HELP for 'Having A Say'. PLEASE pass on.
- Dear Folks,As some of you know, I am on the Committee of the "Having a Say" conference in Geelong, which is has been put on for the last nine years by VALID (The Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability Inc.)VALID is the peak advocacy body in Victoria for people with intellectual disabilities and has been putting on "Having A Say" for nine years now; next year will be its tenth anniversary. The conference started out travelling to regional towns in the State, but for the last four years has found a home in Geelong, Victoria's 2nd largest city, owing to growing by about one hundred and five delegates a year - this year it attracted over 1,000 people from all over Australia, and even New Zealand and Canada, I think."Having A Say", I heard it said, was touted by an overseas guest speaker to be pretty unique as far as Conferences go. It has numerous "Come and Try" activities (two per person per conference); it has workshops on various aspects of self-advocacy (a lot of them given by self-advocates themselves); it has a champions' steam, open to anybody, but more about changing attitudes and policy of and in governments and power brokers.Which brings me to my point. The 2009 conference is going to be a big celebration. It is VALID's 20th birthday as well as being its 10th birth day. And so... we want to attract a high calibre guest speaker, maybe from overseas, who is on Sabbatical, for our plenary session.[This year we were lucky enough to be given the money to pay for Simon Duffy, originator of "In control", the UK agency revolutionizing the welfare system there by giving people their own funding and letting them choose he method/s of care most applicable to themselves. (Of course, there are several levels built in to this system, so people are not left floundering, but it works, apparently!) So... if you don't like the food your support workers cook, you can use your funding to buy outside catering; if you don't want an disability agency to handle your funding and you haven't got the skills to do it yourself, why, you employ a accountant.]But we might not be so lucky next year. So please, if you know a disability academic, or if you are one, that is going to be in Australia in early Feb. next year, and you may be interested in our conference, let me know. It will be a worthwhile experience and we will be very grateful.Oh yes, and by the way, the conference itself is held at Deakin University's woolstores' campus, just next-door to our beautiful waterfront. And if it's nice summer weather the ambiance is glorious!Jai Guru Dev, :-)Ingrid.
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