In July, Little People UK delegates attended the 61st Little People of America National Conference, in Orlando, learning lots and making some great new connections to help develop LPUK in the future and continue to fully support our members.
The LPA National Conference schedule was filled with lots of workshops and activities, all designed to provide delegates with medical knowledge, social support, equipment information and chance to meet others from around the world.
Over the course of the week we went to a number of workshops which we felt would provide us with information to help our members including: Pain Management, Better Nutrition Better Life, Osteoarthritis: joint replacement and more, College 101: Tips to survive college, Exercise and Healthy Living, Making Your Home Fit You, Difference Within Difference, Schooling the Schools, Supporting Ourselves and One Another, all of these workshops offered some information which we could transfer to support our members in the UK throughout the year and during our convention weekends.
There was also an expo of equipment throughout the whole week, which exhibited equipment available for people with dwarfism, to help in their homes, cars, schools and workplaces, some of which we can obtain in the UK and would be useful to ensure everyone can live independent lives.
The conference also offered opportunity for attendees to have private consultations with a wide number of medical specialists, something we have already developed in the UK with our medical panel and one-to-one appointments and which we are looking to develop further throughout the years.
As some of us were first time attendees we attended the reception night for these delegates, this reception enabled us to meet others who were also first time attendees, getting to know people from America and around the world, we met a number of people who were hosting the reception who were all friendly and welcoming to us on our first time. I would highly recommend anyone who is a first time attendee at the LPA Conference to attend this reception.
We also attended some of the evening activities, including LPA’s Got Talent, Barty Club - Karaoke, LPA Speakers Night and the LPA Banquet Meal, these activities gave us the opportunity to mix with others in a more relaxed environment, where we could get to know more people from around the world who attend LPA.
LPA Conferences give the opportunity to go to our dwarfism specific ‘meet-ups’ I went to the Diastrophic Dysplasia meet, where there were around 15 people with diastrophic dysplasia, a few parents and also friends with other forms of dwarfism. This gave us all the opportunity to talk about issues specific to our dwarfism type, one of the main topics of conversation were car adaptions and how they differ from person to person, and also the variations due to country. There were people of all ages, including older adults, to younger children, the meet was very relaxed and everyone had the opportunity to chat and get involved. It was a great meet and I am already looking forward to the next one I can attend.
Overall the LPA National Conference was a huge success for LPUK, we had the opportunity to network with other representatives within the dwarfism community from around the world, learn information regarding how to run a conference and learn some dwarfism specific information regarding medical issues, equipment, services (which can be transferred to the UK).
A huge thank you to LPA for organising a great event and for welcoming LPUK delegates.