Who We Are


The Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavioral Disorders (MSLBD) had its origin in a statewide conference on behavioral disorders which began in Kansas in about 1979. Three Kansas statewide conferences were organized although they attracted participants from several other states including Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska. These spawned the creation of a regional planning group for a larger regional/national conference to be held in Kansas City.

  • The first Midwest Symposium conference was held in Kansas City at the Radisson-Muehlebach Hotel in February 1983. About 200 people attended that first meeting. 
  • The second MSLBD conference was held at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Kansas City where about 400 people attended. Each year since that time the February Symposium has been held at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center (previously Hyatt Regency at Crown Center).

Seed money from the previous Kansas conferences was used in part to establish MSLBD, and after several years those funds were eventually repaid in full to Kansas. Sponsorship of the conferences originally included: 

  • Financial support from all four state departments of education in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri & Nebraska. In-kind support to the Symposium has continued occasionally since then. 
  • Planning Committee members' Universities and School districts have also provided direct and in-kind support.

Many of the keynote presentations at the Symposium have been videotaped, view them by clicking here.

Top - 2017 TED Talk Presenters, Daniel Stewart, JoAnne Malloy, Vern Jones, Richard Van Acker; Bottom Left - Carl Smith as Carl Rogers in 1998; Bottom Right - Jon Rosell Debater as part of 1985 Young & Restless Series