Welcome to the 2020 PLAN Virtual Statewide Conference

All workshops will be presented virtually by webinar on the Zoom platform. You must register for individual workshop webinars by clicking the Register for the Webinar button appearing in the workshop description and completing the registration information to be admitted into the webinar.

Pennsylvania CLE credits will be available to attorneys who actively participate in webinars and indicate their participation through polls displayed periodically during the webinars.
Monday, September 21 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Recovery Dialects: The Words we Use Matter

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Stigma is both a label and a stereotype and contributes to active discrimination against an individual or population. Terms like addict and abuse universally evoke a negative response that can lead to and reinforce stigma.

Learn positive language to effectively communicate with your client to gain their trust and defend them before judges to get the best possible outcome.


Brian Gorman

Executive Director, Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid
Brian Gorman has been the Executive Director of Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Aid (SPLA) since 2015. Prior to that, Brian served as assistant public defender in Crawford County and assistant and deputy public defender in Washington County for a total of 12 years, and he was a staff... Read More →
avatar for Melissa Ruggiero

Melissa Ruggiero

Staff Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services
Melissa Ruggiero is currently a Staff Attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services in Pittsburgh. She provides legal services for the elder law program and represents clients denied Social Security disability benefits.Prior to joining NLS in 2020, she worked for five years as Associate... Read More →
avatar for Adam Sledd

Adam Sledd

Recovery Support Services Director, Unity Recovery
Adam Sledd is the Recovery Support Services Director at Unity Recovery in Philadelphia. Adam is a person in recovery since 2011. He began his career in social services two decades ago as a special education teacher. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Special Education in 1998... Read More →

Monday September 21, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
Zoom .