Health Matters: Supporting Children & Youth with Disabilities (Pittsburgh)

Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

April 20, 2023, 9:00am -3:00pm.  Lunch will be provided. Details will be sent after registration.

PEAL offers this event at no cost!

A one-day conference for parents and professionals, with a unique leadership strand for youth. Event is focused on families living in Event is focused on families living in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayetteville, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties, but all are welcome to attend.

(Spanish interpretation and open captioning will be provided).

Youth Leadership Session:

In this day session for youth, we will talk about the tools of self-advocacy and self-awareness. We will craft a vision of what we want our future to look like, and discuss how that vision can be achieved through advocating for ourselves and our needs. The youth will have their own room that will stream the keynote, so that folks can have a quiet space to draw, or craft as they listen. We will discuss the presentation together before jumping into our session.

Pittsburgh Health Matters Resources

(click above for link to resources from the event)

Keynote Speaker: Guy Stephens, Executive Director, Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint

Misunderstood: How Children with Disabilities are Often Misunderstood at School and What You Can do to Help 

Misunderstood kids are more likely to be restrained, secluded, suspended, expelled, and subjected to corporal punishment. Children with disabilities, Black and brown children, and children with a trauma history are more likely to be misunderstood, mistreated, and subjected to exclusion. The punitive discipline cycle traumatizes children and leads to an increase in stress-related behavior.

Children are often misunderstood in the name of behavior. Outdated approaches to behavior and classroom management often lead to an increase in stress behaviors. In this session, we will discuss how a little bit of neuroscience and a different lens on behavior can reduce and eliminate punitive practices. We’ll talk about how parents and caregivers can better advocate for their children’s needs and remove barriers to inclusion.

Learn more about Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint and Guy Stephens

Guy lives in Southern Maryland with his wife and two amazing children. Guy started The Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint to raise awareness about the use of restraint and seclusion in classrooms across our nation. He has been meeting with local, state and federal lawmakers to support legislation to ban seclusion in schools across the nation.

Learn more about conference sessions & speakers:

  • Al Condeluci: Social Capital: Why Friendships and Relationships Matter
  • Ta’lor L. Pinkston: Self-Care
  • Pennsylvania Health Law Project: Waiver Eligibility & Access to Services
  • Spotlight: Local Providers & Opportunities

Al Condeluci, PhD

Dr. Al Condeluci has been a leader in community building, human services and inclusive advocacy work for the past 50 years. Holding a PhD and MSW from the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Condeluci served as the CEO of CLASS (Community Living and Support Services) a major nonprofit, community building organization in Pittsburgh, PA from 1973 to 2019. He holds faculty status at the University of Pittsburgh in the Schools of Social Work, and Health, Rehab Sciences and is author of 7 books including the acclaimed, Interdependence: The Route to Community (1995) and Social Capital: The Key to Macro Change (2014). In 2018, he received the “Key to the City of Pittsburgh,” the highest civilian honor that can be given to a community member.  He serves as a consultant, advisor, and human service coach and is on a number of nonprofit boards and government commissions on state, local and national levels. He can be reached at, or @acondeluci on Twitter.

Self-Care with Ta’lor L. Pinkston

Ta’lor L. Pinkston is the founder and creator of The Heart Advocate. she is a Self-love Therapist and Activist who is dedicated spreading the message of self-love and how to choose it as a coping skill for mental health and healing. Learn more about The Heart Advocate at

PEAL promotes inclusion and access to education and healthcare and empowers families and young adults across Pennsylvania with support of funding from federal and state partners, nonprofit organizations and donors. This project, in part, is funded by the Pa. Department of Health’s Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant. To learn more about our funders and donors, please visit the first page of our website:
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H84MC26214 Family Professional Partnership/CSHCN $113,964. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.