Conference 2017

Don't miss Disability Rights North Carolina's annual Disability Advocacy Conference!

Featured This Year:
**  5 Breakout Time Slots Offering 17 Different Topics, including educational tracks
on Law Enforcement and the Courts, Early Childhood, and Young Adulthood **
**  CLE Credit for Attorneys Licensed in NC Available for Some Breakout Sessions
(NC Bar approved 4.5 hours CLE credit, including 1.0 hour Ethics credit)  **
**  Longer Breaks between Sessions to Allow for More Networking  **
**  Networking Sessions

Early birds get the worm!
Register on or before March 10, 2017 and receive an entry into the drawing for a free 2018 conference registration.

Register Now!

-- Scroll down for conference agenda, speaker information and  breakout session descriptions --

April 20, 2017
8:30 am - 4:45 pm

The Friday Center (Get directions here)
100 Friday Center Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Register online or download this form to mail your registration to Disability Rights NC. Space is limited so register early!

Registration fee - $125
Registration fee for attorneys seeking CLE credit - $160

Registration includes: continental breakfast, buffet lunch at The Friday Center, afternoon snack, and
a written manual or flash drive with a complete set of materials for all breakout sessions.

Conference Registration Will Close on April 18, 2017

Purchase an ad in our conference program - get more details here.

Sponsors help us make our conference available to individuals with limited financial resources.
Get more information about becoming a sponsor here.
All sponsors will be invited to the Sponsor Reception immediately after the last conference session.



Do you need a hotel room?
We reserved a block of rooms at two local hotels.

Courtyard by Marriott, 100 Marriott Way, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (just across the driveway from The Friday Center). The discounted rate is $139 per night plus tax and service charges for a room with either a King bed or two Queen beds. There is no charge to park at the Courtyard by Marriott. Use this link to make your reservation or call the hotel directly at 919-883-0700 or toll free at 800-321-2211. The block name is "Disability Rights". The room block and discounted rates will expire on March 20, 2017.

Aloft Hotel, 1001 South Hamilton Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (one mile down the road from The Friday Center). The discounted rate is $119 per night plus tax and service charges for a room with either a King bed or two Queen beds. The cost for parking at the Aloft is $10 per day. Use this link to make your reservation or call the hotel directly at 919-932-7772 and tell them you want the discounted rate for the "Disability Rights NC Conference 2017". The room block and discounted rates at the Aloft will expire on March 21, 2017.

Do you need a scholarship?
If you would like to attend the conference, but do not have the means to pay the full registration fee, you may apply to Disability Rights NC to receive a discount on your registration. These discounts are available due to the support of our generous sponsors. Apply for a scholarship by completing this form. If you have questions about the scholarship or need assistance completing the form, contact Elaine Whitford at or 919-856-2195. All applications for scholarships from Disability Rights NC must be submitted no later than March 17, 2017.

If you are an individual with an intellectual disability or developmental disability (I/DD) or a parent, family member or individual guardian of an individual with I/DD, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund maintained by the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities. Click here for more information about the Rossi Fund and how to applyAll applications for funding from the Rossi Fund must be submitted no later than March 18, 2017.

Do you need an accommodation?
On your registration form, please let us know how we can ensure that our conference is fully accessible to you. Or contact Elaine Whitford at 919-856-2195.

Did your plans change after your registered and now you need a refund?
Full refunds minus a $15 handling fee will be given up until March 20, 2017. After March 20, 2017, you will receive a refund of $65 (or the amount you paid minus a $15 handling fee, if less than $65). Refunds will be made by check within 21 days of our receipt of your written request for a refund. Requests for refunds may be mailed or emailed to the attention of Elaine Whitford and must include your full name, complete mailing address, and, if applicable, the name of the company or organization who paid your registration fee.

Will my image be photographed or in a video taken at the conference?
Yes. We will be taking photographs and videos at the conference. By registering, you irrevocably consent to and authorize Disability Rights NC to photograph and record video images of you at the event and to use and publish the same. All negatives, prints and digital files shall be solely the property of Disability Rights NC.

Questions about anything related to the conference?
Contact Elaine Whitford at or 919-856-2195.

Read about past conferences here.

Tentative Conference Agenda

7:30 - 8:30 am      Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 - 9:25 am         Breakout Sessions I

♦ From Applicant to Graduate: Your Rights and Tips for Success in Higher Education (Holly Stiles) [NC CLE 0.5]

♦ Not Nearly Good Enough: Children with Disabilities in the Child Welfare System (Corye Dunn)

9:40 - 10:50 am      Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Kevin Ann Huckshorn, PhD, RN, MSN, CAP

Dr. Huckshorn is a licensed and certified mental health nurse and substance abuse clinician with practical knowledge from over 25 years of professional experiences working in a variety of public and private mental health organizations and substance abuse programs. She has served as the Director of Delaware's Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health as well as Director of the Office of Technical Assistance for the National Association for State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD). She is recognized as a national expert on trauma-informed care.

11:05 - 12:10 pm      Breakout Sessions II

♦ Justice for Youth with Disabilities (Matt Herr, Kristin Parks[NC CLE 1.0]

♦ Medicaid Appeals (Emma Kinyanjui, Lisa Nesbitt[NC CLE 1.0]

♦ Trends in Disability Law (John Rittelmeyer[NC CLE 1.0]

♦ Guardianship: Overused and Unnecessarily Restrictive (Corye Dunn)

12:10 - 1:20 pm      Lunch

12:55 - 1:20 pm      Networking Sessions (optional)

1:20 - 2:25 pm      Breakout Sessions III

♦ How Does the ADA Impact Law Enforcement Interactions with People with Disabilities (Jennifer Bills, Marian Hartman, Susan Pollitt[NC CLE 0.5]

For Attorneys Only -- Ethical Considerations in Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity (Kristine Sullivan) [NC ETHICS CLE 1.0]

♦ Children with Complex Needs: Where Are We Now? (Iris Green, John Rittelmeyer, Tadra Martin[NC CLE 1.0]

♦ Training Youth for College and Employment: A New Frontier of Opportunity (Chris Hodgson[NC CLE 0.5]

2:35 - 3:35 pm      Breakout Sessions IV

♦ Equal Justice in the Courtroom for People with Disabilities—A Call to Action (The Honorable Pat Devine, The Honorable Kimberly Taylor[NC CLE 1.0]

♦ What's Happening at the NC General Assembly (Corye Dunn) [NC CLE 1.0]

♦ Appeals and Remedies in Special Education Cases (Virginia Fogg, Lucy Ireland, Lisa Rabon) [NC CLE 1.0]

♦ Strapped Down and Alone: One Patient's Experience and the Legal Standards for Restraint in Facilities (Kristine Sullivan, Bethany Smith)

3:45 - 4:45 pm      Breakout Sessions V

♦ Transitioning People with I/DD Out of Adult Care Homes and into Community Settings (Cas Shearin, Marian Hartman, Gabby Martino)

♦ A Wave of Changes to North Carolina’s HCBS Waivers (Jennifer Bills, Tadra Martin[NC CLE 1.0]

♦ Understanding the Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Chris Hodgson, Holly Stiles)

4:45 - 6:30 pm      Reception for Sponsors

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