2020 TASH Conference - Virtual Edition has ended
Welcome to the 2020 TASH Conference - Virtual Edition website! We’re so glad you are here!

Each year, the TASH Conference brings together individuals with significant disabilities and their allies to share resources and success stories, learn about field-driven best practices, and network within a community engaged in shared values. The conference is attended by passionate advocates, leaders, and subject matter experts from every corner of the disability community. Conference attendees play an important role in supporting individuals with significant disabilities to overcome various barriers in order to live their best lives. Central to this work is the premise that individuals reach their optimal potential only when they are given the opportunity to live, work and thrive across the lifespan in the same communities we are all members of. The conference is intentionally designed to support the interests of professors and researchers from leading institutions; those involved in local, state, and federal governments and public policy; special and general educators, and school administrators; home and community-based service providers; students, family members, and most importantly, self-advocates with lived experience.

This year, while we are taking the conference virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that our unique approach to providing exceptional first-rate content and building strong community ties and connections across various stakeholders will yield an extraordinary event! We have taken extra steps to bring people closer together during these times, as well as to create an amazing virtual environment that expands our knowledge, spurs our creative thinking, and focuses on healthy living and having fun!  Our conference theme, Feel the Power of Inclusion, reinforces the importance of our continued commitment to promoting a world of equity and opportunity for all, and is predicated on the value of bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences in an effort to build strong human connectivity and spur collective action.

Need technical assistance during the conference? Please email our support staff at helpdesk@tash.org.
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Tuesday, December 1 • 11:15am - 5:00pm
Track 2: Human Rights

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Day 1 Intensives: Human Rights Track

11:15 AM-12:30 PM EST: Protecting the Rights of People with Disabilities During COVID-19
Presenter: Samantha Crane, Jennifer Mathis, Anita Cameron
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Bazelon Center will describe their work to enforce the right of people with disabilities to access health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have reached out to other advocates, including the Disability Visibility Project and Not Dead Yet, as co-presenters. Starting early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous disability advocates raised concerns with hospital and state plans on allocation of scarce medical resources, which either explicitly or effectively deprioritized people with disabilities in need of life-saving care. In response, a coalition of national and local advocates used a variety of strategies to ensure that states and hospitals adopted more equitable policies on allocation of resources. Advocates used similar strategies to address other potentially discriminatory policies, including policies that limited individuals' access to in-person supports while hospitalized.

12:45 - 2:00 PM EST: Supported Decision Making: From Dream to Reality
Presenters: Dana Lloyd, John McCarty
Supported Decision-Making is essential in order for people with disabilities to control all aspects of their lives. This workshop will not only take you on a journey to explore supported decision-making from conception to implementation, as we follow one young man's path to make his own decisions pursue his dreams, but offer practical tools for developing (or assisting someone else to develop) a supported decision-making plan. This workshop will feature a panel of presenters including an Autistic person, an advocate and a parent will share what they have learned from the process of using supported decision making to overturn a guardianship, how to implement those principles and practices, as well as a the role of parents and supporters.

2:15 - 3:30 PM EST: Leaving State Guardianship: My Life, My Choices
Presenter: Whitney Kays, Maegan Pirtle
This presentation follows the story of Shanae, who was assigned state guardianship many years ago. As a result, major life decisions were chosen for her: where to live, who she lived with, how she spent her day, etc. In 2016, she partnered with Mattingly Edge to imagine and create a fundamentally different lifestyle. In late 2018, one of her biggest dreams became a reality: Shanae moved into her own home and began looking for someone to be her private guardian. This was a long and difficult road, but she persisted! Hear from Shanae and her private guardian on how these and other changes have affected her life. Attendees will also hear from Mattingly Edge, her service provider, to hear how they were able to help make Shanae's dreams become a reality, including having a hands-on approach in recruiting a private guardian, locating a low-income landlord, making her home accessible, and recruiting a team of supporters for Shanae to spend her time pursuing valued social roles.

3:45 - 5:00 PM EST: #BlackDisabledLivesMatter
Presenter: Parris Boyd
This session will give a brief overview of the development of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, why it is important for the disability perspective to be incorporated within it, and how to do that. It is important to recognize that none of us can isolate any particular aspect of our identities that we are marginalized by. This is particularly important for black disabled people who are at the intersection of at least two identities that have higher rates of interaction with the police. Both the disability rights movement as well as the #BlackLivesMatter movement have important implications for their lives, which means that their need to be represented in both movements. The disability movement and #BlackLivesMatter are movements that started in response to inequities within their respective communities. The disability movement is still fighting hard for things like jobs, inclusion and healthcare while the #BlackLivesMatter movement was created in response to police brutality.


Samantha Crane

Director of Public Policy, Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Samantha Crane is director of public policy at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s national office. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Samantha previously served as staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, focusing on enforcing the right to community integration... Read More →
avatar for Dana Lloyd

Dana Lloyd

DD Program Director, Georgia Advocacy Office
Dana Lloyd has been engaged in advocacy with people experiencing injustice on both a personal and professional level for over two decades. Dana currently serves as director of the Developmental Disabilities program at the Georgia Advocacy Office and coordinates the GA Supported Decision... Read More →
avatar for John McCarty

John McCarty

Fellow, SARTAC
John McCarty is an active self advocate.  He  presents on disability issues to a wide variety of audiences throughout Georgia,  US and internationally.  John is a 2019-2020 SARTAC Fellow, a national year-long opportunity working with a host organization on issues that directly... Read More →
avatar for Whitney Kays

Whitney Kays

Director of Service Innovation, Mattingly Edge
Whitney has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a specialization in Moderate/Severe Disabilities. She also has her Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Teacher Leadership. She has been working in the field of disability since 1995 but has been working in Disability Integration... Read More →
avatar for Parris Boyd

Parris Boyd

Project Coordinator, Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
avatar for Maegan Pirtle

Maegan Pirtle

Housing Solutions Project Manager, Mattingly Edge
avatar for Jennifer Mathis

Jennifer Mathis

Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

Tuesday December 1, 2020 11:15am - 5:00pm EST
Virtual Platform Online