2017 Statewide Conference & Expo

Conference Overview

***Deadline EXTENDED!***

Thursday May 18, 2017

NYAIL Statewide Conference & Expo:

Purpose. Progress. Power.

New Strategies for Systemic Change

September 18 & 19, 2017- Hilton Garden Inn Troy, NY


About the Conference:

At NYAIL’s 2017 Statewide Conference, more than 250 people with disabilities, older New Yorkers and allies of the disability rights community will convene to re-envision and re-energize the Independent Living movement as we embark into uncharted territory and navigate the difficult course ahead.

Without persistent and sustained advocacy, drastic changes on the federal level will adversely impact Independent Living Centers and the services and supports that keep people with disabilities out of institutions and in their communities. The time is now to revisit our PURPOSE – to advance and protect the rights and independence of people with all disabilities. We must consider our PROGRESS –       we have so much to lose, but still so much more to accomplish. And most importantly, we must recognize and harness our collective POWER. In this ever-changing landscape, unlikely alliances and intersectional activism will be essential to building our power. NYAIL calls on our community partners, disability rights advocates and allies to join us this September as we come together to consider       New Strategies for Systemic Change.


Guide for Workshop Proposal Preparation

NYAIL is seeking presenters for twenty-five 75-minute workshops, to be presented throughout the two-day conference. We invite workshop proposal submissions that reflect the conference theme, NYAIL’s mission, and the interests of conference participants.

NYAIL works to:

  • Ensure full community integration, enhance the quality of life, and safeguard the civil rights of people with disabilities of all ages
  • Promote the Independent Living philosophy within the disability community, among our partners in health, aging, housing, employment, education, transportation, and other service and advocacy stakeholders, and the public
  • Advocate for systemic changes and resources that will enable people with disabilities of all ages to live independent lives in their communities
  • Strengthen Independent Living Centers (ILCs), the disability rights community, our partners, and service systems, by sharing best practices and innovative strategies

We encourage proposals in the following areas:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act and Olmstead compliance in NYS
  • Community integration barriers and solutions
  • Innovative ILC programs, practices and/or collaborations at local, regional & state levels
  • Affordable, accessible and integrated housing for people with disabilities and older adults, including promoting universal design and age-in-place initiatives
  • Increasing transportation options for people with disabilities
  • Best practices for addressing the needs and concerns of older New Yorkers, including successful collaborations with aging organizations
  • Implementation of mandatory Medicaid managed care, managed long term care, fully integrated duals advantage, and delivery system reform incentive payment (DSRIP)
  • Best practices/creative solutions for transition across service systems
  • Peer services and supports
  • History and future of Independent Living
  • Systems advocacy and grassroots community organizing skills
  • Increasing youth involvement in Independent Living and disability rights advocacy
  • ILC and nonprofit organization best practices, including financial management, board development, capacity building and fund raising
  • Marketing and communications, including social media

The above list is not exhaustive -- We welcome any proposals that would be of interest to our expected attendees, who include:

  • Independent Living Center staff, board members, volunteers, and consumers
  • Disability rights organizations
  • Older New Yorkers and youth with disabilities
  • Service providers in all service systems
  • Vocational rehabilitation professionals
  • State and local government agencies
  • Policy makers
  • Business professionals
  • Family members and caregivers of people with disabilities

Selection Process

Proposals which best address the content areas outlined above will be given priority. Proposals will be scored by the Conference Committee based on this criterion, as well as: clarity, objectives, method of presentation, likely interest to participants, and overall program balance.

Applicants will be notified by June 23, 2017 as to whether their proposal has been selected.

Submission Guidelines: All proposals must be submitted by close of business on May 12, 2017. Proposals should be submitted using the proposal outline below.  All information must be provided. Please send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as a Microsoft Word file email attachment with the last name of the lead presenter as the file name.

If you have any questions, please contact Aurie Mercer at (518) 465-4650 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Conference Accessibility

NYAIL will make all conference presentations accessible to the widest range of people as possible. Guidelines for accessible presentations will be sent to all presenters chosen, and NYAIL will transfer materials to an accessible format if they are submitted by the accessible format deadline (date TBD). Materials may not be distributed at the conference if they are not also available in accessible formats. NYAIL will schedule sign language interpreters for all general sessions and will provide materials to attendees in alternative formats, including Braille and large print, when requested.

Proposal Outline

1.  Lead Presenter

The lead presenter is also the contact person and is responsible for notifying all other co-presenters of acceptance, rejection, scheduling, and any other information provided by NYAIL. Please list the following contact information for the lead presenter and provide a brief biographical sketch (30 words maximum):


  • Title:
  • Agency/affiliation:
  • Mailing address:
  • Phone number:
  • Email address:
  • Biographical Sketch:

 2.  Co-presenter(s)

Please limit the number of co-presenters to no more than three per 75-minute workshop session. Please list the following contact information for each co-presenter:


  • Title:
  • Agency/affiliation:
  • Mailing address:
  • Phone number:
  • Email address: 

3.  Workshop Title

The title should clearly describe the presentation content. (10 words maximum)

  • Title:

4.  Session Summary

This 1-2 sentence summary will be printed in the conference program. (30 words maximum) 

  • Summary: 

5.  Abstract

The abstract will be used in reviewing and selecting proposals for the conference. Please be as concise as possible, but clearly describe (200 words or less):

  • Presentation topic/focus
  • Learning objectives
  • Outline of presentation content
  • Structure of presentation -- We encourage you to include interactive activities, and you must allow time for questions and answers. 

6.  Equipment Notice

All workshop rooms will have a white screen and a power cart.

Presenters are responsible for providing all other audio-visual equipment needed, including laptop computers and LCD projectors.

Deadline: Friday, May 12, 2017

Submission Guidelines (Word Doc): Click here

To stay up to date on the conference, visit: http://www.ilny.org/conference.