2022 ACT State Self-Advocacy Conference

Held virtually on April 22-23 via Zoom


2022 ACT State Self-Advocacy Conference

Held virtually on April 22-23 via Zoom

2022 ACT State Self-Advocacy Conference

Held virtually on April 22-23 via Zoom


*If you attended the 2022 ACT MN State Self-Advocacy Conference, please complete the official survey here.


Typically, every other year Advocating Change Together and the Conference Planning Committee put on a two-day State Self-Advocacy Conference. Last year in the midst of the pandemic we held our first ever Virtual Conference. Using best practices from our virtual programs like small group sizes, mailing out materials ahead of time, mixing in lots of games and socializing we were blown away by how successfull it was. Building off of that success we’re thrilled to throw another one this year. Join us virtually through Zoom on April 22nd and 23rd to see old friends, make new ones, learn about self-advocacy issues, discover resources and celebrate disability pride!

Like the in-person conferences from previous years, this will be a self-advocate driven event featuring interactive and engaging sessions. Workshops will follow best practices with small breakout sizes, group discussion and fun activities. Come ready to participate, this is not a by-stander event! Attendees will be sent a packet in the mail ahead of time, stuffed full of goodies, a program book, a lucky BINGO card, and other handouts to enhance the experience.

A special Thank You to our main sponsor the Olmstead Implementation Office!


We need your help to make it great:


Select the number of people you are registering (Qty*) and click on the register now button below

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  • Small breakout rooms to engage with sessions on Building Personal Power, Unlocking Our Creativity, Strengthening Our Social Circles, Feeling the Power of Disability Rights and much more
  • Entertainment including a DJ and dance, door prizes, BINGO (with prizes), singing
  • Engage in the action with everything you need mailed to you in your conference packet including a program, snacks, BINGO sheets, and conference swag
  • Reconnect with old and friends and make new ones while celebrating disability pride
  • Network with leaders in the self-advocacy movement
  • Learn about available resources for housing, employment, transportation, and person centered plans
  • Professionals learn how to better connect with and empower self-advocates
  • Get information, exercises, and project ideas to strengthen your self-advocacy group or learn how to start one


Friday April 22nd, 2022
9:00AM – 10:00AM Social Hour
10:00AM – 10:30AM Opening Ceremony
10:30AM – 11:30AM Breakout Session 1
11:30AM – 12:30PM Lunch Break / Exhibitors
12:30PM – 1:00PM Leadership BINGO
1:00PM – 2:00PM Breakout Session 2
2:00PM – 6:00PM Evening Break – Zoom Link will close – Re-Enter for Dance
6:30PM – 7:30PM Dis-Dance Party
Saturday April 23rd, 2022
12:00PM – 12:45PM Social Hour
12:45PM – 1:00PM Self-Advocacy Sound-Off
1:00PM – 2:00PM Breakout Session 3
2:00PM – 2:15PM Break / Exhibitors
2:15PM – 2:30PM Irving Martin Award
2:30PM – 3:30PM Breakout Session 4
3:30PM – 4:00PM Leadership BINGO
4:00PM – 4:30PM Closing Ceremony

Irving Martin Award

trophyThe Irving Martin Self-Advocacy Award will be given to an individual and a group who have shown their commitment to promoting self-advocacy. This award is given in memory of the late Irving Martin, “the Godfather of self-advocacy,” who was known for his endless work on behalf of the self-advocacy movement. Irving Martin understood that people with disabilities are people first, deserving the same opportunities as everyone else. He had the innate ability to share his vision with others. His message was simple – all people belong in the community working together to create better lives and training self-advocates across the nation to their role in creating change.

The committee will select both an individual and group winner based on the following criteria:

  • An individual or group from the state of Minnesota
  • The individual or group members must be self-advocates and have a disability
  • The individual or group must be actively involved in self-advocacy (i.e. participates in a self-advocacy group, attends self-advocacy events, etc.)
  • Is knowledgeable about their community and the self-advocacy movement
  • Displays leadership abilities or has been a mentor to people with disabilities

Download the Irving Martin Form and mail or email it in if you prefer using a hard copy, otherwise use the button above to submit your Workshop Proposal online.


The 2022 ACT State Self-Advocacy Conference is an action packed 2 day affiar that will follow best practices for virtual learning –  we need your help to make it great! We’ve found that engaged distance learning requires small groups where everyone participants. This means lots of volunteers!

Please Sign Up for Multiple Roles if You’re Able – Connect with ACT to Sign Up a Group 

We are looking for three roles, people to help facilitate conversation and ice breaker games during social hours, people to call Self-Advocacy Bingo and people to co-facilitate breakout sessions. Volunteers can sign up for one role, an hour time commitment, or spend the whole day having fun with us! We don’t expect any of our volunteers to be technical experts but they should have some entry level experience with Zoom or video chat. We will be giving instructions, offering a tutorial and will have multiple people on hand to step in to trouble shoot if need be. We invite and encourage volunteers to sign up for multiple roles and attend other aspects of the conference.

Social Hour Breakout Host – Facilitate socializing games like adapted versions of 2 Truths and a Lie, Never Have I Ever, Collaborative Story Telling and more. Each game will be explained to the large group before splitting up into smaller breakout to play (you will also get a copy of all game instructions ahead of time). Your role will be to remind the group about the rules to the game and help them get started or stay on track as needed. Mostly, you will help people open up and have fun!

Co-Lead a Session – Help us stay true to our small breakout size model and Co-Lead a breakout session. Each breakout session will be carefully crafted, designed with this exact model in mind and will be easy to lead with step by step instructions (sent out at least a week in advance). Our methods are not a top down model – you will not be lectering or talking about self-advocacy as an expert. Rather you will be guiding the group as they connect a topic to their personal experience and will highlight some of the collective knowlege shared and lasting insights. We will introduce you to your Co-Lead in advance at the Volunteer orientation session the day before the conference, Thursday April 21st at 10am and support you in planning out facilitating the session at the conference.

BINGO Caller – One of the most popular sessions at every conference is BINGO. This year it will feature cards highlighting Leadership and Disability Rights History. BINGO Cards will be sent out to you ahead of time along with instructions for calling the game. Shuffle the cards and read the letter/number and bit of history with it until you have 3-4 BINGOs then clear shuffle and start a new game. You will quickly notice that this is many people’s favorite!

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Contact Us

The Minnesota State Self-Advocacy Conference website is always being updated with more information. Be sure to mark September 29th and 30th on your calendar and check back regularly for updates.

If you have any questions or comments about the 2023 Minnesota State Self-Advocacy Conference, please reach out to Adam Ruff or Meredith Kujala!

Adam Ruff- ruff@selfadvocacy.org


Meredith Kujala- Kujala@selfadvocacy.org