APRIL Logo with the words, "The United Voice  of Independent Living in Rural America."

APRIL Logo APRIL red letters Association of Program for Rural Independent Living with a Blue Star with a Circle and a heart with all the united states within it. Our Community Showing Grace by Staying in Place

2021 Virtual APRIL Conference

Our Community: Showing Grace by Staying in Place

October 18-22, 2021


Billy Altom, Steven Morales, Scott Burlingame, Alison Barkoff

As we ring in another year of the APRIL Conference. We are once again staying in place to show grace to our communities, but don't let that stop us from sharing great information and reconnecting with all. Program includes APRIL updates, Blessing from Cherokee Nation's Steven Morales, and remarks from Acting Administrator Barkoff.




Keynote Session: Engaging with the White House 

Emily Voorde (she, her) 

Emily Voorde is an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Administration’s liaison to Disabled Americans. She will provide updates on the President’s Build Back Better agenda, vaccination boosters, the Administration’s Executive Order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, and more!




Job Accommodation Network


Disability Advocates Taking Action (DisDATA): Ask questions, get data, take action! 

Lillie Greiman and Arin Leopold 

DisDATA (Disability Data Advocates Taking Action) is a collaborative of researchers, disabled people, and advocates promoting disability data equity. Disabled people, particularly those in congregate settings, are made invisible through the lack of data collection and representation leading to a disability data inequity. DisDATA is building a network to connect advocates, researchers, and policy makers around the shared goal of improving access to and representation within disability data systems. Join this workshop and learn about how you can get involved in DisDATA and share your experiences accessing and using data for advocacy. What questions have you struggled to answer about the experiences of people with disabilities in your community?






Community Conversation: Trust, Privacy, and Internet-Connected Devices 

Dr. Stephanie J. Blackmon, Dr. D.E. Wittkower, Tiera J. Landford, Hanna Herdegen 


Join us for a community conversation about trust, privacy, and internet-connected devices. We plan to share what we learned from our research with members of the disability community and also collaboratively explore other topics related to this area that should be addressed.






 Lead by Jim Meck with appearance by Mr. Billy Altom 

Join us for an APRIL Tradition, turn on your cameras if you like, bring your favorite beverage, and join in our traditional night before closing "sing-along". Please keep your mics muted while your singing along at home but unmute to tell our amazing musician how he's doing and to say hello to old friends and new friends alike! Captions and interpreters provided.




Closing Ceremonies 

Linda Gonzales Award, Shikha Desai

Earl Walden Award, Katherine Moore 


We will be honoring the Linda Gonzalez and Earl Walden awards winners, Youth Wrap, and a final sending forth message and wrap up of this year's conference by our Director of Operations, Elissa Ellis.