Gathering of Youth is a unique conference track for teens and young adults (ages 13 to 22) who have disabilities. These will be supervised sessions during the conference while parents are participating in the keynote and workshops.
Youth are expected to eat meals with their family or join tables with other youth. Please check-in with your teen before meals and then make sure they return to the Gathering of Youth room before going to your workshops.
TO REGISTER: Please register for the conference first and indicate that your teen/young adult will be participating in Gathering of Youth sessions. A link to online registration will be email to you or go to ONLINE GATHERING OF YOUTH REGISTRATION. Volunteers will follow up with you after you register to learn more about your child
QUESTIONS: Contact Allison Lourash at Alourash@gmail.com or 715-205-7305.
- Gathering of Youth is a program for youth to connect with other teens and learn about transition, self-determination, advocacy, independence, and decision-making.
- This is a fun, hands-on experience to help youth focus on setting goals and learning about possibilities for life after high school.
- Presenters who are experienced working with teens with disabilities will lead sessions on Thursday and Friday morning.
- Youth needing one-to-one personal care or other assistance to participate must bring their own attendant (No parents please)
New this year: Gathering of Youth sessions will be available to kids ages 8 to 12 with disabilities during Sibshop on Thursday morning.
Schedule at a Glance:
Thursday, May 12
9:00 – 12:00: SELF ADVOCACY: Spend the morning getting to know other youth and working on self-advocacy/self-determination and connecting to your communities. Open to youth with disabilities age 8-22 – we will break into smaller, age appropriate, groups for activities.
12:15 – 1:15: Lunch and Awards Ceremony: Eat with your family or sit with other youth at lunch
1:30 – 2:45: PATCH (Providers and Teens Communicating for Health) Teen Educators will talk about empowering young people to begin managing their own health care experiences and equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate and advocate for youth-friendly services.
Please Note: this session is open to ALL youth ages 13-22.
1:30-2:45: **SPECIAL TWEEN ACTIVITIES** – Any youth (with and without disabilities), ages 8-12 can come to the Sands Room from for some fun, supervised activities.
3:15 – 4:30: TECHNOLOGY FIRST: Learn about real life stories of how people use technology to increase their independence and social connections. Virtual or in person “hands on” practice using common technology devices.
Friday, May 13
(Sessions for youth with disabilities, ages 13 to 22)
9:00 – 10:15: HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS: Staff from Opportunity Development Center (ODC), Inc., will present on relationships using the well regarded Elevatus Curriculum.
10:30-11:45: SUPPORTED DECISION MAKING: YOUTH PERSPECTIVES: Have you thought about who will support you in making decisions once you turn 18? Come listen to young adults and their experiences deciding their future.