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Session Listing - Schedule to Come

As sessions are confirmed they will be added.  Schedule is subject to change. 

Keynotes and Plenary Sessions 

Virginia Elections -- Why it Matters?

Presenters TBA

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Virginia is about to experience a historic change in the makeup of our elected Legislature. In order to maintain the ground we have gained and to achieve even more success -- we must mobilize and organize together to ensure the issues important to our community are heard and that we collectively continue to have the power of influence in our Public Policy work. 

Public Policy Luncheon

Speakers:  TBA

Hear from Virginia's Leaders about Public Policy that shapes the Developmental Disability System in the Commonwealth and have an opportunity to ask questions and learn about key issues and initiatives that directly impact our lives. You will also hear from and have a chance to speak directly with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding where things stand with Virginia's Settlement Agreement, why it hasn't ended and what is next for building a robust community system for everyone in Virginia. 

Being Present - Raising Awareness

Speakers:  TBA

Join us as we discuss what it means to raise awareness about people with developmental disabilities and take a look at what the future holds for influence, belongig and representation. 

Breakout Sessions

Decision Making Through the Early Years

Presenter: Sara Thompson, Supported Decision Making Community Resource Consultant

This session focuses on defining supported decision-making and how does it apply to ages 0-8. Additionally, we will talk about the importance of learning to make decisions at a young age and appropriate decisions or choices for children through age 8. Finally, we will discuss some tools that can be used to help with this process.

Unburden yourself!

Presenter: Tia Marsili, Director of Trusts, The Arc of Northern Virginia

81% of families worry about the financial future of their child with disabilities. The Arc of Northern Virginia professionally manages special needs trusts so you can unburden your family. Our trust allows your family to BE a family while we offer continuity, expertise and longevity.

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and Mental Health: Promoting Holistic Well-being

Presenters:  Dr, Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, PBSF

This enlightening session explores the vital connection between IDD and mental health, emphasizing the need to address mental well-being in individuals with developmental disabilities. Dr. Levi-Shackleford will delve into the unique challenges faced by this population, common mental health conditions, and factors contributing to mental health issues. Attendees will gain insights into promoting holistic well-being through person-centered approaches, enhancing communication and social inclusion, and empowering independence. This presentation aims to inspire attendees to prioritize mental health within the context of IDD for improved quality of life.

Youth & Young Adult Transition: Preparing for Work

Presenters: Lisa Coates, SOAR365

Youth and young adults with intellectual disabilities must be provided access and opportunities to develop marketable skills to get jobs and stay employed. This is particularly important for individuals with disabilities, who may experience unique challenges finding and maintaining work. Young adults may experience a number of challenges ranging from societal misconceptions and low expectations to inaccessible programs and services. They should be supported to make informed choices about their work and careers and have the resources to seek, obtain and be successful in community employment. Individuals with IDD often leave school with little community-based vocational experience or planning for transition from school to work or post-secondary education. This presentation will discuss and share best practices, school-to-work transition, training of staff and people with IDD, and how to advocate for a system that supports job readiness, skill development, and competitive, integrated supported employment.

Making Research More Inclusive

Presenter: Sara Lineberry, Angela West

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have the right to be involved in research as team members and as participants. When researchers partner with people with IDD and their families, we can make sure that our work is important, useful, and based in the lived experiences of people most impacted. However, research can also be confusing and intimidating, which can make it hard for people with IDD to participate. We hope this session can start addressing these barriers to including people with IDD in research. In this session, attendees will hear from researchers from the Partnership for People with Disabilities and self-advocates from the ALLY Alliance about their work to make research more inclusive. We will then host a discussion with attendees about potential benefits of research, things to know about research projects, and how to get more involved for people who are interested.

Shared Living  Waiver Service - Building Your Nest

Presenter: Deanna Parker

The Shared Living service is a unique arrangement in which a person with a disability lives with and shares life experiences with a roommate of his or her choosing, in exchange for the roommate providing companionship, fellowship and limited ADL/IADL supports. A roommate may not be a parent (by kinship or legal relationship), grandparent, spouse, or guardian, but could be a friend, brother, sister, or cousin, for example. With this service, the roommate is not paid for providing supports to the individual. Instead, Medicaid reimburses the individual for the roommate’s half of the room and board in exchange for the supports being provided. The time that the individual and his or her roommate spend together and what they do is described in a written supports agreement that is developed with the input of both the individual and the roommate. Provision of the agreed upon supports is a condition for receipt of the roommate’s portion of the room and board. The Shared Living service is available to adult individuals ages 18 or older enrolled in the Community Living (CL), Family and Individual Supports (FIS) or Building Independence (BI) Waivers.

Empowering Sexual Health and Safety: Navigating the Online Environment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

Presenters:  Dr, Zipporah Levi-Shackleford, PBSF

The purpose of the engaging and informative session is to provide invaluable knowledge and insights into the crucial topic of sexual health and safety in the online environment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). By addressing this subject, I aim to empower individuals with IDD to make informed decisions and foster healthy relationships.

Practical Self Defense

Presenters:  Sensei Carla Dannouf

Accommodating each person's needs, this class will focus on safety in everyday life with tools and tips to help anyone to be more aware of their surrounings and to move through their day with safety in mind.

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