Voices & Choices

2015 Youth & Adult Conference


On September 12th, 53 self advocates came to the Marriott West in St. Louis Park for the 18th annual Voices & Choices Conference.  Attendees could choose 3 workshops from the following list:  Scrapbooking, Basic First Aid, Zentangle, Staying Safe Online, Camping and Survival Skills, Making Healthy Snacks, The Travel Club, Relationships:  Friends & Partners and Staying Safe in Your Community.

Zentangle was a brand new topic at this year’s conference and was taught by certified Zentangle instructor Susan Kolze.  Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.  It is said to increase focus and creativity.  Another new workshop was Camping and Survival Skills taught by Dan Stark, who is a Program Coordinator for Voyageur Outward Bound.  Participants had the opportunity to set up tents, crawl into sleeping bags, and prepare a campfire.  Both workshops were a big hit with the self advocates!

Highlights of the day included Open Mic time after lunch where the self advocates introduced and shared something about themselves.  They also elected their representative to the DSAM Board of Directors—Camilo Mejia.  He joins Maggie Erickson on the Board and will serve a three year term.  The day was rounded out with a Zentangle Art Show and a Dance to music supplied by DJ Sasha Muller.

The next Voices & Choices Conference will be held in the fall of 2016.  If you have a great idea for a speaker or a workshop, or would like to volunteer for the next conference, please contact Kathleen Holiday at the DSAM office 651-603-0720 or Kathleen.Holiday@dsamn.org.