Eight members of Rosewood Services’ AKTION Club, along with two sponsors, participated in the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) Conference in mid-June in Topeka.
Attending the Conference for Kansans with Disabilities were Rosewood Miracle Workers Josh Trimmer, Karla Franklin, Kandis Miskell, Peggy Scott, Kim Reynolds, Dustin Alkire, Rhonda Ravenstein, Cheryl Mendenhall. Sponsors of Rosewood Miracle Workers were Jennifer Stoddard and Paula Fellers.
The SACK conference, held June 14-16 at the Ramada Inn, was an opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to meet, share and learn from each other and experts in the field. Participants of this year’s annual conference had opportunity to choose from 15 workshops during five breakout sessions. This year’s theme for the annual conference was “Shoot For The Stars.”
At the start of the conference, participants heard from keynote speaker Max Barrows, outreach coordinator for Green Mountain Self-Advocates. He is a leader in the field of supported and customized employment. He provides training and technical assistance, traveling to local self-advocacy groups, mostly around Vermont. He teaches groups how to organize and communicate effectively and updates them on legislative issues that impact persons with disabilities.
“The SACK conference annually provides an awesome opportunity for Kansans living with disabilities because it helps them realize that we all have the ability and the right to reach for the stars,” said Stoddard. “Everyone has their own focus and their own unique challenges, but by speaking up and not giving up, reaching those stars and dreams is possible for everyone of us.”
Miracle Worker members were awarded grants from Rosewood’s Roots & Wings Foundation, which paid for their conference entry fee and the expense of their trip.
Among the varied workshops offered, Rosewood attendees took part in sessions to learn more about the Working Healthy KanCare Program, as well as finding out more about a five-year plan for the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities. They participated in advocacy workshops titled “Make Your Case and Speak Up!” as well as “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find Out What it Means to Me.”