The silver anniversary Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day conference is on Thursday, May 23. It will feature Western New York professionals and businesses that specialize in services for people with developmental disabilities. The full-day conference will be held at The Conference Center Niagara Falls, 101 Old Falls St.
Professionals from many different area agencies who specialize in services for people with developmental disabilities and similar health-related industries will be on hand to provide guidance, literature and general information about services that the organizations or businesses provide. The convention runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The convention, also commonly known as DDDAY!!, has long been a staple of the local developmentally disabled community, bringing together local and regional agencies, industry-connected vendors and suppliers, direct support professionals and the individuals that all of these groups support. The conference is the largest one of its kind in the U.S., and has been growing bigger and more sophisticated with every year.
Twenty-one one-hour workshops are planned for 2013. The debut of the newwww.ddday.orgwebsite will serve as a one-stop location for registration and information on the conference.
Tickets are available at three levels, with more than 250 free scholarship tickets available for people who qualify. Luncheon ($20) and workshop-only tickets ($12) are also available.
This year, the keynote speaker is Scott Anderson of "Scott On Wheels.com." Anderson has traveled the world, blending his unique humor, life experiences and deep insights to guide people to experience a great life despite their circumstances, promoting his "Happy, Happy, Happy" outlook on finding true happiness.
Each year, awards for lifetime achievement, personal achievement, direct service provider of the year, community service of the year, and caregiver of the year are presented at the convention's luncheon. Awards are presented to professionals, organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities. The awards luncheon will again be emceed by the "Voice of the Buffalo Bills," John Murphy.
Rounding out the day's attractions and festivities are an art show featuring work from local artists with disabilities; and entertainment, consisting of a wide array of talents from individuals from musical performances to spoken word to dance.
Tickets/registration, contacts, workshop descriptions and more information is available at www.ddday.org.