10 Reasons to Attend this Year’s TASH Conference!

There are a lot of opportunities for professional development, networking and advocacy throughout the year. But we think the annual TASH Conference is a can’t-miss event for advocates and professionals. We’ve collected just 10 of the many reasons YOU should attend this year’s conference in Chicago! We hope to see you there!

Learn more and register by visiting https://tash.org/2013tash

Experience A Movement United

A defining characteristic of TASH, its membership and the annual TASH Conference is the philosophy that real, lasting change occurs when all stakeholders come together to address areas of need. This conference attracts more than a thousand attendees from all walks of life and personal and professional stripes – people who understand that working together, and learning from one another, achieves the greatest outcomes.

It’s More Affordable Than You Think

If you’ve registered to attend and secured your stay with the Hilton Chicago (under the TASH room block), then you’ve already locked in the best hotel rate in all of Downtown Chicago. We know that out-of-town conferences can be a strain on budgets, and we strive to create the best possible conference with this in mind. That’s why we’ve coordinated several ways to reduce the financial obligation for attending the conference. There are still scholarships available, and a number of volunteer opportunities that make it easier to attend this year’s conference.

Food, Arts, Shopping & More!

The Loop is one of Chicago’s primary attractions, and sits at the heart of the city’s commercial district. From award-winning restaurants to authentic ethnic foods from the world over, Chicago’s Loop is a culinary dream come true. It also boasts many of the city’s arts attractions and some of the nation’s best shopping opportunities. Go out and explore the surrounding area of the conference by train, taxi or walk from the Hilton Chicago!

Inspiring, Engaging Keynote Speakers

TASH is honored to have such an excellent slate of keynote speakers whose personal and professional experiences have impacted lives, populations and communities. Come and hear the thoughtful, inspiring and, sometimes, challenging words of these speakers during the opening and closing general sessions of the TASH Conference. This year’s keynote lineup includes: Governor Pat Quinn, State of Illinois; Peyton Goddard, Author and Advocate for Inclusion in Education and Society; Mary Gonzalez, Faith-based Community Organizer; Fabricio Balcazar, Promoter of Inclusion for Minority and Under-Served Populations; and, Father Greg Boyle, Founder of Homeboy Industries.

Engage and Gain the Attention of Federal Agencies

TASH has sought over the years to gain the attention of federal agencies so that the priorities and needs of the disability community can be reflected in government. Building these relationships is an important aspect of our work, and has an incredible potential to improve the lives and outcomes for people with disabilities. At this years conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from, and engage, representatives from several federal agencies, including the Departments of Labor, Education, Justice and Housing and Urban Development.

Watch the Sun Rise Over Lake Michigan


It’s Where the Past Meets the Future

Conference goers have an opportunity to connect with some of the founders of the modern disability movement – like Wayne Sailor, Lou Brow and others – who’ll be attending the conference. It’s a tremendous opportunity to look back on what we’ve accomplished together, and the origins of TASH and its mission. But the conference also provides an opportunity to connect with the new crop of advocates, researchers, educators and other professionals who will be torch-carriers for many years to come.

Experience the Luxury and History of the Hilton Chicago

The site of the TASH Conference, the Hilton Chicago, is a remarkable venue in the heart of Downtown Chicago. Built in 1927, the Hilton Chicago has housed every president of the United States since. It was originally built as the Stevens Hotel, and at the time it was the largest hotel in the world. After entering receivership during the Great Depression, the hotel was purchased by the U.S. Army, who used it as barracks and classrooms during World War II. The Grand Ballroom, a space that is featured throughout the TASH Conference, was used as the Army’s mess hall before Conrad Hilton eventually purchased it.

Learn from a Community of Experts and Advocates

Some of the leading educators, researchers, practitioners and advocates come back to the TASH Conference year after year. The reason is simple, for 38 years TASH has been the meeting grounds for innovative thinking, evidence-based practices and field research that reflects a common value system. Hear from self-advocates finding success in their communities, learn new practices from agencies around the country, and discover a growing body of research supporting the positive outcomes we can achieve in the world around us.

Earn Professional Development Credit

We understand the value of professional development, and we’re really please to be able to offer Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) at this year’s conference to those who apply. TASH has partnered with National Louis University for CPDUs, and attendees can receive up to 19 credits by attending the conference. CPDUs are available for Illinois-certified teachers with select licenses, including elementary, early childhood, secondary, special education and several more.

Learn more and register by visiting https://tash.org/2013tash