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TASH 2013 in Chicago

November 25, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 8.17.02 AMIn our work at Spectrum Society and Spectrum Consulting, we credit three main influences for our best ideas: families, self advocates and our ongoing relationship with TASH.   At various points we have been more or less involved in volunteering for TASH locally (currently the local group is not active) and on their international Community Inclusion Committee.   For more than 20 years, most of our best learning about what could be, and about imagining better, has been through TASH conferences.   The upcoming TASH 2013 Conference is in Chicago in December.

Here is a note from Barbara Trader, the E.D.:

TASH has a rich tradition in values-based advocacy for people with the most significant impact of disability –completely aligned with the values of the independent living movement. Throughout its history, TASH’s cross-sector members (researchers, teachers, family members, people with disabilities, policy makers, direct service workers, and social justice advocates) have worked together for inclusive education, valued lives in the community, real jobs for real wages, and the end to segregated, patronizing systems of “care”. The solutions they advocate for result in great lives and generate more inclusive communities for everyone.  

This year’s conference emphasizes:

  • An AWESOME Community Gathering 
  • Customized employment and customized self employment
  • State-level systems change to advance Employment First
  • Authentic person-centered planning and supports
  • Innovative solutions for home ownership and asset development
  • Facilitating valued roles and quality relationships
  • Community organizing for change
  • Positive behavior supports
  • Comprehensive content on inclusive education  
  • And so much more!

 Conference registration is reasonable for everyone and especially affordable for self advocates and families. I hope you’ll join me and my staff for an extraordinary learning and inspiring experience!

For additional information about the conference, please go to

I hope we can see you at the conference!

If you are interested in some of the things we’ve been doing, I’m part of four different events at TASH this year.  Not least of which (for me) is presenting the research I’ve just finished for my graduate degree, in part thanks to a couple of small grants to help with costs from Athabasca University.   And here’s an example of good TASH magic – my research started off with one vision of finding out how to best support self advocates as members of boards and advisory groups and for a bunch of reasons turned into something smaller and more focused.   Meanwhile, researcher Mark Friedman conducted a survey of self advocate leaders across America and is going to be presenting the research I’d have liked to have done at TASH too – so I’m excited to hear about his findings and connect with him.

It is strikingly absurd to think we can accomplish brave goals without knowing what else is going on further afield, over the horizon.   At a large conference we get to experience and hear about many horizons and many journeys.   The theme of this year’s TASH conference is “A Movement United” – it’s a great topic and I’m looking forward to the conversation(s)!   Come find me if you make it there.  Let’s talk 🙂

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