This is APRIL’s 23rd Annual Conference and you are in for one fabulous conference covering the entire range of issues facing all people with disabilities. APRIL leadership is hopeful you will engage in the numerous opportunities provided to you this week to give your voice to these issues and help shape the future.
While we close in on the end of a year of stunning surprises, and mind-numbing decisions by our nation’s policymakers, we strongly encourage you to embrace the energizing power of our community and celebrate our strength and unity. Wrap yourself in the theme of this year’s conference. And celebrate the amazing youth from across the country, which should be enough to jazz up the passion of any IL advocate. But the second half of our conference theme—Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for All!-- couldn’t come at a better time to focus our efforts on the daunting work that remains.
Take advantage of all the great knowledge and resources of your peers from across the country. Absorb and share our mutual passion for the free exercise of our civil rights. Learn from each other, celebrate knowledge, embrace the exuberance and emerging leadership of a younger generation, and most importantly—have fun!
But, we also have other work to do while we are together. Today in our nation, there remains a nearly inhumane and appalling lack of affordable, accessible, non-toxic housing, and even more appalling so in rural America. Too many of our brothers and sisters still cannot go where they want to go, when they want to go there. And there remains a persistent and shockingly low rate of participation in the workforce for all people with disabilities.