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

2018 Conference Materials and Agenda

Please Note that we have tried to the best of our ability to offer accessible formats. If you need a different format, please feel free to reach out to us and we will do our best to get you what you need. Some of the presentations were compressed or converted in order to be published on the website. If you need a different format, you can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the presentation to be google shared or drop boxed to you.

Saturday October 6th, 2018

Adobe Bookmarked PDF Program for Access

Full Final Program

General Session Evaluations: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4594933/2018-APRIL-General-Sessions-Evaluation

Workshop Session Evaluations: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4594627/2018-Concurrent-Workshops-Evaluations


9:00 AM- 10:30 AM Ballroom Welcoming and Opening Keynote 

Invitation for participation from ADA-PARC team

ADA-PARC Presentation PDF

ADA-PARC Presentation Powerpoint

ADA-PARC Postcard

Follow up survey from ADA-PARC. Please take a moment to offer some feedback:


Welcoming to Colorado IL Keynote Ian Engle, Executive Director NorthWest Colorado Center for Independence

Get excited for the conference and for being a "Mile High" in Colorado.  Colorado is key to IL/Disability Rights History. We will share a little of what we are advocating for in Colorado, then and now. We also will get jazzed, get comfy together, and get ready to sow the seeds to grow those roots of change.  

Keynote: Michael Beers Growing Up APRIL: A Love Letter to IL

Come listen to advocate, comedian, Rural IL passion enthusiast Michael Beers. Michael was APRIL's first youth board member, one of the founders of the APRIL Youth Conference and APRIL youth mentoring program. Listen as Michael returns home with more gray hair and more lessons learned. From his heart to yours, let's reminisce about the past and dream about our future and where we go from here.

1:30-3:00 Concurrent Sessions Block 1:

Equipping Youth for Advocacy Emily Beasley

Equipping Youth Goal Worksheet

Equipping Youth For Advocacy Powerpoint

The Values Adventure Barbara Lefler and Brenda Adair

Built on Values Handout PDF                      Built on Values Handout RTF

Values Adventure Powerpoint                     Values Adventure Presentation PDF

Effective and Engaging Teaching Strategies Michael Lefevor

Consumers learn best while doing fun activities that teach and inspire at the same time. This session will focus on lesson plans that teach disability history, advocacy, leadership, problem solving, teamwork, communication and a variety of other skills in an engaging and effective way that will help consumers remember and apply what they learned. Time will be given to the audience to share additional ideas that have worked for them.

Independent Living Serving Alaska Natives with Disabilities (IL STAND) A Rural Southeast Alaska Perspective- Joan O'Keefe, Gail Dabaluz 

IL STAND Powerpoint

SILCS and CILS Collaboration on Developing the SPIL Stephanie Jensen, Jeremy Morris, Kathy Foley

SILC and CIL Collaboration Powerpoint

IL Philosophy & Veteran Services: Merging Paradigms in Rural Communities  Marsha Unruh, Michelle Chamberlain, Kim Howell, Ashley Billington

IL Philosophy and Veterans Services Powerpoint

 3:30-5:00 Concurrent Workshops Block 2

Youth Voice 101: How to Engage Young People in Program and Policy Development Zach Garafalo

This session will explore best practices for engaging young people in program and policy development at your SILC or CIL. Topics include a discussion of the fifth core service, how to cultivate intergenerational partnerships, how to engage non-traditional allies to create or enhance youth transition services, tools to assess your SILC or CIL’s organizational readiness for youth engagement and meaningful ways to infuse youth voice into the State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL). Technical assistance documents will be provided to participants.

Everybody- Vicki Leeper

Everybody Powerpoint Compressed 

Be a Hero: Emergency Preparedness Planning for People with Disabilities- Julia Beems and Candiss Leathers

Be a Hero: Emergency Preparedeness Planning Powerpoint 

Cutting Edge IL Research on Rural Community Living Craig Ravesloot, Lillie Greiman, Rayna Sage

Cutting Edge IL Research Powerpoint

Tools and Partnerships for Digital Information Access Danny Housley and Ken Mitchell

Accessible IOS Tools and RRS Powerpoint

Finding Your Good One: Sexuality and Relationships for Individuals with Disabilities-

No Materials available for this presentation. Presenters are Whitney Harris and Grant Heffelfinger.

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9:00-10:00 AM Colorado Ballroom

Advocates Organize and Mobilize

Bob Williams, Deputy Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities and Director of the Independent Living Administration (ILA)

Billy Altom, APRIL ED  

Scott Burlingame, APRIL Advocacy Chair

Bob Williams Comments

10:30-12:00 Concurrent Workshops Block 3

Doing My Chores- A Rural Approach to Youth Leadership Forums – Big Thompson

Jen Hermanson and Michael Beers

This session will describe how a YLF (Youth Leadership Forum) can reach the most rural youth with disabilities. Recruitment, funding, and training materials will be shared.

Value and Evaluation in Rural Communities: Interpreting and Understanding Context


Judith Steed

The work we do takes place in various communities: urban, rural, agricultural, downtown. We are called to evaluate our efforts and often have reports to submit. However, communities differ in significant ways and possibly one report does not fit all. This presentation will explore how understanding context and identifying what you value will significantly enhance your evaluation efforts. Context and value influence how and what you measure, evaluate, assess and report. Data could support or derail your programs; especially, if you do not consider how context influences the message your data are offering. It is critically important to identify key questions you want answered; then, use them to guide what you measure so the data you collect will help map a path to improvement and greater impact.

The Blue Folder Project: The Four Step Guide in Helping Individuals with Disabilities be Prepared for an Emergency- Platte

Jerry Riener

How many steps does it take to be prepared? How do you teach personal emergency preparedness when there is so much to cover? The Idaho State Independent Living Council, when trying to answer these questions developed the Blue Folder Project. This project is a comprehensive, four step worksheet that centers on helping individuals with disabilities be prepared for an emergency, and how they can take the steps to help themselves be independent. This is a train the trainer workshop.


Understanding Medicaid Policy and Introducing the Disability Stories Project - Telluride

Jae Kennedy, Davi Kallman, Elizabeth Wood, Noelle Kurth

 Disability Stories Project Flier

Disability stories project handout

The American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services program for Disability IntegrationClear Creek

Mary Casey-Lockyer and Shari Meyers

This workshop will outline the steady state and operational program for Disability Integration in American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services, with emphasis on implementation of the Regional Disability Integration plan. Response service delivery will be discussed, and a detailed matrix, demonstrating how whole community shelters can accommodate individuals with various needs, will be offered to all attendees to utilize for planning with emergency management agencies. The workshop will include a discussion-based format to develop understanding of disaster needs in a rural setting.

Self-Determination- Vail

Shentelle Harris and Tylor Freeman

Lots of times the people around us are bullies or don’t understand the rights and responsibilities we have or need. We need to stand up for ourselves and speak up for what we need. These skills can be used in an IEP, college, job setting, or more. We are going to talk about strengths and interests while applying it all to goal setting.  We will share some of our personal stories and goals and the skills we used to get there, and hope you will share yours too. Interactive and youth lead.

3:00-3:30 Break


3:30-5:00 Concurrent Workshops Block 5

The Importance of Parental Rights for the Disability Community: An Attempt to Address Discriminatory Termination of Parental Rights Codes in the US

Big Thompson

Kirt Toombs and William Toombs

Powerpoint Importance of Parental Rights

Handout Parental Rights

ADA Basics and Social Media -Dana Barton and Emily Shuman

In this workshop, participants will review the essential elements of the ADA and learn about the ADA National Network. Likewise, participants work through the five titles included in the ADA, review enforcement agencies of the ADA, and take a glimpse of the future of the ADA. For each title, we will review Social Media and give practical examples of how to ensure that accessibility is top of mind.

Mining the Gap: Diversifying CIL Funding - Platte

Patricia Yeager and Dixie Herring

The Independence Center has diversified its funding and created a business plan for other “lines of service” by identifying gaps in the disability community and making a business case for others to fund the service.  Fees for services (i.e., Workforce Center, DVR, Schools, State Medicaid, etc.) and contracts (primarily with health care entities and the VA) are helping us bring in additional revenue.  Our “traditional” fund raising efforts start with advocacy (Art of Accessibility) and bring in people interested in our mission and willing to donate. Participants will learn:

  1. How to mine the gaps in their community for service opportunities
  2. Figure out who benefits from this service being provided (beside the consumer)
  3. Broad steps on figuring out cost to provide, cost to charge and marketing the service
  4. How advocacy fits into raising funds to support your organization

Wheels in Motion: Understanding and Improving Accessibility for People with Disabilities


Jonathon Stalls and Garrett Brumfield

It's no secret that barriers to accessibility and mobility often hinder a person with a disability more than their actual disability itself. With that in mind, this workshop will provide attendees with the knowledge, skills and tools to identify and improve those barriers - thus creating more accessible communities for people with disabilities. Attendees will learn the key features of accessible communities and how to conduct successful walking and/or rolling audits in the community - the results of which will hopefully empower community leaders and decision makers to be more inclusive in their planning, policy making and implementation. Attendees will also learn how to develop partnerships with decision makers and others in the disability community bring about positive change in their communities.

Opportunities in Agriculture for Adults and Transitioning Youth with Disabilities

Clear Creek

Paul Jones, Candiss Leathers, Gracie Franklin

Agriculture is a key component of most rural communities. This presentation will explore opportunities and obstacles related to employment in agriculture for people with disabilities, including transitioning youth. Information will be presented by staff from the National AgrAbility Project (a USDA outreach program for people with disabilities in agriculture), the Colorado AgrAbility Project, and APRIL, which is a subcontractor on the National AgrAbility Project grant. Topics include: the win-win collaboration potential between AgrAbility and CILs; existing models of agricultural employment for non-traditional growers,

including transitioning youth; assistive technology in agriculture; and web-based resources related to disability in agriculture. Additional ideas and strategies will be solicited from the attendees.


International Exchange and Disability: How You Can Volunteer, Study or Intern Abroad- Vail

Justin Harford and Abel Astrada

People with disabilities can sometimes assume that international exchange is not an option, yet there are many mainstream organizations out there that are looking for their contributions. In many ways, they can make   study and volunteer abroad experiences better for everyone. Not to mention the possibility of enhancing their own independence and self-confidence. In this session, participants will learn about the many opportunities available through the US Department of State and beyond. They will be outfitted with the tools to identify the right opportunity, as well as the creative know how to make it happen. Learn about finding alternatives for reasonable accommodations overseas, different cultural ideas of accessibility, scholarships and more. Presenters will include a representative from MIUSA’s National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, which has advised people with disabilities on international exchange since 1995, as well as a university study abroad representative and an alumnus of international exchange with a disability.

Youth: The Final Word

 (Name badges required)

Monday, October 8th, 2018

9:15 From Ideas to Action Closing Keynote Tim Sheehan

From Ideas to Action Powerpoint