Occurring every fall, the Deaf Empowerment Symposium’s main focus is the empowerment of deaf and hard of hearing people.  That objective is pursued by having guest speakers present information concerning a variety of topics of possible use to people with hearing loss.

23rd Annual Deaf & Hard of Hearing Empowerment Symposium

Join us Saturday, October 12, at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Lake Ozark, MO, for the 23rd Annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Empowerment Symposium. This year, we will offer two workshops presented by Corey Axelrod. These sessions will address social inclusion challenges within the Deaf Community and how to make systematic changes through legislative advocacy.

Free and open to the public; CEUs for this event are available to registrants of the Missouri Interpreters Conference

Click here to make your reservation at Margaritaville Lake Resort (formerly Tan-Tar-A); group rate available until September 11!


7:00-8:30 a.m. Governor’s Proclamation Breakfast

8:30-11:30 a.m.  Session 1: Addressing Social Inclusion Challenges Within the Deaf Community

While the Deaf community has made strides to address systemic issues impacting the social, educational and economic well being of members within the Deaf community, much more needs to be done. Continuing these efforts require understanding the various barriers, including social perceptions, and their negative impacts on building and sustaining real social inclusion. This presentation aims at strengthening strategic capacities for systemic changes and will explore how a strong, unified Deaf community can effectively identify, prioritize and address systemic issues affecting the Deaf community. Particular attention will be given to equipping attendees with tools and strategies to confront and counter privilege, bias and oppression.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Lunch

1:00-4:00 p.m.  Session 2: Systematic Changes through Legislative Advocacy

Advocating for a positive systematic change through a legislative action is a challenge many individuals avoid taking on because it often seems to be a daunting, impossible task. When done correctly, legislative advocacy efforts create a long-lasting, profound impact on the Deaf community as legislation is implemented to address a systematic issue. As systematic change rarely comes with a complete overhaul, but a series of moderate changes, Corey Axelrod will discuss how to break down systematic issues in smaller components, prioritizing these components and mobilize support for changes to make a difference in the Deaf community.

7:00 p.m.  Missouri Interpreters Conference Banquet (additional cost; see Interpreters Conference page for more information)