Circles of Life is Wisconsin’s annual conference for families who have children with disabilities and the professionals who support them.
The Circles of Life Conference is in our 39th year as the annual, statewide conference for families of children and youth wit disabilities and the professionals who support them. In 2023, over 700 families and professionals attended Circles of Life. This is a unique opportunity for families to develop new skills, learn about resources and form lasting relationships. The conference includes a keynote, over 25 breakout sessions and evening events.
The planning committee would like to include sessions that help families build their communities. This includes learning about strategies to build a community, as well as programs and services that support families to create an inclusive community for children, teens or adult family members with a disability. (Proposals on a wide variety of other topics will also be selected.)
In 2023 Circles of Life had over 40 resource vendors! Conference goers met with these organizations on scheduled breaks throughout both days to learn about their valuable resources.
Set up: May 15, 6:30 – 8:00 pm and May 16, 7:00- 8:00 am
Exhibitor Hours: May 16, 8:30 – 4:30 and May 17, 8:30 – 1:00 pm
Conference sponsors reach hundreds of families and professionals over the 2-day event. Sponsors receive an exhibitor booth, an ad in the Conference Program, and recognition prior to the event on social media, our website and on conference signage.
PLATINUM Featured Sponsor ($5,000 and Up) A Platinum Sponsorship includes: Featured exhibitor location in exhibition hall | Featured signage during plenary sessions | Appreciation on the conference website | Frequent recognition on social media | 1 full-page color ad in Conference Program | 3 conference registrations.
GOLD Special Sponsor ($3,000 – $4,999) Special Sponsorship includes: Special exhibitor in exhibition hall | Highlighted signage during plenary sessions | Listing on conference website | Frequent recognition on social media | 1/2-page color ad in Conference Program | 2 conference registrations.
SILVER Sponsor ($1,000 – $2,999) Silver sponsor receive Booth in exhibition hall | Listing on conference website | Recognition on social media| 1/4-page color ad in Conference Program | 1 conference registration.
Attendees receive a free Conference Program so you will be sure reach hundreds of individuals. It contains all the details needed to enjoy the event.
This year’s Program is available in print and online as a phone-friendly guide. Attendee favorites are included: Schedule at a glance | Keynote and workshop descriptions | Exhibitor listing | Links to sponsors | A listing of resource organizations for families who have children with disabilities.
Email ads to Lynn, Family Voices of Wisconsin, at Lynn@fvofwi.org.
Contact Brian Kenney, Gathering of Youth Facilitator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608)448-9034.
Registration is required to take part in Gathering of Youth. This lets staff get to know your teen and ensures they have the needed health and safety information. To register, first, register yourself for the conference and indicate that your young adult will participate in Gathering of Youth. Then a separate link to register your young adult will be emailed to you. You can use this link, 2024 Gathering of Youth Registration, if you have already registered.
Gathering of Youth is a unique conference track for teens and young adults, ages 13 to 22, who have disabilities. These are supervised sessions that run while parents take part in the keynote and workshops.
Participants eat meals with their families or join tables with other youth. Check-in with your teen before meals and make sure they return to the Gathering of Youth room before going to your workshops.
Sibshops are celebrations of the contributions made by sisters and brothers of kids with special health needs. As a registere Sibshop of WisconSibs, Inc., this workshop for “typical” siblings, ages 8-13, provides lively, age-appropriate activities and relaxed discussions about the challenges and joys of having a sibling with disabilities.
To participate in Sibshop, you must register for the conference and then separately register your child for Sibshop. There is no additional fee for this program, but the sibling must be registered for the conference ($60) and a parent or guardian must be onsite at the Holiday Inn conference center.
The deadline to register for Sibshop is Monday, May 1.
To learn more about Sibshop, please contact Tessa at Tessa@wisconsibs.org.
2024 Program will be released shortly before the conference in May, 2024.
2024 Session Information Coming Soon
Thursday, May 16
7:45 – 9:00 → Check-In and Breakfast
9:00 – 11:45 → SibShop
9:00 – 4:30 → Gathering of Youth (break from 11:45 – 1:30)
9:00 – 10:15 → Welcome and Keynote Address
10:15 – 10:30 → Break and Exhibitor Visits
10:30 – 11:45 → Session A Workshops
11:45 – 1:15 → Lunch and Awards
1:30 – 2:45 → Session B Workshops
2:45 – 3:15 → Break and Exhibitor Visits
3:15 – 4:30 → Session C Workshops
4:45 – 6:30 → Dinner and Family Voices Listening Session
6:30 – 8:00 → Family Fun Night
Friday, May 17
7:45 – 8:45 → Breakfast
9:00 – 11:45 → Gathering of Youth
9:00 – 12:00 → Birth to 3 Program ICC Town Hall
9:00 – 10:15 → Session D Workshops
10:15 – 10:30 → Break and Exhibitor Visits
10:30 – 11:45 → Session E Workshops
11:45 – 1:00 → Lunch—Slide Show, Door Prizes and Closing
Cathy is a mother, disability advocate, national speaker and consultant. She is an educator at the university-level with leadership positions in government and nonprofit organizations. Cathy and her adult daughter, Beth, speak nationally about the importance of social capitalꟷa key part of building a communityꟷin the lives of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities from an early age, and all life-long.
For questions about registration call UW—Stevens Point at (715) 346-3838