2024 Disability Advocacy Conference



It's ON! Olmstead Now in NC

Disability Rights North Carolina celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Olmstead decision at our annual statewide conference: It’s ONOlmstead Now in NC. In commemorating this landmark legal decision, we and members of North Carolina’s disability community reflected on two and a half decades of advocating for the rights of people with disabilities to live and receive services in the community of their choice. DRNC recognizes that there is much more work to be done and the call for action cannot wait. Together we can make it happen, It’s ON!



Wed, May 1 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm


McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman St, Raleigh, NC 27606

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2024 Conference Details  – Full agenda and session descriptions

Conference materials, PowerPoints and handouts

If you would like access to a printed version of the materials book, please email conference@disabilityrightsnc.org

In December 2023, Bishop William Barber II was denied his legal right to a basic disability-related accommodation at AMC Theater in Greenville, NC when theater managers took the step of calling the police to have him, a paying customer with an obvious physical disability, removed from the premises simply because he must sit in his own chair as an accommodation.

It is ironic that managers took this step when they, not Bishop Barber, were violating the law. Their decision was not only misguided and wrong, but it was also potentially dangerous. Disabled people are at risk of being harmed or killed in unnecessary, inappropriate police encounters. Bishop Barber is adept at non-violent resistance. Had it involved someone without these skills, the outcome could have been far worse.

Join us for a compelling conversation between Bishop Barber and DRNC CEO Virginia Knowlton Marcus. They will discuss Bishop Barber’s experience, the intersection of disability, race and poverty and reflect on living in North Carolina twenty-five years after the pivotal Olmstead decision which declared the unjustified segregation of people with disabilities as a form of unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Don’t miss this enlightening discussion on the progress and challenges in the pursuit of racial and disability justice.

Disability Rights NC Scholarship

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: April 15, 2024

DRNC is able to offer needs-based scholarships to attend the 2024 Disability Advocacy Conference with the generous support of our sponsors. If you are unable to pay the full conference registration fee, please complete the application below. Recipients may receive a reduce, or waived fee to attend. Scholarships for travel and lodging expenses are not available through Disability Rights North Carolina.

To request assistance to complete a scholarship application, please email conference@disabilityrightsnc.org

Partner Scholarships

Jean Wolff-Rossi Fund Application – Scholarship for caregivers and individuals with I/DD

First in Families Application – Scholarships, per county, for caregivers and individuals with I/DD

Individuals requiring accessibility accommodations should note specifics on the registration form or email  conference@disabilityrightsnc.org.

The DEADLINE for requesting an accessibility accommodation is Monday, April 15th. Requests made after this date will be managed to the best of our ability.

  • General Admission $155
  • Attorney (CLE) $195

Admission includes access to plenary and breakout sessions, networking breakfast, lunch, and exhibitor fair. In addition, attendees will be able to sponsor a scholarship ($155) for a person with a disability to attend.

Lawyers and paralegals licensed in North Carolina can receive up to 5 CLE credit hours, including 1.0 hour of ethics credit (approval pending with the NC State Bar).

The National Association of Social Workers has approved this program for CE credit for social workers. Social workers and peer support specialists will be provided certificates of attendance (5 hrs) that may be used to obtain course credit. 

Full registration refunds minus a $25 handling fee will be given until April 15, 2024. After April 15, a refund of $75 (or the amount paid minus a $25 handling fee, if less than $75) will be issued.

Refunds will be issued by check within 21 days of receipt of a written request for a refund mailed to the attention of Cara Paolicelli, or emailed to conference@disabilityrightsnc.org. 

By registering, participants provide their consent for Disability Rights NC to photograph and record video images at the event, and to use and publish such images. 

Visit the McKimmon Center website for accomodation options.

Interested in sharing more information about our conference? Please utilize our media kit to help us spread the word!

Click on the following links to download our conference content.

Conference Save the Date

Suggested Caption: 

Last year we gathered to show that we are Stronger Together in NC. SAVE THE DATE to see what DRNC does next!

Register Now!

Suggested Caption: 

Each year, Disability Rights NC hosts a one-day conference in Raleigh, NC that focuses on what we can do to advance disability justice in our state. The annual event brings together people with disabilities, family members, policy-makers, and other professionals in the field to share, learn, and create opportunities for change.

This year, we ask you to join us in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Olmstead decision at our annual statewide conference: It’s ON! Olmstead Now in NC. In commemorating this landmark legal decision, we reflect on two and a half decades of advocating for the rights of people with disabilities to live and receive services in their community. DRNC recognizes that there is much more work to be done and the call for action cannot wait. Together we can make it happen, It’s ON – register today!

2024 Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Sponsoring DRNC’s annual disability advocacy conference demonstrates a commitment to the disability community.
  • Sponsoring our conference provides access to educational sessions and networking.  This allows sponsors to stay informed about the latest developments in disability rights, gain insights into best practices, and showcase their commitment to ongoing learning.
  • Sponsorships provide need-based scholarships for attendees with disabilities.
  • Sponsoring our conference serves as an investment in the protection and advocacy organization that safeguards the rights and lives of nearly 3 million North Carolinians with disabilities.

Sponsorships may be eligible for a tax-deferred deduction. DRNC is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. EIN: 56-1243369.

Email cara.paolicelli@disabilityrightsnc.org to learn more!

All 2024 sponsorship opportunities include ehibition space. We also invite a limited number of our partner nonprofits and disability-led vendors to be a part of the event as an exhibitor and receive exclusive access to attendees. The conference will feature an exhibitor fair of 35 partners focused on serving the disability community.

  • Exhibitor application are open – APPLY TODAY! 
  • Pricing: $600. Includes exhibitor table, two tickets to the event, and lunch/breakfast for four people total (2 attendees, 2 table reps)
    • Full and partial exhibitor scholarships are available for non-profit partners.
  • Email cara.paolicelli@disabilityrightsnc.org for more information!




Supporting Partner