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2024 Self-Advocate Discussion Series

NCCDD's Self-Advocate Discussion Series aims to prepare, organize and mobilize North Carolina self-advocates for influencing social and systems change. The series is a perfect time to connect with others with common interests, develop strong ways for telling personal stories, and become part of the NCCDD community. The series is facilitated by Chris Hendricks, NCCDD Policy Education Coordinator and NCCDD members who are self-advocates.

What you can expect:

  • Self-advocate leaders and presenters;
  • Engaging presentations and videos;
  • Current topics on interest; and
  • Community event announcements for self-advocates.

The webinars are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 1 pm ET.

Register today!


January 17 - Emergency Preparedness
Emergencies can happen to anyone at anytime: weather disasters, police situations in your community, pandemics, and more. During this discussion, you will hear about a program that helps people with individual or other developmental disabilities (I/DD) learn how to be included in emergency preparedness planning. Join us as we talk about the NC Emergency Management and NCCDD’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative that are based on a report written by June Kailes, Moving Beyond Special Needs: Function Based Framework for Emergency Management and Planning. You will also learn about NC emergency resources, and what you and your community can do to be prepared when an emergency happen. 

February 21 - Transportation and Travel 
Back by popular demand by last year's attendees: transportation and travel for people with disabilities. We will talk about ground, water, and air transportation in the public, private, accessible, and community-supported transportation systems. We will hear from experts who will share experiences, insight, and advocacy tips. As always, we’ll have time to hear from YOU! What does ideal transportation mean to you as a self-advocate? What do you need when it comes to getting around and going where we want to and when you want to? If you are passionate about improving transportation and traveling for people with disabilities in North Carolina, please join us. Watch a recording of the February discussion

March 20 - Organized Advocacy
The topic for this month is organized advocacy. This is when relationships and advocacy come together. Join us to hear about the grass-roots efforts of the disability rights movement. Come share a story about what organized advocacy is like today. We’ll discuss different types of ways to advocate, like the difference between educating and lobbying. Learn about advocacy organizations and opportunities in our community that you can use to make you a stronger advocate. Watch a recording of the March discussion

April 17 - Voting Rights
Join us on Wednesday, April 17 at 1:00 p.m. for our latest Self-Advocate Discussion Series webinar on voting rights and creating a voting plan. We will hear from experts that will share experiences, insight, resources and advocacy tips. As always, we'll have time to hear from YOU! What would be the best situation for you? What do we need more of when it comes to preparing for voting how we want to and for whom we want? Please join us to talk about voting for and by people with I/DD in North Carolina! Bring your questions and your stories about voting to share in our discussion!

May 15 - Healthy Relationships - Part 1 (This will be a SPECIAL EVENT lasting 1.5 hours.)
Relationships with other people is one of the most meaningful parts of life. That is what we will talk about during our May discussion: developing and maintaining healthy relationships and ending the unhealthy ones. Join us for a special 1 hour and 30 minute session as Katherine McLaughlin, Elevatus CEO, Founder and Trainer provides training and guides conversation around important things to think about in relationships. Watch a recording of the May discussion

June 19 - Healthy Relationships - Part 2
It’s not what you know, but who you know. Have you ever heard that before? Of course you have because relationships with other people are one of the most meaningful parts of life. We will continue to talk about developing and maintaining healthy relationships, and ending the unhealthy ones. You can share your own story about friends and partnerships you have made over the years. You could even share about how you ended a relationship that was not good for you. This session will include a panel of couples and will be facilitated by Chris Hendricks, NCCDD Policy Education Coordinator and Special Guest Max Barrows, Elevatus Training. REGISTER HERE

July 17 - American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H.W. Bush. Throughout the year and on the ADA Anniversary, the ADA National Network recognizes this landmark event and the important work to promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Join us to celebrate, share, and learn. REGISTER HERE

August 21 - The Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund for Participant Involvement (Rossi Fund) and September Disability Voting Rights Week 
What is the NCCDD’s Rossi Fund? How can you use it to reimburse you for funds to attend conferences, events, and advisory councils? If you used the Rossi Fund, come share your about your experience. Also, as the big elections get closer, we will discuss protecting the rights of people with disabilities to participate fully in our democracy by preparing to recognize Disability Voting Rights Week which is held September 9 - 13, 2024. REGISTER HERE

September 18 - Update on the Unmet Needs/DSP Crisis in NC
In 2023, the Registry of Unmet Needs (the waiting list for the Innovations Waiver) in North Carolina included more than 15,000 individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. At the same time, those who received services also had unmet needs because of too few direct support professionals (DSP). Join us to hear from policy experts on where things stand over one-year later. We’ll hear an update about the waiting list and the DSP crisis and hear from the lived experiences of advocates with I/DD and others who are still waiting. REGISTER HERE

October 16 - National Disability Employment Awareness Month
We recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) each October to commemorate the many contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. REGISTER HERE

November 20 - Giving as a Self-Advocate - Part 1
We’ve learned that an attitude of gratitude is essential to well-being and longer life. For what are you thankful? Join self-advocates from around North Carolina in sharing happy or inspiring stories about what you are thankful for in life. REGISTER HERE

December 18 - Giving as a Self-Advocate - Part 2
We will discuss what it means to make an impact, and how small acts of kindness can make a bigger impact than we think. We will discuss how to give back to the I/DD community. REGISTER HERE

Watch the previous discussion series. 


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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

Office Hours: 9AM-4PM Monday-Friday
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This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

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