You know, I haven't been able to post for a bit, because I've been so busy with work. But I wanted to take a moment and tout, not only the conference...which is always great, and which, when I first attended it back in 2002, literally changed my life...but also emphasize just what it and the MSF does, and is glad to do, for Moebius adults.
Let's focus for example, on all the conference sessions that will benefit Moebius adults and Moebius teen-agers. If you look for example at the conference agenda, you see that there's quite a lot. For example:
1] This year for the first time we will have a Moebius buddies program. Attending your first conference as a Moebius adult? Worried about what to do and where to go? Someone will be there to be your friend and to help you.
2] Noted disability activist and motivational speaker Bonner Paddock will deliver a keynote address on pushing beyond limits. What can you do with your life? How can you both acknowledge the obstacles in front of you and yet, also, confront them? Bonner Paddock's speech will be important for you.
3] There will be sessions devoted specifically to Moebius adults and their needs. There will be a session helping to provide steps to social confidence and social control. There will be another session offering customized approaches to finding the right job for you. There will be a special panel on advocacy and awareness. There will be another session devoted to helping youth prepare for employment success. There will be one emphasizing why post-secondary education is important.
4] Also--importantly--there will be many sessions devoted to allowing Moebius adults to talk and to share and to focus on what is important both for them and to them. On both the Friday of the conference and on Sunday, there will be "Just for Moebius adults" sessions. There will be a panel discussion focusing on adults "speaking from the heart." There will be a session just for Moebius adult ladies. Do you want to share your triumphs? Or do you want to express just how difficult Moebius can be sometimes to live with--and we know it of course can be? Then this conference and these sessions are for you. We want you to come. We want you to share. We want to listen--to whatever you have to say.
5] There are all kinds of other sessions, too. There will be a social skills workshop for Moebius teens. There will be a session for Moebius "teen talk." There will be a session on therapy and service dogs--more in our community have service dogs than you might think, and they are such a great benefit.
And let me also stress all the other things the Moebius Syndrome Foundation provides for Moebius adults.
On the MSF website, there's an excellent article for Moebius adults by Matthew Joffe, where he writes about his own personal journey. There's a lot to learn from it.
Did you know the MSF now has a scholarship program to help those Moebius adults, who want to go to college but need money to afford it, to do just that? Check it out.
The MSF provides employment resources, it makes available resources and support for those who wish to plan and make happen Moebius get-togethers on their own, and it provides scholarships to Moebius adults attending the conference for the first time who need some money to help afford the trip.
All of this we are glad to do, and proud to do. It's a crucial part of our mission. We're excited about the upcoming conference. We hope you are too!