Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS) hosts the annual statewide conference to allow self- advocating people with disabilities to come together to learn, network, and become motivated with new ideas. In September, 2018 Opengate was pleased to have several individuals represented in Albany including: Thomas Daniels, Lisa Allen, Arthur Hill, Wendy Heller, Kelly Seymour, Richard and Hillarie. “
“The SANYS Conference gave me the opportunity to learn new ideas through classes and the best for me was how to deal with stress.” -Wendy Heller
After registration, there were several activities available including a Yoga class, meditation, live music, and LGBTQ networking meet and greet event which is open to everyone. Attendees had the opportunity to have questions answered and share personal stories during a special forum with the OPWDD Commissioner.
Self-determination, job opportunities, housing and transportation are a few of the topics addressed during planned workshops allowing attendees to learn about some of the most current solutions to the issues they face.
Some of the fun and rewarding events during the conference were a Focus Group, “Share Your Talent,” devoted to showcasing attendees’ flair as artists or performers, and a Friday night dance party. The theme for this year’s dance was “Sharing Our Diversity – The Many Cultures of America – Show Your Pride.” Attendees were encouraged to dress up in something that represents their culture, diversity, or pride.
In addition to workshops and planned activities, each year there is an Award Ceremony honoring deserving nominees from across the state. Besides the Statewide Conference, each Region of SANYS holds many events; monthly self-advocacy meetings, legislative forums, conferences, fundraisers and picnics.
Dr. Amy Ruppmann meets with a group of Opengate residents on a monthly basis. We also have a resident committee meeting which provides valuable feedback to our management team and administration.
“People with developmental disabilities speaking up for ourselves and others.” -SANYS ❧