Charting the LifeCourse Showcase 2024: Continuing the Journey!

Colorful emblem with a graphic representation of people in the middle and components of a person's life around it.

April 23-25, 2024

Kansas City, Missouri

Last year, Rachel Milano-Davis shared the Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) Framework with us. She introduced how we planned to explore, learn and share CtLC as Values began to chart our path forward. Read the 2023 blog here.

In April 2024, members of our Values’ team attended the 8th Annual Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) Showcase in Kansas City, Missouri. Continuing our journey were Lynn Alexander, Kristian Smith-Diaz, Marian Frattarola-Saulino, Rachel and me. Several of us also had the pleasure of presenting at the Showcase. This was my first time attending the Showcase. The theme of this year’s Showcase was “Embrace the ALL!”. The Showcase provided the opportunity to come together with a network of people. Participants included advocates, family members, community members, and professionals. Together we explored CtLC’s impact on personal growth and community engagement. There was also a focus on policy advancements and technological innovations. The intent of coming together in this way was to promote self-determination and the “Good Life for All”.

Keynote Takeaways

The Keynote Kickoff featured a presentation from Christopher Worth, a CtLC Ambassador. Chris is also a fellow Ph. D. candidate at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. Chris shared his personal story about discovering himself through Dignity of Risk. He shared how taking risks have been an important part of his life journey.  Chris shared how he used the Charting the LifeCourse framework to explore possibilities. Using the CtLC tools, Chris “dived into” the opportunities that life had to offer him.

Chris was born with a disability but does not let that disability define who he is! Chris is a community organizer, a professor, a writer, a poet, and a visual artist. He is a faculty member for UMSL Office of Inclusive Postsecondary Education. This is a program that promotes inclusive education. The program guides people with disabilities in pursuing higher education. Chris has such a unique and dynamic voice and has written about disability as a “culture”. He shared how this frames a basis for creating change through community organizing. Chris has done advocacy work in the field around inclusive education. His advocacy work also includes promoting sexual health for people with disabilities. But above all, he promotes the dignity of risk in one’s life.

Chris Worth, a disabled white man with a beard and long hair, wears a tan outfit and rests a paint pallet covered in bright colors on his lap as he paints a large picture.

Photo Source

Chris exemplifies the true spirit of the CtLC framework.  For me, Chris unlocked the endless possibilities that using the tools can spark. I came away from that room with my head spinning in ways to use the framework that I had not considered. And that was only the beginning!  Chris’s Keynote set the stage for a variety of other opportunities to experience CtLC in action! 

The Overall Experience

Spotlight Sessions highlighted the ways people use the CtLC tools to support a good life. Track Breakout Sessions focused on building individual skills and enhancing support to families. Other sessions promoted Person-centered practices, organizational alignment and systems level change. Education and transition were yet another focus. There was something new to learn and share from every session!

The benefits of the Showcase were many-fold. We continue to work together as a community to embed the CtLC framework into our everyday life and work. Take aways from the Showcase were invaluable! Their value will be helpful as we continue our journey forward.

To find out more about what happened at Showcase 2024, follow this link.