2023 ANCOR Annual Conference

As we write the next chapter of our community's story, it's time to reach higher, dream bigger and be bolder. This year's conference theme, Possibility Unleashed, challenges us to embrace the creativity generated through intentional innovation.

  • About
  • Call for Sessions
  • Hotel & Travel
  • At-a-Glance Agenda


For more than 50 years, ANCOR members have lifted up people and communities, reaching for new heights to show what’s possible when we believe in the promise of community inclusion for people of all abilities.

As we write the next chapter of our community’s story, it’s time to reach higher, dream bigger and be bolder as we work to take community-based supports to the next level.

Our 2023 Annual Conference theme, Possibility Unleashed, challenges us to embrace the creativity generated through intentional innovation. Through purposeful brainstorming, catalytic collaboration and experiential education, the ANCOR community will come together for three days to discover what possibilities we can unleash when we reexamine past practices to design the services of the future. Whether you join us on Chicago’s stunning Magnificent Mile or participate virtually, this is your premiere opportunity to gather as a community of thought partners to tackle some of today’s most pressing challenges.

Who Attends?

All are welcome! As the signature gathering of community providers that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), ANCOR’s Annual Conference attracts a diverse range of innovators from provider organizations, including:

  • Executive leaders
  • Program directors & program managers
  • Frontline supervisors
  • Direct support professionals
  • Behavioral health specialists
  • Case managers & support coordinators
  • Nurses & other clinical staff
  • Administrative staff (including professionals from human resources, finance, communications, development and more)
  • Board members

In addition to provider organization staff, the ANCOR Annual Conference draws a wide array of others supporting our collective mission, including:

  • Self-advocates & other people with I/DD
  • Family members of people with I/DD
  • Researchers
  • Federal, state and local policymakers and regulators
  • Companies offering leading products and services used by I/DD providers
  • At-large members of the disability advocacy community

Given the diverse range of Annual Conference participants, there’s something for everyone—including YOU!


Email [email protected]

ANCOR is now accepting session proposals for its 2023 Annual Conference, the theme for which is Possibility Unleashed.

Begin Your Session Proposal

We invite anyone to share lessons learned, evidence-based results, replicable approaches and practical tools that advance the ability of intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) service providers to more effectively support people to fully participate in their communities.

Presentation Dates

  • Sessions for the 2023 Annual Conference will be presented April 24, 25 and 26, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Standard presentations should fit within a one-hour timeframe, inclusive of Q&A (we generally recommend 45 minutes for the presentation and 15 minutes for Q&A).
  • NEW! “Short Share-Outs” are a new session format being added to the agenda for the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference. Proposals to present Short Share-Outs should be able to be presented in 5-10 minutes.
  • NEW! “Metaverse Moments” and “Makerspace Magic” are two new session formats being added to the agenda for the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference. Both of these hands-on experiential learning experiences are designed to offer front-row experiences of how new technology, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, is helping achieve full community inclusion. Proposals to present Metaverse Moments and/or Makerspace Magic should be able to be delivered in 30 minutes or less.

Our Audience

Our audiences seek out innovative, out-of-the-box thinking to offer the highest quality supports and services for people of ALL abilities to thrive as active, valued, contributing members of our communities, while navigating a complex regulatory environment, limited funding, and long-standing workforce recruitment and retention challenges.

Therefore, our favorite presenters:

  • Lead interactive sessions to stimulate thought-provoking discussions.
  • Challenge our assumptions.
  • Teach replicable approaches that Annual Conference participants can implement in their communities.
  • Provide tools and resources for participants to use at home.
  • Demonstrate the impact and success of their approach with data, first-person accounts and other objective evidence.

Presentation Requirements

Proposals will be considered programmable if they:

  • Are free of commercial appeals (e.g., product advertisements, promotion of services, etc.).
  • Are free of partisan political views.
  • Fit within one the allotted amount of time allocated for the type of session proposed.

Benefits of Speaking at Our Conference

There are a variety of benefits of having a proposal accepted for presentation as part of the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference, including:

  • The opportunity to be seen as a credible subject matter expert in the I/DD field.
  • Visibility on our website and print materials (where appropriate).
  • Discounted registration rates.

Areas of Interest

  • Technology Maximization
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility

Areas of Interest

  • Business Acumen
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility
  • Emerging Leaders
  • The Future of Funding
  • Quality Services
  • Technology
  • Workforce Recruitment & Retention

Submission Timeline

Upon submission, a team of ANCOR staff and volunteer members will review and evaluate all submissions. ANCOR will begin extending invitations to present in November 2022 with a goal of having sent all notifications by January 1, 2023.


Email [email protected]

Begin Your Session Proposal

Our Venue

Photo of Chicago's skyline, facing north from the 38th floor of the Chicago Marriott Downtown, with several skyscrapers including the landmark Hancock Building

Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
540 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Note: A block of rooms offered at discounted rates will be available for booking by Annual Conference participants starting in mid-November 2022. 

We’re pleased to be back at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, which has exceptional views of the city and Lake Michigan.

This four-star, full-service hotel is located on the Magnificent Mile in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood, putting you steps away from a stroll along the city’s famed Riverwalk or its world-class lakefront.

You’ll also enjoy easy access to some of the nation’s most celebrated attractions, including Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum and Navy Pier. Hop on the L for easy access to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field or a night out at Second City, the world-famous improv theater.

After a day of learning, networking and innovating, you and your friends old and new can treat yourself to any number of the nearby restaurants that celebrate the Midwest’s gastronomic heritage.

Getting to Chicago

Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  • 30-60 minutes to the Chicago Marriott Downtown by car, depending on traffic
  • 55-65 minutes via public transit using CTA’s Blue Line
  • Hub for American Airlines and United Airlines; focus city for Spirit Airlines
Midway International Airport
  • 25-55 minutes to Chicago Marriott Downtown by car, depending on traffic
  • 45-50 minutes via public transit using CTA’s Orange & Red Lines
  • Hub for Southwest Airlines; focus city for Frontier Airlines
Chicago Union Station
  • 10 minutes to Chicago Marriott Downtown by car
  • 15-20 minutes via public transit using one of several CTA bus lines
  • Amtrak service to Chicago from numerous North American destinations

Getting Around Chicago

The L

The Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA, operates an extensive subway system known as “the L.” The system gets its name from its elevated tracks in the Loop (Chicago’s downtown core), though visitors should note that some tracks and stations on the L are underground.

The nearest L station to the Chicago Marriott Downtown is Grand. Located on CTA’s Red Line, the entrance to Grand can be found at the northwest corner of East Grand Avenue and State Street.

CTA System Map


Metra is Chicagoland’s commuter rail system and provides service between Chicago and countless suburbs, including as far north as Kenosha, WI.

The nearest Metra station to the Chicago Marriott Downtown is Millennium Station. Located on Metra’s Electric Line, the entrance to Millennium Station can be found at the southwest corner of East Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue (across from Millennium Park).

Metra System Map

Share a Ride

Chicago’s bike-sharing system is called Divvy, and you’re never far from a docked Divvy bike when you’re in the city.

Find a Bike

In addition to countless taxi cabs to meet your needs, popular ride-sharing apps operate within the city, including Uber and Lyft.

Learn more about your transit options while in the Windy City by checking out Choose Chicago’s “Get Around Chicago” page.

Get Around Chicago

Sunday, April 23

ANCOR Foundation Board Meeting
9 am-2 pm

ANCOR Foundation Leadership Academy Class of 2025 Orientation
2:30–5:30 pm

Foundation Board of Directors & Leadership Academy Meet and Greet
6:30–8:30 pm

Monday, April 24

Registration Open
11 am–5 pm

Lunch (on your own)
1:15-1:45 pm

Networking Break with Exhibitors
4-5 pm

Opening Plenary: President’s Address & Kickoff Keynote
5-6:30 pm

Welcome Reception
6:30–7:30 pm

Late Night Legos + Ideation Competition
7:30-9:30 pm

Late Night Registration
7:30-9:30 pm

Tuesday, April 25

Exhibit Hall Open
7:30 am–5 pm

Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
7:30–8:30 am

Registration Open
8 am–1:30 pm

New Attendee Meet & Greet
8–8:45 am

Morning Plenary: CEO Address & Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Keynote
9–10:15 am

Networking Break with Exhibitors
10:15–10:45 am

Concurrent Sessions 1
10:45–11:45 am

Lunch (on your own)
11:45 am-1:45 pm

Leadership through Listening: Lunchtime Drum Circle Experience
12-1 pm

Concurrent Sessions 2
1:15–2:15 pm

Networking Break with Exhibitors
2:15–2:45 pm

Metaverse Moments
2:15–2:45 pm

Workforce Case Competition Finals (sponsored by the ANCOR Foundation)
2:45–3:45 pm

Networking Break with Exhibitors
3:45–4:15 pm

Makerspace Magic
3:45–4:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions 3
4:15-5:15 pm

Non-Traditional Build Competition
5:30-6:15 pm

ANCOR Foundation Reception (ticketed event; advanced purchase required)
6:30-8:30 pm

Wednesday, April 26

Registration Open
8 am–1:15 pm

Continental Breakfast

Workforce Plenary
8:45–9:30 am

Concurrent Sessions 4
9:45–10:45 am

Presentation of the 2023 ANCOR Foundation Awards
11–11:45 am

Lunch (sponsored by Diamond Partner Relias)
12-1 pm

Concurrent Sessions 5
1:15–2:15 pm

Closing Plenary & Presentation of the 2023 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards
2:30–4:15 pm