Annual Vermont Family Network conference April 5

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Annual VFN Conference, “High Hopes and Great Expectations”

Vermont Family Network is pleased to announce the 2017 Annual Conference on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center.  This conference provides an incredible opportunity for our organization to inform, support and uplift families, professionals, caregivers, and policy makers from around the state who involved in the livelihoods of children and adults with special needs.  This day-long conference addresses different topics related to children with special needs ages birth to three, school age, young adults making the transition into adulthood, and beyond. 

We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker is Alix Generous.  Alix Generous is a mental health activist, tech innovator, and storyteller. Her TED Talk “How I Learned to Communicate My Inner Life with Asperger’s has received 1.5 million views! Her works have been featured on NPR, Bloomberg Businessweek, TEDx, and the Sydney Opera House. Through high-impact media, comedy, and creative storytelling, she advocates for scientific literacy, child welfare, and for the advancement of mental diversity in the sciences.

Generous won the Citizen Science Biodiversity competition for her paper on coral reefs and microbiology which she then presented at the United Nations Convention of Biological Diversity. She was a youth delegate with SustainUS at the United Nations Convention of Climate Change.

Alix was the co-founder for Podium, a social impact company that creates technology to help high functioning autistic millennials improve their presentation skills. In her 2015 TED talk, she shares how tech improved her public speaking skills.

Morning and afternoon workshops will explore the following topics: assistive technology, understanding the traumatized brain, sensory needs, care coordination, disability disclosures, cross-culture communication, IEP plans, social anxiety, building community, storytelling, mindfulness and youth and parent panels.

For event and registration information, please visit:


8 – 9 am                    Registration, Exhibit Tables, Continental Breakfast

9 – 9:15 am               Introductory Remarks by Pam McCarthy, President/CEO, Vermont Family Network

9:15 – 10:15 am        Keynote Address by Alix Generous

10:15 – 10:45 am      Break, Visit Exhibit Tables

10:45 – 12:15 pm      Session 1 Workshops

12:15 – 1:15 pm         Lunch

1:15 – 2:45 pm          Session 2 Workshops

2:45 – 3:15 pm          Break, Visit Exhibit Tables

3:15 – 4:45 pm          Session 3 Workshops

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 8:00am to 4:45pm