2016 West Region Self Advocacy Conference Logo
Consortium’s Self-Advocacy program will be hosting its 13th Annual West Region Self Advocacy Conference!

Saturday May 21, 2016, 9:00am – 3:15pm
Sheraton, 1 Monarch Place, Springfield, MA 01144

The 2016 West Region Self-Advocacy conference will offer a chance for self-advocates (adults who experience developmental challenges) and supporters from across Western Mass and beyond to come together and participate in multiple growth and learning experiences while also enjoying the sense of connection and community that comes with self-advocacy. This year’s theme is Teamwork with Togetherness.

Massachusetts West Region Self Advocacy is a diverse community of self advocates from across Western Massachusetts committed to learning, advocating, and supporting each other. “West Region Self Advocacy is a team of local self advocates working together to promote education, equal rights, responsibility and informed choice for people with disabilities to live full lives in the community.”

Building on the theme of teamwork with togetherness, the conference will give advocates and allies a chance to enjoy…

 Interesting workshops about all different kinds of relationships and people
 A variety of different resource tables to explore and learn from
 Raffles and prizes, T-shirts for sale for $10.00
 Friendly environment to socialize and meet new people

This year’s conference features keynote speaker, Mr. Joseph Canto, who has been a dedicated self-advocate for much of his life speaking up on many issues. Among his many accomplishments Joe:

 Organized a protest against a movie Tropic Thunder due to disrespectful language towards people with developmental disabilities
 Spoke at a state house event which celebrated the 20 year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
 Initiated and Organized events to change the name of the Department of Developmental Services

Joe also shares his self-advocacy skills with others by working as a trainer with the statewide self-advocacy group, Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong (M.A.S.S.). Joe will speak about how self-advocacy and working with others has shaped him.