BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Those who struggle with developmental disabilities can at times find it difficult to stand up for themselves and find their voices, but the importance of communicating their rights and needs is something that becomes increasingly clear over time.

This is something that the North Dakota State Council on Developmental Disabilities plans to help promote among those in our communities with “Power Up Your Voice” — a two-day conference designed to help both disabled individuals and their caretakers gain the resources they need to make their concerns heard.

The meeting, which will take place on Monday, September 11 at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck, was created as part of a collaboration with Advocates Leading Lives (ALL) and Youth Empowering Social Status (YESS). It has been tailored towards those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as their parents, caregivers, educators, and advocates.

Over the course of this conference, guests will learn more about how to articulate their needs, assert rights, communicate ideas, and discuss both physical and mental wellness. Those attending the event will also be able to participate in interactive workshops, hear more than twenty guest speakers, and connect with exhibitors, vendors, and other participants. Food and entertainment will also be provided.

“Empowerment begins with the realization of one’s own voice and the courage to let it be heard,” says NDSCDD Executive Director Julie Horntvedt in a press release. “In a time when individual voices act as potent agents of change, this conference is the rendezvous point for those aiming to hone self-advocacy and understand wellness and services across varying life phases.”

All interested participants are asked to register for the event online using this link, and do so by September 6 if they wish to ensure a meal. Walk-in registrations will not be accepted. A reduced registration fee can be obtained by entering the discount code FREE23. Depending on one’s financial constraints, the NDSCDD may also be able to extend complimentary registration, travel, or food.