top of page

Keynote Sessions

Our Keynote Sessions are designed to provide valuable information and fresh ideas, offering an opportunity to reflect on how these insights can be applied to our lives and work.  Keynotes are also a way to focus us all around a common message or understanding, and what an incredible focus we have for this year's convention. After decades of your tireless efforts, funding for Priority One has finally become a reality. While we acknowledge the needs of thousands still in priorities two and three, securing services for 3,440 people is a crucial first step toward building a functional system that can serve our entire community.

This achievement was only made possible because all of you stood up, showed up, and made your voices heard. As we look ahead, we recognize that our work is not finished. For now, let us celebrate this significant victory and take pride in a job well done. This win marks a major milestone for the disability justice movement in Virginia, but we know there is more to be accomplished. So, let's celebrate, then get to work together on What's Next


Welcome Keynote

Making The Promise of Inclusion A Reality- Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Jade Presnell, MS, LSW

For decades, disability policies and services have aimed to advance inclusion, yet people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) still face significant social isolation, exclusion, and loneliness. Social inclusion is now widely recognized as a key quality-of-life indicator and a crucial social determinant of health. Ensuring that the IDD community benefits from social inclusion is, therefore, a vital health equity and social justice issue. Everyone, including people with IDD, their families, service providers, and community members, has a role in promoting inclusion. However, progress has been hindered by confusion about what social inclusion means and a lack of practical guidance.  To turn the promise of inclusion into reality, this engaging conversation will focus on identifying strategies that participants can implement to advance the inclusion of people with IDD.


Morning Keynote

The Ride Ahead - Film Screening

Samuel Habib is a typical 21-year-old, itching to move out, start a career, and find love. But no one tells you how to be an adult, let alone an adult with a disability. Can a community of disability activists help him follow his dreams? 


Luncheon Keynote

Closing Keynote

Direct Support Workforce - What We Know

Joe Macbeth

bottom of page