Held early September 2020, the 4th Annual Family Conference brought together families of children with disabilities and developmental delays and their allies. Themed around doing things differently during the pandemic and beyond, the conference was also different for us: it was our first one delivered online.
Presentations by professionals and peer workers informed and empowered families in building a good life, and people with a disability who are making a difference in their community were celebrated.
One of the conference’s traditions is producing a statement, which summarises key points that resonated with participants during the day. It acknowledges parent’s and carer’s agency and can guide the way forward.
This year’s statement broadly defines what “doing things differently” includes for practitioners and families of children with disabilities and delay. Making the most of online services plays a large part. The statement also covers embracing new approaches for early childhood intervention, children’s needs and our responsibilities as parents.
How did doing things differently work for us? The conference’s delivery via teleconferencing—one of the day’s topics—enabled greater accessibility. People joined the event while at a park, another daily activity, or from home. A big thank you to the parents, carers, professionals and people with disabilities who attended.