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The Annual Family Cafe

This Year's Annual Family Cafe

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The first and most important concern for The Family Cafe, our Board of Directors, and The Family Cafe Planning Committee has always been the health, safety, and well-being of the people with disabilities and families we serve. When we first began talking about the coronavirus pandemic and how it might impact our event weeks ago, we knew that whatever action we took would be guided by that concern.

Now that the time for The 22nd Annual Family Cafe is almost here, it's clear that it won't be safe to gather thousands of attendees together the way we usually do. That's why we've put plans in place to transform The 22nd Annual Family Cafe into a virtual event.

Despite the change we've been forced to make, we are committed to bringing you as much of the information and resources that you would find at a face-to-face Annual Family Cafe as we possibly can.



What will a virtual version of The 22nd Annual Family Cafe look like? Here's what we have planned:

The virtual 22nd Annual Family Cafe will kick off on Friday, June 5th. Instead of three days, we'll be spreading things out over two weeks. Live content will be streamed through our Facebook page at twice daily at 11 AM ET and 2 PM ET between Friday, June 5th and Friday, June 19th, with the exception of Sunday the 7th and Sunday the 14th.


This virtual content will include a number of live streamed breakout sessions, which will allow for moderated Q&A. All three of our scheduled Keynote speakers will be part of the agenda, and the virtual event will also include The Annual Governor's Summit on Disabilities with content provided by Gov. DeSantis and Senate President Bill Galvano. Over the two weeks, The Family Cafe will also be posting content from partners including the Florida Disabled Outdoors Association, Pyramid Players, and others that usually take part in The Annual Family Cafe.

The Family Cafe has printed a full event program, with descriptions of every breakout session, including both those that will be part of the live virtual event and those that had been planned for the face-to-face event but could not be delivered live. The program includes contact information for the presenters so families can reach out to them with questions. Every attendee registered before May 1st will receive a program in the mail, and it can also be found online here. We are also inviting presenters that could not be included in the live virtual event to share their presentation materials with us, so we can make them available to you electronically.

You also might be wondering about the Exhibit Hall, which usually hosts dozens of vendors, organizations, and agencies. While you won't be able to walk the hall and speak to exhibitors in person, we have developed an Exhibitor Catalog with information about our planned 2020 exhibitors, including micro-enterprises, and self-advocate authors scheduled to take part in our first-ever Book Fair. As with the program, attendees registered by May 1st will receive and Exhibitor Catalog by mail, and it's also online here.  


While we certainly understand that our decision to move to a virtual event may come as a disappointment to many of you, please remember that we are choosing this path out of our desire to keep everyone we serve safe and healthy. We will truly miss seeing everyone in Orlando this June, and we'll be counting the days until we can come together again in 2021!



Since 1998, The Annual Family Cafe has brought together thousands of individuals with disabilities and their family members for three days of information, training and networking each June. With a great range of individual breakout sessions, a packed Exhibit Hall with dozens of vendors, and a series of special events including Keynote speakers and The Governors’ Summit on Disabilities, The Annual Family Café offers families exposure to a wide range of public and private resources, opportunities to find support by networking with other families, and unprecedented access to policy-making officials.

The 22nd Annual Family Cafe will be a virtual event held in June!

The Family Cafe remains committed to connecting attendees with information and resources at minimal cost, so there is no registration fee for individuals with disabilities and their family members.

The Registration Brochure for The 22nd Annual Family Cafe is available for download here. It includes information on the event and how to register. Please feel free to share it with anyone in your community that might be interested in our event! 

For regular updates and additional information, please join our mailing list . You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay in touch.

The 22nd Annual Family Cafe promises to be a truly remarkable event for Floridians with disabilities and their families, and we very much hope you will be able to attend!

"See" you in June!

Creating a New Path for Yourself & Others: A Virtual Pre-Conference Summit

Summit virtual logoThe Family Cafe invites you to attend a special virtual pre-conference event: Creating a New Path for Yourself & Others.

As The 22nd Annual Family Cafe is now a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic, this pre-conference event, which was previously scheduled as a day-long event for women and female caregivers, will now take place across two weeks before The 22nd Annual Family Cafe virtual event, and be open to all, without prior registration. It will be hosted on Facebook Live at

This virtual wellness pre-con will take place in eight segments, Tuesdays through Fridays at 11 AM ET, over two weeks. Week 1 will run from Tuesday, May 19th through Friday, May 22nd; Week 2 will run from Tuesday, May 26th through Friday, May 29th.

Here's what's on the agenda:

Week 1
Tuesday, May 19th - Creating A New Path Forward with Paula Petry, PhD, followed by Finding your Rhythm Going Forward with taiko drummer Ben Miller
Wednesday, May 20th - Brain Wellness for Times of Turmoil with Cynthia L. Dougherty, Ph.D.
Thursday, May 21st - Breath, Sing & Shake with female vocal group Brazilian Voices
Friday, May 22nd - A Release, Restore & Relax Yoga with Lisa Brown, founder of Free Flowing Health

Week 2
Tuesday, May 26th - Resetting Your Nervous System with Paula Petry, PhD
Wednesday, May 27th - Sing, Move & Groove to Beats of a Drum (Family Event) with musician and sound healer Jeff Deen
Thursday, May 28th - Pathways to Peace Through Expressive Arts with expressive artist Dana Pezoldt
Friday, May 29th - Universal Law of Attraction & Planting New Seeds in Your Garden with Paula Petry, PhD

The Family Cafe understands that this is an especially stressful time for people with disabilities and their families, and we want to do what we can to help you stay mentally and spiritually well. It's our hope that our pre-conference wellness event, Creating a New Path for Yourself & Others, will help you do that!

Reserve Your Exhibit Space at The 22nd Annual Family Cafe

The Exhibit Hall at The Annual Family CafeDue to the coronavirus pandemic, The 22nd Annual Family Cafe is now a virtual event. While this means that we won't be able to host an in-person Exhibit Hall, we are still committed to connecting Floridians with disabilities with the information and resources that our exhibitors provide!

Instead of a traditional Exhibit Hall, The Family Cafe is offering every exhibitor the opportunity to be listed in The 22nd Annual Family Café Exhibitor Catalog. This full-color, printed catalog will include the name and contact information of every exhibitor, along with a 250 word description of their product or service. You will also have the chance to include one full-color image, such as a logo or photo. Every registered attendee with receive a copy of the catalog in the mail, and all 11,000+ users in our database will receive an electronic copy through our list serve.

Additionally, The Family Café will give you a $500 discount on the cost of your Exhibit Hall space in 2021!

We recognize that this is a difficult time for many businesses and organizations serving Floridians. While you consider how to get the most value for your marketing dollar, please keep in mind that The Family Café still provides the best platform to reach Floridians with disabilities and their families. It brings together a remarkably large audience of people with disabilities and their families, all of whom are searching for solutions to improve their quality of life. Last year's event attracted 12,842 registered attendees, and The 22nd Annual Family Cafe is sure to draw a tremendous audience.

To reserve your place in our Exhibit Hall, simply complete the Exhibitor Form and send it to us by fax or email.

Space is also available for Micro-Enterprises. A Micro-Enterprise is a small business owned and operated by a person with a disability. To see if your business qualifies, and to reserve a space, see the Micro-Enterprise Form.

Pictures from The 21st Annual Family Cafe

GilWms 190607 1358We're excited to let you know that all of the pictures from The 21st Annual Family Cafe are now available in our online photo gallery!

The gallery includes more than 500 images, with shots of everything from the Bag Stuffing on Thursday evening to Sunday's Duck Race. You'll also find all of the pictures of attendees with Senator Galvano and our three keynote speakers, as well as plenty of photos from our Elvis-inspired Saturday night dance. Why not take a minute to relive the fun we had in Orlando this June, and see if you can find yourself in our gallery?

You can view the complete album from The 21st Annual Family Cafe here.

We also have all of our albums available for you to view anytime in our online gallery here


Attend The 2020 FROM Pre-Con

TFROM logohe Family Cafe invites all family-run organization leaders and advocates to a special pre-conference event hosted by the Family-Run Organization Movement. The mission of FROM is to engage, support, empower and advocate for family, youth and peer-run organizations.

No matter where your family-run organization is in the nonprofit life cycle, FROM has an exciting opportunity for you: a day-long event valuable for both startups and seasoned organizations, and all those in between. Join us for the FROM pre-con to assess your status, plan your next steps, figure out your roadblocks and opportunities, and leave with an action plan for moving your family-run organization forward.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the FROM pre-con will now be hosted as a virtual event, with no registration fee.

This popular event is sure to fill up quickly, so act soon! Find the registration form here.

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