The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is holding its annual conference in Virginia Beach October 16th-19th. The theme of this year’s conference is “Virginia is for Advocates: Starting a New Revolution at the Beach,” and the focus is on independent living, advocacy and transition services. Attendees come to the conference from Centers for Independent Living (CIL) across the country and include executive directors, advocates, direct services staff, peers and youth. During the Friday pre-conference, youth will have a day devoted to learning about the ADA, disability history and creating real change in their communities. At the general conference sessions, participants will have the opportunity to attend trainings designed to support their centers in service delivery and advocacy.
The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living and RTC: Rural have been partners since 1986 and have collaborated on projects designed to enhance the participation of people with disabilities in rural community life. As a long-time partner, staff from RTC: Rural will present updates and information on current research projects as well as a skills-based presentation on finding and using data from the American Community Survey. This data can be useful for CILs engaged in advocacy efforts as it provides information on disability for specific communities.
In addition to presentations, RTC staff will be available at the conference for questions and conversations that will help us learn more from APRIL membership about the services they provide and the experiences of consumers.