Building a Great Life for Everyone in our Communities

building a great life conference

POSTPONED : A Conference for People with Disabilities, Parents, Caregivers, Family Members and Providers

New date will be in the Fall 

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Erik Carter, Professor of Special Education, Vanderbilt University

Erik Carter, Ph.D., is a Conrelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. His research and teaching focuses on evidence-based strategies for supporting access to the general curriculum and promoting valued roles in school, work, community, and congregational settings for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, autism, and multiple disabilities.

Ricky and Donna Thorton, Self-Advocates, Maryland

Ricardo and Donna Thorton met when they were teenagers at the Forest Haven Institution for people with developmental disabilities in Laurel Maryland. They had both been placed in institutions at an early age. They petitioned the DC government to allow them to marry and move into an apartment of their own and they were married in 1984. Defying the odds, they went on to have a son and successful careers. Ricardo retired as a library aid at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library and Donna retired as a housekeeper for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. They now enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren. They are frequent speakers at conferences across the country. Their story was the subject of a made for TV movie in 2003, "Profoundly Normal".

  • Presentations and Workshops on a variety of topics.
  • Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
  • There is registration fee for this conference.
  • Please contact Disability Rights Connecticut at 860-297-4300 to arrange for a sign language interpreter.

Sponsored by:

Disability Rights Connecticut; UConn Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities; Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities; Connecticut Office of Early Childhood; Connecticut Birth to Three; Capital Workforce Partners; The Arc Connecticut; Connecticut Department of Developmental Services; Connecticut Department of Labor; FAVOR-CT

Date And Time

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM EDT