“Imagine, Inspire, Innovate” – VFN 2021 Annual Conference

This year’s virtual conference event was held on Zoom over two days on April 8th and 9th and reached over 225 attendees. We are sincerely grateful to the ongoing support of our conference sponsors!

Please be patient and check back as we work on adding links to the video recordings.

Keynotes and Workshop List

“Life, Love and Awesomeness: The Impact and Implications of Language” (4/8/2021)  Presenter: Rachel Callander – mother of Evie, advocate and award winning artist and photographer. Video and How to create an awesomeness form, VFN Resource Pack and White Paper on Effective Communication in Healthcare.

“A Good Life for All using Charting the LifeCourse!” (4/8/2021) Presenter: Brenda Smith – certified Person-Centered Thinking Mentor Trainer, LifeCourse Ambassador, parent and advocate. There is no video for this workshop. Life Trajectory Exploring Form, Integrated Supports Star Form, Charting the LifeCourse Framework Infographic and Vision Tool. Visit Charting the LifeCourse website.

“Building Resilience through Self-Care during Times of Trauma” (4/8/2021) Presenter: Dr. Feyza Basoglu, MD – Psychiatrist at Howard Center and Counseling Service of Addison County and teaching as a clinical assistant professor at UVM Larner College of Medicine. Video and Presentation slides.

“Today is a Journey of Hope” (4/9/2021) Presenter: Karen Gaffney – Karen Gaffney is the President of a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, the workplace, and the community for people with intellectual disabilities. Video.

“Teens and Troubleshooting and Transitions…Oh My! Lessons Learned on Transition Plans that Will Make a Difference for Your Young Adult.” (4/9/2021) Presenter: Jacqueline Kelleher, MA, Ph.D., State Director of Special Education -Student Support Services Division, Agency of Education and parent of adult twin sons with disabilities. Video in English, Video in Somali and Presentation slides.

“Building on What’s Important Through the Pandemic: Derek’s Story” (4/9/2021)  Presenter: Derek Smith – self-advocate, Partners in Policymaking graduate, employee, business owner and member on the South Dakota DD Council. Video in English, Video in Somali, and Charting the LifeCourse Forms – Derek’s Examples and One Page Description – Derek’s Example. Visit Charting the LifeCourse website.

“A Child’s Team Huddle: The Care Conference” (4/9/2021) Presenter: Dr. Andrea E. Green, MDCM, FAAP is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine and Director of the Pediatric New American Program and Pediatric Global Health. Video in English, Video in Nepali, Video in Somali and Presentation slides.

“Anxiety/Worry Virtual Puppet Presentation (4/9/2021)  Presenter: VFN’s Puppets in Education (PiE) – utilizing life-size puppets who model effective leadership and problem-solving skills and demonstrate respect compassion and inclusion in a diverse community, PiE programs teach children how to keep themselves safe and healthy and to appreciate each other’s differences. There is no video for this workshop. Please visit our Puppets in Education page if you are interested in learning more or want to schedule a puppet presentation.

Conference Sponsors

Platinum level:

Children with Special Health Needs – VT Department of Health

Gold level:

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation – VT Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living 

Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council

Silver level:

Office of the Provost – University of Vermont 

Center on Disability and Community Inclusion – University of Vermont 

SD Associates