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Sept. 21, 2017DES MOINES, Iowa |  By: Nienow

Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council holds 3-day conference

Iowans with a passion for the rights of those with developmental disabilities are gathered to discuss topics including new state policies impacting their lives, money management and coping with the challenges inherent with intellectual and physical disabilities. Rik Shannon, public policy manager for the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council, says he hopes the three-day "Make Your Mark Self-Advocacy Conference" makes the public more aware of the rights and needs of those with developmental disabilities.

Approximately 350,000 Iowans have some sort of disability. Shannon says there is strength in those numbers. He argues that if those individuals harness their collective voices, they can more effectively advocate for change that allows them to live independently and effectively. Shannon says they'll look at new policies and regulations that define where it's permissible for states to pay for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services.

Shannon says some of the skills people with development disabilities need support with are very basic but also vital. The ability to cope with stress and to build confidence are among them.