Independence: My Choices, My Life Conference

Thursday, May 23, 2024 from 9:00am to 3:00pm

Cooperative Conference Center, 169 Laurelhurst Avenue, Columbia, SC 29210

Independence: My Choices, My Life Conference

A conference for self-advocates, parents, and professionals to gain the tools that will help people with disabilities be more independent.

Registration: 9:00am-10:00am

Breakout Sessions: 10:00am- 3:00pm

Individuals Motivating People to Achieve Change Together (IMPACT SC) is the state wide self advocacy council in South Carolina. IMPACT SC members believe in encouraging positive change for people and working together to enhance lives. IMPACT SC is proud to announce their statewide conference, “Independence: My Choices, My Life” on May 23, 2024. This conference is for self-advocates, parents, and professionals to gain the tools that will help them become more independent. Deadline to register is May 1, 2024.

For the health and safety of our participants, we are taking necessary precautions to protect all attendees. Masks are encouraged and will be available. Hand sanitizer stations will also be available.



10:00AM-10:15AM: WELCOME

10:15AM-11:05AM: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Cody Clark “A Different Way of Thinking”


**Are you registered to vote? Please visit the voting room to register during breaks. You must bring your photo ID and Social Security Number to register to vote.**

“How to Prepare for and Succeed in Your Dream Job”

This session will teach you how to identify and land your dream job, covering everything from pre-employment tips to customized and supported employment. Self-advocates and their families will learn tools to make their own employment decisions. With their expert guidance, you will be ready to take your career to new heights. Adam Law, BCBA, Employment Services Manager, Pre-ETS Trainer, SOS Care; Sommer Bauerle, Self-Advocate; Myles Griffin, Self-Advocate

Transportation: Creating Access to Independence

Being able to access transportation will give an individual independence in their life. This session will break down what is transportation, why transportation is important, and how to access transportation. You will learn about different types of transportation to help figure out the best option for you. Ali Ruegamer, Transportation Program Coordinator, Able SC

More Money = Independence

In this session, the presenter will share basic budgeting concepts, options and ideas for ways to keep a budget such as apps, pen and paper, Excel, fillable PDFs, etc. You will learn about programs and work incentives that could help individuals with disabilities earn and save more money. Cali Sandel, Director of Community Integration, Able SC



” Achieving Independence”

The presenters will share their personal stories including their life goals and the challenges that they have faced along the way. They will also provide tips on how to support individuals in achieving their own goals. Derrick Conyers, IMPACT Member; Charlene Nelson, IMPACT Member; Kenneth James, DBA, Executive Director, Williamsburg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board

“Revealing the Secrets Behind Essential Skills Adult Transition Planning Talk

In this session, the presenter will give you the heads up on what skills you need to foster the most in order to live a successful, independent, and happy life. These skills will help you start living independently AND stay living independently because you’ll learn the most valuable lessons in advance. Cody Clark, Magician/Autistic Self-Advocate, Cody Clark Magic

Equitable Services for Survivors and People with Disabilities

This session educates people with disabilities to be empowered to advocate and communicate their needs in various relationships and community settings. The presenters will share information about how to recognize and respond to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. They will also provide tips for setting healthy boundaries with strangers, friends, family, care workers, and romantic partners and explain your legal rights to access services as an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Dori Tempio, Senior Director of Community Education, Able SC; Mary Trunk, Violence Prevention & Survivor Services Coordinator, Able SC


Independence_ My Choices, My Life Conference Flyer

Register Here!




May 23 2024


9:00 am - 3:00 pm

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