The Karen Gaffney Foundation
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The Get Moving program provides motivation and support to people with developmental disabilities and their families who want to maintain and or achieve a high level of physical fitness.

Presentation Proposal for Get Moving

Audience: Audience: Self advocates, family members of people with Down Syndrome.

Title: Get Moving

Presentation Proposal:

When Karen was born some doctors held little hope for what she would be able to accomplish in her life and what she would be able to contribute to society. One of them even told her parents that she would be lucky if she ever learned to tie her own shoes.

Thirty years later Karen has defied all of the odds by refusing to be stopped by what some people saw as a limited potential. In 1997 Karen graduated from Saint Mary's Academy, a prestigious college prep school in Portland, Oregon, with her regular high school diploma. In 2001, she obtained she obtained her Associates Degree from Portland Community College and received her teacher's aide certification. Then, the summer after graduating from college, Karen became the first person with Down Syndrome to complete a relay swim across the notoriously treacherous waters of the English Channel. Currently you can find Karen working as a teacher's aide in an inner city Head Start program for disadvantaged youth. When she is not working with children, Karen is busy fulfilling her responsibilities as the President of the Karen Gaffney Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion for people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities that she founded in her senior year of high school.

In this workshop Get Moving Karen Gaffney will discuss how consistent physical exercise has played a critical role in contributing to her success both in the classroom and in the swimming pool. In this workshop, designed for self advocates, their parents and family members, participants will learn how physical fitness impacts social and academic development, helping athletes to stay more alert and focused in the classroom and workplace. Participants will have the opportunity to design a workout plan that meets their own goals and interests.

We believe that people are always more successful with the support of others. As a part of attending this workshop participants will have the chance to find a fitness buddy that will help support them through their journey. The Karen Gaffney Foundation will provide a link from our website where we will publish success stories from these workshops, provide links to fitness resources and events, and host a chat forum where participants can communicate with each other after the conference is over. We will also send out a new letter to anyone who is interested in receiving it, or who does not have access to the internet.

Introductions and Expectations (15 minutes)
Presentation Ð Karen Gaffney Ð Sharing my experience (15 minutes)
Presentation Ð Bri Maier Ð Benefits of physical activity (15 minutes)
Community building Ð A time to connect (30 minutes)
Conclusion (15 minutes)

Presenters: Karen Gaffney and Bri Maier

Education and Experience in area of content:
Karen Gaffney graduated in 2001 from Portland Community College with an Associates of Science Degree and her Teacher's Aide Certificate. Karen is a young woman with Down Syndrome who travels around the country as a motivational speaker advocating for people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities to be fully included in classrooms, the workplace, families and communities. Karen became the first person with Down Syndrome to successfully complete a relay swim across the English Channel in 2001. Today Karen Gaffney is the President of the Karen Gaffney Foundation and works as a Teacher's Aide for a Headstart program in Portland, OR.

Bri Maier graduated in 2003 from Winona State University in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Therapeutic Recreation. While Bri was attending school she worked part-time at a group home in Winona, MN. She moved to Portland to complete her internship with Portland Parks & Recreation, Disabled Citizens Recreation. Today Bri is the Director of the Karen Gaffney Foundation where she is supporting Karen in her mission to create an inclusive society for all people.

The Karen Gaffney Foundation
PMB 199
25 NW 23rd Place, Ste 6
Portland, OR 97210

Office Phone: (503) 973-5130
Alternative Phone: (503) 781-8621

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The Karen Gaffney Foundation
PMB 199
25 NW 23rd Place, STE 6
Portland, Oregon 97210-5120

Phone 503.973.5130