The 2019 CQL Conference: Dare To Dream is featuring breakout sessions from dozens of 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. Specific dates and times of the breakout sessions will be released in the coming weeks.
Pepi Diaz-Salazar, The Arc Mid-Hudson
- Supporting self-advocacy (SA) groups to be more effective
- Supporting people who don't join SA groups
- Specific ideas and resources
- Using focus groups to get the ball rolling
As provider agencies we support people to create the lives they want to live – lives that we ourselves would wish to live. To have any chance at success we first must help people hear their own heart’s desire and to know their own minds, rather than mistaking other supporter’s’ wishes or their staff’s opinions for their own. It is only when people with disabilities have routine support to think and experience for themselves that creating a quality life becomes possible. A starting place for the support is with building skills and confidence in speaking up – in advocating for oneself and one’s ideas. Providing a group forum for people to advocate for themselves and their future can provide a safe practice ground for future solo successes. This presentation will discuss the steps The Arc Mid-Hudson took to provide education and opportunities for advocacy experiences so people supported could better advocate for themselves, individually and with the strength of a group behind them. This process also helped our Self-Advocates group to become stronger and more effective. We will share the changes we witnessed as we began to see things differently (more openly and flexibly) and how results we never imagined ensued. One of the biggest lessons we learned was the realization that most of us would never have developed full and fulfilling lives, if not given the time and experience to try things out and explore possibilities. People need the chance to choose their own paths, and we need to understand that even wrong paths teach us valuable lessons. Every person with a disability, or without, deserves to be a hero in his or her own life.
Jennifer Klouse, Trinity Services, Inc.
Alexis Haase, Trinity Services, Inc.
- Recognizing the achievements of people supported
- Creating a program to inspire staff and people supported
- Empowering people to acknowledge their achievements
What types of events and accomplishments do people celebrate? A range will be given as everyone has different achievements and different ways of celebrating. How often do the people we support celebrate their accomplishments? Think about how their life would become more abundant if they celebrated like other people, including recognizing the “little steps” along the way. We should intentionally create significant moments for those we support. “Defining moments shape our lives but we don’t have to wait for them to happen. We can be the authors of them.” (Heath, The Power of Moments. New York: 2017. Print.) At Trinity Services, we established a work group comprised of both employees and people supported to discuss how those we support like to be recognized and what does it mean to them. From the discussion, we began to design our recognition program. The group developed flexible nomination guidelines. Next, we thought through what the celebration would look like for each person. When? Where? What? As the program developed, we learned we needed to think about other key components, like how will we know if the program is successful and how will we keep the program alive and active?
Beth Maesse, CHI Friendship
Dori Leslie, CHI Friendship
- Conversion to a community-based day program
- Bridging and bonding to create employment
- Strategies and tools for meaningful employment
Following passions, getting a paycheck, or feeling a sense of purpose are just a few of the many benefits for people who are employed. Since employment is such a critical piece of quality of life, Friendship does not think of employment as an afterthought but makes it a priority; 85% of the people we support have some kind of paid employment. We look to inspire all staff from our maintenance department to our finance department, from the DSP to the President, to make contributions surrounding our employment program. All staff are Job Developers! When we all rally around employment, there is a goldmine of knowledge, connections, skills, and ideas that helps us overcome barriers in our continuous journey to ensure that people have meaningful employment. We will share how we created employment opportunities one job, one person, at a time. This will include our timeline which includes over 100 documented steps taken during the conversion. These items include conferences, numerous staff trainings, data collection mechanisms surrounding current and potential employment, and connecting with local businesses - to name a few. Friendship will present their top tools/strategies for a successful employment program.
Andrew Erskine, GoodHuman
Jonathan Murray, GoodHuman
- Lessons learned from reforms in Australia
- Transforming operations to be more person-centered
- Role of technology in connecting circle of supports
- Role of technology in promoting independence and self-determination
- Using data to provide better services
GoodHuman is an Australian-based startup that is using technology to transform the way in which a person’s circle of support is connected. It’s a platform, marketplace and new form of social network. Australia’s disability reforms have led to people having true choice and control over the supports they receive. GoodHuman has been the enabler that has led to people having more independence and remaining better connected with the people involved in their supports. We will share our insights from the Australian market and discuss how care agencies have transformed their organizations to become more person centred. Agencies are now more deeply connected with their customers and the extended network of formal and informal supports in their local communities. We will discuss how agencies now have access to real time data that allows them to increase the utilization rate of their workforce and lower their back office administration costs. We will share a number of case studies of success that tell the story of why support is universal. As we launch GoodHuman across the US, we will discuss our rollout plans and explain how care agencies can get involved in the global GoodHuman movement.
Chris Grayson, Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley
Tina Williams, Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley
- How closing group homes net an increase in outcomes
- Using data to drive organizational change
- Findings from the Ontario-Residential Case Study
- Strategies for 'Recruitment With A Purpose'
Getting positive attention across Canada, this session will outline how Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley uses “playing in other’s sand boxes” to net significant measurable increases in outcomes. Using creative marketing and a steadfast dedication to outcome measurement has led to strategic goals being achieved. Talking points will create buy in from funders, board members, families, staff and certainly those seeking new places to live. Presenters will outline how working with entrepreneurs, private and non-profit partners to come up with unique solutions that benefit all community members is a blueprint for others to Rob and Duplicate. The image of your organization affects every interaction you have in community. Learn strategies to capitalize on branding and marketing that influence recruitment, supporters, partners and government attention.
Jerry Smith, Institute on Community Integration
Barbara Kleist, Institute on Community Integration
- Complexities involving the work of DSPs
- Strategies to stabilize and strengthen the workforce
- Role of DSPs in supporting people with disabilities in their community
“Invaluable: The Unrecognized Profession of Direct Support,” is a documentary film exploring the underappreciated and underfunded work of direct support professionals (DSPs), the people who support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in living full lives as members of their communities. Through stories and interviews with DSPs, family members, disability advocates, and people with disabilities from across the country, the film shows the complexity of the work and the immense value it provides to individuals requiring support. The film, produced by the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living, runs 45 minutes and is captioned. A question & answer session and structured discussion following the film will address in greater detail the issues raised in the film and examine strategies to stabilize and the strengthen the DSP workforce.
Julia Shapovalova, AHRC New York City
Laura Cucinotta, AHRC New York City
- Introduction to AHRC NYC's Rights Tool
- Impact of rights groups on staff supports
- Steps to training Rights Facilitators
- Promoting rights for people receiving supports
- Video clips of styles/experiences of rights groups
The CQL Personal Outcome Measures® (POM) Factor, Human Security, includes basic, non-negotiable human and civil rights, but it does not stop there! While some of the people we support may be more aware of certain rights: freedom from physical, mental abuse, neglect and mistreatment; freedom of speech; and the right to vote, which are clearly extremely important, there are other rights that may not be so readily identified and/or acknowledged. These could include but are not limited to; the right to access personal possessions or the right to privacy, to file complaints about services or the right to have access to and be exposed to mindful and productive activities. AHRC New York City became aware of an opportunity to improve in this area through POM conversations and data. People we support must have adequate resources to meet their basic needs and meaningful person-centered supports that improve their quality of life. Using data analysis and various resources and materials, including CQL’s materials on rights, the agency developed AHRC NYC’s Rights tool in 2015, to help to educate people supported about their rights and how to exercise them. AHRC NYC now has numerous groups and multiple trained facilitators across the agency.
Kathy Carmody, Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities
Kim Zoeller, Ray Graham Association
- Emerging funding and business models in the I/DD system
- Strategies for success in an alternate payer system
- Improving organization culture, infrastructure, service models and board alignment
This session will provide an overview of efforts to prepare I/DD agencies to understand and adapt to a landscape that includes non-state payers and is outside of the traditional fee for service (FFS) reimbursement model. States are increasingly looking to alternate payment and management structures for HCBS services, including I/DD services. I/DD service providers are often unfamiliar with the culture, values, language and expectations of non-state payers. Even while state systems remain in a FFS structure for I/DD services, agencies need to be actively engaged in learning about essential competencies that will be necessary to continue to provide their mission-based services in a new landscape and taking steps to prepare their organizations to continue to grow and thrive. This session will share strategies for shifting I/DD agency attitudes from resistance to new payer models to seeking to become informed and educated about them so that they can be as impactful and influential as possible in shaping the future of their state’s I/DD system.
Lucy Klym, Opportunities for Positive Growth, Inc.
- Foster a forward-thinking culture
- Transform goal development for people supported
- Strategies and stories for success
Using a concept called Dream Manager from Matthew Kelly, Opportunities for Positive Growth, Inc. has transformed its organization by focusing on dreams. Dreams are part of the culture and part of every conversation in the organization. Dreams can be broken down into so many attainable steps, but the first step of Dream Manager is to share your dream. Once you know your dream, it is about building a network to connect the right people and the best champions to help the dream come to life. When starting the Dream Manager program, the implementation goal was to help the people receiving supports develop, know, and share their personal dreams. Over time, the realization set in that employees need to dream as well. If employees do not dream, then how can they help the people receiving support have the full energy around dreams and goals? Many of the employees and people receiving support have similar dreams, so beginning every day sharing dreams of owning a home, going to college, getting married, and travelling started to become contagious across the organization. At first, there was hesitation, and people did not know what their dreams were. Over time, that changed. Now people share their dreams freely and with full support. There is no such thing as a “no” when it comes to dreams, and everyone in the organization has a dream they hope to achieve.
Jon Opgrand, CHI Friendship
Grant Fogel, CHI Friendship
- Role of appreciative inquiry
- Using innovation and overcoming barriers
- Tools and strategies to enhance positive services
Are we asking the right questions? Do we truly know what the people we support want in their life? Are we really listening to and discovering the evolving goals and dreams a person wants? If we face a barrier, how do we react? To better help people self-direct services, we need to look beyond the standard program requirements and empathize with a person’s wants and needs. To make self-directed services a reality and make supports more positive, we will present how your company can get back to the basics with better listening, better empathy, and more creativity when barriers are identified. At CHI Friendship, we instill systems, processes, philosophies, and values for our staff to become relentless in supporting people to use their voice and achieve their goals and dreams. CHI Friendship will present their top tools/strategies for more positive services and supports.
Melanie Reeves Miller
Nicole M. Aresenault, Consultant
- Questionnaire tool for person-centered planning
- Examples of self-determination expansion goals
- Overview of periodic reassessments
Through our work as compliance monitors, we always make a very deliberate effort to highlight examples we find of excellent person-centered plans. This is because they are exceedingly rare. Although person-centered philosophy is pervasive, the effective practice of person-centered planning is much less common. What we find instead is a system awash in imputed goals that do not stand up to scrutiny when we try to track them back to the person. We too frequently discover systems that speak person-centered language, but write service-centered plans. We find groups of individuals with identical goals, who also have in common a case manager, a residential provider, a day program, or all three. Moreover, while we (thankfully) do find a multitude of examples of individuals making choices, spending meaningful time in their communities, and building natural supports, these positive outcomes often share a coincidence of timing with the person-centered plan, but are rarely the result of it. Teams working on plans should begin by knowing with specificity how the person at the center makes choices. Second, individuals should have a foundational goal of moving to the next level (or broadening the space occupied in their current level) of self-determination. It is through growth in self-determination that individuals learn to be advocates for themselves. With appropriate support, this goal is attainable for everyone. None of this is new. In proposing refocus, we acknowledge with gratitude the multitude of great minds who have advocated in voices large and small for the progress of the last 50 years. We suggest there is still a long road ahead, and that we will not move much further along until we refine our understanding of the bedrock.
Peg Gould, ADAPT Community Network
Ed Matthews, ADAPT Community Network
Dahlian Porter, ADAPT Community Network
- Direct link of empowered managers and quality outcomes
- Fostering innovation and creativity
- Building retention through empowerment
Building the next generation of leaders doesn’t just happen. It is achieved through a visionary approach that brings the next generation forward, while empowering personnel to meet evolving trends head on. ADAPT has made significant strides in developing emerging leaders and fostering high quality outcomes for people supported. At the same time, ADAPT’s efforts led to the development of a collaborative of 6 organizations whose mission is to help emerging leaders build professional networks, prepare for emerging trends, and share ideas. Internally, the organization also implemented a Career Path process, offering opportunities for employees at all levels. This includes skill-based enhancement courses, specially directed to “need to know” concepts, to create a dynamic workforce.
This session will focus on how ADAPT succeeded in building emerging leaders at all levels who are driving innovation, ensuring retention, and actualizing the mission of quality supports that achieve personalized outcomes. We will share easy to adopt ideas and approaches, discuss how to build effective partnerships and collaborations, examine how building emerging leaders to think and create enhances the organization’s overall effectiveness and efficiency, and share some of the creative ideas that emerging leaders at ADAPT have implemented. The program will also discuss how to build leadership through empowerment and executive support.
Jim Corey, Washington Initiative for Supported Employment
- Establishing a Values base, Employment First policy
- Using Person-Centered Career Planning for ‘Employment for All'
- Strategies to energize job development, retention, and long-term supports
Please join us for a discussion about how Washington State is steadily increasing its success in achieving person-centered employment for students and adults with the most significant challenges to inclusion. With a focus on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders. Jim Corey will lay out a plethora of related strategies, initiatives, and partnerships which are supporting Washingtonians and others to achieve success. These include a statewide Values base, Employment First policy, and collective mission, local and state PCP cohorts, school to work initiatives, and a variety of training, learning, and technical assistance efforts to increase skills to support successful outcomes. We will outline the very specific methods used in this process: Discovery, Person-Centered Career Planning, creative Customized job development and marketing, large and small employer initiatives, Systematic Instruction and teaching/training skills, benefits planning and consultation, and so much more. We present this information in order to share what we are learning, provide actionable information and ideas for session attendees to take home and apply, and further develop our national partnerships and achieve ever-greater employment outcomes for all.
Laurie Kimball, KFI
Lyann Grogan, KFI
- Strategies to advance community inclusion
- Common characteristics of valued experiences
- Role of supporters in building community
“The colors of life’s journey should be bold and brilliant. Many people’s lives are gray. People can be safe and happy, but gray. We bring bold color when we strive for opportunities,” says Jeff Strully. At KFI we believe that paid and natural supports for people with intellectual disabilities must focus on full community participation, with opportunities to work, live and engage alongside neighbors. This is more than just a philosophy. It calls for a constant re-examination of our practices and outcomes. We will share some of the strategies we have learned that help to support people to live lives of full inclusion in their communities. We will look at teamwork and strategies to move beyond the mundane and engage people in meaningful lives. In a system where providing paid supports often means getting people “ready for life”, it is too easy for staff to get sidetracked with things like personal care routines, housework and laundry, meal preparation, and checkbook balancing. We don’t necessarily look forward to doing these things in our personal lives, but they are precursors to work and leisure pursuits. This presentation will offer strategies to challenge teams to consider other ways to support people to live their life and contribute to their community. With positive, proactive leadership, support teams can meet complex daily needs at the same time they are doing the important work of building connections and supporting community life engagement. This session will focus on the importance of practices like those discussed above, and will explain techniques that can be used to engage in work with valued outcomes for real life.
Eric DesSoye, Empower
Brandon Jerla, Empower
Jackie McGrath, Empower
- Person-centered recruitment and retention strategies
- Testimonials from people supported who were involved in the hiring process
- Data demonstrating benefits and effectiveness of approach
Agencies that provide supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are struggling to hire Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in part because of low wages. We must find new ways to invest in workers who will enrich the lives of the people we support. In this session, we will discuss how we revised our processes by integrating people we support into the interviewing and training of DSPs. Our presentation includes people who have been involved in recruitment and retention. Similarly, feedback from staff interviewers and training staff will be shared, as will impressions of DSPs who were recruited through the person-centered process.
Jason Ray, SimplyHome
Nick Filarelli, Core Services of Northeast Tennessee
Susan Arwood, Core Services of Northeast Tennessee
- Compelling stories from the Enabling Technology program
- Use of technology in choices, relationships, social life, etc.
- Sustainable technology integration that empowers people
When Carl dared to dream of a new life, he saw himself at a new job, working indoors, and moving into a place of his own – specifically, a trailer in a trailer park. For Brad, it was obvious from a young age that he knew what he wanted– a place of his own, near his parents and his job. But when it actually came time to make the move, Brad’s parents were worried. Could it really work for him to live on his own? Come hear the compelling stories of how both these individuals were able to identify and reach their goals, and how Core Services of Northeast Tennessee developed a creative combination of supports for them, including enabling technology. We will share how Tennessee DIDD’s Enabling Technology pilot program has created unique partnerships, bringing together service providers like Core Services of Northeast Tennessee and enabling technology providers like SimplyHome to produce outcomes that are truly amazing. This presentation will share specific, replicable, and sustainable strategies for integrating technology into services, and how these approaches enable greater self-determination, independence, and community connection.
Tricia Wek Visker, Ph.D., CQL
- Essential principals of Systems Theory
- Variety of practical, ready-to-use tools and resources
- Develop and/or strengthen your Basic Assurances® systems
Does your organization struggle to altogether develop, freely explain, or successfully implement systems? If so, know that you are not alone and that this session was designed with you in mind! During this session you will gain a fresh, fundamental understanding of what systems are, how they operate, and why they are important. Together we will examine, in a simplistic and logical fashion, several tenets of Systems Theory. Each participant will then have the opportunity to interact with others, as we directly apply our learning to CQL’s Basic Assurances® Systems. Moreover, participants will depart from this session with the ability, and multiple tools, to develop and/or strengthen their own organization's Basic Assurances® Systems.
Luanne Welch, Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia
- Approaches to engaging with Front Line Supervisors
- Connecting the dots between mission, strategy, and staff
- Leverage the front line voices to facilitate action
In June 2014 after years of dramatic growth, a new CEO faced unsustainable financial losses, a broad/diverse program array, and staff without clarity for ‘why’ we were doing so many different things. The word ‘nexus’ means a link or connection; a connected group or series; the intersection of thoughts or ideas. ‘Nexus’ was the perfect name for the series of events that Easterseals UCP’s CEO planned and executed to directly engage with front line supervisors. Step one of our turnaround was to draft 5 core belief statements. In the years that followed, we right-sized people and programs; created a culture of accountability; and executed strategy with discipline. By June 2018, after completing a $6 million financial turnaround & stabilization, we were ready to grow again. But first we needed to level set – revisit and validate. Meeting face-to-face with 300 field supervisors in small Nexus groups, the CEO connected, engaged and listened. Participants used their voices to validate our belief statements, purpose, recent progress; and influence leadership thinking, strategic alignment & organization direction. This session explains how Nexus events not only validated the past & present, but dramatically influenced the organization and its people moving forward.
Art Dykstra, Trinity Consulting
- Introduction to "My Plan To Flourish"
- A new look at person-centered planning
- The benefits of positive psychology
This session introduces a new model of person-centered planning for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The model is based on the research findings of positive psychology, the application of best and promising practices and the benefits that result from striving to maintain a positive, high-performing work culture. The pillars of well-being: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment and health will be discussed and incorporated into the “My Plan to Flourish” model. The actual planning process uses the dimensions of well-being, CQL's Personal Outcome Measures® and the essential elements of person-centered thinking in its foundation. The context of person-centered thinking and planning is also shared, especially with respect to the important realization that we can entertain two thoughts in our mind at the same time—thoughts that can seem to be contradictions. “Things can be both bad...and better at the same time.” (Hans Rosling, 2018, Factfulness) Other matters such as highlighting the need to plan and set meaningful goals are also considered. The answer to the question, “Why aren’t person-centered plans implemented?” will be answered. You’ll learn how the integration of positive psychology into both the plan and the planning process brings new energy to implementation: helping people to reach their goals.
Connie Melvin, Director of NAQ
Richard Harrington, The TEC Lab
- Commercially-available products to address challenges
- Hands-on demonstrations of products
- Tips and tricks to implement technology
We've known for a long time that assistive technology should play an important part in the lives of people with disabilities. Now more than ever, technology helps to "level the playing field" for people with disabilities - it promotes independence, breaks down barriers, and fosters inclusion. We also know that providers and caregivers need a resource for learning about options and possibilities as the apparently endless array of technologies on the market can be overwhelming. In this session, we will expose attendees to a variety of commercially available products that address challenges commonly faced by people with disabilities. Products that promote independence with routine tasks, improve accessibility in a variety of environments, provide reassurances of safety and security, and enhance hobbies and recreational activities will be discussed. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations during the presentation. This will facilitate a deeper understanding of how products could potentially benefit the people that are supported by the attendees. Attendees will also learn about the pros/cons of each product as well as our recommendations for purchasing/funding those devices. Finally, we will be sharing “tips and tricks” for technology implementation in an effort to reduce the rate of abandonment, decrease frustration, and ensure the success of people supported.
Leanne Mull, CQL
Tia Nelis, TASH
- Experience using CQL’s Rights Conversation Cards with a large group
- Practical steps to support self advocacy that you can implement immediately
- Low/no cost ways to support self advocacy at a personal, local, state and national level
For many people receiving services, speaking up for themselves does not come easily. In this session, organizations will learn how to encourage people to speak up for themselves and others, how to support people to learn about and exercise their rights, and how to engage staff in supporting self advocacy.
Ryan Orcutt, CHI Friendship
Grant Fogel, CHI Friendship
Dori Leslie, CHI Friendship
- Assessing your organizational culture
- Creating a culture of success
- Practical tools to transform organizational culture
Imagine an employee who wakes up excited for work. This employee is teachable, positive, and goes above and beyond expectations. Now imagine an employee who dreads going to work each morning. This employee resists change and will only meet the minimum requirements. Is it possible that this is two different employees working at the same company? Or one employee working at two different companies? This session will help you discover what your agency’s culture is and how it drives the success or failure, of your goals. When it comes to your agency’s culture, you can’t put the cart before the horse. It is your culture that creates enthusiasm, buy-in, and innovation. We will provide you with specific recognition tools, appreciation efforts, mission and value trainings, and how servant and transformational leadership can be taught to your staff to enhance an agency’s culture. When you have a culture of success, you will have a company of success.
Caroline Fulop, AHRC New York City
Pancho Diaz, AHRC New York City
- Overview of Person Centered Apprentice Initiative
- Videos of apprentices' experiences in program
- Tools to facilitate similar programs
The Person Centered Apprentice Initiative of AHRC New York City is in its second year of implementation. This innovative new program was created to enable a large agency to offer growth opportunities to staff, while at the same time broadening the experiences and choices for the people who we support. Through person-centered small activity and educational based groups, facilitated by staff employed in a variety of agency positions, both planned and unexpected experiences abounded. This informative presentation will describe this program, the processes by which apprentices emerged, and the range of initiative ideas chosen and implemented. We will describe the progression of the activities, navigating logistics, and accommodating the myriad of unexpected challenges. Through video interviews of apprentices and group participants, as well as real insight and information about how the program has become sustainable, session participants will leave with the tools to incorporate a program into their own agencies. The depth and value of this novel program will inspire thinking outside of the box, and offer attendees a glimpse of what wonderful and challenging things can happen when we decide to embody the values of CQL and broaden our lives.
The cost to attend the 2019 CQL Conference is $475 per attendee. The registration rate will then increase to $499 for 'late registration' between 10/2/19 - 10/15/19. You can Register Online using the conference registration platform, ConstantContact, where you will enter in registration information for yourself and potential guests. After completing the registration form, you will be directed to the secure PayPal platform, where you can place your payment either using a credit card, or a PayPal account.
*For travel-planning purposes, the conference will begin with registration at 8:00am EDT on October 22nd, 2019, and conclude around 11:30am EDT on October 24th, 2019.