As an adult sibling of a brother with a developmental disability and as a long-time supporter of the self-advocacy movement, I believe strongly in what the conference can do for you. I talk to professionals or family members that have attended a self-advocacy conference that usually tell me that this is the best professional development conference that they have ever attended. You are able to attend side-by-side with the self-advocates who this information directly impacts and is about, you are able to talk to and hear from the self-advocates who are leading the sessions and talking about the innovative ways they want to live their life. You also have the opportunity to network with self-advocates, professionals and resources from all over the country. No other conference is going to provide you with not only the concrete information about the options and resources available but also with the opportunity to learn and grow within yourself about your personal views, perspectives and vision for the future for people with disabilities.

I believe that the SABE conference will:

 Expose you to self-advocates (people with disabilities) of all ages and abilities (and many types of disabilities, including Autism and complex needs) who are presenting, training and leading sessions.

 Experience interactions with over 1,200 adults with disabilities like you have never have before.

 Open your eyes to the possibilities for your own family member or the families you support.

 Learn about "life" from the perspective of self-advocates, including discussions about how to support self-advocacy, relationship building (including sexuality), leadership, and self-determination.

 Teach you about many different options for housing, employment, support services, alternatives to guardianship, benefits information that you do not traditionally hear about.

 Become impassioned to how being a part of the "self-advocacy movement" can change attitudes, services and policies for all people with disabilities (including your own child).

I know this sounds very philosophical and in some ways it is, which is hard to explain all the reasons why you should attend. This conference will challenge your perceptions and ideas of what "reality" is for people with disabilities and what supports are really available (in a good way).

I think this entire conference, and especially Friday during the day, will give self-advocates who are in high-school or their families or educators the opportunity to see "real life" beyond the school years. Many people do not have this opportunity and their vision for the future is sometimes skewed because they don't have the opportunity to see "concretely" what the future could look like. This gives you the opportunity to see options.

Okay, enough..............but I will tell you, in order for me to endorse something, I must be convinced myself of the relevance and as you can see, I am convinced. Especially if we are supporting other families, it is important for us to know all of the options, whether we think they are right for our families or not.

Be sure to check out the website because there are scholarships available to self-advocates (their support staff) and family members for registration fees. There are also several options of registration rates depending on the number of days you are able to attend.

I hope you can make it!!

Sheli Reynolds

Director of Individual Advocacy and Family Support

UMKC-Institute for Human Development, UCEDD

SABE KC 2010 presents

The Friday Student Field Trip

Who: High school transition students with disabilities, transition professionals (including teachers, paraprofessionals), and family members

What: Self advocates from all over the nation have joined the self advocacy movement. The self advocacy movement is about people with developmental disabilities learning to speak up the right to live, work, and play in the community. SABE (Self Advocates Becoming Empowered) is the US national self advocacy organization. SABE has been working hard for the full inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the community since 1990.

Why: To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and past two decades of the self advocacy movement! Don’t miss the chance to miss out on this historical event that is occurring here in Missouri! SABE hosts a national conference every other year in a different state. Past conferences have been held in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Rhode Island. This year, we are lucky enough to experience the national SABE conference in our very own state!

When: 9am-5pm on Friday, September 24, 2010

Where: Kansas City, MO at the Westin Crown Center

Information: For the first time ever, students who attend the Friday Student Field Trip at SABE KC 2010 will be able to

 go to breakout sessions of their choice to learn about self advocacy, self determination, and relationships,

 participate in regional meetings to see how local chapters in our region develop a unified voice, and

 attend the Self-Determination Showcase.

The Self-Determination Showcase is a poster session where people who have exciting projects, products, and ideas related to self-determination in their local communities. Those who attend the Self-Determination Showcase will be able to enjoy face-to-face contact with conference attendees from across the country about the innovative projects such as new ideas for living and working in the community!

Registration for the Friday Student Field Trip is only $25, which includes lunch on Friday and conference materials. Don’t miss the opportunity to opportunity to see "real life" beyond the school years!

Scholarships are available for Kansas high school transition students, family members, and educators who wish to apply. To apply for a scholarship go to