a Self-Advocacy Conference
self advocacy group may be thinking about planning a conference or convention in
your own community. Self-advocacy got started in the United States through the
experience of planning and running a convention. The self advocates who planned
it got a group of advisors to assist them, and with a lot of hard work and
commitment they learned how to organize their conference by doing it. You can do
this too if you really want to.
on beginning a year in advance because it takes a lot of time and preparation.
It will take commitment from several self-advocates and at least one or two
advisors. If you hold your conference at a hotel, the sales staff will be very
helpful to you as you plan your event. Another good place to get help is your
local convention bureau.
sure to select a place for your conference that is centrally located or
accessible to transportation, accessible to wheel chairs, and the right size to
accommodate the number of people you want to come. It is also a good idea to
plan to have your conference over a weekend or at a time when most
self-advocates and advisors are free from work responsibilities. And you may
want to hold your event during the "off season," when many hotels and
conference sites can give you a lower price.
for the conference is also an important consideration. Let people know about it
far enough in advance so they can save the money to pay their own way. Some
self-advocacy groups do fundraising and use the money they raise together to pay
for their way to the conference.
things you need to think about as you plan your event are a conference theme, a
banquet menu, entertainment, and arranging for advertising. You also need to
decide what topics you are going to discuss, and who will organize and run
conference workshops. You may want to invite some guest speakers and a few
dignitaries like politicians.
you can see, there is a lot to think about in planning and organizing a
conference. People First of Oregon
has planned many conferences and you may want to contact us for some assistance.