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Feb 26, 2009


YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities



Contact: Lynn U. Berman


NEW YORK, N.Y. (Feb. 25, 2009) – The YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities Network will hold its 30th Annual International Conference: "Building on Abilities: Promoting Person-Centered Programs and Policies in Developmental and Learning Disabilities" on May 4-May 8, 2009, at the Crowne Plaza Manhattan Hotel, 1605 Broadway, in New York City.

Known for its comprehensive and hands-on trainings, this year’s conference is designed for professionals at all levels, family members and individuals with developmental and learning disabilities. The more than 170 seminars and workshops will focus on key issues, including:

Advocacy, Aging, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Challenging Behaviors, Clinical Issues, Day Services, Early Intervention, Family Supports, Health Care, Inclusion, Positive Behavioral Support, Residential, Self-determination, Sensory Integration, Sexuality/Socialization, Workforce Issues, Employment, and Staff Training

Eustacia Cutler, the mother of Dr. Temple Grandin and author of "A Thorn in My Pocket," will deliver a keynote address on Monday, May 4, and conduct a seminar "The Five Big Stumbling Blocks of Autism: A Roadmap for Parents, Teachers and Friends," beginning at 1:15 p.m.

The conference will also feature extended sessions to provide attendees with even more in-depth training.

Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., will host a full-day post-conference workshop "Comprehensive Autism Planning System (CAPS) for Individuals with ASD Across the Lifespan," on Friday, May 8, 9 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

For more information, visit The conference brochure is available on the Web site and online registration is available. You may also contact, Abbe Wittenberg of YAI/NIPD’s Professional Information Department, at  or 212-273-6193.

For more than 50 years, the YAI/NIPD Network has provided a place of hope and opportunity for people with developmental and learning disabilities. Comprised of seven not-for-profit, independent health and human service agencies, the YAI/NIPD Network serves people of all ages throughout the New York metropolitan area, including Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan counties, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. One of the most comprehensive networks of its kind, the YAI/NIPD Network’s more than 5,600 staff members serve 20,000 individuals in more than 450 community-based programs. The YAI/NIPD Network is recognized nationally for its conferences, training seminars and publications. For more information about the YAI/NIPD Network or to obtain services, call 1-866-2-YAI-LINK or visit