PNWEF 2020 Day 1

Wednesday, September 30th
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM PST

Who are the Heroes? A History of the Disability Rights Movement
Barry Whaley

Description: In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this presentation will explore key moments and personalities of the disability rights movement over the past one hundred years.  Participants will learn about our heroes who, through their courage and conviction, fought for equality and laid the foundation of the four “pillars” of the ADA; full participation, independent living, equality of opportunity, and economic self-sufficiency.

The author and historian David McCullough once wrote “how can we know who we are and where we are going if we don’t know anything about where we have come from and what we have been through, the courage shown, the costs paid, to be where we are?” In celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this presentation traces where we have come from in the struggle for equality and full participation. As a new generation of Supported Employment professionals have entered the field, many do not know the histories of the heroes that came before us. They likely are unaware of the contributions of Brad Lomax, Justin Dart or Ed Roberts, the stories of Carrie Buck and Fannie Lou Hamer or the revolutionary beliefs of Marc Gold and Burton Blatt. Many younger professionals have never heard of the occupation of the San Francisco Federal Building and the privations endured by the occupiers by both circumstance and by commission of the federal government. The disability rights movement has been one of constant struggle for basic human dignity. The Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990, was the emancipation proclamation for people with disabilities. But the ADA can ensure facility access, effective communication and legal protections. It is only by our continued struggle and the leadership of a new generation that will ensure the achievement of full equality.

Adaptability: Stories of Resilience in a Time of Constant Change
Moderator: Debra McLean
Panelists:  Alex Koval, Wendy Taliaferro, Debbie Thompson, Kevin Dearborne, Makayla Musaraca, Mer Stevens

Description: This session will feature stories of employee adaptability and resilience throughout the pandemic. These speakers will share their experience at work and describe their strategies for continuing to work and thrive in a mostly-virtual working world.

Boundary Spanning: Applying Intersectionality as We Build a More Diverse Workforce 
Moderator:  Aaron Brownlee
Panelists:  Teddy Walston, Derrick Thomas, Debbie Caselton, Karen Williams

Description: The term “intersectionality” in our disability lens refers to how disability spans the boundaries of all demographics equally; we are the sum of all our parts. To fully prioritize equity in our work, we must recognize the importance of cultural humility as we support those with different experiences than our own. This panel will share perspectives of how systemic changes, education, and increasing visibility to the diversity of lived experience is essential to equitably support people in our work. 

Virtual Happy Hour
There will be games, prizes, and networking until 6pm. Oregon and Washington ABLE Savings are a PNWEF sponsor and will provide information within the first half hour. Imperfect Foods has offered $50 off a box of food for a raffle winner, and all non-winners will receive a code for 20% off their first order. The Heart Sticker Company is providing stickers to Happy Hour attendees (and maybe more).

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