Disability Advocacy Conference

The next Disability Advocacy Conference will be held on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at The Friday Center in Chapel Hill.

Sign up for our e-newsletter to get notices about registration, speakers, and breakout session. Sponsorships are available – contact Elaine at elaine.whitford@disabilityrightsnc.org.

The 2016 Disability Advocacy Conference had record attendance of more than 200 people.

Judge Kristin Booth Glen gives the keynote address at the 2016 conferenceThe Honorable Kristin Booth Glen opened the conference with a challenge to view guardianship in a different light. She asked the audience to consider guardianship as a deprivation of an individual’s basic civil rights, and she urged them to elevate supported decision-making as the preferred method of assisting an individual with a disability.

Judge Glen’s address was followed by breakout sessions. Topics included:

  • Disability and Higher Education
  • Guardianship
  • Young People with I/DD in Adult Care Homes
  • Children and Adolescents with Complex Needs
  • Home and Community-Based Services
  • CAP-C and CAP-DA Waivers
  • Restraint in Facilities
  • State Legislative Update
  • Housing Accessibility and Community Integration
  • Preparing for Young Adulthood
  • Trends in Disability Law
  • Special Education and IEP Meetings
  • Medicaid Appeals

There was also a networking lunch, which allowed participants to speak with members of the staff of Disability Rights NC and other disability advocates about certain topics as they ate.

Conference Reviews

“This is a conference not to be missed. The staff at Disability Rights North Carolina and expert presenters provide a wealth of information for individuals with disabilities, their families, community advocates and providers.”

“The Disability Rights Advocacy Conference is one of the best in the state. The issues covered are full of facts, not spin, so it is easy to understand the real issues at hand. The information is current, relevant, and important. If you are an advocate at heart, don’t miss this!”

“I have attended all three years and learn something new that is very relevant to my work every year.”

“What a fabulous conference. I will definitely be here every year! Because of the unique expertise that Disability Rights NC staff have, I was able to gain knowledge and information that I couldn’t have received elsewhere.”

Attendees mingling at the Friday Center during the 2016 Disability Advocacy Conference

2016 Conference and Awards Reception Sponsors

Networking Lunch Sponsor

Henson & Fuerst

Director Sponsor

Cadgewith Farms Ltd.

Adele Foschia Award Sponsor

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys - NC Chapter

ASL Interpreters Sponsor

NC DHHS, Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Keynote Speaker Sponsor

NC Council on Developmental Disabilities

Exhibit Hall Sponsor

Dogwood Supports

Breakout Session Sponsors

  • Monarch
  • Neuro Community Care


  • Avison Young - Braxton Anthony
  • CESI
  • Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia
  • Beth Garriss Hardy
  • Pam Jarrett
  • NC Council of Community Programs
  • Janna Shisler
  • Walker Lambe Rhudy Costley & Gill, PLLC


  • Alberta Professional Services, Inc.
  • Robin Allen
  • Benchmarks
  • Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
  • Campbell School of Law
  • Catalyst Consulting
  • William Donohue
  • Leanna George
  • Iris Green
  • Faith Holsaert
  • Roger Manus
  • Nancy Mayer Attorney at Law, PLLC
  • National Association of Social Workers - NC Chapter
  • Lisa Nesbitt
  • Susan Pollitt
  • Schell Bray PLLC
  • Self-Help Credit Union
  • Gerda Stein
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