Wyoming Developmental Disabilities Conference (formerly MEGA)
What is the Wyoming Developmental Disabilities Conference?
The WDDC is the largest developmental disability conference in the state of Wyoming and covers a variety of topics related to disabilities such as advocacy, employment, education, best practices and other critical issues. Participants include self-advocates/people with disabilities, family members, providers and professionals. The conference brings together a wide range of people and is a great opportunity to network, learn new things, make friends and reconnect.
What topic areas may the conference address?
· Systems Change (grassroots organizing, legislative affairs, group advocacy, self-directed supports, inclusionary practices, etc)
· Education (early intervention, preschool, elementary, secondary, higher education, adult skills training, transition, inclusionary practices)
· Access (to services, to programs, to buildings and to the physical environment)
· Assistive Technology (augmentative/alternative communication, computers and software, environmental controls, adaptive equipment, seating and mobility)
· Employment (services, programs, strategies, self-employment, competitive and supportive, micro-enterprises)
· Empowerment (leadership, person-centered-planning, communication, self-directed supports, self-advocacy and advocating for others)
· Housing (home ownership options, rental options, affordability and accessibility)
· Inclusion (school, employment, community, group, recreation)
· Quality Supports (facilitating independence, health and safety, nutrition, conflict resolution, respite care, quality of life issues, dignity and respect)
· Recreation and Leisure (athletics, exercise, social activities and events)
Hotel and Conference Info:
Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center is $86, plus tax, per night (1-4 persons per room) under the WDDC block, valid 6/25-6/28, 2019. You can reach the hotel at (307) 266-6000 to make reservations. If you are awarded a scholarship, the reservation will be made for you.
The conference pricing encompasses all three days of the conference including keynote speakers, breakout sessions and activities. Fees also cover provided meals at the conference including the banquet ceremony dinner, the “MEGA Boogie” and all conference activities and many chances to win door prizes!
Conference pricing does not include the cost of your room.
> Self Advocates / Parent / Guardian: $175
> Professional / Providers / Agency: $200
> Students: $75 (with ID)
> Family (maximum 4 members) $225
> Extra Banquet Tickets: $25 each (please specify quantity needed on the registration form in the "Additional Comments" section).
Bright Star Awards
These awards celebrate and acknowledge the achievements and contributions that individuals with a disability make in their community, as well as recognize individuals within the state who have contributed to the disability sector. Included in these awards are a nominee for a person with a developmental disability, family member, professional, educator and an employer. We recognize these individuals at our conference banquet awards ceremony.
Nomination Forms can be found here
Nominations are due no later than June 3, 2019
Banquet and Award Ceremony:
The annual Bright Star Awards banquet will commence at 6:00 pm on Thursday, June 27, 2019. You will receive your tickets for the dinner at the conference registration table. Semi-formal attire is requested. To ensure you will be served, please be prompt. Bright Star Awards are presented to community leaders during the dinner. The traditional “MEGA Boogie” follows the banquet at 7:30 p.m.
PTSB Credits will be available for attending the conference. Please ask at the registration desk for the form.
Respite Care is provided free of charge to families attending the Wyoming Developmental Disabilities Conference. If you require this service, please call us at (307) 777-7230 to make arrangements no later than June 7, 2019.
Conference Registration Deadline is June 14, 2019.
Scholarships are available!
To apply for a scholarship to attend the Wyoming Developmental Disabilities Conference, please contact the WGCDD office at (307) 777-7230. Scholarship deadline is May 24, 2019.
Scholarship Application HERE
Vendor information click HERE
Presenter information click HERE
2019 Featured Keynotes
Join us for a storytelling session focused on a Wyoming town’s innovative approach to employment, inclusion and food production. This community impact story focuses on Vertical Harvest of Jackson Hole, a high-tech hydroponic farm with dual goals: year-round food production and meaningful employment for people with developmental and other disabilities. The presentation will include excerpts from “Hearts of Glass,” a recently completed documentary film about the social venture and personal stories from employees/self-advocates, the business’ former human resources director and the film’s director.
Breakout Sessions 2019:
Breakout 1 10:30-11:45 am (Wednesday, June 26)
· The Road to Independence: Erin Swilling, Nikki Sweets (North Ballroom)
· Wyoming 2-1-1~The One-Stop Source of Information, Sabrina Lane (Central Ballroom)
· Medicaid Waiver 101: Lee Grossman, Elizabeth Forslund, Shirley Pratt (South Ballroom)
· Centrum for Disability Services. Helping you Navigate the Maze of Disability Benefits when you Start Work: Roberta Douglass, David Butler (Tetons Room)
· WySAIL: Become a Self-Advocate: Tehla Bates Stayer, Danielle Buresh (Wyoming Theatre)
Breakout 2 2:15-3:30 pm (Wednesday June 26)
· The Past, Present, and Future of Community-Based Supports in Wyoming: Jeff Gardner (North Ballroom)
· Understanding Social Security: Jeff Graham, Wynette Culp (Central Ballroom)
· What is Augmentative Alternate Communication? How Can it Help Me? Terri Wofford (South Ballroom)
· Employment First and DVR: Jeff White/Ann Armel (Tetons Room)
· Chalk Talks: Project Search, Transitions Pinedale High School, State Rehabilitation Council, WYABLE, Vitals Network App (Wyoming Theatre)
Breakout 3 10:30-11:45 am (Thursday, June 27)
· Customized Employment- Where We Are and Where We’re Going: Bob Niemiec (North Ballroom)
· Choosing Higher Education...And Staying There: Stephen Shore (Central Ballroom)
· Know Your Rights, Responsibilities and Resources! An Overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Maggie Sims (South Ballroom)
· Magic City Moving Forward: Embracing a Person-Centred Culture: Kimberly Shaw (Tetons Room)
· Aging and Dementia with a Developmental Disability: Sandy Root-Elledge, Jamie Hoeft, Brenda Oswald, Diane Magill, Dr. Robin Berry (Wyoming Theatre)
Breakout 4 2:15-3:30 pm (Thursday, June 27)
· Vision- It’s More than What Meets the Eye (Part 1): Catherine Morris (North Ballroom)
· Opening Doors for Employment: Promoting Success for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum: Dr. Stephen Shore (Central Ballroom)
· Supporting Healthy Relationships and Sexual Safety in Wyoming: Shelby Garstad, Canyon Hardesty (South Ballroom)
· Raise More Money for your Organization: Dave Tinker (Tetons Room)
· Not a #Number (Part 1): Christal Martin, Terri Marcham (Wyoming Theatre)
Breakout 5 3:35 pm-4:35 pm (Thursday, June 27)
· Vision- Its More than What Meets the Eye (part 2) Catherine Morris (North Ballroom)
· Building Health and Resilience- A Connection of Mind and Body Through Movement-Leslie O’Hashi, Alison O’Hashi (Central Ballroom)
· Planning for the Future: You are in Charge! Career Interest and Resume Workshop- Janean Forsyth Lefevre, Greg Ronco (South Ballroom)
· REPEAT SESSION: Medicaid Waiver 101: Lee Grossman, Elizabeth Forslund, Shirley Pratt (Tetons Room)
· Not a #Number (Part 2): Christal Martin, Terri Marcham (Wyoming Theatre)
Breakout 6 10:45 am-11:45 am (Friday, June 28)
· The Benefits of Massage Therapy for People with Developmental Disabilities- Theresa McIntosh (North Ballroom)
· Cheyenne Therapeutic Riding Program, Anita LaFond (Central Ballroom)
· Pathways: April Goggles, Callie Davis (South Ballroom)
· Serve Wyoming: Wendy Luck, Nurieh Glasgow (Tetons Room)
· Practical Tools for Positive Behavior Supports: Amber Lopez (Wyoming Theatre)