The Resource Center’s Symposium Slated for May 16 at Chautauqua

(L to R): Christopher Lyons, Stephen Manning, and Kate McSweeny
(L to R): Christopher Lyons, Stephen Manning, and Kate McSweeny

Article Contributed by
The Resource Center

Perspectives on issues facing people with disabilities will be shared when The Resource Center holds its annual Educational Symposium on Wednesday, May 16, at Chautauqua Institution.
The theme of this year’s symposium is “The Making of a Resilient Community.” The daylong event begins at 8:45 and will take place at Lenna Hall and Bellinger Hall. Speakers who will discuss issues faced by people with disabilities, their families and service providers. Confirmed speakers include:
Stephen Manning, an attorney in Portland, OR, who is a founding partner of Immigrant Law Group PC and the founder and director of the Innovation Law Lab, a non-profit activist against the mass incarceration of refugees and immigrants. Manning’s keynote address is titled, “Relentlessly Resilient: Building power and winning even when everything suggests you will fail.”
Christopher Lyons, executive director of AIM Services, Inc., a non-profit agency supporting people with developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury. He will present “Legal opportunity and moral duty to promote the right to risk as a component of community integration.”
Kate McSweeny is vice president of government affairs and general counsel for ACCSES, a network of more than 1,200 organizations that provide services to people with disabilities across the United States.
CodyAnne Chambers, a certified rehabilitation counselor who also is an offender workforce development specialist, an offender employment retention specialist, and a global career facilitator.
Dr. Michael Cummings is vice chair for community affairs and outreach for the Department of Psychiatry of the University at Buffalo, as well as associate medical director of the Erie County Medical Center.
Janell Van Cleve is director of diversionary services in the Department of Psychiatry of the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and a forensic mental health specialist with Erie County.
Dr. Elizabeth Kapral is an attending dentist in Erie County Medical Center’s Department of Oral Oncology and Maxillofacial Prosthetics focusing on treatment of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Dr. Sean Patrick Roche is assistant professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Texas State University with a special interest in treating autism.
Cathy Torbitt chose a self-directed life about eight years ago and has become an advocate for self-direction and has assisted others in pursuing their own self-directed lives.
A panel discussion will feature Chambers, Lyons, Manning, McSweeny, and Timothy Roche (Roche’s father).
The cost to attend the symposium is $99 ($79 for members of The Resource Center). The New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council has provided funding for scholarships to cover the registration fee of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, support staff and family members of people with disabilities. The symposium is sponsored by The Resource Center and Filling the Gap, Inc.
To learn more or to register for the symposium, visit, or phone The Resource Center at 483-2344.