2018 Conference Schedule

April 28, 2018 - 9:00am-3:00pm

2018 Keynote Speaker: Heather Avis

Devoted wife; smother-er of my kids; writer; pretty good at laughing.

Heather Avis is wife to her handsome and hardworking man Josh, and mother to the adorable Macyn, Truly and August and Author of "The Lucky Few" (available everywhere books are sold). After working as an Education Specialist she found herself as a full-time stay at home mom when she and her husband adopted their first daughter, Macyn, in 2008. Shortly thereafter, in 2011, they adopted their second daughter, Truly. And in 2013, their son August was born and came home to be theirs. Heather currently resides in Southern California where between oatmeal making, diaper changing and dance parties she shares her heart by putting words on paper and using her hit Instagram account @macymakesmyday, to share the awesomeness of all things Down syndrome and adoption. She cares fiercely for the underdog and believes God's goodness and beauty are found in the most seemingly uncomfortable places.


Mr. Schwartz will discuss the ins and outs of special education, providing an understanding of the legal responsibilities of a school that is providing a public education and its relationship to service coordination provided by Regional Center. Additionally, Mr. Schwartz will touch on the availability of In-Home Supportive Services and the transition to adulthood and limited conservatorships. Approximately 80% of the seminar will center around special education services and the remaining 20% will explain the relationship of other services that families often encounter, or may require, as their children transition into adulthood. The purpose of this seminar is to equip you with information that you can help a family recognize and advocate for services that are available and can support an individual with special needs.

You’ve been called to start a disability ministry! Now what? Come hear about how to start a disability ministry from the ground up. Discover the direction that is best for your church and vision to building a structure in your ministry that is sustainable.

Communicating to senior and executive leadership about the importance of disability ministry can sometimes feel like shouting into the wind. How can your voice be heard and taken seriously? Come learn some practical strategies to help the senior leadership in your church or organization not only share a passion for disability ministry, but to take action!

Accepting a challenge from a local MOPS chapter to be vulnerable and explain how she managed to keep smiling, Andrea shares how parenting became a spiritual journey for her. Sharing how the Lord met her tenderly as if she was the autistic child, this talk will guide you in seeing God’s hand in your life while debunking misconceptions that abound in Christian circles.

This session will layout practical recruitment and retention strategies necessary for growing and sustaining your ministry.

As our YL Capernaum clubs grow and thrive, we long to take the next steps with our Capernaum friends. How do we grow deeper with our Capernaum friends and disciple them with excellence? What might be some of the barriers or distractions that make this difficult? What are some tips and encouragements that would help you to become a disciple maker with your friends who have disabilities?

Raising children with any type of disability is a huge undertaking and parents are prone to exhaustion and high levels of stress. It is imperative that parents take time for each other. Through respite and by getting plugged in with various organizations that can provide support, parents can avoid being so overwhelmed. During this workshop, I will be sharing my family’s story and providing different strategies that have helped us tremendously.

The session will focus on an examination of the responsibilities of the Church, both universal and local, in regards to the facilitation of inclusive relationships and belonging for all individuals regardless of ability. Special attention will be given to “ability” by the Church to view, value, and develop the gifts and contributions of all members.

What Does Scripture have to say about those with Disabilities and what does that have to do with us?

Do you often feel like an “island” while serving in disability ministry?  This workshop will help so “we are all in this together”, by giving practical tools and strategies to help create a working relationship within other ministries in your church and your church leadership.  We will look into how God can and will use you to create an awareness and to educate others how disability ministry can impact your church.  Also, we will discuss how to open doors with other ministries to allow for inclusion of individuals with disabilities when appropriate or desired and how to present these opportunities to families.

We all need to get some "wiggles" out every now and again. This session will demonstrate how, why, and when to utilize sensory supports.  *This will be an INTERACTIVE workshop

Expanding your ministry outreach to the community is a fun way to involve others that may be hesitant to step inside the church walls. It connects volunteers, families and friends that will hopefully become ‘family’. You will get a glimpse at what is already being done, learn how to make it happen with limited time and resources and leave inspired to create a fun experience for families impacted by disability in your community!

The Disability Ministry Conference would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

Young Life Capernaum

Our Generous Partners

Calvary Church of Santa Ana
Crossroads Church
Miracle 139
Young Life Friendship Ministry

Support Us

Our Mission




© 2017-2020 Disability Ministry Conference. All Rights Reserved.