Community Summit 2016
Vadis always strives to be the best at what we do by continuously learning and networking with others working to make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities. Every year Vadis sends a group of representatives to do just that at the Community Summit in Wenatchee, and this year was no exception.
“The Community Summit Conference is part of a long legacy in Washington about opening minds, best practices, and education,” said Vadis CEO Christopher Christian. “As a CEO of an employment and housing organization, I think it is an excellent source of all of that.”
Community Summit is sponsored by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and coordinated by the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE). Together they bring in presenters from across the nation and from a variety of backgrounds to share their expertise throughout three days of workshops.
This year’s opening day keynote speakers were Shane and Sarah Burcaw of Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc. Shane has Spinal Muscular Atrophy but doesn’t let that bring him down. Instead, he travels the country with his cousin, Sarah, to share his inspiring message of laughter and positivity.
Dozens of other presenters included self-advocates and experts in the field offering workshops on everything from person centered practices, managing change, and supported decision-making to sexual abuse prevention, leadership, advocacy, assistive technology, and much more.
“Often ideas are hatched at this conference that spark changes and services all over Washington,” Christian said. “Vadis often comes away from the summit energized, motivated, intrigued and stoked to keep on doing the great work we do.”
Ending the inspiring three day event was keynote speaker LeDerick R. Horne, who is a poet, disability advocate, and entrepreneur. Horne was labeled “neurologically impaired” when he was in third grade and shared his struggles growing up and what lead to him to pursue, and realize, his dreams (check out Vadis’ YouTube Channel for a recording of Horne sharing one of his inspiring poems at Community Summit).
Vadis is so happy to have been able to participate in this inspiring, thought provoking conference once again, and we cannot wait to see what next year brings.