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27th annual Development Disabilities Awareness Day celebrated in Niagara Falls

by jmaloni


Fri, May 22nd 2015 11:05 am

DDDay is the largest conference of its kind in U.S.

The 27th annual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day will be held at The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 28. DDDay is a conference that brings together people with developmental disabilities and their families with experts from provider agencies and local officials to explore the latest issues in the field. Professionals from various area agencies that 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 the organizations provide.

DDDay has long been a staple of the Western New York developmentally disabled community, bringing together local and regional agencies, industry-connected vendors and suppliers, direct support professionals, the academic community and the individuals 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. This year's conference will feature a keynote presentation, innovative workshops, concession service, agency and vendor fair, art gallery, live performance area, parents corner, awards luncheon, open reception and more.

Dr. Paul S. Wichansky will give the opening keynote presentation, "Taking the 'Dis' Out of Disability." He is an anti-bullying and peer leadership advocate, meteorologist, and earned a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Wichansky's speech will provide an insightful introspective of his own experiences growing up with cerebral palsy. He aims to bridge the gap that seems to separate "normal" from "disabled" within their own lives.

Each year, several honors are presented at the luncheon, including Award for Personal Achievement, Direct Service Provider of the Year, Community Service of the Year and Caregiver of the Year. These awards are presented to professionals, organizations and individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Conference & Event Center is located at 101 Old Falls St., Niagara Falls. Tickets are available at www.ddday.org in three levels, workshop and luncheon ($32), luncheon only ($20), and workshop/fair only tickets ($12) also are available. There are more than 200 free scholarship tickets available for people who qualify.

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