Health Matters: A Day of Empowerment, Connection and Self-Care

Temple University, Howard Gittis Student Union, 1755 N. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

April 17, 2024, 9:30AM-2:30PM  

Lunch will be provided. Details will be sent after registration.

PEAL offers this event at no cost!

The event focuses on families living in Philadelphia, but families from Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks, and other southeastern counties are welcome to attend.

(Spanish interpretation and open captioning will be provided).

Register for the Health Matters Conference:

Keynote Speaker: LeDerick Horne, Poet. Speaker. Advocate. 

Supports for Success: Seven Tips for Families

This session will provide families with seven essential evidence-based tips which help support youth and young-adults development of skills like self-advocacy, self-determination, and disability disclosure. Participants will leave with a better understanding of what is needed to help their youth successfully transition to life in the adult world with a focus on education, employment, independent living, and supporting mental health. Drawing from his own experience of having a disability, author, poet, and disability rights advocate LeDerick Horne will leave the audience informed, empowered, and inspired to support their young people in school and beyond.

LeDerick Horne’s remarkable journey is a testament to the power of determination and resilience. Diagnosed with a learning disability in the third grade, LeDerick is a dynamic spoken-word poet, a respected author, and a passionate advocate for People with Disabilities. As the grandson of a prominent New Jersey-based civil rights leader, LeDerick uses his gift for spoken-word poetry to open doors to discussions on equal opportunity, self-determination, and hope for individuals with disabilities. His work addresses the challenges of all disabilities, uniting the efforts of diverse groups to achieve substantive, systemic change.

Learn more about conference sessions & speakers:

  • Chou Hallegra, Sarah Leaman and Sherell Robinson: The Toll of It All: The Impact of Caregiving on Our Mental Health & How We Can Care for Ourselves

  • Autumn Miller: But What About Sex…? Why Sexuality is Vital to Holistic Health

Chou Hallegra is the Program Manager for the Philadelphia Family Support Projects at Vision for Equality, as well as an independent mental health and inclusion consultant. Chou identifies as a person with disabilities and is the parent of three individuals impacted by developmental differences. She has been involved with different initiatives in PA for more than a decade and has devoted her life to supporting people with disabilities and their caregivers to live fulfilling lives. Furthermore, Chou is a licensed trauma-informed care trainer and a certified mindfulness coach.

Sarah Leaman is a Family Support Specialist for the Birth-Five project. She is a mother of four children, two of her children have disabilities. She was a special education teacher for ten years before stopping to support her son as they navigated early intervention services and medical appointments. She has a passion for supporting individuals with disabilities and their families navigate services and supports within their community. She has enjoyed taking the time to learn and read about the many perspectives of people with disabilities.

Sherell Robinson is a Family Navigator for the Systems Navigation and the Trauma Informed Care programs at Vision for Equality. In similar past roles and working in a paralegal capacity, Sherell has worked to improve the quality of life of those who could use an extra voice beside theirs. She has served as a long-time advocate for mental health, children’s rights and equity, and inclusivity in the built environment. Sherell is a mother to two children—one of which is neurodiverse. Functioning in and witnessing family members in the caregiver role has provided Sherell incredible empathy for a caregiver’s unique experience. She is a registered Mental Health Facilitator with the National Board of Certified Counselors and is on track to be a Certified Trauma Sensitive Professional.

Dr. Autumn Dae Miller (she/fae) is an Autistic and ADHD diagnosed trauma-survivor who loves running, yoga, and Audible books. Autumn is the Director of Behavioral Health Supports and Services for KenCrest, the secretary & treasurer on the Board of Maverique Therapeutic Services, the Resources Assistant for the Montgomery County LGBT Business Council, and the mother of 3 feline fur babies. Autumn has been educating and researching in the field of human sexuality and disabilities for over 20 years. Autumn has been an adjunct professor, guest lecturer, and subject matter expert at local colleges and universities. She has presented at state and regional conferences on trauma, sexuality, disability services, and self-care. Before her workday starts, Autumn amuses herself by celebrating the successful completion of getting ready in the morning by posting her outfits on Instagram.

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.