Disability Conference To Focus on Veterans

Supporting Wounded Warriors and Disabled New Mexicans Focus of National Disability Conference

Conference showcases accessible voting machines

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico Center for Development and Disability (UNM CDD), with other local and national disability organizations, is hosting its annual Southwest Conference on Disability, Oct. 1-3, at the Albuquerque Convention Center. More than 600 people from across the country are expected to attend.

One of the conference’s special emphasis themes is "Supporting Wounded Warriors: Meeting the Needs of Veterans with Disabilities." The New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services is partnering with the conference to present nearly 20 sessions on topics related to disabled veterans. The conference is also holding more than 70 breakout sessions and four keynote speeches that will address these issues and other conference themes, including traumatic brain injury and parenting with cognitive disabilities.

There will also be a special forum on federal disability issues with candidates for New Mexico’s open U.S. Senate seat, State Representatives Tom Udall and Steve Pearce, on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 5:30 p.m.

The conference will have a voting accessibility resource booth that people can learn how to use before the presidential election. Conference attendees will also be able to register to vote, change their address or request an absentee ballot.

More than 450,000 New Mexicans report to having a disability, while more than 150,000 have a more severe disability that requires some type of assistance. Medical expenditures for people with disabilities affect public healthcare costs as well as personal and family budgets.

The UNM CDD is part of the UNM Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. The mission of the CDD is the full inclusion of people with disabilities and their families in their community by engaging individuals in making life choices, partnering with communities to build resources, and improving systems of care. The CDD accomplishes this mission through innovative interdisciplinary training, dissemination of information, provision of exemplary direct service and technical assistance, and applied research.

For more information about the conference or to register, visit the conference web site at http://cdd.unm.edu or call the conference register at (505) 272-6247.

Contact: Lauren Cruse, 272-3322

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