5th Annual Self Advocacy Conference - Learn It! Live It! Love It!

5th Annual Self Advocacy Conference Brochure CoverThe theme of the 2017 conference, High Five!, represents a celebration of five years of advocates around the state and region coming together and learn about strategies to live a full and productive life.

Whether that means learning to advocate for one’s own financial needs, learning to meet new friends and build relationships with others, learning about rights and responsibilities related to individual services, sharing thoughts and feelings about self-determination with service providers, or strategies for putting one’s best food forward, our conference is about sharing how we all can be valued members of the community.

Keynote Presentation

The Fight Worth Fighting
Samuel Habib, Advocate, Filmmaker
Samuel Habib, advocate and 17-year-old junior at Concord High School, was the subject of his photojournalist and filmmaker father Dan Habib’s award-winning 2007 documentary Including Samuel. Now an up-and-coming filmmaker in his own right, Samuel’s presentation “The Fight Worth Fighting” will center around his short documentary about disability rights pioneer Judy Heumann, followed by a talk about his inclusive high school life and his advocacy activity.


  • 8:30–9:00 Registration & Breakfast
  • 9:00–9:15 Welcome & Opening Remarks
  • 9:15–10:00 Keynote Presentation
  • 10:30–10:45 Break
  • 10:45–12:00 AM Spotlight Session AM1-AM3
  • 12:00–1:00 Lunch
  • 12:30 Diane Carignan Award Presentation
  • 1:00–1:15 Break
  • 1:15–2:30 PM Spotlight Session PM1-PM3
  • 2:30–2:45 Break
  • 2:45–3:30 Closing Activity

Spotlight Session Topics

AM1. Benefits 101
Peter Fleming and Rebecca Bennett
Understanding your benefits is an important part of being independent and advocating for yourself.  This presentation will help you understand SSI, SSDI, Medicare and Medicaid as well as what will happen if you start working or increase your income.  Presented by Peter Fleming, President of Rising Stars and longtime self-advocate and Rebecca Bennett, Community Work Incentive Counselor at Granite State Independent Living.

AM2. Service Rights
Nate Webb and Jan Skoby
You are receiving services though the developmental services system and have many rights. This interactive session will focus solely on your service rights. Topics will include speaking up for yourself with regard to the services you receive, selecting your service providers, and understanding the services that are available  to you.

AM3. Best Foot Forward
John Fenley and David Ouellette
If you want to be a successful advocate and an effective leader in the disability rights movement, then you need to walk the walk and talk the talk. First impressions are important and how you look and act can determine whether you are taken seriously. Participants will receive tips on how to communicate and dress like a pro.

PM1. Saying YES to Friendships and Relationships
Dream Catchers 2.0 and Rising Stars members
Friendships and deep relationships are what it’s all about! This session will focus on forming and keeping positive friendships and relationships. Presenters will talk about their own experiences of friendship, dating, and marriage, and lead an audience participation activity and Q&A session. Attendees will leave with ideas on ways to form friendships, and knowledge about dating and forming deeper relationships: what works and what to avoid.

PM2. Social Media
Sarah Cooley and Mikayla Collins
Learn how to make social media useful in your life! We will explore some of the most popular social media platforms, discuss the role of social media in powerful social movements, and provide tips for staying safe online. There will be a special focus on Facebook, including how to create and use the profile, page, and group options.

PM3. The Person in Me: An Open Discussion
Keith Steckis and Sandi Caron
Despite the passage of key civil rights laws such as The Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act, many misunderstandings about people with disabilities persist.

Successfully interacting with and serving people with disabilities begins with an understanding that they are part of the fabric of the community and share the same goals of equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency.

We will discuss The 10 Commandments of Communication with Persons with Disabilities; How to Hear and See Me; and Interacting with People with Disabilities: Myth Versus Facts.

Presented by:

Advocate NH

In Partnership with

  • Disability Rights Center - NH
  • DreamCatchers 2.0
  • Granite State Independent Living
  • NH Bureau of Developmental Services
  • NH Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • People First of New Hampshire
  • The Rising Stars
  • UNH Institute on Disability

All accessibility requests will be accommodated.

Date & Time

Friday, May 5, 2017 - 9:00am to 3:30pm

Registration Fee

Scholarships available
Free for DSPs supporting attendees


Grappone Conference Center
Concord, NH

Event Contact

IOD Events