On September 11, IF Fellows Dennis Boyer, Adolf Gundersen, and Pete Shively, along with Wisconsin Coordinator James Schneider and IF Facilitator Donna Weikert, participated in a day-long interactive summit organized by the Madison, Wisconsin-based non-profit Orchids FASD Services. “FASD”, which stands for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders, has life-long effects and, according to the summit’s organizers, is among our least-known, most-invisible, and most challenging of neurological conditions. The summit’s principal purposes were to give those affected by FASD and their caregivers and advocates a voice in the larger community and to lay the groundwork for a larger state-wide meeting in Wisconsin in 2016 by pinpointing topics of concern and launching a planning committee. IF’s roles were first, to help Orchids think through a suitable discussion approach and materials and, second, to facilitate the five small group discussions—made up of those directly affected by FASD and a variety of professionals who serve them—in exploring concerns and possible means of addressing them, much as IF project discussions do. The results of the day’s events will be used by Orchids in subsequent grant proposals for the 2016 conference and publicized for use in outreach and education efforts.
IF is pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to this worthy cause.