If you’re wondering why LINKS is a little late this month, it’s because ANCOR staff are just finishing up not one, but two successful fall Summits.
ANCOR’s Leadership Summit held September 19-20 at the Dupont Hotel in Washington DC was among the best yet. A packed room listened to speakers from the Administration, ANCOR’s policy partners and as well as our own members discuss situations and solutions around workforce. ANCOR kicked off the day with Erica Groshen, Department of Labor's Commissioner of Labor Statistics, as we continue to gather data pertinent to addressing the workforce crisis. The Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez keynoted the day and left us with some choice quotes about our workforce challenges, which he saw as a “size twelve problem with a size nine budget.”
Few speakers could have topped the Secretary’s candid conversation. Luckily, we ended the day with an ensemble – the FREE Players Ensemble, who had Summit attendees on their feet and singing along to their renditions of popular tunes.
The Leadership Summit concluded the following day with a Congressional Briefing and Day on the Hill, where ANCOR members from all over the country connected with their elected officials and advocated in support of the Disability Community Act of 2016.
Just two weeks later, several ANCOR staff flew to Colorado for the 2016 ANCOR Tech Summit and Showcase, held in conjunction with the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities Technology Conference. While not as well-attended as previous years, this year’s Tech Summit had no shortage of quality sessions, discussions and vendors. A panel discussion to establish the “Why” for Using Technology left attendees with food for thought before they set off to attend four rounds of concurrent breakout sessions.
Who knew that building dashboards would be a sexy topic but a packed session on Building a QA Dashboard proved us wrong. We also saw packed rooms on the Technology for Person-Centered Planning to Meet HCBS Requirements as well as the hands-on presentation by self-advocates and family members on How to Support Self-Determination in a Person’s Life with Technology. ANCOR also unveiled its Technology Position Paper, presented by Katherine Berland, ANCOR’s Director of Public Policy, which sets forth ANCOR’s plan to leverage innovative technology to provide person-centered supports for individuals.
The discussions were complemented by two Technology Showcases comprised of 22 vendors who spent the day with our attendees providing product demonstrations and answering questions about current and future plans for technology-based solutions.
As we mentioned in our emails this year, we will not be taking the Tech Summit to Colorado in 2017 – not because we don’t love it there – we do! And we’ll still be a major sponsor and participant in the 2017 Coleman Institute’s Technology Conference. However, we believe that if our goal is to integrate technology into everything that we do – our policies, our practices, our thinking, then we need to practice what we preach. Instead of a stand-alone technology event in 2017, look for a robust technology pre-conference session, plenary and full technology track as part of our 2017 Annual Conference in San Antonio next May.
Speaking of the Annual Conference, have you submitted a session proposal yet? Submissions will be accepted until December 2nd. We are eager to hear from you, especially if you are willing to share technologies or practices that are helping you Take the Helm and navigate your organization into the future.
Gabrielle Sedor is COO of ANCOR. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.