National Disability Summit

A group of 11 national developmental disability groups joined forces to form what is now called the Alliance for Full […]

A group of 11 national developmental disability groups joined forces to form what is now called the Alliance for Full Participation (AFP). The objective of AFP is full realization of the vision of people with developmental disabilities living meaningful and personally satisfying lives in their communities of choice.

AFP sponsored a National Summit September 22-23, 2005 in Washington DC: Many Voices, One Vision. The gathering of 2,400 was an opportunity for self-advocates, family members, policy makers and professionals to come together to establish national strategic social and policy goals, and to create a pro-active and responsive action plan for the future.

Minnesota was well represented at the summit carrying the message of our state’s “critical issues” related to support of self-advocacy, individual control of budgets, and Direct Service Professional status.

Carol Robinson and Kelly Lee of Advocating Change Together led a Summit workshop on building leadership via community organizing. The session addressed the need to compel those who benefit from the disability leadership to invest in strengthening the leadership base.

The Summit was the first major event of its kind in the United States and marks a significant step forward in the disabilities field in that self-advocates worked in tandem with other stakeholders to establish a national social policy agenda aimed at improving their own lives.

For information about the AFP action plan or to get involved with Minnesota’s efforts, call Cliff Poetz at the Institute on Community Integration at 612-625-0171.

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