Recently, several Summit staff and board members traveled to Virginia to attend the National Conference on Rural Independent Living.
One of the attendees, Wesley Schneider, posted several short live blog videos (vlogs) during the trip. We asked Wesley about his adventure.
Here’s what he had to say.
“The best part of my experience at APRIL was meeting everyone involved with independent living and learning more about how amazing the movement is.
The hardest part of the conference was our flight being cancelled on the first day, so we had to miss a lot of the teen activities.
I learned that advocating for rights as a person with a disability is very important to get the help you need whether it be in school, at work, or at home.
Mike Beers, Renae and I all did some improv with the youth from around the country to show what we offer at BASE in Missoula.
I would go to APRIL again. It was a great experience as an employee at an independent living center and I’ve learned what other ILC’s are doing around the United States!”
The APRIL conference included activities ranging from legislative updates on transportation and independent living guidelines to frank discussions on relationships and sexuality for people with disabilities.
Attendees at the APRIL conference learned skills through activities including improvisational comedy, self-and-systems advocacy training, and discussions about partnerships and collaborations with organizations outside of independent living like the youth leadership forums.
Of the 300 attendees, more than 70 were youth.
APRIL exemplifies some of the best aspects of the rural community as advocates support each other toward common goals from systems advocacy to individual growth.
To learn more about APRIL, contact Mary Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org, (406) 243-5817 or visit www.april-rural.org