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BlogHer and Support for Special Needs

We recently approached BlogHer about hosting a meet up breakfast or lunch for niche bloggers who consider themselves special needs bloggers. Based on the number of attendees at the Birds of a Feather lunch last year we knew the interest would be high. At last year’s Bird’s lunch, I casually mentioned to a few people that we should have a short session before BlogHer ’11 – off-site – the day before BlogHer began. I was finding it increasingly difficult to arrange because Thursday evening many people have plans and I was worried people wouldn’t be able to get in town in time for a noon Thursday mini-con.

When we were talking about how to go about this little get together, the fine people at Blogher – Elisa Camahort Page and Lori Luna – jumped at the chance to take it from a little breakfast or quiet lunch, to a full session. A natural fit was for us to co-host a Birds of a Feather lunch and a breakout Room of Your Own and BlogHer excitedly (thanks Elisa and Lori!) carved out the lunch and a breakout ROYO for us in our own space. Here is the BlogHer link to the Special Needs Mini-Con!

We’re thrilled and proud to present…

The Special Needs Mini-Conference will begin with its own lunch service (11:45 – 1:15pm), where you’ll have a chance to connect with other attendees. It will continue on through to the first afternoon “breakout” session (1:15pm – 2:30pm).  Its object will be to explore such topics as: blogging authentically whether you are an anonymous blogger or public, mindful of the benefits and potential fallout of both anonymous and public blogging paths; how to tell a story no one wants to hear (and be heard anyway) in the larger mainstream blogging world; and how to build your blogging community, gain momentum, or to use your site for education and awareness.

The speakers currently lined-up for the Special Needs Mini-Con are…

Robert Rummel-Hudson, whose first book, Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey with His Wordless Daughter, tells the story of raising a little girl with a disability and learning to become the father she needs.  It was published in February 2008 by St. Martin’s Press and was released in trade paperback in January 2009. Rob has been writing online since 1995. Observations on life with Schuyler can be found at his blog, Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords. An experienced speaker, Rob is sure to bring his sense of humor to BlogHer ’11.
Shannon Des Roches Rosa is a founder and co-editor of the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism book and blog project. She writes and speaks frequently on how her son’s iPad supports his learning and independence. She’s an experienced moderator and speaker at BlogHer and  writing and interviews are featured on numerous sites and publications. She has edited several anthologies and contributed stories to numerous books, including the award-winning My Baby Rides the Short Bus. She has been a speaker at several conferences, including BlogHer and UCSF Developmental Disabilities. Shannon and her son Leo were featured in Apple’s iPad: Year One video.
Julia Roberts (The Other) blogs at Kidneys and Eyes about her two kids with special needs who share Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease, a vision disorder, developmental delays and one who has mental illness. An advocate who speaks on raising kids with special needs, she co-founded Support for Special Needs because parents of children with special needs often have wisdom to share across diagnosis. She serves on boards and councils for several non-profits. She’s on Twitter at @JuliaRoberts1 and is speaking at BlogHer ’11 and moderating the BlogHer ’11 Special Needs Min-Con.
Aurelia Cotta is the pseudonym used by a very political woman and mom of three amazing boys who happen to have special needs, just like her. She began blogging in 2006 about infertility, high risk pregnancy, and the stillbirth of her second son, Matthew. From blogging, Aurelia discovered other forms of social media, particularly twitter, as an effective means for not only sharing experiences, but for encouraging change in government, industry, media and the world at large. She will be speaking about the risks and pitfalls of being anonymous online, and ways to cope with breaches of your anonymity without losing one’s identity – or one’s mind. She will share her experience navigating public events when her online profile is known only by a pseudonym, such as determining whom she trusts to know her real name and who among her real life associates to trust with her online identity. She is known for her outspokenness on topics ranging from politics to parenting, as well as her handy knack for finding online resources in a variety of areas including special needs parenting. Follow her on Twitter, here,

Please be sure to get on our BlogHer list we created and see who else is coming!



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  1. June 16, 2011 |
    • June 16, 2011 |