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Opening Doors: A Special Needs Conference

  • Bonsack Baptist Church 4845 Cloverdale Road Roanoke, VA, 24019 United States (map)

DePaul Community Resources is hosting the 2019 Opening Doors Conference alongside Special Families of the Roanoke Valley. This conference is intended for families, caregivers, advocates, and those with a desire to inspire an inclusive community for adults and children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

For interested families, there will be a worship session at Bonsack Baptist Church to kick off the conference weekend on Friday, March 22nd at 7 PM. Please register to Lauren Beckner at if you are interested in attending.

Exhibitors from local organizations will be setup with information on the services they provide in the community. There will be various breakout sessions on topics such as:

  • ABA Therapy

  • Legal Issues

  • Employment & Residential Options

  • Adoption Support Services

  • Waiver Redesign

  • Church Ministry Options

  • Critical Decision Points in Special Education

  • Self-Care for Caregivers and more!

Featured speakers for our breakout sessions are: 

Lauren Beckner, Moms in Motion • Amber Wieringo, DePaul Community Resources • Ann Green, Anderson, Desimone & Green, P.C. • Cindy Goldstein and Laura Israel, DePaul Community Resources • Noel Anderson, Anderson Music Therapy • Kari Decker, Roanoke County Therapeutic Recreation Services • Jackie Mills Fernald, Independent Consultant • Lisa Richard, Center for Family Involvement at VCU • Melissa Cobbler, ABLE Now • Patrice Smelser and Wanda Flora, Unlimited at Fellowship Christian Church and PURE at North Roanoke Baptist • Angie Leonard and David Shaw, SVH Services

A light breakfast and lunch, with Keynote Speaker Jackie Mills Fernald, will be provided
for all attendees.

Please note, Bonsack Baptist Church will be able to offer child care, but there is a limited number of slots available. If you will need childcare for this event, please e-mail Amanda Miller at and let her know the names, ages, and needs for the children that are signing up for child care. Please note, you will need to provide lunch for your child(ren).

Later Event: March 23
Family Fly Fishing