We just received an invite to join the “Envisioning the Future” summit series from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD). Sharon Lewis, the new Commissioner, is conducting a series of summits across the nation to “hear how you – self-advocates, family members, allies, and professionals – describe your vision of the future for individuals with developmental disabilities.”
Ideas presented at these forums will be used as part of the process to develop goals and priorities for ADD’s five-year strategic plan.
The series takes place in Philadelphia PA (10/8), Orlando FL (11/8), Dallas TX (11/15), Detroit MI (12/2), and Denver CO (12/6).
Members of the public are invited to come and simply listen, or to present your ideas. Space will be limited and participants will be asked to register in advance. Opportunities to share written testimonies and commentary through a website will also be available.
Presenters (and those seeking to submit written comments) are asked to focus on answering one of the following questions:
Childhood (0-21): How do we ensure that each child with a developmental disability will live a healthy and happy life in a loving family home; fully participate in all of the experiences of childhood in inclusive, welcoming communities; be empowered to advocate for themselves; and successfully graduate from school prepared for college or a career of their choosing?
Adulthood (21-60): In the future, what will be the most important contributing factors to ensuring that adults with developmental disabilities achieve equality of opportunity, independent living, economic self-sufficiency and full participation as valued members of inclusive, integrated communities? Which critical issues must be prioritized – access to healthcare, employment, supports and services, technology, housing, transportation, other issues?
Aging (60-end of life): Aging concerns affect us all. But the number of adults with developmental disabilities age 60 years and older is projected to nearly double from 642,000 (2000) to 1.2 million (2030). What can we do to empower older individuals with developmental disabilities to remain in their own homes with a high quality of life, to maintain independence and good health for as long as possible, and to enjoy community and family relationships through the end of life?
Supports from families, caregivers, professionals and other allies. Over 75% of people with I/DD live with families, often with aging parents. Direct support workers usually earn very low wages. Families and caregivers often struggle to access any level of formal support at all. How can we address the future caregiving and support challenges of communities, families, and the allies who care about people with developmental disabilities?
More details about the locations, specific times and agenda will be available very soon via the web at http://www.envision2010.net In the meantime, for more information, please contact Kate Fialkowski, Kennedy Public Policy Fellow and ADD Summit Coordinator, Kathryn.Fialkowski@acf.hhs.gov or 202-690-6590.