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2019 Conference Track: Direct Services

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2019 Conference Track: Direct Services

Direct Services

Pre-Conference Session

Lessons from Hacienda: Preventing Sexual Assault, Abuse, Neglect and Misappropriation of Funds

Monday, May 6 | 1:30-4:30 pm (space is limited; requires pre-registration)

In this era of #MeToo, the chronic issue of sexual violence against people with disabilities is finally getting public attention, more recently accelerated by the widely reported and horrific sex crime perpetrated against an individual living in an Intermediate Care Facility in Arizona. This Pre-Conference Session is focused on solutions and prevention strategies—including the specific recommendations advanced by the Arizona DD Council, increased monitoring by protection and advocacy agencies and two state-of-the-art training curricula to promote healthy relations and prevent abuse.


  • Julie Atkinson, Center for Human Development, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Brenna Doyle, Oak Hill
  • Katie Hanley, Oak Hill
  • Erica McFadden, Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council
  • Crystal Perry, National Disability Rights Network

Breakout Sessions

Community-Based Dementia-Capable Housing for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Tuesday, May 7 | 10:30-11:30 am | Concurrent Session

Housing is at a premium in many urban areas, and individuals with I/DD are either unable to afford housing, or what they can afford is not sufficiently designed to meet their mobility or accessibility needs. Creating housing that is affordable and accessible for individuals with I/DD and dementia is imperative to help maintain quality of life. This presentation will discuss a partnership between two organizations that provided housing for individuals with I/DD and dementia. During the session, presenters will address collaborations with builders and other stakeholders, affordability for tenants, design process and implementation, ongoing training and staff support, and data on current trends and future needs facing individuals with I/DD and dementia.


  • Janel Bowers, Friends of JCDS
  • Heather Brown, Johnson County Developmental Supports
  • Matthew Janicki, National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practice

Focusing Services on Competitive Integrated Employment: A Research-Based Approach

Tuesday, May 7 | 1-2 pm | Concurrent Session

Service providers recognize the value of supporting individuals to become employed in the workforce, but too often struggle to transform this vision into reality. During this session, participants will learn about a research-based approach to organizational transformation that enables service providers to significantly expand their capacity to support individuals in successful employment in the community. Based on experiences working with ten service providers from across the United States, numerous lessons learned will be shared, and session-goers will leave with a variety of practical strategies they can use in enhancing their own organization’s efforts to support employment success.


  • John Butterworth, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • David Hoff, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston

Individual Car Ownership as a Means to Resolve Mobility Issues

Tuesday, May 7 | 3:45-4:45 pm | Concurrent Session

The Community Rule and job participation present mobility challenges to providers. Among the many solutions is individual car ownership. The car is an underutilized resource for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and providers can use car ownership to support individuals' ability to maintain a vehicle and use it to participate in jobs, day programs and other opportunities in the community. Participants in this session will learn how individual car ownership can reduce the costs of maintaining a fleet of vehicles while simultaneously helping providers comply with the Community Rule--all while creating more opportunities for individuals to be part of their communities.


  • Thomas Tirney, Arlington Heritage Group

Siblings of People with Special Needs: Unique Concerns & Opportunities

Wednesday, May 8 | 9:45-10:45 am | Concurrent Session

In the US, 56.7 million people have a disability, most of whom have typically developing siblings. These siblings will be in the lives of family members with special needs longer than anyone else. Throughout their lives, siblings share many concerns that parents experience, and face issues that are uniquely theirs. Despite the important roles siblings play in the lives of their brothers and sisters with special needs, even the most family-friendly agencies often overlook them. Provided with information and support, siblings can help their brothers and sisters lead dignified lives from childhood through their senior years. This session will educate providers on sibling experiences and offer effective strategies for providing truly family-centered care.


  • Emily Holl, The Sibling Support Project


ANCOR Film Festival

Hearts of Glass – A Community Story of Innovation and Employment

Tuesday, May 7 | 10:30-11:30 am | Concurrent Session with discussion

Join us for a screening of the new feature documentary, Hearts of Glass. The film follows the tumultuous first 15 months of operation of Vertical Harvest, a multi-story, state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse that provides meaningful employment for people with disabilities. Hearts of Glass weaves the story of Vertical Harvest’s launch with the personal journeys of employees with I/DD. After the screening, Jennifer Tennican, the film's director and producer, will be on hand to answer viewers' questions.


  • Jennifer Tenican, JenTen Productions