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Idaho Independent Living Conference

 

Holiday Inn has partnered with LIFE to bring this event.

CONFERENCE UPDATES

Thank you to all our Presenters and those that were able to attend!

Please find the presenters' PPT and or contact information in the links below!

 

  

Conference sponsored by

  • September 17, 2021
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • September 18, 2021
    9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Holiday Inn & Suites Idaho Falls
    300 South Fork Boulevard
    Idaho Falls, ID USA

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Lana Gonzales 

Lana Gonzales is the Independent Living Innovation Director at LINC in Boise Idaho. Lana is an Idaho native, born and raised in Eastern Idaho. A graduate from Idaho State University, Lana also worked as a Parent Education Coordinator for Idaho Parents Unlimited as well as a Director of a Developmental Disability Agency. She also has volunteered as a Board President for the Children with Disabilities Foundation for 5 years.  Over the last 10 years Lana developed countless programs, trainings and events for the community and families of individuals with disabilities in several different capacities.

Lana is deeply passionate about supporting individuals with disabilities to live as independently as they choose and brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to her work. She believes her work directly impacts her family as she advocates for her teen daughter with a disability. A mother of 3, Lana loves road trips, camping, cooking, and being creative.

 

Becca Freeburne

Becca Freeburne, LCSW, CRC, is a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (IDVR), based in Blackfoot (Region 5).  Becca has worked in the field of social service for 20 years, providing mental health and career counseling, medical social work services, and rehabilitation counseling services.  She has worked for IDVR for four years, providing services to a general adult caseload, as well as high school students.  Becca feels passionate about assisting individuals to overcome barriers as they work toward their personal and vocational goals.

 

Cheryl Bloom  

Cheryl Bloom, ADAC, volunteers as a disability advocate and volunteer ADA Coordinator with several state and federal agencies.  She also runs an organization based in Idaho, Idaho Service Dog Advocates, whose mission is to promote the use of Service Dogs and educate the public on rights and laws. 

Cheryl was diagnosed with MS in 2000. This was the beginning of her quest for knowledge about service dogs and how to put her legal training as a retired paralegal to good use. She has a bachelor of science degree from Boise State University, Magna Cum Laude, a paralegal certificate, an ADA Coordinator Certificate with specialty training in Title I/II/III. She is an FAA Licensed Pilot and an aerobatic judge.  
In 2019, Cheryl was the stakeholder committee Chair and author of the bill to revise and rewrite the Idaho statutes for individuals with disabilities who have or need service dogs/service dogs in training. The bill was 9 pages and was signed into law by the Governor after unanimous support by the Idaho Legislature.  
Currently, Cheryl sits on two local committees: ACHD ADA Citizens Advisory Committee and City of Eagle Animal Control Committee. 

Mark Leeper

Mark Leeper, the DAC Executive Director, has dealt with depression and anxiety for most of his adult lifeHe formed Disability Action Center NW in 1992 from a prior disability project he worked on. He has a long career as an advocate, activist, speaker, writer, and peer counselor on the Independent Living philosophy and has extensive training in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  He knows that it’s the relationships and friendships that make all the difference.

 

Kelli Romine 

Kelli Romine has been an advocate for her own family over 25 years raising two daughters with severe to profound hearing losses. She worked with children within the public-school system in Special Education for 8 years. After that, she became an Employment Specialist where she worked very closely with Vocational Rehab at Community Partnerships and Good Work Associates here in the Treasure Valley. In 2015 she also obtained her CWIC Certification.

Kelli actively participates with the Treasure Valley Community Resource Center and the Region 3 Housing Coalition.

Outside of work Kelli enjoys many outdoor activities, spending time with family and friends, and spending time enjoying her two dogs.

 

Krista Kramer

Krista Kramer coordinates several programs at the Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP) in Moscow, including the Communication Access Program in collaboration with the Southwest Idaho Area Agency on Aging, Idaho’s low-interest financial loan program to help people purchase assistive technology, iCanConnect (the Idaho DeafBlind Equipment Distribution Program), and a Vaccine Access Program.  She has been certified as an Assistive Technology Professional since 2001, and also worked for 23 years as an Independent Living Coordinator for Disability Action Center - NW.

 

Rick Huber  
Rick has been an advocate for people with disabilities for over 25 years, his focus has been the decriminalization of mental health treatment as a governor-appointed member of the Idaho behavioral health planning council. He has also been involved with other boards and councils, including Disability Rights Idaho (DRI), National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) at the state and national levels, and the Idaho State Independent Living Council (SILC).  He currently serves as the Board Chair for Life, A Center for Independent Living.

Mel Leviton

Mel Leviton is the Executive Director of the Idaho State Independent Living Council. She has been with the SILC since 2015 and has more than 30 years’ experience working with and for people with disabilities in the private, non-profit and public sectors, including 13-years as an advocate and grant manager at Disability Rights Idaho. Mel serves on the Intermountain Fair Housing Council and several other national, state and local boards, councils and workgroups focused on access, independent living and the rights of people with disabilities.

 

Jami Davis  

Jami Davis has worked in the disability field for over 21 years, the last ten has been with the Idaho State Independent Living Council. She received her BSW at Western New Mexico University and found her love for crisis work. She has been lucky to do what she adores at the SILC and works in emergency preparedness, in addition to providing technical assistance on ABLE Accounts. In her spare time, she is a Supervisor at the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline and hangs out with her two Schipperkes (and her family).

 

Mellowdee Brooks

Mellowdee Brooks works as an Assistive Technology Consultant for the Idaho Assistive Technology Project (IATP).  In addition to providing direct AT services to people with disabilities, she manages the statewide website for assistive loan libraries and consumers.  She also assists with the annual Tools for Life Conference and supports other services and programs through the IATP.  She has been certified as an Assistive Technology Professional since 1999 and worked for the Disability Action Center – NW for a total of 13 years.

Heather Murray

With decades of success in child development and education, Heather Murray is dedicating her retirement years to continuing to help others and sharing her knowledge.  If you've ever had the experience of self-doubt, anxiety, demotivation, fear of failure, and all the other lovely emotion and mental challenges life throws at us, then Heather's Think GET A Grip book and masterclass will benefit you.

The Keynote speaker will be Steven Jacobo, US Paralympian. Steven brings a great story of independence.

 

Register

FAQs

  • Am I required to register?
    Due to concerns over public space, physical distancing and potential to overcrowd, Life has made the difficult decision to require registration this year. Please register as soon as possible
  • Are there ADA/Language accommodations available?
    We will have both ASL, as well as Spanish interpreters on-site to assist. The hotel has reserved all of their ADA rooms for the event, as has partnered with other hotels in the area to provide shuttle and additional ADA rooms.
  • Who can attend?
    Anyone with a significant disability. Anyone who knows someone with a significant disability. Anyone who supports someone with a significant disability. Anyone who cares about someone with a significant disability. Anyone who wants to promote the independence of someone with a significant disability.