Marlborough, September 27th & 28th, 2017. Massachusetts Statewide Independent Living Council MASILC Conference is an opportunity learn about the latest available Independent Living services, and to strategize better ways to achieve common goals. Conference participation is free, however space is limited. Priority will be given to MASILC members and nominees, Independent Living Center Staff and Board Members.
Workshops will cover topics such as Supports and Services, Service Animals, Transportation, Housing, Legal Rights and more.
For 2017 workshops and to register visit www.masilc.org/ilconference or contact Voice/TTY: 508-620-7452 or email email@example.com
Affordable Housing for People with Disabilities – Courtenay Loiselle and Maggie Dionne Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. The presentation will include an overview of affordable housing programs including state, federal and private housing providers. Resources that can be used in the housing search process as well as general requirements for verifications will be reviewed. Reasonable accommodations and modifications will also be covered.
Statewide Transition to Adult Program Meeting -Ann Hermann, Mass Rehabilitation Commission. This workshop period is for TAP program staff, supervisors and agency collaborators.
Weight and Seating Independence Project– obena Bonney, MassMATCH Coordinator, MRC, Louise Norton, Director of Assistive Technology, UCP Berkshire. The Weight and Seating Independence Project (WSIP) works in partnership with three ILCs and the two MassMATCH AT Regional Centers to improve access to wheelchair accessible scales and digital pressure mapping systems for individuals with paralysis in Central and Western Massachusetts. The project has placed wheelchair accessible scales in four Independent Living Center locations for public access, and added portable accessible scales in the device loan inventory at the Pittsfield and Worcester AT Regional Centers for individuals to borrow and use at home. In addition, digital pressure mapping systems have been added to the device loan inventory, also for personal use at home. Persons with disabilities can try out the pressure mapping systems at the AT Regional Centers and then borrow one to use at home.
Stress 101: Staying Afloat in Turbulent Times – Joanne Eno – We are living in uncertain times where we are bombarded with what often seem like daily threats to our Independence and our way of life. We constantly hear about potential cuts to such services as healthcare, housing and education. This may all seem stressful and overwhelming at times. This workshop is designed to assist independent living center staff with recognizing and dealing with stress. This is crucial if staff is to remain affective in their roles. This workshop will teach staff to be mindful of their own stress responses. Particular emphasis will be given to how they react to consumer stress. Strategies to avoid “taking on” someone else’s stress will be offered. Techniques for personal stress management will be offered as well skills training and resources for consumers. Suicide prevention will also be discussed. The importance of building personal support networks and community alliances will be addressed as these relate to the philosophy of independent living.
Home Smart Home – Ammar Ibrahim, Stavros – The smart home – which at its most basic is enabling various devices around the home, such as thermostats, lighting and door locks, to be connected to the Internet and controlled via a smartphone – is going to be a huge boon to accessibility. Smart Home is becoming more financially accessible to people with disabilities. This workshop will educate advocates and consumers on Smart Home, review safety and security and provide information on how Smart Home can increase independence for people who have low mobility, low vision or who are blind.
Social Security Disability Benefits 101 – Mary Glanden, LandAjob – A main concern for many consumers is the loss of their disability benefits if they work; however, there are many safety nets called Social Security Work Incentives. This workshop will review both SSDI and SSI Work Incentives. This workshop will empower advocates and consumers with knowledge to help smooth the transition from dependence on benefits to life on work, minimize the risks of benefits issues with SSA and provide understanding on how to utilize work incentives for a better financial outcome.
MassDOT ADA Transition Plan Update – John Lozada and Ammie Rogers Mass Dot – The MassDOT ADA Transition Plan Working Group has assessed and prioritized nearly 26,000 curb ramps across the Commonwealth and we are now taking steps to remediate these ramps and taking other steps to make the Commonwealth’s Highway infrastructure more accessible for people with disabilities. In our work, we have also studied policies and practices, other physical assets and areas of need, such as our on-line accessibility. All of this work is subject to public consideration and comment, so we hope to explain this effort to ensure that the public feels comfortable weighing in.
Dialogue with Employers – Kathy Petkauskos University of Massachusetts Medical School, Work Without Limits, Kristine Biagiotti-Bridges, Dell EMC Jackie McGravey, MAPFRE Insurance, Marcia Bowles UMass Memorial Health Care. In this interactive session, members of the Massachusetts Business Leadership Network, representing some of the state’s leading employers, will share a comprehensive overview of why businesses are committed to disability diversity inclusion as well as some of the strategies and best practices companies are using to create inclusive work cultures and employment practices. They will also review and discuss with the audience some basic do’s and don’ts for human service providers when approaching, engaging and building relationships with employers. Last, the presenters will review the specific skill sets candidates need to be successful in today’s market as well as future labor force needs, and provide insight and recommendations on the competitive application process including interviews and online applications.
Understanding Autism: Essential Tips and Tools for Youth Workers – Steve Slowinski, Partnership for Youth with Disabilities. At present, the CDC estimates the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as 1 in every 68 children. In other words, if you work with youth, the odds are that you’ve likely encountered youth with autism in your program! This has left many youth workers asking important questions: what is autism? How do we best incorporate and support these youth? And how do we design programs, classrooms, and events that are inclusive to all forms of neuro-diversity? This training will provide an overview of autism, including common strengths and challenges. Participants will learn tips for communication, behavior management, role modeling proper social etiquette, and encouraging active participation for youth with autism. Participants will learn practical tips on enhancing the ability of organizations and programs to be more inclusive of individuals with autism.
Increasing utilization of assistive technology for individuals across the lifespan – Marylouise Gamache Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Ann Shor Massachusetts Rehabilitation Council, Kobena Bonney Mass Rehab Commission- Mass Match, Rachel Weiner Executive Office of Elder Affairs. This workshop will provide a brief overview of the MA No Wrong Door (NWD)/Aging and Disability Resource Consortia (ADRC) system and the various Assistive Technology services and resources available to assist people with disabilities to age in place. These will include an overview of the NWD/ADRC system in MA, information about the services/resources available and how to connect to their local NWD/ADRC as well as an overview of AT programs that can assist consumers and resources for financing AT devices.
MASILC Public Information and Education – Planning for 2018 – This interactive session will outline the potential advocacy issues for 2018. Issue areas and previous advocacy efforts will be discussed. Participants will have an opportunity to help determine the priorities for 2018. This session will serve as a first step in planning efforts that will shape the 2018 Education Day and requests for the 2019 Budget for the Commonwealth.
Sustaining a quality PCA Workforce through recruitment, training and retention – Lisa Sirois PCA Workforce Council/Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Rebecca Gutman 1199 SEIU PCA Union, Harneen Chernow Training and Upgrade Fund/1199 SEIU PCA Union. During the first half of the workshop, the presenters will share an overview of their projects and initiatives to build and strengthen the PCA workforce. The second half of the workshop will be a listening session to elicit feedback from participants about their experiences with recruitment, training and retention of PCAs.
Ableism, Racism, Sexism, Oh my!: Let’s explore intersectionality for a new generation of IL – Jennifer Lee Stavros Center for Independent Living, Shaya French Boston Center for Independent Living. Disability community is diverse. Intuitively we know that a Black woman who uses a wheelchair will experience different barriers and prejudice than a White man who is Blind. But how do we respond to those realities in our ILCs? In this workshop we’ll discuss intersectionality-a term that means that gender, race, sexual orientation-and the other categories that comprise a person’s identity-intersect to simultaneously influence an individual’s experience. We’ll discuss how issues like access to reproductive health care, the criminal justice system and environmental degradation are relevant to persons with disabilities and should be given more attention by disability centered agencies. Lastly, we will also talk about solutions and the benefits of adopting a more intersectional perspective within Independent Living Centers.
Understanding The Basics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – Jenna Knight -Experts say that ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the most common neurobiological disorder that starts during childhood. Although it’s hard to predict who will develop ADHD or exactly why it occurs, the good news that it can be well managed. With treatment, the prognosis for individuals with ADHD is good – they can lead extremely successful lives once they learn how to manage the disorder. This workshop will cover many aspects of ADHD such as: What is ADHD? What ADHD is not? , Understand the emotional characteristics of people with ADHD. Learn the different treatments for ADHD, Learn ADHD strategies.
An Overview of the ABLE Savings Plan – Martha Savery MEFA -This workshop will provide an overview of Attainable, the Massachusetts ABLE Savings Plan. The federal Achieving a Better Live Experience (ABLE), ACT enacted in December 2014 permits the establishment of the ABLE Savings Accounts under Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code. Attainable, is offered by MEFA and managed by Fidelity Investments. The workshop will cover the basic tax benefits, disability benefit considerations, eligibility and questions from the audience.
Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Overview – Roderigo Monterray MA DPH Office of Health Equity – Mr. Monterrey will provide an overview of the Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards, not as a checklist of “to-dos” but as a framework for continuous quality improvement. Using the tools developed by the MA DPH over the past 10 years, MR. Monterrey will also familiarize attendees with how CLAS standards can be applied to all programs providing health and human services.
NAMI Massachusetts: Reaching out and changing minds – FloretteWillis, Megan Wiechnik, Judi Maguire NAMI Massachusetts – This workshop is for those seeking education and support about mental health. NAMI Massachusetts has a large group of dedicated volunteers, trained by NAMI, who bring their wisdom to those affected by mental health, physical health issues caused by mental health problems, mental health issues that result from physical health issues, and addiction. We will introduce our programs, which also include advocacy and community outreach, and discuss opportunities for community participation, volunteering and training. Learn about how :
1) NAMI programs empower those in recovery, 2) NAMI programs have supported family members with young or adult children with emotional issues, 3) NAMI’s COMPASS program can help you navigate the mental health system and assist with questions regarding housing, legal issues, insurance etc, 4) NAMI’s outreach to schools, police departments, companies, medical schools, colleges, hospitals etc. is changing attitudes to those who may have a mental health issues, 5) NAMI can help YOU!
Recreation and leisure time management: Not just fun and games. – Joanne Eno -Independent Living Centers provide information and referrals to consumers to recreational events and leisure time activities. However, consumers and others may regard leisure time activities as a luxury rather than a necessity. This workshop asserts that ILC staff should view leisure time management as an area for skills training rather than merely providing referrals to groups and activities. The process of identifying, participating in and remaining involved in leisure time and recreational activities can both mirror and enhance the job seeking process. This workshop will explore the link between the development of leisure time management skills and the identification of, attainment and maintenance of vocational goals. Additionally, involvement in leisure time activities has other benefits including, opportunities to practice social and leadership skills, opportunities to explore one’s likes and dislikes, meeting new people and reducing stress. Participants will learn to assist consumers with identifying and overcoming barriers to participating in leisure activities. Strategies for identifying activities which can be done indoors, outdoors with others or by oneself will be addressed. Steps for creating an action plan will be discussed. Finally, the link between leisure time management, other independent living goals and vocational attainment will be addressed.
Creating a Postsecondary Vision – Nancy Mader, Joseph Katz, Federation for Children with Special Needs
This workshop builds on young adults’ strengths to develop a post-secondary vision and establish action steps to reach their goals. This is an interactive workshop that leaves participants with tools to tackle transition planning.
1. Understanding where to start to develop a postsecondary vision
2. General understanding of Person-Centered Planning
3. General understanding of Transition Assessment
4. Understanding and ability to write a vision statement
5. Next steps… how to build the IEP around the vision