Diversity and Cultural Competency at the TASH Conference

By Ralph Edwards

TASH can exult in the many expressions of diversity at the TASH Annual Conference in Atlanta. Families and individuals from diverse ethnic, socio-economic, ability, academic, and professional milieu were able to share the “TASH experience.” It’s that rich gumbo mix of networking and learning; intimate exchanges with new friends regarding family challenges, milestones and triumphs; exposure to researchers, government policy-makers and academic leaders in the disability field; energizing keynoters; tackling complex and persistent issues (access to services, technology, funding and information); and a stimulating menu of sessions and interest group meetings.

Perhaps the earlier ADD training that Susan Yuan and her team conducted across the state primed many Georgian families to attend. A well-organized and dedicated local conference committee, the support of the state agency and DD Council, the availability of interpreters and CART enabled a new group of linguistically diverse families and deaf individuals to participate. The TASH BINGO networking game provided stimulus for conference attendees to meet individuals from different backgrounds. (Thank you, Susie Schaefer.) Workshops on diversity and cultural competency were inter-national, “inter-resting,” inter-active, and inter-disciplinary in scope. Many friendships were made or renewed; many best practices were examined.

Congratulations to the Conference Planning Committee. We invite you to share your thoughts on diversity and cultural competency at the TASH Conference below. What did you learn and experience in Atlanta?