look at the process of advocating for change. Sometimes just talking to folks doesn’t work. Raising the Heat is one way to get people to pay attention and work on solutions. Those who come to this session will get a chance to use their skills as we look at different ways to “Raise the Heat”.
Presenters: Kelly Smith, Jason Cooper, Jason Barrett, Aaron Alspach, Lisa Barcus, Renae Johnson, and Yvette Bell; Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas

Jeopardy For Life

Play the “Lifecourse Integrated Supports Game Show” to learn how to expand your support base and how to bring new supports into your life. Learn how to use relationships and resources in technology, your community, and your own personal strengths .
Presenters: Elizabeth Obrey and Angie Perryman, Family Advocates and Resource Specialist, Arc of the Ozarks

Growing in Advocacy and Leadership through College

Students from University of Iowa REACH Program and University of Missouri-Kansas City PROPEL will talk about what they’ve learned about advocacy and leadership by being going to college. Come learn about these programs that support students with disabilities to learn more than reading, writing, and math, but also about finances, social skills, life skills, and health. Most of all, find out how their time at college helps them find their full potential as leaders!
Presenters: UMKC Propel students, UI REACH students, Michael Petkewec, UI REACH Senior Program Specialist – Recruitment, Kate Duffy – UMKC Propel Program and Transition Manager