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Chautauqua conference outreach

Chautauqua Conference set to discuss needs of individuals with disabilities

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The eleventh annual Chautauqua Conference on Family Resilience, set for March 5-6 in Tulsa, Okla., is designed to highlight the unique needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Under the theme, “Engaging Communities to Foster Belonging for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Families,” speakers from across the U.S. will discuss spirituality, occupational therapy, school curriculum design and university outreach. Individuals with disabilities, family members and professionals interested in fostering communities of belonging are encouraged to attend. The Chautauqua conference is hosted annually by the Oklahoma State University Center for Family Resilience. 

New to this year’s Chautauqua Conference is a Community Conversation featuring Vanderbilt University professor Erik Carter’s perspective on helping individuals with disabilities flourish the evening prior to the main Chautauqua event. The main Chautauqua Conference event is set from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 6 in OSU Tulsa’s North Hall and requires a registration fee. The Community Conversation is free and open to the public on March 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the OSU Tulsa Auditorium.

“Each year, we focus on a timely topic of high importance to the lives of both Oklahomans and those beyond our state,” said Dr. Michael Merten, OSU Center for Family Resilience director. “The goal is to use our time together to translate research in these areas into strategies to promote resilience for those impacted by these challenges.”

Held annually since 2008, past Chautauqua Conference themes have included opioids and other addictions, empowering economically disadvantaged parents, chronic illness, family caregiving, and bio-behavioral markers of risk and resilience in research.

The 2020 Chautauqua Conference theme relates to the newly established Institute for Developmental Disabilities, founded by Dr. Kami Gallus and Dr. Jennifer Jones, OSU associate professors of human development and family science. The Institute for Developmental Disabilities will serve as an umbrella for many programs already supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to make the programs more accessible for those who need them most.

“There is much work that needs to be done in terms of policy and service delivery for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their family,” Merten said. “We hope the collaborations and products resulting from this conference will enhance the lives of these individuals and families.” 

Individuals interested in registering for the Chautauqua Conference can register online or contact Dr. Jennifer Jones ( or Dr. Kami Gallus (

MEDIA CONTACT: Brittany Bowman | 405-744-9347 |

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