2017 Western States DD Network Partner Summit

Sonoran UCEDD Update
Fall 2017

Equal Partner Interstate Congress (EPIC) logoThe Equal Partner Interstate Congress (EPIC) Project of National Significance hosted the 2017 Western States DD Network Summit in Las Vegas, NV from August 21-24, bringing together DD Network Partners and Self-Advocacy/Civil Rights organizations to discuss federal issues, innovative practices and representation of self-advocacy/civil rights as part of the DD Network Partners. Representatives from the Network Partner national organizations and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities facilitated sessions. Sonoran UCEDD staff, Jacy Farkas and Paul McLaughlin, attended the summit.

Below, Paul shares his experience and take-aways from the regional event:

1 man using a wheelchair at a table with a man and womanThis conference was a valuable experience for all those hoping to transition from institutional living and sheltered workshops into the general community setting.

Through social media and video presentations, as well as, in person accounts people were able to offer advice, encouragement, and insight into the process of working toward independent life. It was nice to hear first-hand from people who have achieved their independence.

All people are entitled to dream of a better life and have the same rights to happiness and a chance to fulfill their dreams.

Information on the ABLE for ALL savings plan was very helpful. It allows people to save money for living expenses and future needs without losing Social Security benefits.

It was nice to meet new people and learn what others are doing outside of Arizona.

Pictured right: Andy Imparato, Association of University Centers on Disabilities Executive Director, Paul McLaughlin, and Jacy Farkas at the summit