Opening Doors 2016


Bonsack Baptist Church is proud to host Opening Doors: Inspiring Inclusive Community, it's 3rd annual Special Needs Conference on September 15-17, 2016 sponsored by PURE Ministries.

The conference will feature an all-day From Emotions to Advocacy training by Wrightslaw on Thursday, September 15 from 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pat Howey will be the conference presenter on Thursday. Pat is an advocate who has helped parents obtain special education services for their children with disabilities since 1986. She also helps parents resolve special education disputes with their school districts. Pat has a B.A. in Paralegal Studies from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College where she graduated with honors.  Lunch, snacks and a copy of the book Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy ($19.95 retail value), are included in Thursday's cost. 
CEU’s have been approved for this conference. CLE’s are pending. 

On Friday, September 16, hairstylists from Halo Salon and EKSKLUZIV as well as photographers will be offering complimentary haircuts or portrait sessions for parents who register early (one option available per family). Evening worship will be at 7 p.m. featuring Keynote Speaker, Jackie Mills Fernald, Access Ministry Director at McLean Bible Church.

Saturday's conference will feature 18 different breakout sessions with breakfast, lunch, and snacks included. Lunch will be provided by a locally- owned Domino's Pizza. Saturday's Plenary Speaker will be Walt Suskind, whose family's experience with Autism is featured in the award-winning documentary Life Animated, in theaters July 1. The conference will conclude with a viewing of Life Animated.

Opening Doors will offer two separate rates- a PARENT/STUDENT rate for Students or Parents/ Grandparents/ Guardians of individuals with Special Needs, and an ADVOCATE rate for Professionals, Church and Community Members. 

Conference Pricing (Limited Scholarships Available- contact Jill Winston at 977-5701)

(Students, Parents, Grandparents or Guardians of PURE/ Special Needs Individuals)
Wrightslaw From Emotions to Advocacy training Thursday ONLY: $75
Wrightslaw Thursday Training AND Conference: $100
Conference ONLY: $50

ADVOCATES (Professionals, Community & Church Members)
Wrightslaw From Emotions to Advocacy training Thursday ONLY: $100
Wrightslaw Thursday Training AND Conference: $125
Conference ONLY: $50

Continuing Education Credits will be offered-  There will be an additional fee of $30.




9 AM Wrightslaw Training- Morning Session

12 PM Lunch

1 PM Wrightslaw Training- Afternoon Session

Concludes at 4:30 PM


1-3 PM Exhibitors & Sponsors Set-Up

3-5 PM Complimentary Haircuts & Portrait Sessions

3-6 PM Sponsors, Presenters & Exhibitors Meeting 

6 PM Dinner for Sponsors, Presenters & Exhibitors

7 PM Night of Worship

Keynote Speaker: Jackie Mills-Fernald, Director of Access Ministries at McLean Bible Church


7:30 AM Registration/ Breakfast/ Exhibit Hall Open

8:30 AM Breakout Session I

9:30 AM Exhibit Hall Open

10:00 AM Breakout Session II
11:00 AM Lunch:
Sponsored by Domino’s

Exhibit Hall Open

12:15 PM Plenary Speaker

Walt Suskind: Life, Animated

1:00 PM Breakout Session III

2:00 PM Exhibit Hall Open (Final Chance to Visit)

2:30 PM Breakout Session IV

4:00 PM Movie: Life, Animated