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CQL Releases Breakout Sessions for 2017 Conference

The 2017 CQL Conference: Blueprint For Person-Centered Practices, is featuring breakout sessions from presenters covering a wide range of critical topics affecting human service providers and governmental agencies. These sessions go beyond principle, and share resources, guides, action steps, and practical insight that other organizations can actually apply in their daily work. Here is the listing of topics, presenters, and session descriptions. Keep in mind, all speakers and presentations are subject to change.

  • Person-Centered Training Practices For Person-Centered Outcomes
  • Supported Decision-Making: Update On U.S. Trends And Best Practice
  • Community-Based Employment: Transformation Through Personal Outcome Measures®
  • Gauging Progress Through A Person-Centered Organizational Assessment
  • Dignity Of Risk And Duty Of Care
  • PORTAL: CQL’s New Data System
  • An Interdisciplinary Approach To Person-Centered End Of Life Care
  • Human Rights, Civil Rights, Disability Rights: The Same Thing Really?
  • The Emerging Roles And Expectations Of The Direct Support Workforce: Understanding The Code Of Ethics
  • Quality Assurances vs. Person-Centered Excellence: What’s the Difference? CQL Accreditation Models Demystified
  • New CQL Tool: Rights Conversation Cards
  • Changing The Culture: From Program-Focused To Person-Centered And Person-Directed
  • Wellness Through Activity And Technology
  • Community Living And Relationship-Building: Lessons from Canada
  • Data: The Foundation For Your Strategic Plan
  • Disability Ally Initiative
  • Supporting True Transformation Through State-Wide Initiatives
  • An Innovative Sex Ed Curriculum For Persons With Disabilities
  • The First Hello: Making Community For People With Disabilities, Part 1 & 2
  • Enhancing Outcomes Through Integrated Care Partnerships
  • Personal Outcome Measures® – The Nitty Gritty of Decision-Making & New Certification Requirements
  • The Person-Centered Workplace – Empowering People, Changing Lives
  • Cultivating Compassion and Reducing Stress

The Person-Centered Workplace – Empowering People, Changing Lives

  • Stephanie Scott | St. Louis Arc
  • Nikki Jones | St. Louis Arc

As our field faces the staffing crisis, employee retention is at the forefront of conversations. One way to address this issue is to create a person-centered culture for not only the people we support, but also for staff. For the St. Louis Arc, this process was initiated by our 2012 Person-Centered Excellence Plan as a result of accreditation and our strategic planning process. There were many questions: how do we brand our culture? How do we involve the people we support in recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff? How do we build a positive relationship with employees so they feel valued? This session will explore how the St. Louis Arc is working to transform its workplace culture, from planning to implementation. Since our strategic planning process in 2014, our new hire retention rate has gone from an average of 53% to 73%. Through person-centered initiatives intentionally implemented by an organization, a culture can be changed and result in positive experiences for everyone involved.

  • Learn how to brand your person-centered culture through a strategic process, from planning to implementation
  • Understand ways to include people you support in recruiting, hiring, and retention efforts
  • Explore the utilization of data to track progress of initiatives and success
  • Leave with cost-effective ways to promote a person-centered experience for both employees and people you support

The Emerging Roles And Expectations Of The Direct Support Workforce: Understanding The Code Of Ethics

  • Joseph M. Macbeth | National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)

This session offers a chance to reflect on the evolving role and expectations of Direct Support Professionals. Many of these changes are driven by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its Federal Home and Community-Based Services Community Rule which is a radical departure from which service providers are accustomed. The future of quality supports and services will ultimately require an emphasis on ‘personal autonomy’, greater access to ‘integrated settings’ and helping people with disabilities to make ‘informed choices’. The focus of this session addresses current trends; how do we support people with disabilities to make informed decisions? What are the direct support professional’s roles in this process? What are the workforce demographics and projections to fulfill these expectations? Do direct support professionals currently possess the tools, resources, and skills to uphold this responsibility?

In learning about ethical responsibilities, Joe will act out some real dilemmas and ethical decisions that confront direct support professionals on the job every day. Using the NADSP’s Code of Ethics and the new curriculum on “Supporting Informed Decision Making”, participants will consider ways that ethical practices can be incorporated into daily practice. The beliefs and attitudes that are associated with being an effective human service professional are critical to understanding this Code – it is not the handbook of the profession, but rather a roadmap to assist us in staying the course of securing freedom, justice, and equality for all.

  • Identify strategies for helping DSPs (and others) to understand and support decision making
  • Explore the movement from caregiving to community navigating roles
  • Understand the changing expectations of the direct support workforce
  • Review the 2017 PCPID Report on the workforce crisis
  • Learn how to change an organization’s culture to attract and keep good DSPs

Enhancing Outcomes Through Integrated Care Partnerships

  • Patricia D. Nobbie | Anthem Inc.
  • Aimee Brake | Anthem Inc.
  • Kim Opsahl | ANCOR

States are rapidly moving toward integrated care and financing models for long-term services and supports (LTSS), in an effort to implement solutions that coordinate home and community-based services (HCBS) in a way that focuses on the impact of the social determinants of health for people with disabilities and older adults. Critical to the success of these solutions is fostering partnerships between managed care organizations (MCOs), community-based organizations (CBOs) and state agencies in a way that leads to the development of a systematic approach for utilizing measures that assess outcomes in the HCBS environment. This session will review the evolution of integrated LTSS; discuss opportunities to equip CBOs, MCOs, and states with the skills, training, and experience needed to effectively partner in an integrated care environment; explore the challenges of connecting the dots between existing measures; learn about Tennessee’s approach to utilizing POM in this space; and seek your insight, thoughts, and experiences in a better measures system in the evolving system delivery reform.

  • Review current trends in moving to integrated care
  • Understand what Business Acumen means and how it can be used to improve outcomes
  • Explore the variety of existing measures used by CBOs and MCOs
  • Provide perspective and feedback on current needs, challenges, and opportunities

An Innovative Sex Ed Curriculum For Persons With Disabilities

  • Michelle Garcia | Michelle Garcia, Psy.D. & Associates

You can empower people with IDD and provide them with much needed education from a multimodal approach, through a curriculum that’s unlike anything else out there. This is a fluid program that involves audits, pre/post tests and data, support for the trainers, and updates on regular intervals. It can help people throughout the lifespan, and even has lessons for all levels of ability, including those people who are not able to communicate verbally. This session will cover puberty, sexual expression, relationships, rights, and how to reduce sexually inappropriate behaviors. Through an interactive presentation, attendees will learn different ways to present information and topics that are necessary to discuss with people, and why it’s so important. Attendees will leave with some tools that they can take back to use in family homes, group homes, and day programs, as well as knowledge of this exciting curriculum.

  • Understand the importance of sexual education tailored to the needs of people with disabilities
  • Learn ways to support the rights of people with disabilities
  • Access tools that can be used for education, support, and redirection of sexually inappropriate behaviors

Human Rights, Civil Rights, Disability Rights: The Same Thing Really?

  • Leanne Roth | CQL
  • Anne Thurston | Self-Advocate

Do people supported have the right to “free association,” or are there rules that inhibit the gathering of friends together? Do people supported have the right to “freedom of religion,” or does a lack of staff and resources infringe on this right? The possible solutions to these barriers may take a little time or money upfront, but the benefits are far-reaching and will lead to innovative ideas that help people achieve more independence and inclusion. This matter-of-fact and sometimes humorous session examines how the rights of people with disabilities in full-life service are the same as the rights of people who do not have disabilities, but shares how different exercising those rights can be. Attendees will enjoy an interactive presentation full of music, laughter, and fun, while leaving with a fresh view of rights and how they apply to the people we support. Learn about rights from the point of view of a person who is in full-life service and how the implementation of those rights differs from those who do not receive services. The presentation includes practical tips and resources on how your organization can support exercising rights for people in full-life service.

  • Discover practical ways to break down barriers to exercising rights for people in full-life service
  • Learn from a person in full-life service the importance of rights in her life
  • Receive a fresh perspective on the importance of supporting people to exercise their rights

Quality Assurances vs. Person-Centered Excellence: What’s the Difference? CQL Accreditation Models Demystified

  • Katherine Dunbar | CQL
  • Jeff Shoemaker | CQL
  • Michael Clausen | CQL
  • Elizabeth Sites | CQL

Whether you work for an organization that has been accredited for years, work for an organization that is new to CQL Accreditation, accredited by another agency, or you are just thinking about whether to be accredited or not, this session is for you! These experienced CQL staff are ready to talk with you about what accreditation means, how it can help you and your organization, or help you think about some new ideas for promoting system and practice.

  • Learn what CQL Accreditation truly means
  • Find out how it can help you and your organization
  • Discover how it inspires agencies to explore new ideas for promoting system and practice

Supporting True Transformation Through State-Wide Initiatives

  • Laura Howell | Maryland Association of Community Services
  • Shawn Kros | The Arc Northern Chesapeake Region
  • Kathleen Durkin | The Arc Baltimore

There is a tremendous amount of change occurring in community-based supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and it all leads down a pathway of greater inclusion and self-direction. Most community-based providers must transform themselves in order to thrive, as well as comply with new requirements from federal and state agencies. In 2016, the Maryland Association of Community Services (MACS), the statewide nonprofit association for IDD providers, offered a 3-day immersive retreat to support 13 providers across the state in evaluating and planning to make true change in how they each provide supports. Each provider was in a different place in making change, and the retreat was individualized to help each provider begin, or accelerate, their own transformation. In this session, attendees will learn about this innovative undertaking, how it all came together, the effect it’s having on providers, and what you can do to initiate a similar endeavor in your state.

  • Learn about the immersive agency transformation retreat for 13 community-based providers
  • Gain insight into key components, including team composition, facilitation, and subject matter expertise
  • Hear from two participating providers – one mid-size rural agency, and one large urban/suburban agency
  • Discover the post-retreat transformation actions taken by participating agencies, and lessons learned
  • Participate in a Q&A on how to replicate the Moving Maryland Forward experience

PORTAL: CQL’s New Data System

  • Carli Friedman | CQL
  • Leslie Stusiak-Drew
  • Michael Clausen | CQL

Come and join us for an informal discussion of CQL’s new PORTAL database. Staff will be available to answer your questions and guide you on how to best use the system to make the most of your Personal Outcome Measures® and Basic Assurances® data.

  • How does my organization compare to national data?
  • Where are the largest service disparities for my organization?
  • How does my organization track and benchmark our progress over time?

An Interdisciplinary Approach To Person-Centered End Of Life Care

  • Krystin Petzoldt | Arc of Livingston-Wyoming
  • Sara James | Arc of Livingston-Wyoming
  • Daniel Gallagher | Arc of Livingston-Wyoming

This session will review the interdisciplinary model developed by the Arc of Livingston-Wyoming, Comfort and Support Team (CAST). CAST is focused on maintaining quality of life and holistic end of life care to the person, their caregivers, and their support network. A large challenge of interdisciplinary teams are roles and responsibilities, and delegation of tasks. The attendee will walk away with training ideas for direct support professionals and examples of how to coordinate clinical care between service providers. Additionally, this presentation will review suggestions to overcome obstacles in interdisciplinary work and how to recreate the CAST model within own agency. In addition, the attendee will learn about the CAST Dragonfly, which is a social support group for older adults who meet over the course of eight weeks. During this time, end of life issues are explored and individual wants and needs are identified and recorded. Video will be shared during the session to highlight key moments and takeaways from the group. This presentation will depict plans for the future to continue to expand the CAST model and further develop person-centered end of life planning and supports. This session will incorporate information that will be beneficial to administrative, clinical, and direct care.

  • Learn about coordinated interdisciplinary clinical care between service providers
  • Explore and better understand person-centered end of life planning
  • Identify areas of support for family, friends, and direct care staff

Dignity Of Risk And Duty Of Care

  • Jason Buckles, PhD | LPCC, A Better Way of Living

Concepts of ‘dignity of risk’ (Perske, 1972) and duty of care often drive systems of support for people with I/DD. This mixture of responsibilities may become exceedingly complex when supporting people with co-occurring mental health conditions. While much has been written about the philosophy of dignity of risk there remains a potential gap between theory and applied practice in community-based systems of support. In order to address this disparity, practitioners must understand what is meant by the terms ‘risk’, ‘dignity’, ‘duty’, and ‘care’ from both a wide perspective and within a framework of individual specific planning.

How might we balance dignity of risk and duty of care when supporting people with co-occurring I/DD and psychiatric conditions? This breakout sessions features a model of concept and applied practice from a community agency.

  • What is Risk?
  • What is Dignity?
  • Learn about the importance of risk in the cycle of education and human rights
  • Find out how you can balance duty with dignity
  • Discover one model for applied practice

Disability Ally Initiative

  • Alexa Donnelly | Person Centered Care Services (PCCS)
  • Andrea Brognano | Person Centered Care Services (PCCS)

Through diverse experiences, PCCS has come to realize that better relationships are fostered between community members and people supported, once the proper education and trainings are put in place, in areas such as: disabilities culture, communication tips, and general etiquette. PCCS began the Disability Ally Initiative in November of 2015. The Disability Ally Initiative is a multilayered approach to training and educating the larger community in the development of relationships with agencies, businesses, hospitals, and all community members, on interacting and working with people with disabilities.

  • Advance community understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities
  • Increase employment for people with disabilities
  • Improve health outcomes for people with disabilities
  • Implement person centered practices at a provider agency level

Community-Based Employment: Transformation Through Personal Outcome Measures®

  • Jenn Quigley

Transformation to community-based day and employment services can be a daunting task. This presentation will give attendees the opportunity to learn how to utilize information obtained through Personal Outcome Measures® interviews to guide the transformation planning process. Through hands-on activities, this interactive training will focus on how to create a Transformation Plan that addresses the individual support needs of the people your organization supports, while taking into account local funding requirements. Attendees will walk away with tools and skills needed to transform the organizations for which they work.

  • Find out how Personal Outcome Measures® interviews can direct your transformation planning process
  • Learn how to develop your Transformation Plan
  • Discover the specific steps needed to enact change

Gauging Progress Through A Person-Centered Organizational Assessment

  • Trina Seiling | Trinity Services
  • Kim Zoeller | Ray Graham Association

How do we effectively gauge quality? Do we have a person-centered culture? Are the person-centered plans we develop truly person-centered? Are the people we serve achieving their goals? These are questions leadership at every organization ask themselves time and time again … as they should. There is so much that goes into gauging the experiences of the people we serve and the ways staff at an organization are assisting, that answering the basic questions are difficult and at times, overwhelming. It is these questions and others that motivated IARF and its members to agree that service providers do have much to say about quality and person-centeredness. These multi-year discussions culminated into the IARF Person-Centered Organizational Assessment, a tool that providers across the country could use to gauge quality and person-centeredness, and assist them in the everyday journey to achieving and maintaining a person-centered culture.

The Assessment is designed to assist with identifying bright spots and blind spots that may not have been previously recognized in an organization. Additionally, it is useful to better understand the level of staff, department, or organizational knowledge of person-centered principles and practices. Once strengths and areas of needed growth are known, the leadership staff of an organization can move forward with intention in creating a culture that more fully-supports person-centeredness and promotes maximum independence. For person-directed practices to take hold across an organization, person-centered thinking must occur at all levels of the organization from the CEO to direct support staff.

  • Find out how the IARF Person-Centered Organizational Assessment (PCO Assessment) can be a learning tool for organizational staff in gauging quality and promoting a person-centered culture
  • Learn about the 10 scoring statements based on areas like person first language, self-direction, developing person-centered plans, residential supports, and adult learning and vocational services.
  • Discover how it incorporates CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures® in helping an organization ascertain whether its practices, policies, and procedures maximize supports

The First Hello: Making Community For People With Disabilities, Part 1 & 2

  • Dave Hingsburger | Vita Community Living Services

This two-part session will look at practical ways that support staff can help people with disabilities establish personal communities to which the belong and are valued. There will be stories and examples and lots and lots of time for questions and discussion.

  • Attend Part 2 of a two-part session
  • Explore practical ways that support staff can help people establish personal communities
  • Hear real-life stories about personal communities
  • Ask questions and participate in discussion

Community Living And Relationship-Building: Lessons from Canada

  • Chris Grayson | Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley
  • Tina Williams | Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley

How do people receiving supports leverage opportunities to live a full life and participate as valued members of their community? How can agencies establish non-traditional partnerships outside of the human services system? How can agencies transition from segregated day programs and group homes?

Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley (CLUOV) has been using the Personal Outcome Measures® for almost two decades. By measuring successes both individually and organizationally, CLUOV is responding to people’s priorities and preferences, as well as using the Appreciative Inquiry approach involving challenging issues. CLUOV’s vision includes no more group homes, no more day programs, no more workshops.

The agency is well on its way, as it does not operate or support any day programs or workshops and has recently sold one of their group homes to a developer, with two more planned sales in the works. Since the early 90’s, CLUOV has remained true to its commitment that there will never be more than four unrelated people sharing a home. People instead have the choice in where they live and how they engage.

In this session, Chris Grayson, Executive Director, and Tina Williams, Quality Enhancement Manager, will share strategies to move away from systems/programs approaches, and share examples of how people live a life of full citizenship. This presentation will detail how using Personal Outcome Measures®, combined with a bold strategic plan focusing on people, building strong communities, and workplace culture, have created momentum leading to success. Attendees will gain insight into how community development and committed relationships impact a true quality of life for people with disabilities.

  • Discover strategies for engaging with community partners and nurturing relationships
  • Learn about transitioning from traditional approaches in supports and services
  • See how these initiatives can improve quality of life for people with disabilities

Data: The Foundation For Your Strategic Plan

  • Pat Jones | The Arc of Atlantic County
  • Sue McCarthy | The Arc of Atlantic County

In 2000, The Arc of Atlantic County in New Jersey launched a strategic planning system that was developed from CQL’s quality consortium model. The system has helped them evaluate the quality of services and supports, as well as strengthen work culture and vision, so that they can work as a team to support people to accomplish the outcomes that are most important to them. In this session, attendees will learn about this system, including the data collection that The Arc uses to ensure alignment with Basic Assurances® and Factor 10. The presentation will offer a concrete example of how one organization implemented their data collection system to ensure that all CQL Basic Assurances® factors are addressed. Attendees will be provided with a tool you can take away and adjust, to use with your own organization. This session also includes ideas on different types of data that can be collected, along with strategies to make decisions on what outcomes and factors to address that will make a difference in the lives of people. The Arc will share ideas of strategies they have tried, what has worked, what has been challenging, and what they still hope to do.

  • Access spreadsheets and data collection tools that The Arc uses in decision-making
  • Utilize their strategic planning blueprint and tweak it for your own organization’s use
  • Find out about the tools and tips that The Arc has used and implemented, to help make their accreditation an integral part of the organization’s culture
  • Learn about their Human Rights Committee and will share how it was developed and how it works
  • Hear information about their various work groups, as well as how they have helped improve the lives of people supported

New CQL Tool: Rights Conversation Cards

  • Vickie Overpeck | CQL

CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has created a series of playing cards and an accompanying manual to help support staff initiative conversations about rights, responsibilities, and supports. Through a interactive card games, people receiving supports can learn about the array of rights that can be exercised, the inherent responsibilities involved, and supports that can help people along the way.

  • Learn about the new Conversation Cards covering rights, responsibilities, and supports
  • Test out the cards and play various games
  • Participate in discussion and interact with others while using the cards
  • Discover how to purchase a set for your agency

Supported Decision-Making: Update On U.S. Trends And Best Practices

  • Morgan Whitlatch | National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making

Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is a way older adults and people with disabilities can make their own decisions, by using friends, family members, professionals, and other people they trust to help understand the issues and choices faced, ask questions, receive explanations in language they understand, and communicate their choices to others. In this interactive session, we will discuss what SDM means in practical, everyday terms; why it is important in the lives of people with disabilities; and how it is emerging in practice across the United States. We will review recent local, state, and national efforts to develop innovative SDM strategies to shift practices to be more in line with supporting respect, dignity, and personal autonomy for all people in the areas of health care, person-centered planning, and independent living. The information shared during the session will be based on the work of the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making, which has been funded by the U.S. Administration on Community Living since 2014. The National Resource Center focuses on advancing research, training, and information sharing about SDM, with the goal of identifying, developing, and promoting principles and tools for interdisciplinary support of such practices across the lifespan.

  • Learn what “Supported Decision-Making” means in practical, everyday terms
  • Learn why Supported Decision-Making is important, based on research studies on the on the impact self-determination has on the lives of people who have disabilities
  • Learn about recent local, state, and national efforts to advance Supported Decision-Making across the U.S.
  • Learn how Supported Decision-Making principles can be translated into practice in the areas of health care, person-centered planning, and independent living

Wellness Through Activity And Technology

  • Sandra Moody | AHRC, New York City
  • Philip Proctor | AHRC, New York City

A health and wellness program launched by AHRC New York City combines best possible health goals and technology access, to help support people in improving and achieving outcomes involving health and wellness. The program supports their Quality Improvement Department and respective program departments, to inform, motivate, encourage, and provide opportunities to increase a person’s active participation in their wellness. Attendees will be inspired by some success stories and take away examples of how personal goals can act as a point of fusion for technology adoption, quality improvement, and healthier outcomes. This session is a blueprint for wellness, providing applicable information about AHRC NYC’s program, some success stories, and how the organization has overcome challenges and what it has learned along the way. Attendees will leave with action steps to implement a similar program, so that they can share all the benefits that optimal wellness adds to people’s lives.

  • Discover ways to use technology and data to motivate and have fun
  • Find out how to incentivize staff and people supported
  • Explore techniques to harness the power of daily activity to promote well-being
  • See the success stories, through a video highlighting some men and women supported

Person-Centered Training Practices For Person-Centered Outcomes

  • Macdonald M. Metzger | Research and Training Center on Community Living at the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota

Committed, satisfied, and competent direct support professionals (DSPs) are correlated positively with better outcomes for people receiving services. Today, training needs to be as flexible and as powerful as possible to effectively support the ability of staff to manage the complexity of person-centered services. However, sometimes our organizational training practices seem devoted to putting employees to sleep rather than waking them up to person-centered practices. Too often, the connection between training and necessary work skills is low. This session is an opportunity to refresh yourself on the power of well-organized and innovative training practices in enhancing your organization’s ability to support people in utilizing the Personal Outcome Measures® (POM) and increasing staff satisfaction and retention. This session will share research-based information on training and the results of a training study on the outcomes for DSPs and people supported, in the context of enhancing your current training practices. It will encourage you to consider the roles of employees and people served in training. It will encourage you to consider data you likely already have available (such as accreditation results, results of POM interviews, employee performance reviews, turnover and retention rates, accident/incident data, and the like) in honing in on what’s next for your organization in terms of improving or enhancing training approaches. Come prepared to share your successes, challenges, observations, and questions. Time for Q&A and group problem-solving will be included in the session.

  • Enhance strategies for ensuring a strong tie between training and staff competence, individual, and organizational goals
  • Understand the value of maximizing the power of competency-based blended learning models to achieve meaningful outcomes
  • Support DSPs and others in being self-directed learners and active organizational team members in a person-centered environment

Personal Outcome Measures® – The Nitty Gritty of Decision-Making & New Certification Requirements

  • Cathy Yadamec
  • Jill Westring | CQL
  • Jennifer Quigley
  • Betsy Burns | CQL

Have questions about the Personal Outcome Measures®, have a unique experience that has you puzzled, or just want to get clarification…come talk to the experts! Cathy, Jenn, Jill, and Betsy will be ready to answer your questions, think though your experiences, and provide clarity! Want to be among the first to learn about how the Certification Program is changing? Come learn about the exciting changes! There will time for questions and answers. This will be a self-directed session. There will be no formal presentation—just time to sit and chat. Come share your experiences and expertise with others.

  • Experience a self-directed session with CQL staff
  • Ask your unique questions about the POM and CQL Certification
  • Learn about changes coming to CQL Certification
  • Participate in a free-flowing conversation about conducting interviews and decision-making

Changing The Culture: From Program-Focused To Person-Centered And Person-Directed

  • Jeffery Keilson | Vinfen
  • Mary Beth Vargus | Vinfen

Across the country provider agencies are being challenged to provide services in a system increasingly focused on person centered and self-directed outcomes. This presentation will focus on the experiences and outcomes of one large non-profit agency in moving from a system of services that is driven by program models to one directed in meaningful ways by people with disabilities and, where appropriate, families. Vinfen provides services to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities including autism, people with brain injuries, and people with serious mental illness. The presentation will highlight the array of innovative approaches as part of a targeted and comprehensive strategy to change the culture within a well-established provider agency to one supporting the growth of self-advocacy and meaningful self-direction. The session will also look at the challenges faced by a traditional provider agency to effectively respond to the needs, hopes and dreams of people receiving supports who are very diverse in ways that are person centered.

  • Learn about the culture change of a large provider agency
  • Understand the importance of partnership with people with disabilities, families, direct support professionals, managers, and senior leadership
  • Discover strategies implemented to support people with disabilities to develop stronger self-advocacy skills
  • Identify strategies for mentoring and empowering staff to provide leadership in supporting people to gain greater control over decisions
  • Explore the impact on the day-to-day quality of life for people with I/DD

Cultivating Compassion and Reducing Stress

  • Peter Leidy
  • Anne Mitchell

Do you spend significant amounts of time caring for others in your job or personal life? Does your life sometimes feel overwhelming or stressful? Do you think more about the past or future rather than being fully present in whatever you are doing? If so, you are not alone. Mindfulness practice can help! Just as the lotus flower rises from murkiness under the water to a place of beauty and full light, mindfulness practice can bring a sense of clarity, purpose and lightness to our minds and spirits.

  • Learn what mindfulness is and is not
  • Learn how mindfulness practice literally changes our brains and brings kindness and compassion to ourselves and those around us, even in tense or threatening situations
  • Experience a short, guided mindfulness session
  • Connect with others
  • Explore many ways to bring mindfulness into your daily life, e.g., in work meetings, support relationships, and routine activities like eating, walking, working out and being in nature.