15th Annual U.S. Conference on disABILITY
Electronic registration is closed for this year's conference. Walk-ins are welcome and can pay at the door via cash or check.
Individual with a disability/family member of an individual with a disability: $25
- disABILITY Conference Mission
The University of Scranton believes that disability is part of the human experience and that assisting individuals and families living with disabilities to achieve optimal quality of life requires multidisciplinary interventions, education, research and leadership. The mission of the Conference on disABILITY is to positively influence the quality of life and wellness of individuals and families living with disabilities by promoting in its deliberations the foundational principles of individualization, self-determination, productivity, employment, independence and full participation in community life by creating an effective learning environment, collaborative and focused discussion and the identification and sharing of effective practices useful in the United States and around the world.
The following CEUs are available, pending approval. Certification numbers must be provided during registration process.
National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)
Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC)
PA/Professional Counselor/Licensed Social Worker
- Everett Deibler
Everett currently works as the Transition Services Program Manager at the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL). As the Transition Services Program Manager, Everett oversees all of LVCIL’s Pre-Employment Transition Services. Prior to his current position at LVCIL, Everett was responsible for a statewide “leadership for all” campaign called “I’m a Leader.” In addition to the campaign Everett worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education on the development of a standards-aligned leadership education resource library. In hopes of making teaching leadership easier for educators across Pennsylvania.
Along with his work at the LVCIL, Everett recently earned his Master’s degree from George Washington University from the School of Education and Human Development.
In the past Everett has served as President of the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN). The PYLN is a team of youth and young adults with and without disabilities from across Pennsylvania with the purpose of developing the self-determination, empowerment, and leadership of youth with across Pennsylvania.
Everett views his disability as a blessing, not a burden. He believes that God put on him on this earth to educate people with and without disabilities about what it means to live life with a disability.
BA: Psychology (2009 Millersville University)
Secondary Education Certification: Social Studies (2011 Millersville University)
MA: Education and Human Development, with a focus on special education transition (2016 George Washington University)
Jefferson Award for Public Service-Sponsored by the United Way and PSECU (2008)
- Patricia Leahy
Patricia Leahy is the Director of Government Affairs for the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). Patricia is a Capital Hill veteran, having served 18 years as a professional staff member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a Congressional Liaison for all legislation that affected children and adults with disabilities to the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). Most recently, she successfully advocated for retaining the Commissioner of RSA as a Presidential Appointee, with full U.S. Senate confirmation and to keep RSA in the U.S. Department of Education. Patricia is also recognized as a Mary E. Switzer Scholar, a significant and prestigious achievement in the field of Vocation Rehabilitation.
- Kathleen West-Evans
Kathy West-Evans is the Director of Business Relations for CSAVR (Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation) where she leads the National Employment Team or The NET. CSAVR is the membership organization of the 80 public Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Directors representing the public VR programs in every state, the territories and D.C.
CSAVR sponsors and provides leadership to The NET which is a national collaborative between the 80 public VR agencies to better serve business customers and use “real time” information from companies as part of the career planning process for VRCs and their consumers. The NET was built with business and works with a variety of corporate and company partners as well as federal agencies. Kathy provides leadership to the NET and was also instrumental in the development of the Talent Acquisition Portal (TAP). TAP is an online portal connecting candidates with disabilities and business with the support of the NET/VR.
Kathy has her MPA from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington. She is a CRC who is fluent in American Sign Language. She has been in the field of vocational rehabilitation since 1978.
Kathy started her professional career working as a vocational consultant and manager of the Projects with Industry (PWI) program at the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center in Seattle. She moved to the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) in 1983 as a VR counselor for consumers who are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing. Kathy held a number of positions within DVR during her 14-year tenure with the state agency. In addition to her time as a VR counselor, she worked as an assistant regional administrator, a regional business relations specialist, and the Statewide Manager for Business Relations and Marketing. In 1997, Kathy moved to the federal level with the Region X office of Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) where she worked as a VR Program Specialist and state representative to Oregon and Alaska until July 2005. She joined CSAVR in August of 2005.
Kathy was recently appointed as the Chair of the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation (VACOR) with the U.S. Veteran’s Administration, she is a former Commissioner on the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). She is also a member of the National Rehabilitation Association and the Brain Injury Association of Washington. Kathy has six family members who have received or are receiving services through the public VR program.
- Nelson Lauver
Nelson Lauver is a regular guy who just happens to be a master communicator and strategic storyteller. He has the unparalleled ability to inspire people, connect with them through their hearts, make them laugh, and challenge their perceptions about themselves and others.
For nearly two decades Nelson (simply by being himself) has inspired audiences from every walk of life in the US and over 100 countries, not only as a speaker, but as a nationally syndicated broadcaster, social entrepreneur, human rights advocate, award winning author, and businessperson.
To meet Nelson today, it’s hard to imagine that until age 29, he was functionally illiterate as a result of undiagnosed dyslexia. But it is his personal story, his very real struggles, his experiences, failures, and achievements that have made Nelson who he is today and form the basis of his capacity to move audiences.
Lauver is a regular guy who just happens to be a master communicator and strategic storyteller. He has the unparalleled ability to inspire people, connect with them through their hearts, make them laugh, and challenge their perceptions about themselves and others.
2011 marked the release of Nelson’s memoir, Most UnLikely to Succeed – an award winning and inspirational story of hope and determination against seemingly insurmountable odds.
In 2013, taking his advocacy work to the next level, he and his wife created the Jane and Nelson Lauver Foundation, with the tagline: Promoting Literacy and Learning for All. Active in literacy, ESL, learning disability, and invisible disability projects, the Lauver Foundation supports his AST stories, transcripts and learning aids.
- Conference Schedule of Events
- Conference Co-Chairs
- Become a Corporate Sponsor
As with all special events, it is so important to have support from dedicated sponsors to achieve success. Our financial sponsors and participating vendors are an essential part of the conference experience. We invite your organization to join us in the celebration. Several packages are offered to meet your corporate needs and donation comfort level.
To receive a sponsorship packet, please contact:
Meg Hambrose, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations
Phone: (570) 941-4262
- Previous Conferences