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March 11, 2013

SAGE Brings LGBT Aging to the 2013 Aging in America Conference

Today’s post is from Serena Worthington, Director of Community Advocacy and Capacity-Building. Follow her on Twitter.

Serena Picture One of my favorite conferences of the year, the American Society on Aging’s 2013 Aging in America Conference, starts tomorrow in my home city—Chicago! Aging in America—or as it is often casually referred to by attendees, ASA—is the nation’s largest aging conference. According to their Facebook page (get on over and friend them!) “over 3,000 professionals in the fields of aging, health care and education will gather to hear from experts, collaborate with colleagues, and share best practices and innovations.”

The conference runs from March 12-16, and this year, SAGE staff are involved in 14 of the more than 41 workshops and poster sessions related to LGBT issues, HIV and aging, and sexuality. Our friends at ASA put together a handy-dandy guide, LGBT, Sexuality, and HIV/AIDS and Aging Sessions, to all things LGBT at the conference. It’s awesome!

One highlight for me will be attending the Diversity Summit: New Perspectives on Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competency on Saturday morning. SAGE’s own Robert Espinoza, Senior Director of Public Policy and Communications, joins nine other presenters for this three-hour summit on the changing face of aging in America and how the “needs of a diverse elder population will challenge the field to modify current program models or develop new models that are inclusive of all.”

Sadly, one thing I won’t be going to is Improving the Services and Supports Offered to LGBT Older Adults. This training is facilitated by Hilary Meyer, Director of the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, and Britta Larson, Director of Senior Services at Center on Halsted. The National Resource Center on LGBT Aging is a project of SAGE and funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging. The workshop they are facilitating is the complete Level 1 training for aging service providers on cultural competency in working with LGBT older adults. Why am I not going to this fantastic session? Hilary called me last week and asked me to give up my spot because the demand for the session was so high that they had to split up the facilitators and offer two concurrent sessions AND there is still a waiting list! I happily gave up my seat so that a provider from an area of the country without a trainer could take part. Well, almost happily. I was looking forward to seeing Hilary and Britta in action.

As a member of the local host committee and a proud Chicagoan, I am excited to have so many of my colleagues coming to town, so I put together a little visitor guide for them. It's a highly subjective list—there are many, many more things to do and see—obviously. These are just a few special and affordable (or free) places that are within walking distance of the conference hotel—Serena style!

Serena's List of Cool Cheap, Things to Do Near the ASA Conference Hotel

If you are tweeting from the conference, I would love to know your Twitter handle. Follow me at @SAGE_serena where I’ll be sending out updates all week on ASA using #aia13!

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