The goal of getAwareLive 2017 was to bring together leaders and professionals in the vocational rehabilitation (VR), disability advocacy, workforce, and technology industries to share and learn from each other. Conference attendees told us we hit the mark.
Attendees told us through a post-conference survey and anecdotally that they strongly benefited from attending the first-annual event. About 150 people came to getAwareLive 2017, including representatives from 30 state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies.
More than 90% of attendees said they were “very satisfied” overall at the event, according to the survey. Additionally, 90% of keynote presenters received the highest rating of “excellent.” Keynotes included Joseph Jones, the executive director of The Harkin Institute; Janet LaBreck, former RSA Commissioner; Scott Sanders, executive director of NASWA; David Steele, RSA fiscal chief; Joelle Brouner, director of Colorado VR agency; Sally Hogshead, CEO of Fascinate, Inc.
It was particularly telling how much everyone valued the ability to interact directly with peers in the industry. The highest-rated aspect of the conference, according to the survey, was that it provided “a forum for exchange of information with other participants” (95% ranked as “excellent). The education and learning opportunities also scored high with 85% of attendees calling the training “very good” or “excellent.” Many of the training sessions centered on maximizing the features within Aware.
“The main message emerging from feedback was that everyone greatly benefited from the assembling of state VR agencies, national partners, like the RSA, NASWA, and The Harkin Institute, as well as technology companies, such as Microsoft, Monster, VFO, Libera and Tableau,” said Alliance CEO Chris M. Pieper. “We’ll take our learning from this year and make 2018 even bigger and better.”
Stay tuned for news about the 2018 conference. We’ll be announcing location and dates soon.