The African American Symposium on Disabilities is now in its 4th year. The symposium, sponsored by UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, will take place on Friday, February 27, 2015, at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix, AZ. Over 700 participants from Arizona and nationally have attended the symposium over the first three years, thanks to the partnership between the Sonoran University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD); Arizona Developmental Disabilities Network (DD Network); Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABILITY360); Arizona Center for Disability Law; UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (now in its 2nd year of sponsorship); and other community partners.
The symposium focuses on culturally-relevant issues, tools, and resources for parents, families, self-advocates, and professionals.
The African American Symposium on Disabilities is honored to have two great leaders from Washington, D.C., as keynote speakers for the 2015 event. Commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Aaron Bishop, will open the Symposium; Tawara Goode, Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University, will be the lunch keynote speaker.
Aaron Bishop oversees national public policy work, four grant programs that are part of the Developmental Disabilities Network (DD Network), as well as provides leadership support to every state and U.S. territory with organizations that provide services and advocacy for families and individuals living with developmental and intellectual disabilities as Commissioner on the Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), within the US Department of Health and Human Services. The AIDD has a mission of ensuring that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are able to fully participate in and contribute to all aspects of community life in the United States and its territories.
Tawara Goode, MA, is the Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence and Associate Director of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development (GUCCHD), University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. She is a Research Associate within the Department of Pediatrics. Ms. Goode’s work focuses on increasing the capacity of health care and mental health programs to design, implement, and evaluate culturally and linguistically competent service delivery systems. Ms. Goode has been actively involved in the development and implementation of programs and initiatives in the area of cultural and linguistic competence at local, national and international levels. Ms. Goode is nationally recognized as a leader in the area of cultural and linguistic competency.
Commissioner Aaron Bishop and Associate Professor and Director Tawara Goode bring a national presence and exceptional leadership to this symposium. The African American Symposium on Disabilities is the premiere conference in Arizona and in the United States that places emphasis on the importance of providing sound information, resources, and self-advocacy tools to empower African American individuals and families living with disabilities, community allies, partners, and professionals.