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2015 ANCOR Conference: Ignite!

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2015 ANCOR Conference: Ignite!

May 3, 2015 to May 5, 2015

Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 920-3230

Stoking the Fires of Innovation, Transformation and Leadership

2015 ANCOR ConferenceAs ANCOR observes the 25th anniversary of the ADA and its 45th anniversary, now is the time to celebrate and the 2015 ANCOR Conference is the place to be in May!

With an increasing focus on person-centered services and supports, it is no surprise that the 2015 ANCOR Conference is a must-attend event. The three day Conference covers key issues and brings together professionals from across the country to learn, share, initiate and transform ideas and solutions vital to the intellectual and developmental disabilities community.

The theme – Ignite! – was chosen to represent a community poised to produce, promote, spark, and re-ignite innovation and transformation. The content is comprehensive and multidisciplinary, with an outstanding roster of experts and speakers.

The ANCOR Conference – which provides a unique opportunity to meet, interact and share insights – features a full slate of community, government and subject matter experts who are focused specifically on the needs of our community. A variety of general sessions, educational workshops, exhibitors, and awards and recognitions. The schedule provides a forum to engage in meaningful discussions and ample time for networking, interacting with exhibitors, and reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

What’s on Tap for 2015?

  • Four strands of focus: Shaping Policy, Building Capacity, Next Generation, and What’s New

  • Four vital pre-conference sessions: Employment First, Shared Housing, World of The New Leader, and ICF/IDD Guidelines  new 

  • General sessions that feature nationally recognized speakers

  • Town Hall discussion about the HCBS community rule

  • Education sessions that maximize your learning and networking

  • An exhibit hall offering a wealth of practical solutions to a broad range of professional challenges

  • Special days of educational content during the DSP Leadership Academy

The DSP Leadership Academy returns this year and offers two fulls days of training, including several joint sessions with other annual conference participants. On one full day — May 6 — you and DSPs will have a chance to meet with your legislators on Capitol Hill. Since many of the legislators are new this year, they may not know about your organization and its activities, nor of ANCOR's involvement in advancing your issues. This day gives you an opportunity to educate them and their staffers about the issues within the disabilities field, and to thank returning legislators for their continued support.

Why Should You Be There?

  • Interact with the best and brightest in the disabilities field.

  • Hear from providers who have transformed from segregated to integrated services.

  • Access educational offerings, including general educational sessions.

  • Share ideas, best practices and strategies to lead your organization to even greater success.

  • Experience people and moments that provide you with renewed energy, inspiration, and focus.

  • Immerse yourself in thought-provoking presentations and conversations.

  • Collaborate with friends, colleagues, providers, and disabilities professionals.

  • Network with experts with in-depth knowledge and experience.

  • Enjoy special offers from and fun events by participating exhibitors.

  • Advance ANCOR’s vision to lead the way to communities of choice.

Four Strands of Focus

  • Building Capacity Track: Strategic, challenging sessions about how to get the most from your team, best practices, and organizational transformation.

  • What's New Track: Innovative approaches to service delivery, technology, and quality of life/health and wellness issues; the latest ideas for providers to consider and adopt.

  • Next Generation Track: Thought-provoking sessions to prepare the next generation of leaders in your organization.

  • Shaping Policy Track: Sessions that tackle the hottest policy and regulatory developments - from managed care trends and the Kansas experience to the hottest HCBS definition of community.

Watch your email in the coming weeks to receive more information about the ANCOR Conference and…

Join fellow providers and direct support professionals near our nation’s capital on May 3-6 for the 2015 ANCOR Conference: Ignite! to gain practical ideas and learn effective techniques to meet the continuing challenges facing the provider community.

Save The Date!

Plan now to attend this hallmark event and bring many from your organization to gather information, ideas and tools!

Register now and take advantage of special discounted rates!


Sponsored in part by ANCOR's proud Gold Partners:


ANCOR Gold Partners



(April 21, 2015 and onward)

  • ANCOR member: $875.00

  • ANCOR member 3rd and subsequent registrant: $830.00

  • Non-member: $1,200.00

Pre-Conference Sessions

  • Pre-Conference: Employment First! DOL Pilot Program (May 3, 1:00 - 4:00 PM): $125.00

  • Pre-Conference: Shared Living/Host Homes: Inclusiveness and Quality (May 3, 1:00 - 4:00 PM): $125.00

  • Pre-Conference: Updated ICF/IID Guidelines – What Do They Mean for Our Agency? (May 3, 1:00 - 4:00 PM): $125.00

  • Pre-Conference: ANCOR Foundation Emerging Leaders: The World of a New Leader (May 3, 1:00 - 4:00 PM):

    (by invitation only)


Online registration is closed. Registration onsite will be available.


Cancellations are subject to a $50.00 processing fee. No refunds will be issued after April 14, 2015. There is no charge for substitutions.


Contact us.

Crystal Gateway Marriott

1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 920-3230

Marriott Crystal CityKnown as one of the most popular conference hotels in the D.C. metropolitan area, the Crystal City Gateway Marriott is a sophisticated venue that offers easy and convenient access to regional attractions. With lobby access to the Metro rapid transit system and conveniently located near major roadways, you can easily reach Capitol Hill, monuments, museums, shopping and dining. Multiple dining options include an onsite hotel restaurant and many local global dining options just a short walk from the hotel. The hotel is situated above the Crystal City Shops, which also offer many dining and shopping venues. It goes without saying that you will have the top rated ambiance and customer service experience that is expected at a Marriott property.

Airport/Ground Transportation

The hotel is only two miles from Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The hotel operates a free shuttle seven days a week that runs until midnight. There is a Metro stop at the airport — take either Blue or Yellow line for one stop to Crystal City (Metro access is in the hotel lobby). A cab would run approximately $12 to $15.

  • Washington Dulles (IAD) is 27 miles from the hotel and there is no free shuttle service available. One-way fare on the Super Shuttle is approximately $31. Cab fare is about $65 to $70.

  • Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is 37 miles from the hotel. There is no free hotel shuttle and the Super Shuttle is approximately $61. Cab fare would be over $100.


The ANCOR room block at the Crystal Gateway Marriott is now sold out! Please contact A Room With A View at 800-780-4343 for information on the designated ANCOR overflow hotel. They will secure the lowest available rates within walking distance of the Marriott Gateway Hotel.

In the event that rooms become available at the Crystal Gateway Marriott due to cancellations, A Room With A View will notify Conference attendees and help transfer reservations back to the Marriott Gateway Hotel in the order in which they were booked.

A Room With A View — a FREE service for all ANCOR Conference attendees — can be reached at 800-780-4343

Questions? Please contact Jerri McCandless (jmccandless@ancor.org).

AAIDD – American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP)

American HealthCare Capital

ANCOR Services Corporation


Arlington Heritage Group

Benefits Consulting Group


Bethesda Institute

Butler Woodcrafters

CapGrow Partners

CareDirector USA, LLC

Carematic Systems, Inc.

CARF International

CQL – The Council on Quality and Leadership


Driver’s Alert

Embassy Management

eVero Corporation

Foothold Technology

Health Risk Screening, Inc.

Irwin Siegel Agency, Inc.

MediSked LLC

Medline Industries, Inc.

MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning



National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities



Pharmacy Alternatives

Practical Health Systems, Inc.

QBS, Inc.

Quantum Solutions

Relias Learning

Rest Assured


SEFCU Insurance Agency

Sengistix, LLC

SimplyHome, LLC



Stoneridge Partners

Therap Services


Training & eTracking Solutions


WhisperglideSwing Co., Inc.

Andrew SolomonOpening Keynote: Love No Matter What
Andrew Solomon, Activist, Philanthropist, Lecturer and Prize-Winning Author

Andrew Solomon is a writer of remarkable talent and intellect. In his books and essays he explores the subjects of politics, culture and psychology with extraordinary humanity. In 2001, he received the National Book Award for The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. The book was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and was a worldwide bestseller published in more than 20 languages. The New York Times described The Noonday Demon as "All-encompassing, brave, deeply humane…a book of remarkable depth, breadth and vitality…open-minded, critically informed and poetic all at the same time…fearless and full of compassion."

His newest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for Identity (see the book trailer here), was released in November of 2012 and is an examination of the means by which families accommodate children with physical, mental and social disabilities and how these unusual situations can be invested with love. Solomon spent 10 years researching the book, interviewing more than 300 families and generating more than 40,000 pages of notes! President Bill Clinton has called the book "remarkable" and Vanity Fair said, "Andrew Solomon's empathy, heart, and vast intelligence are in abundance in Far from the Tree."


David Braddock, PhDPostcards from The Edge: Images of Intellectual Disability Intitutions in The United States Since 1848 and An Overview of The State of The States Today
David Braddock, PhD, Executive Director, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities

David Braddock, PhD, is Senior Associate Vice President of the University of Colorado System and Executive Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. He also holds — since 2001 — the endowed Coleman-Turner Chair in cognitive disability and is Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver School Of Medicine.

Braddock has contributed to cognitive disability research, public health and social policy for more than 40 years. He was at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) from 1979-2001 as Professor of Human Development, Public Health and Bioengineering, as the founding head of the Department of Disability and Human Development and of its research institute, and as an associate dean for research. He was instrumental in the establishment of the nation's first Ph.D. program in disability studies at UIC.

Dr. Braddock has authored over 240 publications, including co-authorship of the essential State of the States in Developmental Disabilities resource book, of which he serves as a Project Principal investigator.


Ellen NissenbaumDisability Insurance: Setting the Record Straight & Preparing for Congressional Action
Ellen Nissembaum, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities

ANCOR is excited to welcome Ellen Nissembaum back to our midst. She is a highly sought after speaker both inside and outside the beltway, and has presented at several ANCOR conferences over the years. In her 30th year as Senior Vice President for Government Affairs for the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, Ellen directs the Center's work with federal policymakers and with other national, state, and local organizations on a broad range of policy issues. These include federal budget and tax issues, federal policies concerning Medicaid and health care, federal nutrition programs, federal and other critical policies.

She is regarded as one of the leading legislative directors among non-profit organizations in Washington and frequently is asked to provide support to a number of organizations and coalitions by providing policy assistance, strategic guidance, and communications planning for their legislative activities.

Ellen Nissembaum is frequently sought out by many journalists at respected news outlets covering legislative and budget developments for her analyses and commentary on congressional developments.


Dakota JohnsPerson-Centered Services: A Meaningful Life Full of Possibilities
Dakota Johns, Self Advocate

Dakota Johns is an entrepreneur of 10 years owning two businesses: Dakota Speaks and Dakota's Amazing Animal Pet Care, where he takes care of people's pets while they are away on holiday. He is an advocate for individuals with special needs to help them live a more independent lifestyle and attain their dreams and goals, and he serves on three committees at Mosaic, an ANCOR provider member.

Dakota is a sophomore at Grand Canyon University where he majors in Communications and minors in Video Production. Dakota's long term goals are to earn a college degree, become a Sports Broadcaster and work as a Professional Keynote Speaker.

His list of accomplishments is amazing: College student, business owner, Best Buddies Ambassador, Olympian with Special Olympics & World Ambassador, Boy Scout with the rank of Life Scout currently working on his rank of Eagle Scout, Professional speaker and fundraiser. He does it all.

Direct Support Professional Leadership Academy

Stoking the Fires of Innovation, Transformation and Leadership

2015 ANCOR ConferenceANCOR is thrilled to host its Direct Support Professional Leadership Academy as part of the 2015 ANCOR Conference. This year — based on your feedback — we’ve reinvented the Academy and made it longer so that we provide a fully integrated learning experience for DSPs.

In addition to two full days of training designed specifically with the direct support professional in mind, DSP Leadership Academy attendees have the option of participating in any of the other conference sessions — nothing is off limits.

ANCOR members are strongly encouraged to bring your DSPs to the 2015 ANCOR Conference to:

  • Take part in focused conversations with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) around its code of ethics, core competencies, informed decision making, and the Emerging Role of the Direct Support Workforce under the CMS HCBS Rule;
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of their peers during the 2015 Direct Support Professional Recognition Awards;
  • Enjoy inspiring presentations from nationally-known authors, policy experts and advocates; and, most importantly,
  • Add their voices to critical policy discussions with decision-makers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and more!


  • $75


Online registration is closed. Registration onsite will be available.


May 4 7:15 am - 6:00 pm Registration — Arlington Foyer
  7:15 - 8:00 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
  8:30 - 9:30 am Plenary (Joint Session)

Postcards from The Edge: Images of Intellectual Disability Intitutions in The United States Since 1848 and An Overview of The State of The States Today

David Braddock, PhD, Executive Director, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities

Don't miss this session as Dr. Braddock presents a photographic history of our nation's progress in providing services for people with intellectual disability, as well as longitudinal and current data on revenue, spending, and programmatic trends across the United States. Be among the first to hear Dr. Braddock's analysis of national and state-by-state data emanating from the new "State of the States in Developmental Disabilities: 2015" and hear what important service delivery trends and impacts he believes are in store for the future.

All conference participants will receive their own copy of Dr. Braddock's 2015 State of the States, an essential resource for anyone in the field!

  9:30 - 10:00 am Networking Break with Exhibitors
  10:00 - 11:15 am Plenary (Joint Session)
Special Thanks to Mosaic for Their Support

Person-Centered Services: A Meaningful Life Full of Possibilities

Dakota Johns, Self Advocate

Dakota has Down Syndrome but he does not let his disability get in the way of accomplishing his dreams. This amazing young man is here to share and empower you to live your dreams and have a more meaningful life!

Dakota will share with you his accomplishments in life thus far. He will enlighten you on your accomplishments thus far in your own life and all the dreams & goals that you will achieve and that are possible because of the people in your life.

Person Centered Services is defined as creating a quality of life for all people with disabilities. We do this by learning about each individual, what they like, what they have & what they want. You will acquire wisdom and insight on how Person Centered Services is for ALL of us, not just people with disabilities in this session which will have you learning, moving and laughing.

  11:15 - 11:30 am Government Relations Update (Joint Session)

Esmé Grant, Senior Director of Government Relations, ANCOR

Join the ANCOR Government Relations Team for an update on the 114th Congress and important federal policy information providers need to know. Find out what activities ANCOR is leading to make sure your voice is heard on and around the Hill and learn about new tools ANCOR has created to ensure that you can participate and make an impact.

  11:30 am - 12:00 pm Networking Break with Exhibitors
  12:00 - 1:15 pm Networking Luncheon
  1:15 - 1:30 pm Advocacy

Introduction to ANCOR's National Advocacy Campaign

Chris Sparks and Daryn Demeritt, National Advocacy Campaign Co-Chairs

  1:30 - 2:15 pm Emerging Roles and Expectations of the Direct Support Workforce

Joseph Macbeth, Executive Director, NADSP

How do we support people with disabilities to make informed decisions? How must community-based service provider organizations transform their culture from "care giving" to "providing support"? What are the workforce demographics and projections to fulfill these responsibilities? Do they possess the tools, resources and skills to uphold this responsibility? Kick off the 2015 Leadership Academy by exploring the questions presented by the new CMS Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Rule and setting the stage for discussions to come.

  2:15 - 2:30 pm Networking Break with Exhibitors
  2:30 - 4:00 pm The NADSP Code of Ethics Encounter

John Raffaele, Training Consultant, NADSP

John Raffaele, a skilled staff educator and licensed social worker, will share real examples culled from decades of practicing in the field of intellectual disabilities. John will lead you in role-play to act out some real dilemmas and ethical decisions that confront direct support professionals. You will then use the NADSP's Code of Ethics to consider ways that ethical practices can be incorporated into daily practice. The beliefs and attitudes that are associated with being an effective human service professional are the cornerstones of this code.

  4:00 - 4:15 pm Networking Break with Exhibitors
  4:15 - 5:45 pm Ignite! Town Hall 2015 (Joint Session)
(Sponsored by AHP Healthcare Solutions)

Chris Sparks, President, ANCOR (Moderator)

The IGNITE Town Hall kicks off with a focused look at federal policy in the 114th Congressional session, then opens up the floor to attendees to share what is going on in their states and communities to implement the new home and community-based settings rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Where else can you get instant feedback and first-hand information directly from providers of services across the nation? Find out if what you've heard about other states' implementations is fact or fiction, or somewhere in between. ANCOR President Chris Sparks will moderate this robust and technologically-assisted session.

What's working? Where do the challenges remain? What are the implications for your services and the people you support? Let's discuss during the IGNITE Town Hall!

  5:45 - 6:00 pm Networking Break
  6:00 - 7:15 pm Sprout Film Festival
(Sponsored by AHP Healthcare Solutions)

Enjoy several short movies created by and featuring people with developmental disabilities. Join in conversations with family members and get inspired!

May 5 7:30 - 8:00 am Continental Breakfast
  8:00 - 9:15 am The Great Competency Debate

Joseph Macbeth, Executive Director, NADSP
John Raffaele, Training Consultant, NADSP

The cornerstone of every profession is a standardized set of competencies with which all practitioners carry out their craft. The NADSP Competencies have been adopted by the United States Department of Labor's Long-term Care, Supports, and Services Competency Model and used as the foundation for states as they begin to develop their own competency set for direct support professionals. This session will introduce the national direct support professional competencies in an engaging, though-provoking and fun manner. The audience will break into small groups and discuss the competencies…and then the fun (and learning) begins.

  9:15 - 9:30 am Networking Break
  9:30 - 10:15 am Plenary (Joint Session)
Sponsored by SEFCU Insurance

Igniting a Vision for Change

Tom Pomeranz, EdD, President, Universal Lifestiles, LLC

The providers of services and supports for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are facing seismic change. Agencies throughout the country are challenged to stay in the forefront of adaptive technology, integrated electronic data keeping systems and evidenced-based practices. Providers are challenged with the continued closure of large state and private developmental centers with expectations for community based providers to step to the plate and provide services and supports to individuals who often require pervasive medical and behavioral supports. Providers are also challenged with the necessity to become part of managed care systems/agency coalitions to achieve cost efficacy in meeting the highest levels of quality and personal outcome measures for those supported.

Now is the time for an organizational cultural shift! In this presentation, Dr. Pomeranz will describe the role of leadership to facilitate the organizational changes that are essential to thriving in these evolving and synergistic times. Pomeranz will discuss the importance of creating a sense of urgency among staff and Board members as the first step in the process. Further, he will detail how staff training and refocusing the organization's reward systems are essential in facilitating change. Perhaps the most important strategy this session will stress is the importance of everyone's role in modelling the vision while creating new stories and symbols that support the paradigm shift and assure quality of life for those individuals supported.

  10:15 - 10:30 am Networking Break
  10:30 - 11:45 am National Advocacy Campaign (Joint Session)

Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards
Underwritten by Relias Learning

  11:45 am - 1:00 pm Lunch (On Your Own)
  1:00 - 2:00 pm Enhancing Leadership through Personal Power — Stories from the Real World
Special Thanks to Cedar Lake and Community Access Unlimited for Their Support

Carter Squires, 10th Grade Student, duPont Manual High School
Adeyemi Ajijedidun, 2014 NJ DSP of the Year, New American Movement for People with Disabilities
Myrta Rosa, Member Advocate
Rebekah Novemsky, Family Mentor, CAU

Everyone may choose to be a leader. Learn how a high school student was instrumental in getting a bill titled An Act to Raise the Salaries of Direct Support Professionals in Kentucky to $10.04 Per Hour moved on to the KY state legislature. Learn how one family member of a person with disabilities, one individual living with disabilities and one direct support professional who followed his passion of advocacy demonstrate how working together in balanced relationships and avoiding power struggles use their personal power toward advocacy for the rights of individuals with disabilities.

  2:00 - 2:15 pm Networking Break
  2:15 - 3:15 pm AdvocacyDSPs Into Action: Making Your Voice Heard on the Hill and at Home (Role Play)

Mark Davis, President, OPRA
Esme Grant, Senior Director of Government Relations, ANCOR

An appointment with your legislator has been made. You're dressed and ready to go. You are ready and willing to convince your elected official that the job you do and the people you support need to be valued and supported. You get to the office and, and….It's easy to get tongue tied when you are trying to talk about issues that mean so much to you and the individuals you support. Practice is the easiest way to ensure your conversations with decision-makers are clear and effective and convey exactly the message you want them to hear. ANCOR's Senior Director of Government Relations and Mark Davis, Executive Director of a state provider association for Ohio will walk you through a series of role playing scenarios and offer useful tips to have you ready to be the best advocate possible for your Day on the Hill, and beyond.

  3:15 - 3:30 pm Networking Break
  3:30 - 4:30 pm Informed Decision Making: Helping People Make Decisions

Joseph Macbeth, Executive Director, NADSP

This closing session offers a chance to reflect on the evolving role and expectations of Direct Support Professionals that were presented throughout the Leadership Academy and will hone in on one critical piece of the CMS Rule: How do we support people with disabilities to make informed decisions? DSPs will walk away from their time at the Academy understanding: WHY people with disabilities must be empowered to make their own decisions; the delicate balance between risk, choice and responsibility; the role that experience plays in making decisions and what "experience poor" means; How DSP skills and ethics can help people make decisions; and most importantly the five steps to making a decision that is owned by a person and not coerced.