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    OCTOBER 21 – 23, 2016
    Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Richmond, BC

    Family Focus Society thanks everyone for attending the amazing 2016 Family Focus Conference.

    Watch for an online survey about your conference experience to be sent within the next couple of weeks.  Your feedback is important to us.

Greetings from Family Focus Society

Family Focus has always been a conference “for families by families”. Families face many similar issues when advocating on behalf of their children, and over the years, thousands of families have attended to learn, share ideas and experiences, and connect with one another for support and strength.

We have a long history – nearly 30 years – of providing inspiration, information, and support to families who have sons and daughters with a disability. This year’s event, taking place in Richmond October 21 to 23, marks my 11th conference.

The theme, The Value of One; The Power Of Many, speaks to family advocacy and leadership. Angela Clancy and I, Co-chairs of the Family Focus Conference, would like to invite families, individuals, and professionals to join us for this amazing event and be part of something awesome.

My own family was deeply impacted by attending the 1988 conference when our daughter was barely two years old. When we arrived, we had no idea what the future could hold for Bree-Anna. Could she go to a regular school? Would she have a good life? We had so many questions! We left three days later with a clear vision of what we wanted for her, and a good idea of how to achieve that vision successfully.

The Conference Committee is excited about this year’s program. Our objective, through the variety of sessions offered, is to provide information, resources, and support. We look forward to meeting you and hearing how you are impacted by what you learn and the connections you make.

Please watch our website for updates about our session topics and presenters. The variety of engaging topics will be of interest to families of all ages. Bring along a friend so you can share the experience and inspire each other to achieve your goals and dreams.

See you soon!

Terry Robertson,
Co-chair, 2016 Family Focus Conference


Who is Welcome to attend the conference?

We hope to offer conference sessions and activities that will be inspiring, entertaining and informative for everyone who shares our belief that:

“Families are unique, cohesive, interconnected systems, the fundamental base of our society and a source of strength, help, support and advice for each other. We believe that full societal inclusion and participation of people with disabilities is achievable” … Family Focus Society Mission Statement

The 2016 conference will include topics of interest to families, self advocates, and professionals in the areas of family leadership, financial planning, advocacy, early intervention, housing, governance models, transitions and education.

Program at a Glance

October 21

  • 9:00am - 10:30am Opening Plenary
  • 11:00am - 12:15pm Concurrent Sessions
  • 12:15pm - 1:15pm Buffet Lunch
  • 1:30pm - 2:45pm Concurrent Sessions
  • 3:15pm - 4:30pm Concurrent Sessions
  • 4:30pm - 6:30pm Marketplace & Reception

October 22

  • 9:00am - 10:00am Keynote Presentation
  • 10:30am - 11:45am Concurrent Sessions
  • 11:45am - 12:45pm Buffet Lunch
  • 12:45pm - 2:00pm Concurrent Sessions
  • 2:15pm - 3:30pm Concurrent Sessions
  • 3:45pm - 4:45pm Closing Plenary
  • 6:00pm - Midnight Celebration Dinner & Dance

October 23

  • 9:00am - 10:30am Pancake Breakfast and Storytelling Panel

Full Program Chart

Marketplace Registration

Financial Support – OFFER CLOSED


Venue & Accommodation

The 2016 Family Focus Conference will be held at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, 7551 Westminster Hwy, Richmond.

Rooms have been reserved for Family Focus delegates at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel from October 21 -23 at a conference rate of $145.00 per room, per night plus applicable taxes, based on single or double occupancy.  Applicable taxes are:  5% Goods and Services Tax plus 10% Hotel Room Tax and 1.5% Destination Management Fee.

For reservations contact the hotel and let them know you are attending the “Family Focus Society – FJ18AA” to access the discounted rate.

To ensure you receive the discounted rate, please make your reservation prior to October 3, 2016.

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Family Focus

The Family Focus Society was created in 1987 to organize conferences for families, by families.

Family Focus conferences bring together family members, self advocates, service providers, community partners and friends together to share their experiences, to learn and celebrate coming together and supporting one another.

The Family Focus Society believes families are unique, cohesive, interconnected systems, the fundamental base of our society, and a source of strength, help, support and advice for each other.

Our Conferences

The first Family Focus Conference was held in Kelowna in 1987. Fifty people were expected to attend and the organizers were overwhelmed when over 300 attended! The great success of this initial conference, which allowed families to meet and share information, prompted other communities to come forward over the subsequent years to host 14 conferences, usually in partnership with one or more local agencies.

Conferences were held every year until 1995 and then in 2001 and 2003. The 2006 conference was held in Richmond; the 2008 conference was held in Prince George and co-hosted by AiMHi; and the 2010 conference was held in Whistler and co-hosted by the BC Association for Community Living and the Canadian Association for Community Living. The most recent conference was held in 2012 in Langley and co-hosted by the Langley Society for Community Living.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our sponsors for their generous support



Interested in becoming a sponsor? Get in touch