Independent Living Conference
The Idaho State Independent Living Council sponsors an independent living conference every other year. Our last one was held January 13 - 16, 2009 at the Boise Centre on the Grove. The theme was, "We are Family: Our Time to Shine", which encompassed a feeling of coming together and touching on a number of subjects for families and people with differing disabilities. Keynote speakers included Jonathan Mooney, Paul Dziedzic, and Scott Cooper. Special events included an art show from VSA, a movie night, and a performance from Wright Foote Forward Dance.
Conference Program (1,597B PDF)
On January 15, participants marched from the Boise Centre to the Capitol Annex. Speakers spoke on behalf of the participants, urging legislators to not cut Medicaid services as proposed.
Speech from Mike Smith
"My name is Mike Smith and I was born with severe Cerebral Palsy. I am 45 years old. I live in Moscow, Idaho. I work for Families Together. They are a non profit organization who helps families with disabled children. I also speak at schools. I have my own apartment and have personal caregivers to help with every day living. About 1987 I lived in Stepping Stones, a group home with an attendant. If the State of Idaho cuts services for me I will not be able to live independently and would have to live in a nursing home or a group home. This would be more expensive and I would not have the same freedom to work and help other people. I do not think a group home is bad for some people that really need it but I am very involved in my community. I am a member of the Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Knights of Columbus. They are a group of Catholic men and a non profit organization that helps low income people. I know that I have a disability but I am just like everybody else. I want to have my own apartment, I want to work, I want to help make it better for the next generation of people with disabilities."
This page will be updated when we have information about our next conference.