In December 1985, a call went out from Keith Frank at Emporia State University to initiate a regional conference for service providers. The goal of the regional meeting was to provide the best possible services to students with disabilities by helping each other. Thus was born the first Great Plains regional spring conference, designed with two important criteria: to be inexpensive and enjoyable. The first conference was held at Council Grove Lake. For many years following, the Great Plains conferences were held at Tall Oaks Conference Center in Linwood, Kansas.
At the 1987 conference, Arden Boyer-Stephens organized a steering committee to initiate a Missouri AHEAD chapter. Our mission was to develop a stronger local communication network. This network would strengthen the professionalism, expertise and competency of personnel working with students who have disabilities at two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education.
Past activities of Missouri AHEAD have included:
- Improvement of programs through substantial networking opportunities
- Participation in a Great Plains regional conference
- A member listserv
- Sponsorship of workshops on current topics
- Development of resource materials
- Presentations to community and professional organizations
- A member newsletter
- Campus visits