ICI to Co-host Minnesota Gathering for Person-Centered Practices in September
On September 25-26, ICI and its Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL), the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices will host the 2018 Minnesota Gathering for Person-Centered Practices at the Eagan [Minnesota] Community Center. Registration is now open. "The Gathering is meant to bring all persons from various facets of life -- advocates, self-advocates, family members of persons with disabilities, providers, and community members -- together from all over the state to meet face-to-face and engage with one another about their lives and work regarding person-centered practices," says Claire Benway, ICI's lead for the Gathering. "It's a time to learn from one another versus just from a training manual, to share stories to help one another become more inspired, to deliver resources and ideas, to enrich the network, and to dive deeper into the practice."
Rather than call it a conference, event organizers purposely use the term "gathering" to convey a more casual atmosphere that encourages participants to share intimate stories, feel closer to the people they meet, and have deep conversations about person-centered practices. Alex Bartolic, the Director of Disability Services at the Minnesota Department Human Services, will welcome participants to the two-day event and the keynote speakers will be Michael Steinbruck, who is executive director of The Learning Community, and Amy Hewitt, director of RTC-CL. Other event organizers from ICI include committee members Beth Fondell, Mark Olson, and Nicole Duchelle. Nik Fernholz, who is event coordinator for all person-centered initiatives at ICI, has a co-lead role at the Gathering and heads the event's marketing committee.