Our Keynote speaker is Dr. Elizabeth Perkins, a Research Associate Professor and the Associate Director of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, USF’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Her focus areas includes aspects of aging with IDD and quality of life issues of older family caregivers of adults with IDD. Dr. Perkins’ presentation will also describe the need to raise our expectations of how people with developmental disabilities can and do age successfully. She will also provide examples of specific research findings regarding people who are aging with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy.
We are also very honored to have Mayor Rick Kriseman attending, as he will be closing out our educational program by reading a proclamation designating March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan issued a public proclamation that the month of March would be recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to “increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with disabilities”, and we continue to honor this tradition today.