Earlier this month, DSC had 18 people (3 in person and 15 virtually) attend the Speak Up Speak Out (SUSO) Summit. The theme SUSO this year was Build a Better Future Together. The two-day conference included many inspiring speakers with a goal to show people with disabilities that they have a voice and have choices in what they do with their life.
Topics covered during the SUSO Summit included advocating for yourself and making decisions, employment, housing, legislation and laws in Illinois, transportation, and housing.
The virtual summit was held at the Urbana Free Library and viewed on a large screen. Everyone had a great time, and participants interacted with each other and discussed the topics presented. Each participant had positive feedback and expressed their excitement with the event.
Our in-person attendees traveled to Springfield and were able to meet Illinois State Senator Paul Faraci and ask questions. They inquired about possible opportunities to be a part of his advising council and plan to continue this discussion with Senator Faraci in the near future.
One DSC attendee spoke up via the microphone twice, and this was his first time attending such an event! He first asked speakers Leanne Kenworthy and Anne Thurston of Ray Graham Association about what it takes to get a community job. He then joked with the Going Home Coalition speakers during a lighthearted discussion about independent living.
Advocates from DSC thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with other advocates on the dance floor, engaging with people from around the state, and making new connections. It was a fun way to cap off an empowering event!