RISE Summit launching in Owensboro for caregivers of those with special needs

February 1, 2024 | 12:14 am

Updated February 1, 2024 | 12:49 am

A new convention for parents or caregivers who have children or adults with special needs is coming to the Owensboro Convention Center this October. The RISE (Redefining: Inclusion, Support and Empowerment) Summit is being created by Puzzle Pieces Executive Director Amanda Owen.

“I travel around the country both speaking and attending conferences centered around disabilities,” Owens said. “I just kept thinking to myself why don’t we have something like this in my hometown of Owensboro. Through a partnership with Visit Owensboro, that question is becoming a reality.”   

The RISE Summit will host some of the top speakers, authors, and influencers in the area of children and adults with special needs. Those include keynote speaker Kate Swensen, a best-selling author who has 1 million Facebook followers and over 160,000 followers on Instagram. 

Owen will also lead several discussions, while other speakers include Amanda Decluca, a master IEP Coach, and Caroline Wheeler, a project associate with the Human Development Institute from the University of Kentucky.  

“This is one of the most important conventions we’ve ever had in Owensboro in my opinion,” said Dave Kirk, Visit Owensboro Destination Management. “Not only will it bring a very conservative estimated economic impact of $140,000 for our community, but it will allow families with loved ones with special needs to meet Owensboro for the first time to see the amazing love our county has for those with special needs.”

The conference will be held October 25-26. There will be an optional VIP event at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum on Friday and a full day of panels, breakout sessions, and a keynote on Saturday. Child care/adult care will also be offered to caregivers so they can attend Saturday’s conference on their own. 

More information on the event, a full schedule, and ticket details can be found here.

February 1, 2024 | 12:14 am

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