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CQL Releases Breakout Sessions for the 2022 CQL Conference

The 2022 CQL Conference: Lightbulb Moments is hosting breakout sessions from dozens of experts in the human services field who will share tangible, relevant, and applicable information to transform supports and improve people’s lives. You can experience all of these breakout sessions at the conference, whether you attend in-person in Las Vegas or virtually through the Zoom Events platform. Keep in mind, speakers and presentations are subject to change.


Changing A Company Culture – A Collection Of Light Bulb Moments

Susan Arwood, Core Services of Northeast Tennessee
Nick Filarelli, Core Services of Northeast Tennessee

  • Find out how to enact cultural transformation through person-centered practices, enabling technology, and an employment first philosophy
  • Gain insight into supporting happy lives, one person at a time
  • Learn about the organization’s DSP Retention Initiative
  • Ideas for creating exceptional employee experiences, one employee at a time

When the Home and Community Based Settings Rules rolled out in Tennessee the leadership team of Core Services of Northeast Tennessee was relatively new to the provider field. While the initial chatter in the provider network was avoidance and meeting minimum HCBS compliance, the Core Leadership team saw the HCBS rules as the right direction for the agency and made a commitment to not only meet compliance but to find a way to embrace and live by the rules. Looking for available roadmaps, the agency enrolled in the TN DIDD, ‘Becoming a Person-Centered Organization’ initiative and achieved Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation through CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership. This was start of a virtuous cycle of change, transforming from a service model to a support model. Agency transformation occurred through a series of lightbulb moments such as; people don’t want a lifetime of really good services – people want great lives, enabling technology is a solution to over-support, happier people create happier staff, and person-centered practices are an excellent tool for employee retention. Changes produced amazing results including the following:

  • When people allowed to choose when and what type of support they want (DSP or technology) they were 54% more likely to have Personal Outcome Measures® present in their life plus the agency experienced a 17% reduction in weekly staffing hours
  • 80% reduction in Human Rights Restrictions
  • 43% reduction in DSP turnover
  • 54% decrease in the DSP vacancy rate
  • 28% reduction in overtime cost

During this session you will hear about how the agency embarked on a journey to reinvent roles and relationships throughout the agency, creating a virtuous cycle of change that benefits people supported, employees, and the agency alike.

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Beyond The Birds And Bees: Building Relationships In A Bumble World

Molly Bulger, Center for Independent Futures

  • Find out why inclusive and accessible sex education is necessary for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Learn best practices for supporting healthy relationships, including navigating social media, and online dating
  • Discover how healthy relationships and understanding one’s own sexuality are vital parts of leading a full life
  • Explore strategies to affirm and support everyone’s right to make their own choices about their gender identity and sexual orientation

The statistics surrounding sexual abuse and people with disabilities are jarring. 90% of women with IDD experience sexual assault over their lifetime, 97% are assaulted by someone that they know and trust. 30% of men with IDD experience sexual assault, and only 3% of the abuse experienced by people with IDD ever gets reported. The combination of lack of education, lack of knowledge of resources, and communication challenges contribute to these alarming statistics. Also, many neurotypical people still have the naive belief that teaching sexuality education to individuals with IDD will cause them to act out in sexually inappropriate ways, but the reality is that education is power. Sexuality education is an evidence-based way to limit the abuse against people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Without education, many individuals with disabilities may not even realize that they are being abused. Moreover, many organizations that provide sexual assault awareness and prevention services are ill-equipped to serve the disability community. Many people, with and without disabilities, are struggling to navigate the ever-changing world of dating and relationships. Social media and online dating are now one of the most prevalent ways to meet people.

This session will be a comprehensive look at why sexuality education is a necessary, valuable, and meaningful part of support for individuals with disabilities. By offering trauma-informed sexuality education as part of our services, Center for Independent Futures has been able to include individuals with IDD in the healthy sexuality conversation. Center for Independent Futures provides participants with the tools to keep themselves and others safe in a variety of confusing and intimidating situations. Attendees of this breakout session will learn how to support individuals in navigating the difficulties of building online and in-person relationships in a healthy manner.

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It Starts By Saying Hi!

Leanne Mull, Blue Tower Solutions, Inc.
Jesus (Chuy) Campuzano, Blue Tower Solutions, Inc.
Tavarus Wesley, Blue Tower Solutions, Inc.

  • Access tools to start conversations around diversity between people receiving services and staff
  • Explore implementation strategies for organizations to bring DEI education to people receiving services
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of proactively including people receiving services in all conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion

At one point, in the disability service system, our response to staff who were hurt or upset when a person receiving services called them a rude name was to say, “Don’t take it personally”. We did then what we knew then, and now that we know better, we must do better.

“It Starts by Saying Hi!” is an interactive class created in response to the challenges faced when talking with people receiving services about the importance of understanding people of different races, religions, sexuality, and ability. The class was created with input from people receiving services, self advocates, leadership, direct support professionals, and QIDPs at traditional organizations supporting people with intellectual disabilities.

Learn the importance of a proactive plan for teaching people who receive services to embrace diversity and treat everyone with respect. Using the “It Starts by Saying Hi!” curriculum, organizations can begin the conversation about diversity, equity, and inclusion while forging bonds between support staff and the people they support. Participants will experience the class that is designed to be co-taught by staff and self advocates. “It Starts by Saying Hi!” provides tools for ongoing conversations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as ideas for “in the moment” conversations in response to people supported using “slurs” to demean another person’s (staff member, housemate, or stranger) religion, sexuality, race, or ethnicity.

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Technology As A Natural Support

Miranda Kelley, Emory Valley Center
Crystal Hicks, Emory Valley Center

  • Learn about Enabling Technology and its different types
  • Discover its relationship to person-centered practices
  • Find out how to differentiate between support and monitoring
  • Explore the use of remote supports

Through Enabling Technology, an organization can change the way they provide services. It allows services to be person-driven and increases the quality of life by providing services and support when the person desires – decreasing the over-support.

This session will describe the person-centered approach and steps taken to determine the type of technology a person may want in their lives to gain independence in areas of their day-to-day life at home, in community settings, and at their jobs. This session will include stories of people who have gained independence using technology and lessons learned.

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The Staffing Struggle Is Real: A Data-Driven Approach To Employee Engagement

Edward Matthews, ADAPT Community Network
Doug Golub, MediSked

  • Examine data by program for various providers across the U.S., based on actual staff usage
  • Compare CQL POM with staff stability over time
  • Extrapolate trends and discuss tactics for reducing turnover and increasing employee engagement

The public health emergency has highlighted what we have always known; people who care are our greatest assets and provider agencies are critical to delivering safe, quality services. The direct care workforce crisis continues to burden our field and inhibit agencies from providing the quality care to individuals that will improve outcomes and lives overall.

During this session, presenters from ADAPT Community Network in New York, and their long-time technology provider, MediSked, will provide tips for looking at unique data to examine trends across an agency and how staff turnover may affect outcomes and quality. The staff turnover issue ties directly to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) strategic pillar on coverage and access to quality care. Join us to learn tips on identifying efficiencies, opportunities to enhance what you do, and strategies for making data-driven decisions.

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COVID-19 And The HCBS Settings Rule: Where Are We Now?

Stephanie Giordano, Human Services Research Institute (HSRI)
Valerie Bradley, Human Services Research Institute (HSRI)

  • Look at trends in NCI-IDD data related to HCBS regulations
  • Explore the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery and people’s experiences and outcomes that are addressed in the HCBS Settings Rule
  • Delve into the relationship between certain demographics and outcomes that are addressed in the HCBS settings rule

In 2014, CMS finalized regulations for HCBS that states are required to meet – these regulations include important measures that ensure people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are supported in a way that respects their rights and privacy, helps them to fully take part in their communities, work in meaningful employment, and is person-centered. While state service systems have made gains toward meeting these regulations, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a setback in many of these areas for people receiving services, and many states have had to pivot and reimagine service delivery. Using information from National Core Indicators®-Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NCI-IDD) we will explore state and national progress by state Developmental Disability (DD) service systems to meet HCBS requirements as well as the impact of COVID-19 on many of these areas.

Since 1997, NCI-IDD has surveyed people with IDD and their families to understand their experiences and outcomes, currently 48 states participate in this effort. Data from NCI-IDD are used to measure state system performance for quality improvement. In 2020, NCI added an optional COVID Supplement to each of its surveys to gauge the experience of people receiving services during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this presentation, we will use data from the In-Person Survey (IPS), a direct face-to-face survey with a person receiving services as well as information from the COVID Supplement.

This presentation will look at 2020-21 NCI-IDD data on measures that are addressed in the HCBS Settings Rule such as rights and respect, community engagement, employment, and self-direction and choice. We will then look at outcomes from the COVID Supplement to explore how the pandemic affected people’s lives. We will also explore the relationship between race and ethnicity, gender, disability, and people’s experiences outcomes that are addressed in the HCBS Settings Rule.

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Effective Strategies For Managing The Difficult Employee

Dr. Thomas Pomeranz, Universal LifeStiles, LLC

  • Acknowledge and celebrate the strength of the employee/s
  • Assess the factors likely causing the employee to behave in an unacceptable manner
  • Provide the employee performance feedback more effectively
  • Enhance the employee’s self-worth on the job
  • Support the employee in accepting change
  • Improve the employee’s collegial spirit

For both the seasoned and neophyte manager the difficult employee (member of the underground) can serve as the greatest obstacle in providing an effective and team-oriented environment. This lively and to the point presentation provides the audience with ten tips for gaining and staying in control of difficult employees. Dr. Tom Pomeranz through his use of stories and humorous anecdotes details those factors which influence some employees to behave in passive aggressive ways.

Tom shares with the audience how managers need to behave to help the difficult employee conduct themselves in more socially acceptable ways. Through the implementation of five intervention approaches, detailed in the training, many difficult employees take their place as valued team members. The session compares and contrasts the use of personal power versus positional authority as a preferred management approach in resolving conflict nurtured by the difficult staff member.

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Centering The Humans In Human Services

Syard Evans, Arkansas Support Network

  • Understanding Systemic Oppression: Systemic oppression is a driving force in everyday life. In order to support others, human service professionals must understand these systems and address the consequences of these systems.
  • Accurately Valuing The People You Support: To be effective and to avoid developing resentment for people they are paid to serve, human service professionals must learn to value individuals receiving services within the appropriate cultural contexts and avoid devaluing people based on personal value systems.
  • Developing Self Analysis & Awareness: Human service systems are structured to ensure that human service professionals have power and privilege not afforded to service recipients. Professionals must learn to recognize this power and disarm the harm associated with it.

Many human service professionals enter into the field with high hopes of making a positive difference in the world. However, if professionals are not careful, it’s easy to find themselves burned out and resentful of the people they are paid to support. A better understanding of systems of oppression, genuine human value, and self-awareness are essential to combat the challenges of this work. This session explores lessons learned over two decades of human service and social justice work. Participants will learn strategies to be productive advocates for individuals supported and a better allies for all marginalized people.

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Reducing And Eliminating Rights Restrictions And Advocating Guardianship Changes

Heidi Paulson, Life Skills and Transition Center
Heidi Lien, Life Skills and Transition Center
Allison Skari, Life Skills and Transition Center

  • An overview and examples of Rights Restoration Plans and Individual Rights Training
  • Learn tips for how to assist people supported to request changes to guardianship orders
  • Explore data on the efficacy of the agency’s efforts to promote change in guardianships

The Life Skills and Transition Center (LSTC), located in North Dakota, embraced a robust goal of assisting people to learn about their rights, to advocate for themselves, and to reduce and eliminate restrictions. This involved the development of a Rights Restoration Plan for each person served by the LSTC. Formal education on Human Rights and the CQL concepts of Ask, Advocate, and Act, as well as Education, Experience, and Exposure, was provided in a variety of group settings.

In 2017, North Dakota passed a law requiring 5-year reviews of all guardianships. In response, the LSTC began an aggressive campaign to assist people to request reviews and changes to their guardianship orders.

This session will provide examples of rights restoration plans and person-initiated court changes to guardianships. Attendees will learn specific ideas and strategies – with accompanying materials and takeaways – to establish a system to track which rights are restricted and when those rights are restored. This will allow agencies to evaluate their progress towards the goal of enhancing quality of life!

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Sparking Support For Your Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Initiatives

Marlia Fontaine-Weisse, Care Design NY

  • Learn to develop a DEI business case that brightens your prospects for leadership support
  • Review best practices to avoid common mistakes made while developing the DEI business case
  • Use the provided tools and example initiatives to get you started on the right path

The diversity landscape of the workforce has been rapidly changing for the past several years. With these changes also comes a shift in expectations about employers. Employees and job seekers alike want to work for organizations that value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as nearly 80% of respondents in a recent CNBC workforce survey indicated. To remain competitive – especially in this hiring market – businesses need to move beyond the moral imperative of valuing diversity and take action to implement initiatives that lead to measurable results.

The challenge for many leaders is overcoming the three Bs: Budget, Buy-in, and Balance. Financial resources are tight, prompting lean operations across the board. Without a direct link to the bottom line, senior leadership are quick to dismiss new initiatives, especially in areas where they have limited experience. And lack of dedicated DEI personnel means other resources need to find the balance between functional requirements and the added responsibilities in this space. With the internal and external pressures to do this work, what is the right first step to transition DEI from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a business imperative?

During this session, discover how the right business case can illuminate the importance of implementing DEI initiatives at your organization, sparking support from senior leadership. More than a document of value statements, the DEI business case addresses specific diversity-related challenges at your organization that can be solved for using industry best practices. With recommendations for getting started, learn to apply steps that lead to success and avoid common pitfalls. By the end, walk away with examples of low-to no-cost initiatives that can bring your organization’s DEI path forward out of the dark.

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Healing From Trauma Through The Positive Identity Support Approach

Karyn Harvey, Park Ave Group

  • Find out how trauma is a reality in the lives of people with IDD
  • Discover how the positive identity approach facilitates healing from trauma
  • Receive and learn about workbooks and other materials for positive identity support

This presentation will share the sources of trauma for many people with intellectual disabilities and the effects of that trauma on mental and behavioral health. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and ways in which those symptoms are often misinterpreted as behavioral problems will be explored. The key ingredients for healing will be presented and the positive identity approach will be introduced. Along with the approach, a variety of workbooks and tools will be introduced that can be used by anyone working with someone to build a positive sense of self and identity. The connection between positive identity and healing from trauma will be demonstrated through the use of case studies.

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Ah-Ha Moments: Increasing Individual Outcomes In HCBS Services Through Staff Development

Carol Britton Laws, Institute on Human Development and Disability/UGA
Michaelyn Wilson, Institute on Human Development and Disability/UGA

  • Learn about an evidence-based model demonstration project focused on replicable staff level interventions
  • Capacity-building training strategies to improve outcomes in choice, relationships, and health
  • Find out how to map out career paths for staff development and retention
  • Discover how data are used to mitigate reportable incidents at the organizational level

The Living Well Georgia Project is a model demonstration project which shows how innovative interventions at the direct support level improves the quality of supports and outcomes for people receiving support. The project applies evidence-based practices and innovative strategies focusing on improving services and reducing and mitigating the incidence of and risk factors for abuse and neglect in organizations that support people with developmental disabilities living in the community. A focus of the project is on strengthening the knowledge, skills, specialization, retention and advancement of direct support professionals. The project partners with five community-based provider organizations to implement a number of online and in-person training interventions aimed at increasing individual choice, social relationships, health and wellbeing, meaningful activities, and person-centered practices.

This session will describe the interventions used – which are nationally available and replicable, successes, and challenges of implementing the project during a pandemic, and attainment of individual outcomes as measured at the organizational level.

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Evidence-Informed, Data-Driven Best Practices For Person-Centered Supports In HCBS

Lindsay DuBois, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Tonie Sadler, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Bevin Croft, Human Services Research Institute (HSRI)

  • Learn best practices for delivering person-centered supports to HCBS participants
  • Gain perspectives from HCBS participants and providers on their experience of person-centered supports and how to improve them
  • Explore how states and providers can use existing data to assess delivery of person-centered supports

Supporting independence and dignity for people who use home and community-based services (HCBS) is at the core of person-centered services. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the vulnerability of the home and community-based services system, and in particular, shed light on the complexity of job skills needed to provide essential services to people with disabilities and older adults, including person-centered supports.

Evaluating and developing an evidence-informed, data-driven approach to delivering person-centered supports is essential for enhancing and valuing a trained direct service workforce. While a variety of guidelines and competencies for HCBS workers exist, including the competency domains identified by the National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems (NCAPPS), data examining the effectiveness of person-centered supports in improving outcomes and the quality of life for people who receive services is limited.

This session will share evidence-informed, data-driven best practices of person-centered supports for people with disabilities receiving HCBS based on peer-reviewed and grey literature, along with key informant interviews with HCBS participants and providers. We will explore how both recipients and providers of HCBS experience person-centered training, planning, and practice and their perspectives on how to improve and enhance service delivery. Additionally, we will present examples of how different states are using available data to assess delivery of person-centered supports. Findings will provide insight into the competencies needed to train and retain an HCBS workforce skilled in person-centered supports. We will conclude with a group discussion on identifying and overcoming barriers of implementing person-centered supports.

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Lessons From A Paper Airplane

Ryan Orcutt, CHI Friendship
Jon Opgrand, CHI Friendship

  • Learn tips to get everyone on board with the POM
  • Find out how to use POM data to take action
  • Receive takeaways to get you started

Take a simple document and transform it into something that really moves! Not only will we take a trip down memory lane with a little airplane fun, but we’ll look at the Personal Outcome Measures® in a whole new way.

How would your company be different if you had buy-in from every employee in every position when it comes to the Personal Outcome Measures®? What if real change happened after a Personal Outcome Measures® interview? Could your organization’s Personal Outcome Measures® data assist in making company-wide decisions? In this session, you’ll see how the Personal Outcome Measures® can be incorporated into every area of your organization, and how your documents are way more exciting when they can take off!

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Using Person-Centered Principles To Meet The HCBS Settings Requirements

Kathy Carmody, Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities
Kim Zoeller, Ray Graham Association
Kim Cornwell, EP!C

  • Learn strategies for aligning services with the HCBS Settings Rule requirements
  • Access tools and resources you can use to explore key Settings Rule topics with people supported
  • Discover lessons learned from provider agencies

This session will share strategies and resources provider agencies can adopt or adapt to promote compliance with the Settings Rule within HCBS programs. The panel will share how a state association supported provider agencies to understand, embrace, and implement the Settings requirements in existing HCBS programs. Provider agency representatives will share resources they developed to support staff in exploring areas critical to the Settings Rule with people they support. Throughout the session we will highlight the integration of CQL principles and values in examining and adapting agency services, resources, and practices to align with the Settings Rule.

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Supporting Relationships In The 21st Century

Karyn Harvey, Richcroft
Kevin Drumheller, Richcroft
Vik Aurora, Focus EduSolutions

  • Explore the importance of friendships as well as relationships with significant others for people with IDD
  • Access educational materials for supporting people to relationship-related skills
  • Learn about an app to assist people in establishing friendships and relationships

This presentation will be in three parts. The first part will explore the importance of friendships as well as relationships with significant others for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities for three aspects: healing from trauma, developing a positive sense of self, and fostering resiliency. The second part will be the presentation of educational materials designed to support people with IDD in acquiring relationship, critical decision making, and discernment skills. These materials are illustrated stories with choices and lessons in simple and accessible language that can be used as both teaching tools and interactive entertainment. Finally, the last section will be the presentation of a dating app called “Hello, it’s me.” This App is designed to support the making of friends and discovery of significant others. There are protective mechanisms in place as well as opportunities for play and interaction. This App will be demonstrated in the presentation.

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Continuity Of Supports Through Succession Planning

Lucy Klym, Opportunities for Positive Growth, Inc.

  • Learn about leadership development
  • Gather valuable insight into transition supports
  • Find out about the impact of continuity of services
  • Experience a case study in succession planning

Employees benefit from succession planning within an organization by knowing the continuity of organizational leadership. This adds a level of security to the employee experience. As human service organizations, sustainability is essential to goal development and strengthening of supports for people served. Building a strong succession planning structure within an organization benefits people supported by ensuring the mission, vision, and values of an organization remain intact during any leadership or employee transition. This sets a foundation to limit disruptions that turnover, organizational change, or leadership shifts may present

This breakout session will cover necessary steps to overcome hurdles in transitions and succession planning to promote continuity and forward movement of supports. Ultimately, each organization wants to ensure people’s dreams come to fruition through stable and strategic supports. To accomplish this ongoing task, organizations must have a strong foundation, focus on systems to ensure sustainability through training and documentation, build a forward-thinking workforce, and communicate, communicate, communicate! Did I mention communication?

As a case study in succession planning, Opportunities for Positive Growth, Inc. (OPG), shifted from organizational founders to new leadership in 2019. This transition took over a decade of planning. Ultimately, the continuity of supports for people was the origin of the succession planning decision. The focus on the mission of “Inspiring People in the Pursuit of a Rewarding Life” ensured that each employee had the tools and resources to continue care of services for years to come. This organizational transition at OPG revealed that succession planning and transition-based system development are never complete and are now engrained as part of a pathway toward continual workforce success.

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Disability Ally Initiative (DAI)

Nisha Tumber, Person Centered Care Services
Alexa Donnelly, Person Centered Care Services

  • Discuss the Medical Model of Disability versus the Social Model of Disability
  • Define and identify various types of disabilities
  • Learn about ableism and privilege
  • Develop strategies to be an effective Disability Ally
  • Take away resources for continued engagement

The Disability Ally Initiative (DAI) is an interactive training that offers insight into and knowledge of disability culture. DAI seeks to cultivate communities of belonging where businesses, agencies, and people work together to better understand and fully include people with disabilities in society. DAI participants are encouraged to reject negative perceptions and, instead, build connections with people with disabilities. When the quality of life of people with disabilities improves, communities thrive. The DAI training is an hour-long training that engages everybody in understanding disability rights, equity, and justice.

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Employment For The Whole Person

Dr. Steven Hunt, Briggs & Associates
Emily Myers, Briggs & Associates

  • Learn about the value that ‘employment is for everyone’
  • Understand the Discovery Approach
  • Find out how to maintain dignity and respect while training

Every person longs for a life of choice and the ability to financially create that life. Every person has responsibilities, wants, and needs. Whether those are material wants and needs or intrinsic responsibilities through social connection, at the basic level we all want to be able to provide them for ourselves. One of the ways these desires can be met is through work.

This presentation explores the topic of supported employment using real-life stories to present and explain how work adds to the overall quality of life of all people. The presenters will share and demonstrate techniques that build conversations around what a person needs to be successful and fully engaged in their communities through the power of employment.

The session will highlight the Discovery Approach which promotes the importance of getting to know people within their context. Understanding and truly knowing people, facilitates the assurance that they will be supported in employment that matches their skills as well as assures the right support will be in place to facilitate success in the safest possible way. The course will highlight the Systematic Method of instruction to illustrate how to train people on their job while ensuring they feel respected and are treated with dignity.

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Doubling Down On Collaboration

Garret Miller, CHI Friendship
Dori Leslie, CHI Friendship
Michelle Steltz, Opportunities for Positive Growth, Inc.

  • Create a culture of collaboration
  • Discover how people receiving services use social capital to play a leading role in collaborating
  • Explore how one community put collaboration into action

Two providers from two different states teaming up to discuss…collaboration!

This session explores collaboration strategies that have been used to better communities, organizations, staff, and ultimately, the lives of people with disabilities. We will provide tangible guidance and action steps for how providers can collaborate with businesses, other providers, schools, and government.

We’ll discuss the benefits of having a philosophy conducive to breaking down barriers so you can hit the jackpot with collaboration!

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Addressing A Systemic Workforce Crisis: Best Practices In Employee Retention

Jolene Thibedeau Boyd, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota
Barbara Kleist, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota

  • Describe the influence of the LTSS workforce crisis on the quality of services and supports
  • Connect workforce challenges to strategies that can help
  • Consider and discuss solutions that can support better workforce retention
  • Commit to implementing retention strategies that can lead to better life outcomes for people

Long-term services and supports (LTSS) are in the midst of a workforce crisis. Finding and keeping competent direct support professionals (DSPs) and frontline supervisors (FLSs) to provide person-centered supports has never been more critical. It has also never been more challenging! Today, DSPs and FLSs support people in more aspects of their lives than ever before. They fill many roles. Employees are expected to be person-centered and support choice. They need to support people with dignity and respect. They must navigate professional relationships and effectively solve problems. And employees must still follow organizational, state, and federal policies and guidelines. At the same time, organizations are struggling to keep great employees. Finding and implementing solutions to address this workforce crisis is essential to supporting better outcomes for people with disabilities to live, work, and participate fully in their communities. Based on research, organizations implementing competency-based training and credentialing programs have reported improved retention of DSPs and FLSs. This session will include training and professional development solutions that can lead to better hiring, training, and support of these employees. Evidence-based strategies and best practices that support workforce retention will be shared.

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Renew The Promise Of Person-Centered Planning Through Technology

Anne Ward, High Tide Press

  • Learn about the role of Positive Psychology in person-centered planning
  • View a demonstration of the My Plan To Flourish mobile app
  • Discover how it is drives the person-centered planning process
  • Hear about the experiences of people receiving services who use the app

In 2020, High Tide Press published A New Plan: Using Positive Psychology to Renew the Promise of Person-Centered Planning by Art Dykstra and Thane Dykstra. A New Plan introduced a contemporary model of person-centered planning based on the well-researched science of Positive Psychology including the six elements of well-being: Positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, and health/vitality.

In 2022, High Tide Press introduced My Plan to Flourish, a mobile app for Android and Apple devices based on the core tenets in A New Plan that puts an individual’s person-centered plan into their hands. The My Plan to Flourish mobile app is designed to be user-friendly, easily grasped and communicated, and most importantly, valued by the person using it to improve their life.

Attendees of this breakout session will learn how the My Plan to Flourish app works for the person, how it increases an individual’s agency during both the planning and implementation processes, and hear the experiences of people receiving services and their support staff who have been using the app.

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A Closer Look: An Organization’s Revamp Of Their POM Approach Informed By Metrics And Quality

Laura Cucinotta, AHRC NYC
Pancho Diaz, AHRC NYC

  • Learn how AHRC NYC assessed and reflected on historical data to inform future POM work
  • Walk through the roadmap to relaunch including our engagement with CQL, POM Interview Certification application including a co-certified person with IDD, recruitment for workshops and POM interviews, POM report sharing, and resources
  • Review examples of POM data insight reporting, leveraging Tableau software, and AHRC NYC’s current reporting formatting and output

Since 2012, AHRC NYC has been completing Personal Outcome Measures® (POM) conversations to help inform organizational direction. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced POM conversations to pause, it also created space for the organization to reflect on historical approaches and re-establish best practices for its’ relaunch. Embracing a culture of constant conversation, AHRC NYC thoughtfully began outlining a relaunch of POM to help inform and drive the organization’s understanding of quality and areas for growth in a new hybrid world. Laura Cucinotta, the AHRC NYC project manager for the POM relaunch, and Pancho Diaz, who heads up the data aggregation and reporting, will walk attendees through the prior and current state providing tangible resources for use or inspiration at your own organization.

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Data Literacy And The Importance Of Data-Driven Service Provision

Jason Laws, Therap Services, LLC

  • Discussion of the importance of data literacy at all levels of service provision
  • Review of strategies for facilitating data literacy within and beyond service agencies
  • Discussion of examples demonstrating the impact of data literacy on quality service provision and organizational operations

The ultimate goal of service delivery for people with disabilities is the achievement of meaningful outcomes for people receiving supports. In order to achieve this, service providers must be able to utilize all the data available to them to guide implementation, evaluation, and improvement of supports to facilitate these outcomes. Data can take on many forms including service documentation, recipient feedback, and evidence supporting best practice, therefore providers must be willing and able to access, understand, and apply the lessons within the data to their everyday operations and services.

This session will focus on the concept of Data Literacy – specifically the importance of facilitating data literacy and quality assurance at all levels of service delivery, from direct support through organizational and system level evaluation. Quality occurs at each of these levels, therefore data must be utilized and applied at all levels, not just organizational and systemic administration. This session will discuss strategies for implementing data utilization at each of these levels and review specific examples of the impact of this data utilization on the overall quality of services delivered.

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Capturing Moments & A Purposeful Day

Stephanie Behlke Leigh, Trinity Services
Pam Van Hess, Trinity Services

  • Overview of HCBS Settings Rule as it applies to Community Day Services (CDS)
  • Identify the structure around cultivating a purposeful day in CDS
  • Realize the power of capturing moments for staff and people engaging in services
  • Participate in discussion concerning how choice impacts behavior
  • Learn about positive psychology and person-centered planning

In this session, conference attendees will be introduced to a provider’s approach for structuring a purposeful day in Community Day Services (CDS), while implementing the HCBS Settings Rule. The session will showcase moments captured as people engage in choice-based, value-centric activities.

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Seeing The Light At The End Of Your PCE Tunnel

Grant Fogel, CHI Friendship
Carrie Balster, CHI Friendship

  • Gain insight into establishing a PCE planning process
  • Learn about monitoring PCE action step progress
  • Hear about real examples of successful PCE initiatives

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when preparing for your Person-Centered Excellence (PCE) long-term and short-term plans? We all have asked ourselves, “Where should we start? What direction should we go? Who should lead this project? Will it actually be beneficial to the people supported?” To develop impactful PCE plans, we need to examine the specific needs of the agency and people supported, while at the same time, have a monitoring system in place to ensure a quality finished product. Our session will focus on establishing a PCE planning system and offer insight into how to monitor its progress. We will also share many examples of successful PCE initiatives that attendees can replicate and take back to their agency.

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About CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership

Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.