The Arc Takes Bellevue, Washington by Storm

Self-Advocates working togetherEarlier this month, The Arc’s network of disability advocates and professionals descended on Bellevue, Washington for The Arc’s Annual Convention. The three day event was an exciting mixture of education, inspiration, and of course fun.

As always, having more than 600 of our advocates joining together proved to be a moving and powerful experience.  There is no better way to see the diversity and power of our network than when our chapters join together and share their many accomplishments. While our chapters have a lot of variety, they have a lot in common.  Convention allowed many to see how our chapters are working with National Initiatives of The Arc in different locations across the country for a common cause. Many of our chapters even had the opportunity to present together during concurrent sessions on a variety of topics including sibling workshops, self-advocacy programs, and technology.

A highlight of the weekend for many was getting to know Buzz and Zach Bissinger. The honesty and heart with which Buzz wrote Father’s Day was present when Buzz gave his keynote address. While Buzz and Zach captivated the audience, the event was also special for them.  When you attend one of our national events you leave knowing more about The Arc and its robust network.  We leave an impression on everyone we touch.

This year’s technology focus was also a great hit with amazing tech demos from The Arc of Baltimore, The Microsoft Store, and The Coleman Institute. Exclusive access to the Microsoft store gave a select group of attendees some hands on experience and training from experts.  And, our closing plenary offered amazing insights from Jack P. McArtney, Director, Corporate & Community Responsibility; Global Corporate Citizenship Group of Verizon, Inc. and Dan Hubbell, Sr. Marketing Manager for Microsoft’s Accessibility Group.

To wrap things up, we rolled out The Arc’s red carpet prior to The Arc & Sprout National Film Festival! Self-advocates, other attendees, and national staff strutted their stuff on the red carpet and brought a bit of Hollywood glam to our closing event.

Planning is already in the works for 2014’s Convention in New Orleans from, September 30 – October 2. Save the date and join us for another exciting event!