Welcome to the 2020 Annual APRIL Conference
2020 and Beyond: Building the Next Generation of IL
Welcome to the 2020 version of the APRIL conference from the Executive Director. I am disappointed like many of you that we don’t get to be in person this year. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a tremendous line-up of speakers and workshops that reflect the needs of our community. We are striving to make this virtual event as APRIL as possible. So don’t be surprised if at any moment I break out in song. It has been a long and strenuous year and we need this opportunity to reflect on what we’ve learned during this pandemic and share ideas of how we are going to move forward as a movement and build the next generation of independent living advocates.
Executive Director, APRIL
Welcome to the 26th Annual APRIL Conference from the APRIL Board President. As we adapt to the world around us, our conference this year will be a little different, but we are all very honored you have trusted us with this opportunity to gather, to learn and to grow.
Twelve months ago, many of us gathered in Grand Rapids, MI to celebrate the 25th APRIL Conference anniversary. At that time, we dedicated ourselves to the power of rural.
In what is perhaps the largest understatement in history, a lot has changed since that time we gathered. Our country has been stricken by pandemic and tragedy and we have undergone a long overdue reckoning over social justice issues. Across rural America, we are fighting through a depressed economy and record high unemployment.
I hope together we use this conference as an opportunity to begin to rise from the ashes of 2020. Adversity often breeds innovation, and I am certain people with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living, and Statewide Independent Living Councils can lead the way. Our own lives have often been defined by our ability to adjust, adapt, survive and thrive. Now we have an opportunity to do the same in our organizations.
APRIL Board President
Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors: