Local Host Committee Kicks-Off Conference Preparation in Atlanta

The local host committee for the 2011 TASH Conference met Wednesday, February 16, in Atlanta, Ga., the host city for this year’s conference, to begin conversations on how to make the 2011 TASH Conference the best yet!

That begs the question – what is the local host committee? Each year, TASH organizes a local host committee to inject the conference with local flavor, ensure that local issues with national significance are being addressed and all in all, make the conference an exciting and welcoming time for everyone. The committee is made up of local stakeholders, including self-advocates, parents, community living specialists, professionals and more who have a vested interest in advancing the rights of people with disabilities in Georgia and throughout the nation.

There’s no better place than the epicenter of the civil rights advocacy to reflect on what this movement has meant for the disability community and the disability rights movement. Whether it has been organizing black activists to desegregate public and private facilities in the 1960s or working to eliminate the restraint and seclusion of students with disabilities in Georgia schools, Georgia and its residents are fighters – they have continuously pushed new frontiers in their state to create national impact.

Georgia was the battleground for the 1999 Olmstead v. L.C. Supreme Court case, which ruled against the “unjustified segregation of people in institutions,” and reinforced the rights of people with disabilities to live in their community. And when it became clear the full intent of Olmstead hadn’t been realized, Georgia advocates put the pedal to the metal again, creating partnerships between advocacy organizations and agencies that resulted in the most comprehensive Olmstead settlement to date. Georgia’s commitment to the rights of people with disabilities is phenomenal and we’re thrilled to be hosting the 2011 Conference in the midst of such strong advocacy.

But the fight hasn’t ended just yet. The 2011 local host committee identified Georgia’s major successes for people with disabilities along with some of the state’s major challenges – challenges like creating better services and supports for individuals transitioning out of institutions, reaching undocumented families who are in need of services, addressing the needs of youth in foster care who are aging out of the system and supporting people with disabilities who live in rural settings.

At the 2011 TASH Conference, we’re committed to looking at the local challenges, adding national (and international) perspectives and creating a forum for thinking about systems change. The 2011 TASH Conference will be held November 30 – December 3, 2011. Won’t you join us?

Visit the 2011 TASH Conference webpage at www.TASH.org/2011TASH

In you’re in the Atlanta area and would like to participate in the local host committee, please send an e-mail to conference@tash.org with “local host committee” in the subject line.