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Hopi Tribe Hosts Disability Conference

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The Hopi Tribe’s Office of Special Needs and Raising Special Kids will host the Hopi Disability Conference on August 4-5 at the Moencopi Legacy Inn in Tuba City, Arizona.

Featured speakers include Herman Honanie, vice-chairman of the Hopi Tribe, and Laura Nagle, a motivational speaker who classifies herself as "professionally autistic." At the conference, Nagle will help the audience explore the environmental factors that affect an autistic person in a presentation titled "Jane's Day." She employs the hypothetical autistic character Jane and chronicles her day at school in the fourth grade.

Keynote addresses will be made by Tom Kelly, recovery and resilience advisor for Cenpatico Behavioral Health, and Fernando Cruz, a registered social worker and reintegration program coordinator for Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL). Tribal Chariman LeRoy N. Shingoitewa will provide closing remarks.

With a decades worth of experience in the Arizona public mental health system, Kelly has presented at national, state and local conferences on topics including homelessness, mentor programs, mental health issues and recovery principles.

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Cruz, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, works with residents of nursing homes in the Phoenix area. A highly recognized professional in the field, he works effectively with American Indian consumers who face cultural barriers in addition to disability issues.

The conference is sponsored by the Hopi Tribe Office of Special Needs, Raising Special Kids, Arizona Governor’s Council on Indian Health Care and Arizona Division on Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

To register or for more information, call Crystal Kewanimptewa at (928) 734-3414 or (877) 256-6895. The registration deadline is today, Wednesday, July 27, 2011.