We are working hard behind the scenes to bring together a stellar event. Whether this will be your first time attending or you’ve come to every one so far, we hope you walk away inspired, energized, and ready to take your influence to the next level.
If you’re looking for help to prepare you for the event or help you decide if this conference is for you, and to answer a number of questions, this is the blog post to read. Let’s roll:
Who Sponsors the BCEdAccess Conference?
Without our sponsors, we could not put on such a great event. We thank:
Your Education Matters – our Benefactor level sponsor
Your Education Matters is a community engagement project of Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Education. YEM is directed by Paul Shaker, former dean of the faculty. The purpose of the project is to promote popular understanding of the value of public education and to foster advocacy for the renewal of our public schools and post-secondary institutions. Your Education Matters has produced over sixty full-length television programs interviewing educators and friends of education. YEM has more recently used social media and public events to encourage BC citizens to be informed and to advocate for their public schools and universities.
Facebook page: Your Education Matters
Inclusion BC – our Contributor level sponsor
Inclusion BC is a provincial federation whose members include people with intellectual disabilities, families and community agencies.
The Inclusion BC provincial office provides support, education and advocacy where and when it’s needed, breaking down barriers and building communities that include people of all abilities.
Your generous support is much appreciated!
Can Our Organization Still Become a Sponsor?
Yes, you can still sign up to be a sponsor. Here is the 2018 BCEdAccess Exhibitor Form – we still have a few tables available to set up outside the event which is a part of the sponsorship package!
Yes! We need all kinds of volunteers from reception table staff to technical help for live streaming. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents are their child’s best advocate, until their child is ready to be their own advocate – and parents can teach them the skills they need to get there!
This has been a one-day conference for the last 2 years beginning in 2016, and this year we’re adding an optional pre-conference event the night before. We pack the day with great speakers and workshops designed to inform, and to also provide practical take-aways.
The conference is generally attended by parents and guardians of students with special needs, self-advocates, and supporters and allies, and this year will include some student self-advocates as well.
We invite you to take part in the quality programming and make connections this year!
When Does the Conference Take Place and Where?
October 6th, 2018, in Surrey, BC at the beautiful Surrey City Hall Centre Stage.
Where Can I View the Speakers and Workshops?
#AdvoCon2018 – Full Brochure on Speakers and Workshops
Here are some of the topics that will be covered:
- personal stories
- the importance of community
- trauma and mental health
- Section 11
- Disability and Sexuality
- Human Rights
- School Refusal
- Systemic strategies and solutions
- Class action discussions
- Student perspectives on strategies and solutions
- and more to come!
Look for our post on the speakers and workshops soon!
Workshops – do I get to Take Them All?
You will get to choose 3 workshops from a list of 9 possible options. I am having as much trouble as you will in deciding which ones to attend so I apologize in advance because they are all great!
What About Accommodations? Is there a Group Rate?
Yes! The rate at the Days Inn Surrey is $129 +taxes. The rate is for sgl/dbl occupancy and includes free parking and continental breakfast in breakfast room.
What is Included in My Conference Ticket Price?
Your ticket to AdvoCon2018 includes your registration for speakers and workshops, lunch and two coffee breaks and all meals. It also includes a one year membership in our new BCEdAccess Society.
Who Comes to our Conferences?
This conference unites over 100 parents, guardians and allies of students with special needs from around BC, convening for a yearly conference of networking, advocacy and human rights training, and more.
What If I Am Not a Parent?
AdvoCon2018 is designed mainly for parents and guardians of students with special needs, but we also have attendees who are self-advocates (some of whom are parents/guardians as well) and allies and we encourage you to come if you want to learn more from and about these students and their needs and experiences. This year’s theme is Strategies and Solutions, and those won’t come about without involvement from everyone – government, teachers, EAs, parents/guardians, students, etc.
Are there any additional events?
Yes, we are planning a Lightning Talk night on the evening of the conference, October 5th, 2018.
A Lightning Talk is a presentation style where people have 5 to 6 minutes to speak. The format keeps the multiple presentations concise and fast-paced. We have invited speakers who have an exciting idea they would like to share about education Strategies and Solutions.
This event will cost $20 and additional donations will be gratefully accepted for our new non-profit society, BCEdAccess Society. See the ticket link for speakers!
Who Can Help Me With More Questions?
Contact us at email@example.com – we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have!
Is the Conference the Same as Previous Years?
No two conference years are ever the same. This is the third year of our event, and we have some returning speakers presenting different material, as well as a whole range of new workshops and presenters. As our membership has interest in a wide range of topics, we attempt to find a good variety while still giving the information our members need. Connecting face to face is powerful, and our attendees and sponsors value the interaction in order to form and continue relationships.
Size and Location
Population in the lower Mainland is higher than most other areas of BC so we are able to reach a large portion of our membership. As the organizer, I do not live in the lower Mainland but I have only been able to organize one event a year up to this point.
Will you do a conference that isn’t in the lower Mainland?
We are now a non-profit society! With that status comes the power of fundraising, a board of directors, and a strategic plan, which are all still in development. One initiative I will be putting forward is to have a second conference annually that rotates around the province – on the Island, in the Okanagan, up in northern parts of BC. This conference is about serving parents and guardians of students with special needs, and our membership is everywhere in the province.
How can I get more involved in your organization?
You can start by becoming a member! Membership for one year is included in your conference ticket. Otherwise, membership is $15 this year – membership form will be available on this website soon!
What About Accessibility?
The Surrey City Hall Centre Stage is physically accessible for those who use mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, etc.
We are unable to accommodate allergies and dietary requirements at meals at this event. There are many restaurants quite close to the venue with a variety of safe options though!
If you have any individual needs please let us know asap so that we can provide appropriate accommodations.
How to get there:
There’s plenty of parking at Surrey City Hall, and the Sky Train station is steps away. Contact us if you’re not sure how to find the venue!
Is There a Facebook Group?
It all started with a Facebook Group!
Like our Public Facebook page, and message there to gain access to the Secret Facebook page for parents and guardians of children with special needs in BC.
Become a member to access the membership group – we’ll add you there!
Who runs the Conference, and the Society?
The Society is currently run by Tracy Humphreys, who will be selecting a small board for this first year of operations.
The Conference is run by a small and dedicated team of volunteer organizers who are awesome.
We always have a number of other volunteers who help get things going during the planning stages, and run things on the day, who we will acknowledge as that list gets built!
We work together to bring you the best event we can create.
Will we see you in Surrey?