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.

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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]

Alonzo Kelly is a dynamic executive coach, professor, three-time best selling author, and radio host who has gained international and global attention as a premier consultant and strategist.

Recognized as one the nation’s leading experts on leadership development, strategic thinking and organizational planning, Kelly has appeared on America’s Premier Experts which airs on major networks across the country including ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX.
Kelly has served over 1,000 individuals through personal and professional development, delivered training to a plethora of Fortune 500 companies, as well as various college and universities and nonprofit organizations.
We are thrilled to welcome Alonzo Kelly to the mainstage during our morning plenary on Tuesday, April 25, to hear him speak on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA).

Phil Hansen is an internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker, author and innovator at the forefront of bringing art to a wider audience.Phil Hansen is an internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker, author and innovator at the forefront of bringing art to a wider audience. He is most widely known for his meta-art—videos that document the creation process (sometimes even through destruction), showing millions that art is action, not just result. Hansen’s work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, the Rachael Ray Show, and many more.

In his presentation during the Annual Conference opening plenary on Monday, April 24, Hansen will deliver a powerful message of finding creativity within limitations that will challenge us to break preconceived assumptions and activate our creative capacity.

ANCOR & the ANCOR Foundation Launch First-Ever Disability Services Case Competition

October 19, 2022 – In response to a decades-long shortage of professionals who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to be included in the community, ANCOR and the ANCOR Foundation are launching the first-ever Disability Services Case Competition. Designed to cultivate solutions to a workforce crisis that is hindering access to opportunities for people with I/DD, the Case Competition is your chance to affect positive social change, jump-start your career and—for the top three teams—win your share of more than $25,000 in scholarship prizes.

To learn more about the first-ever Disability Services Case Competition, visit the Case Competition webpage or browse the Case Competition Guide.

The information below is subject to change, and additional sessions may be added. Check back often for the latest news about our 2023 Annual Conference agenda.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Leadership Meetings (times vary)
ANCOR Foundation Board of Directors Meeting

9 am-2 pm

ANCOR Foundation Leadership Academy Class of 2025 Orientation

2:30-5 pm

Monday, April 24, 2023

Leadership Meetings & Special Events (times vary)
Government Relations Committee Meeting

9-11 am

Registration Open

11 am-5 pm

State Association Executives Forum Meeting

11:15 am-1:15 pm

Board of Representatives Meeting

2-4 pm

Grassroots Committee Meeting

2-4 pm

Exhibit Hall Open

4-5 pm

Registration Reopens

7:30-9:30 pm

Pre-Conference Workshops (times vary)

Pre-Conference Sessions offer deep dives into timely and relevant topics. There are two two-hour time blocks for these sessions, both on Monday, April 24, with two session offerings per time block. This means that you can participate in more than one Pre-Conference Session! Please note that an additional registration fee of $165 per Pre-Conference Session is required; add the session(s) you want to attend when completing your Conference registration.

It Starts with Hello: Using a Person-Centered Focus to Shift Your Hiring Culture and Improve Recruitment & Retention
The Renee L. Pietrangelo Leadership Forum

11:15 am-1:15 pm | Tracks: DEIA, Leadership

Hiring practices are an ideal starting point for transforming workplace culture. From position descriptions that increase the diversity of your applicant pool to establishing processes that create a sense of belonging before an offer is even made, the hiring process presents a wide range of opportunities to shift your organizational culture.

To help you navigate these opportunities, workshop leaders will highlight lessons from ANCOR’s recent overhaul of its own hiring practices. Participants will learn how to increase diversity through transparent job ads, limit bias through thoughtful redactive practices, advance the most qualified candidates through appropriate skills-based assessments, equalize the playing field through a robust panel interview process, and ultimately make an offer to the right person for the job through several hands-on experiential activities. Additionally, participants will consider key questions with guidance from the presenters. For example, how do you know if your efforts are making a difference? How do you make mid-course corrections? How do you ensure you have the right people at the table, playing the right roles at the right times? Most importantly, each participant will leave with an understanding that creating a more inclusive workplace where people can come to work as their whole authentic selves starts with hello.


  • Sasha Sencer, ANCOR
  • Alli Strong-Martin, ANCOR
Transformation Teams: An Innovative Approach to Implementing Strategic Plans

11:15 am-1:15 pm | Track: Leadership

Deciding goals for a strategic plan can be challenging, but determining how to successfully implement strategic plans can be even harder. In this session, the presenter will talk about her organization’s use of “Transformation Teams” as an innovative way to create solutions to NCC’s most challenging obstacles outlined in its strategic business plan. Participants in this session will learn about the rationale behind NCC’s approach, as well as successes, feedback from participants, roadblocks and lessons learned. This session is ideal for participants regardless of where they are in their strategic planning journeys, whether just beginning to imagine a strategic plan, working through methods to carry out a plan, or looking for unique ways to involve staff in larger projects.


  • Capri Fowler, National Children’s Center
  • Terrance King, National Children’s Center
The Future of Funding: Leveraging Data Analytics to Drive Outcomes

1:45-3:45 pm | Track: Technology & Innovation

NOTE: This session has been particularly popular and is now operating a waiting list. If you are interested in participating but have not yet registered, you can  add yourself to the waiting list or select another of our compelling Pre-Conference Session offerings. 

As the health and human services sector continues to move towards alternative payment models and valued-based reimbursement, it is becoming increasingly important for service providers to take full advantage of technology and data analytics to drive quality and clinical outcomes. Traditional fee-for-service models and Medicaid carve-outs are increasingly at risk, giving way to managed care. This has been the trend in primary care and behavioral health services and is increasingly prevalent in the intellectual and developmental disabilities space, where the cost of care is substantially higher than in other sectors. This shift has been accelerated in part by the pandemic, which has required agencies to pivot to the use of technology to deliver services, provide hybrid options for care, and increase focus on integrated, whole-person care to support people with complex needs.

This session will share practical guidance, lessons learned and opportunities for like-minded agencies to impact the people they serve by exploring how to use technology to drive data collection and how to use data analytics to track outcomes and build clinical pathways. This technology- and data-driven approach is essential for engaging in discussions about the future of alternative payment models and valued-based reimbursement.


  • Nathan Henninger, I Am Boundless
  • Jen Riha, I Am Boundless
Trauma and Healing in the Lives of People with I/DD

1:45-3:45 pm | Track: DEIA

This session will provide an in-depth look at trauma in the lives of people with I/DD and the effects of that trauma. The presenter will work with participants to explore biological, psychological and social effects of trauma, and then facilitate a discussion about healing. Participants will glean a sense of three core elements of healing—safety, connections and empowerment—as well as the Positive Identity approach to healing. Participants will have the opportunity to leverage a number of tools, both in the session and afterwards, including a happiness assessment, a daily happiness worksheet and a variety of other workbooks. These tools can be used by professionals and are accessible to all.


  • Karyn Harvey, Park Avenue Group
Opening Plenary (5-6:30 pm)
Conference Welcome & 2023 President’s Address

5-5:30 pm

Bold brainstorming. Intentional innovation. Catalytic collaboration. That’s what unleashing possibility is all about, and that’s what ANCOR is all about. Over the next three days, you’ll connect with hundreds of providers who have made it their life’s work to insist on inclusion for people with I/DD. Together, we’ll reexamine past practices, set aside assumptions about what’s possible in the status quo, and imagine creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. In this opening plenary session, it’ll all kick off with a welcome from our “local hosts,” who lead the two state provider associations here in the Land of Lincoln. Then, we’ll hear from Diane Beastrom, President of the ANCOR Board of Directors, who will use her first President’s Address to share her vision of all the possibility that can be unleashed when our community comes together.


  • Diane Beastrom, Koinonia
  • Kathy Carmody, Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities
  • Josh Evans, IARF
  • Barbara Merrill, ANCOR
Opening Keynote: Reimagining Our Limitations by Embracing the Shake

5:30-6:30 pm

Our opening keynote presentation will be delivered by Phil Hansen, an internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker, author and innovator who has made it his mission to bring art to a wider audience. For the tens of millions who have seen Hansen’s art, it’s hard to imagine that his artistic journey nearly came to an end after he developed a career-ending tremor in his drawing hand. However, he embraced his “shake,” both physically and metaphorically, by redefining his limitation as an impetus for creativity. Hansen not only restored his artistic abilities, but also became more creative and more innovative than ever. Now, Hansen will step onto ANCOR’s mainstage to deliver a powerful message about how “embracing the shake” can inspire us all to approach our limitations in a new way.


  • Phil Hansen, Artist, Speaker, Author & Innovator
Evening Activities (6:30-9:30 pm)
Welcome Reception with Exhibitors

Networking | 6:30-7:30 pm

Late Night Lego Ideation Competition

Brain Break | 7:30-9:30 pm

ANCOR Disability Champions PAC Event

Networking | 7:30-9:30 pm

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Morning Plenary (9-10:15 am)
2023 State of the Association Address

9-9:30 am

Now a staple of the ANCOR Annual Conference experience, ANCOR CEO Barbara Merrill will kick off a thought-provoking Day 2 with the annual State of the Association address. As we reconsider what’s possible for the future of community-based services, Merrill will lead us through some of our community’s biggest accomplishments of the past year and offer a sense of what innovations and milestones are on the horizon. With proof of all that’s possible because of the ingenuity of our growing community of providers, you’ll start your morning feeling energized to embrace new ideas that will carry you through the busy day ahead!


  • Barbara Merrill, ANCOR
Morning Keynote Address: Taking the Right First Step: Starting Your DEIA Journey

9:30-10:15 am

Kick off your Tuesday morning with a thought-provoking keynote presentation from Alonzo Kelly on the role of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in our work. By now, your organization is likely at least thinking about DEIA. Perhaps you’re questioning your hiring practices, or wondering how to invite a more diverse range of perspectives on your Board. Maybe you’re considering how to make your workplace more welcoming to people with rising identities. You might even be practicing how staff at all levels of the organization should be responding to identity-related aggressions in the workplace. No matter what thoughts you’re having, one question takes precedence above all the others: where should you begin? No matter how you’re thinking about your DEIA journey, what matters is that you get started, and that your first steps move you in the right direction. In this thought-provoking keynote address, renowned thought leader Alonzo Kelly will help us evaluate how to take the right first step in transforming our workplaces.


  • Alonzo Kelly, Executive Coach & Best-Selling Author
Concurrent Sessions 1 (10:45-11:45 am)
Enhancing Diversity & Inclusion through Side-by-Side Training

Track: DEIA

Inclusive training can enhance diversity and inclusion in a way that empowers people accepting services, as well as their providers and the communities in which they support people. In this session, presenters will walk participants through how facilitating training that is appropriate for both staff and the people accepting services can create new opportunities for skill development, hands-on learning and inspired ideas—all without interfering with billable services. After learning the what, why and how of “side-by-side” training, presenters will share first-hand accounts of the side-by-side training experience from the perspectives of people accepting services, family members, direct support professionals and county board staff.


  • Beth Barr, Capabilities
  • Stephanie Bockrath, Capabilities
I/DD Business & Service Models: Reimagine, Refocus, Rebuild

Track: Person-Centered Supports

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, community providers rose to the occasion in a range of different ways. Along the way, an array of new practices emerged. While many of these practices have become industry standard in some places, they haven’t been universally embraced in all places or for all providers. With that in mind, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council set out on a 17-month comprehensive service delivery models project designed to transform service delivery models, revolutionize business practices and promote best practices to help providers recover, rebuild and reimagine their service models. Participants in this session will glean a comprehensive overview of the approaches used, tools implemented, processes enhanced and funding streams utilized by providers in this project to envision approaches they might adopt to ensure people with I/DD receive services in a seamless, individualized and sustainable way, regardless of where they live or whether they receive services at home, on-site or in the community.


  • Michael Shriver, Penn-Mar Human Services
  • Dale Verstegen, Penn-Mar Human Services
  • Kevin Walker, Penn-Mar Human Services
Strategies, Initiatives & Resources to Increase Competitive, Integrated Employment

Track: Person-Centered Supports

This session implores strategic approaches taken by disability service providers to embrace and advance competitive integrated employment (CIE). These organizations, using resources provided through the National Expansion of Employment Opportunities Network initiative, developed innovative strategies to address various challenges encountered throughout the country when expanding CIE. Using these examples as a framework for future success, this session will provide a course of action to expand participants’ efforts to increase CIE, reduce reliance on subminimum wage and segregated employment settings, and remain engaged and responsive to business needs and workforce trends. Participants will also learn about future opportunities to partner with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and other industry leaders, such as through monthly community of practice meetings.


  • Richard Davis, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Adam Fishbein, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Jeannine Pavlak, Economic Systems, Inc.
Supporting our DSPs: Results from the 2023 Relias DSP Survey

Track: Workforce Solutions

The field of I/DD services has seen enormous shifts in the last two years. Struggles in funding, recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a strained workforce have led to huge challenges for the backbone of our services: our direct support professionals. In 2019 and 2021, in partnership with ANCOR, Relias fielded a survey to enable us to hear directly from DSPs about their unique perspectives and offer provider organization leaders insights about how they can help these crucial staff members thrive. Now in its third iteration, this year’s DSP survey seeks to answer key questions: What challenges do DSPs continue to face, despite organizations’ best efforts? What do DSPs desire and expect from their leaders and their organizations? And, most importantly, what can organizations do to ensure the well-being of their DSP workforce and the people they serve?


  • Arlene Bridges, Relias
  • Nellie Galindo, Relias
The Forgotten Population: Whole-Person Integrated Care for People with I/DD

Track: Person-Centered Supports

A significant portion of people supported by community-based I/DD providers have dual I/DD-behavioral health diagnoses. The same is true for 85% of the people supported by Ohio-based Koinonia. For people with dual diagnoses, whole-person Integrated care (WPIC) is essential; WPIC increases the likelihood of a proper mental illness diagnosis, as well as accurate medication management and appropriate care. In this session, experts from Koinonia will share how they approach WPIC at the agency, including how they empower the people they support to make informed decisions to support their health and well-being in coordination with a team of highly trained specialists who understand people’s complex needs.


  • Jeanne Greene, Koinonia
  • Kiley Ritt, Koinonia
Unleashing Leadership to Create Transformative Partnerships: A Leadership Academy Success Story

Track: Leadership

In the news, at work, in our families and even in our close relationships, divisiveness surrounds us. For established and emerging leaders in an ever-changing field that has a pronounced impact in the lives of so many people, this means that it’s more important than ever before to find and create pathways to connectedness. In this session, two graduates of the ANCOR Foundation’s Leadership Academy discuss how they applied what they learned from the Academy and how these leadership lessons led them to develop a strong partnership, both between themselves as professionals and between the agencies for which they work. Representing agencies that might otherwise be considered competitors and having never met one another prior to the Leadership Academy, the presenters in this session will walk participants through how their unlikely partnership, rooted in a culture of trust, enabled them to increase awareness of and access to Life Sharing Services for people with I/DD throughout Minnesota. Participants can expect to leave the session with a deeper understanding of how to root partnerships in a culture of trust, the power of having a mentor, and the benefits of participating in the ANCOR Foundation Leadership Academy.


  • Laura Vogel, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
  • Jennifer Walton, Accord
Concurrent Sessions 2 (1:15-2:15 pm)
Applying Natural Language Processing in Human Services to Improve Lives

Track: Technology & Innovation

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is no longer just a plot device in the movies. Natural language processing is the use of software to process, analyze and understand written data—much like the plans and notes we collect on the people we support. Harnessing this form of AI to extract and quantify language and study subjective information is the future of home- and community-based services. By the end of this session, participants can expect to (1) understand the basics of sentiment analysis and natural language processing and how these concepts can be applied to the human services field, (2) explore real use cases from a provider agency, (3) understand how to improve lives and outcomes through futuristic technologies, and (4) learn about opportunities to use natural language processing to address disparities in health equity.


  • Robert Budd, Family Residences & Essential Enterprises
  • Doug Golub, MediSked
Innovative Tech Partnerships to Elevate Independence

Track: Technology & Innovation

Technology is quickly becoming a critical tool to improve community inclusion and independence for people with I/DD. Creative, intentional partnerships between providers and payers can lead the way in adopting and evaluating technology for people with I/DD and complex behavioral needs. This session will introduce participants to one such partnership by walking through case studies and lessons learned. Presenters will share examples of independence-supporting technologies, some of which are familiar (think smart home technology, communication tools and remote supports) and others of which are newer (a wearable-enabled app to improve quality of life while decreasing unnecessary ER visits and crisis services utilization). Participants may be surprised by the opportunities to outcomes that are already at their fingertips!


  • Jodi Fenner, Elevance Health
  • Andrea Palmer, Awake Labs
No Turning Back: The Future of Direct Support

Track: Workforce Solutions

Pre-pandemic workforce trends, followed by COVID-19 and the ensuing “Great Resignation,” have had a permanent impact on workers across many industries. Employers have been forced to adapt by offering increased flexibility and individualized options. And, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, acute worker shortages will continue for the next decade, if not beyond. What does all of this mean for the world of direct support, particularly for people who rely on in-person, hands-on assistance? How will the home- and community-based services system meet people’s support needs in a world with fewer workers? How do leaders plan now for a future that has yet to unfold? This intriguing session will invite participants to consider what the future of direct support might look like in the coming years.


  • Kim Champney, Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities
Person-Centered Planning is Floundering: How Can It Become Better?

Track: Person-Centered Supports

Person-centered planning is struggling to survive today, especially within government-funded programs. This floundering was predicted by John and Connie O’Brien, two primary leaders of the person-centered movement. Early on, they admonished folks that person-centered planning would be perverted when it became embedded into government rules, regulations and funding. Sure enough, while today everyone says they are “doing” person-centered planning, its primary purpose of having a greater quality of life as defined by the person seems to have been hijacked by regulatory, funding and compliance practices.

In this session, presenters will share the many obstacles and challenges that work against a person’s quest to live their best possible life. These challenges include critical staff shortages, of course, as well as road blocks that arise as we find new ways of working thanks to the pandemic. Further complicating matters is that plans tend not to be valued or voluntarily acted upon by the person for whom they are intended, and they are often buried inside providers’ records on a person rather than being allowed to exist as standalone documents. Working from these challenges, this session will also address suggestions for improving the current process, including a more contemporary approach to person-centered planning that incorporates the contributions of positive psychology and the use of mobile devices.”


  • Art Dykstra, High Tide Press
  • Anne Ward, High Tide Press
Wait, What?! Stepping Into an Executive Role

Track: Leadership

Stepping into a role as the new Executive Director or Chief Executive Officer is an exciting time. Realizing your ability to impact services and share a vision for an organization can be invigorating. That is…until reality hits! Now what? Leading at this level can be challenging and lonely. It can also be the most rewarding career experience you ever have. To help you make the most of it, this session will give you ideas for how to develop courageous leadership, be transparent, build lasting relationships and lead in difficult times. What do I need to know when I walk in the door? Who are my partners and how can I work with them? What are some good resources I prepare before I start? How do I develop trust as the new leader? Should I use an executive coach or senior mentor? If I’m new to the arena, how do I connect to thought leaders and understand who I should influence? How do I negotiate my contract and what resources might I pursue if salary is limited? What is my role with the board? Two seasoned organization leaders will walk participants through these pressing questions that face all new chief executives as they get their bearings straight. Bring your sense of humor and be prepared to laugh with us as they share their experiences, challenges and humbling stories!


  • Cheryl Plank, Hope Haven Area Development Center
  • Rita Wiersma, Accord
Afternoon Plenary (2:45-3:45 pm)
Pipelines to Possibility: Winning Ideas from the 2023 Disability Services Case Competition Finalists

2:45-3:45 pm

Late last year, the ANCOR Foundation launched its first-ever Disability Services Case Competition. In this tournament-style competition, the Foundation engaged students across the country to solicit innovative ideas to alleviate the direct support workforce crisis. We asked for creative and innovative ideas designed to encourage emerging professionals to pursue careers in I/DD services, and the submissions did not disappoint! After an intensive process, we’ve narrowed the pool of teams down to three finalists, all of whom are here at the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference vying for the opportunity to jump-start their careers and earn their share of more than $25,000 in prize money. As part of the process, the three finalists will present their winning ideas on the ANCOR mainstage, where participants will be treated to a sneak preview of how the next generation of leaders will drive our industry forward.


  • Sasha Sencer, ANCOR
Concurrent Sessions 3 (4:15-5:15 pm)
Becoming Anti-Ableist: Transforming the Workplaces of Workers with Disabilities

Track: DEIA

Direct support professionals know that the people they support are far more likely to succeed in workplaces that are ready, willing and able to create an inclusive and adaptive environment. Unfortunately, not all employers are well equipped to meet the needs of a diverse workforce, including meeting the needs of employees with disabilities. Many employers need additional tools and education, and often they turn to DSPs for this knowledge. This leaves DSPs burdened with the additional responsibility of educating the co-workers, managers and leadership of the workers they support. Between supporting multiple people and managing case notes, billing and other responsibilities, this additional role of “trainer” can be overwhelming and stressful. In this session, participants will learn strategies to transform moments of conflict or stress with an employer into opportunities for growth and success—for themselves, employers and, most importantly, the people they support to seek and maintain employment. Grounded in the principles of disability justice, the presenter will offer a crash course in the role of ableism in the modern workplace and the integral role DSPs can play in transforming workplaces to better support employees with disabilities.


  • Nora Genster, Northwest Center
Cultivating DSP Capacity to Promote Employment Equity Despite a Catastrophic Workforce Crisis

Track: Workforce Solutions

We are living through an intense and opportunistic time in the global workforce. In the realm of employment equity for people with disabilities, we see immense turnover and astounding numbers of vacant positions. Meanwhile, people with disabilities continue to be excluded from the workforce. This conundrum begs some important questions: How do you create opportunities for people who have historically been underemployed while simultaneously cultivating a workforce of skilled DSPs? Likewise, how do you interrupt high turnover and still trigger better outcomes? From these challenges lies an opportunity: to build capacity through recruitment, training and collaboration, and to bring together supported employment providers to encourage shared learning, user friendly tools and innovative practices. This session will share pivots in training and capacity building that were implemented in Washington state in 2020 that now continue to grow beyond the pandemic and beyond the Pacific Northwest.


  • Emily Harris, Wise
  • Jaimie Laitinen, Wise
Operationalizing Person-Centered Organizations: Practical Tools for Implementation

Track: Person-Centered Supports

Person-centered practices should be at the root of all human services provision. Given the HCBS Settings Rule, it’s more important now than ever before that providers focus on assuring services are congruent with what people define as their personal outcomes. In this context, this session will will introduce participants to person-centered practices, including some of the tools available to facilitate person-centered planning discussions developed by LifeCourse Nexus in partnership with the University of Missouri Kansas City. Presenters will support participnts to take a closer look at how to support people to achieve their identified goals and outcomes through the use of a combination of these tools. Then, participants will engage in discussions about how to build a person-centered organizational culture within their agencies. Participants will leave the session with a challenge to examine how to capture and use data from person-centered practices to bring about better outcomes for people supported in a variety of settings.


  • Heather Daily, Therap Services
  • Ishya “Shae” Dotson, Therap Services
Strategies for Unleashing Better Outcomes through Innovative Workforce Solutions

Track: Workforce Solutions

Community-based disability provider organizations face turnover rates exceeding 50% and are increasingly relying on part-time staff. As a result, more than 30% of the direct support workforce is part-time, meaning providers face an urgent challenge: glean a better understanding of the needs of DSPs and the root causes behind organizational instability in order to reduce the number of people involved in care. The team at GoodLife Innovations has spent years designing and implementing innovative labor solutions to increase DSP wages and provider margins within existing pools of resources. Their solutions include innovative schedules that offer compressed workweeks and premium pay strategies that have a meaningful impact on turnover. This session will demonstrate how participants can replicate many of the positive outcomes enabled by these innovations, such as lower turnover, $2-3 hourly wage increases for DSPs and decreased reliance on part-time staff.


  • Mike Strouse, Goodlife Innovations
Unleashing Possibility by Changing Company Culture

Track: Technology & Innovation

When the HCBS Settings Rule was initially rolled out, the relatively new leadership team at Core Services of Northeast Tennessee saw an opportunity to improve the direction of their agency by embracing the spirit of the new regulations. Seeking a roadmap forward, the agency enrolled in the state’s “Becoming a Person-Centered Organization” initiative and achieved Person Centered Excellence Accreditation through The Council on Quality and Leadership. This was the start of a virtuous cycle of change, transforming from a service model to a support model and enabling a number of important epiphanies along the way. For instance, the Core Services team often says, “People don’t want a lifetime of really good services, people want great lives.” These realizations have become words to live by, and the results have been significant: the agency has seen an 80% reduction in human rights restrictions, a 43% reduction in turnover among DSPs, and a 28% reduction in costs associated with overtime pay. In this session, leaders from Core Services will share how their agency embarked on a journey to reinvent roles and relationships to create a virtuous cycle of change that benefits everyone.


  • Susan Arwood, Core Services of Northeast Tennessee
  • Nicholas Filarelli, Core Services of Northeast Tennessee
Using Net Promoter Score to Drive Improvements in Your Organization’s Operations

Track: Leadership

A Net Promoter Score is a marketing metric that understands customer satisfaction by asking customers how likely they are to recommend a product or service. Although disability services may not be the first context we think of when imagining how a Net Promoter Score can be used, it can be a valuable tool for taking a pulse on what employees, people accepting supports, families, donors and volunteers think about your organization. This measurement approach is used by many Fortune 500 companies as part of a continuous improvement feedback loop to drive change and reach new levels of performance. By the end of this session, participants will have a clear sense of how using this simple survey tool can enable their organizations to track progress and highlight positive performance with various stakeholders.


  • Ron Ekstrand, Easterseals Arkansas
Networking & Special Events (times vary)
Exhibit Hall Open

7:30 am-5 pm

Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors

Networking | 7:30-9 am

Registration Open

8 am-1:30 pm

Newcomer Meet & Greet

Networking | 8-9 am

Networking Break with Exhibitors

Networking | 10:15-10:45 am

Lunch on Your Own

11:45 am-1:15 pm

Drum Circle: Leadership through Listening

Brain Break | 12-1 pm

Drum circles are immersive experiences focused on deep listening, a leadership skill that can call our attention to important lessons about being adaptive and collaborative and anticipating change—all while listening for and respecting the contributions of others.

Spend your lunch hour experiencing a drum circle, guided by Michael Taylor, a biracial Chicago-based teacher and performer who has been teaching West African percussion for nearly three decades. All are welcome to join—you can bring a percussion instrument from your own culture or use one of several provided by Taylor.

Networking Break with Exhibitors

Networking | 2:15-2:45 pm

Networking Break with Exhibitors

Networking | 3:45-4:15 pm

Non-Traditional Build Competition

Brain Break | 5:30-6:15 pm

ANCOR Foundation Reception

Networking & River Cruise | 7-9 pm (ticket required)

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Morning Plenary (8:30-9:30 am)
Critical National Trends: What the Trendlines Tell Us About Business, Technology & The Future of Supports

8:30-9:15 am

In an industry defined by new innovations and ever-evolving challenges, it’s crucial for community providers at all levels of the organization to stay ahead of the curve regarding what’s happening on the ground and what’s on the horizon. To keep you on the leading edge, this session will feature insights from data and emerging trends that highlight the road ahead for disability inclusion and the providers that make it possible. This all-star panel of national leaders will identify key trends that pertain to technology, business intelligence and the future of community-based supports for people with I/DD.


  • Stacy DiStefano, Consulting for Human Services
  • Mary Sowers, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Emily Shea Tanis, University of Kansas
  • Gabrielle Sedor, ANCOR (moderator)
Pioneering the Next Generation of Workforce Solutions: Presenting the 2023 Moving Mountains Award

9:15-9:30 am

Each year, ANCOR partners with the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals to present the Moving Mountains Award, an honor bestowed upon leading-edge providers that are implementing proven solutions that develop the direct support workforce. We’re thrilled that the 2023 Moving Mountains honorees will be celebrated on ANCOR’s mainstage in a session that is sure to leave you feeling appreciative of this year’s innovators and inspired to unleash creative solutions of your own!


  • Amy Hewitt, University of Minnesota
  • Joe Macbeth, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals
  • Barbara Merrill, ANCOR
Concurrent Sessions 4 (10-11 am)
Alternative Payment Models: From Concept to Implementation

Track: Person-Centered Supports

Among the many priorities shared by ANCOR and its members, two are always top-of-mind: delivering better services and strengthening our workforce. We believe that on both fronts, payment reforms–in a system where providers are paid for the delivery of value rather than service hours–will be an essential part of the future we envision. Therefore, this session will update members about ANCOR’s ongoing work to affect change in Medicaid-funded I/DD programs. In it, members of ANCOR’s long-standing Alternative Payment Models Work Group will discuss findings and recommendations for pilot projects that states can undertake to achieve enhanced outcomes for people while moving “from volume to value.”


  • Kathy Carmody, Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities
  • Mark Davis, PAR
  • Donna Martin, ANCOR
Swipe Right for Success: Optimizing the Workforce Using Matchmaker Technology

Track: Technology & Innovation

The session will highlight an innovative technology solution used to better support people accepting services and manage large teams of DSPs. Presenters will share how a customized software program, inspired by the innovations behind apps like Match.com, Uber and Lyft, facilitates better matches between DSPs and the people they support. The program also implements an enhanced scheduling strategy that saves time and money, and includes an electronic visit verification component to help providers comply with federal regulations. By the end of the session, participants will have a deep understanding of how this leading innovation has enabled improved satisfaction with service delivery, increased retention rates and decreased mileage reimbursement expenses.


  • Brendan Kelly, Options For All
  • Brian Zotti, Options For All
Tech: What’s Out There, and What Can I Afford?

Track: Technology & Innovation

Technology is a tool that we all use to navigate our schedules, manage our homes and access information. By now, technology isn’t inherently innovative—it’s a way of life. But for people with I/DD, it is often a vehicle to greater independence and increased choice. This hands-on presentation will focus on creative solutions to nagging problems using existing technology, demonstrating how technology can be harnessed to support individualized needs. Participants are encouraged to bring real-life examples of their current needs, and can expect to leave the session with an understanding of how any person can use mainstream technology for greater access to their environment.


  • Laurie Dale, Ability Beyond
Unleashing Innovations to Strengthen the Direct Support Workforce: Leading Practices from the 2023 Moving Mountains Award Honorees

Track: Workforce Solutions

Did this morning’s celebration of the 2023 recipients of the Moving Mountains Award leave you feeling inspired and eager to learn more? If so, join the honorees themselves as they offer a closer look at their winning innovations. Chosen for their leading practices to develop the direct support workforce, this year’s winners will share the DSP recruitment and retention challenges they were facing, the innovative initiative they designed to overcome these challenges, data and insights about how their workforce has been transformed as a result, and what’s next as they continue to iterate. Participants can expect to leave this session with an array of ideas for how they might replicate the Moving Mountains Awardees’ successes.


  • Michelle Smith, University of Minnesota
  • Jolene Thibedeau Boyd, University of Minnesota
Using Universal Design to Create an Inclusive Learning Environment

Track: DEIA

Universal design is a concept that centers around removing barriers to learning. It focuses on each person’s strengths, learning style and specific needs. Universal design can be used by anyone and centers open communication to promote an inclusive learning environment in which people are given the space to learn at their own pace and the ability to share information and experiences in a manner that suits them best. In this interactive learning session, presenters will share the principles of universal design and how those principles have been utilized when developing inclusive programs and supports for people with and without developmental disabilities in Washington, DC. Together, presenters and participants will explore the methods of implementing universal design, not only in a classroom learning environment, but also in agency onboarding processes, continuing education opportunities and training programs throughout your organization.


  • Susan Brooks, RCM of Washington
  • Breeanna Reyes, RCM of Washington
  • Erica Thomas, RCM of Washington
ANCOR Foundation Awards (11-11:45 am)
Bold Leadership for Stronger Communities: The 2023 ANCOR Foundation Honorees

11-11:45 am

Although so much of this year’s ANCOR Annual Conference experience has been focused on the future, the course we’ve charted to lead us to this point would have been impossible to navigate if not for the unrelenting work of a range of leaders who have tirelessly dedicated themselves to true community inclusion. That’s why we’ll end our morning by recognizing the 2023 ANCOR Foundation honorees, including this year’s inductees into the Legacy Leaders Circle and the recipient of the 2023 Community Builder Award.


  • Gabrielle Sedor, ANCOR
Concurrent Sessions 5 (1:15-2:15 pm)
Checking the Pulse: One Provider’s Approach to Strengthening its Workforce & Delivering Better Services

Track: Workforce Solutions

New York-based ADAPT Community Network implemented a highly successful onsite mentoring process that significantly enhanced the agency’s services and improved DSP retention. The results have been amazing for people accepting services and the DSPs supporting them. By incorporating new technology, the team at ADAPT was able to enhance the program options available to the people they support. Meanwhile, by creating processes that enable DSPs to better harness the power of technology, ADAPT developed a deeper leadership bench. In this session, presenters will use their experience as a case study to illustrate how ADAPT has been better equipped to “check the pulse” of how supports are offered and how outcomes are achieved, leading to more advancement and promotion opportunities for DSPs and frontline supervisors.


  • Linda Laul, ADAPT Community Network
  • Ed Matthews, ADAPT Community Network
  • Dahlian Porter, ADAPT Community Network
Health Risk-Informed Telemedicine: A Model for Improving I/DD Health Equity

Track: Technology & Innovation

With the advent of CMS’ “Technology First” initiative, technology is now considered first in the discussion of support options available, and the expectation is that technology will be utilized to promote meaningful participation, social inclusion, self-determination and quality of life. Meanwhile, equitable access to telemedicine and other health care services is a challenge for people with I/DD because most clinicians are not aware of the unique health risks that exist for people with I/DD. As a result, the health conditions most likely to result in morbidity and mortality are overlooked or misdiagnosed, despite all that’s possible with the use of technology. This panel presentation, designed for providers at all levels, describes an innovative technology model and public/private partnership comprised of three key elements: online clinician education in I/DD health care; the use of web-based, health risk-informed data; and I/DD-competent telemedicine supports. Panelists will discuss an innovative approach in which telemedicine clinicians have access to real-time, person-specific health risk data through an interoperable interface that facilitates informed decision-making.


  • Craig Escudé, IntellectAbility
  • Lorene Reagan, IntellectAbility
  • Maulik Trivedi, StationMD
Listen Include Respect: A Global Perspective to Transform Our Culture

Track: DEIA

An exciting set of global disability inclusion guidelines known as Listen Include Respect was launched in 2022 at the United Nations Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Listen Include Respect was developed by Inclusion International and Down Syndrome International, with support from self-advocate leaders from around the world. These guidelines represent the first-ever international standards for including people with intellectual disabilities in the work of organizations in any sector. In this session, presenters will highlight how Keystone Human Services is partnering with Inclusion International to explore how these innovative international standards can positively impact disability service providers. What happens when we apply a truly inclusive methodology and rights-based approach to delivering high-quality support? How do we empower ourselves to step more fully into our role as partners and advocates for inclusion, rather than caregivers? Participants in this session will ponder these questions as they learn what U.S. disability providers are learning from this partnership and how Listen Include Respect can help us all move forward.


  • Genevieve Fitzgibbon, Keystone Human Services
  • Leah Klish, Keystone Human Services
  • Tia Nelis, Listen Include Respect
Recipe for Success: Frameworks for Person-Centered, Quality Supports

Track: Person-Centered Supports

Provider agencies need tools to gauge their progress in implementing best practices in service delivery and bringing about the best outcomes for the people they support. In this panel session, researchers will lead an interactive discussion on developing and applying frameworks for person-centered supports and quality evaluation for I/DD provider agencies. Panelists will walk through findings from key informant interviews with people who leverage community-based services and stakeholders across the field of HCBS measure development, coordination and service delivery. Panelists will also share the National Leadership Consortium’s Organizational Priorities and Practices Inventory (OPPI), an evidence-based tool designed for agencies that directly provide, oversee, support, fund, evaluate or otherwise impact services for adults with I/DD. Handouts of these frameworks and tools will be shared, and participants will develop practical takeaways during interactive small-group discussions focused on applying person-centered supports in the real world.


  • Lindsay DuBois, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
  • Cory Gilden, National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
  • Monica Mesa-Alvarez, National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
  • Tonie Sadler, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Supporting Innovation & Quality Outcomes Through Intentional Funding

Track: Leadership

Funding for developmental services should aim to develop and maintain an adequate supply of service providers to support choice, culturally responsive services, strong individual and systemic outcomes, and a stable direct support professional workforce. With an eye towards all these goals, California is updating service provider rates while also designing systems and processes to measure outcomes for its high-growth and rapidly diversifying population. In this session, participants of all levels of expertise will explore the role that funding structures can play in intentionally incentivizing good outcomes. While much of the discussion will focus on macro issues, clear examples of more specific implementation at the individual service provider and direct support professional level will also be provided.


  • Amy Westling, Association of Regional Center Agencies
Closing Plenary & DSP of the Year Awards (2:30-4:15 pm)
Inspiration Unleashed: The 2023 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards

2:30-4:15 pm

As if the past three days weren’t enough to leave you feeling inspired, we’ll kick it up a notch in our closing plenary, where we’ll honor the nearly five dozen recipients of the 2023 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards. Selected by an array of ANCOR members and other leaders in our field from a record-breaking pool of 350 nominees, the stories of this year’s honorees will remind us all why we got started in this work and why we keep fighting on behalf of our incredible workforce and the people they support. Be sure to stick around until the end; you won’t want to miss out on any of the celebration, nor will you want to miss your chance to win prizes as ANCOR CEO Barbara Merrill closes out this year’s Annual Conference with some exciting raffle prizes!


  • Barbara Merrill, ANCOR
Networking & Special Events (times vary)
Registration Open

8 am-1:15 pm

Continental Breakfast

8-8:30 am

Lunch (sponsored by Relias)

12-1 pm

Register now for the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference!

  • In-Person Participants: Register to participate onsite in the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference! For registrants of the in-person event, the Conference will take place at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile and will be held Monday, April 24 through Wednesday, April 26, 2023.
  • Virtual Participants: We’re happy to once again offer a virtual option for participating in the Conference! Your virtual registration will include a suite of programming that includes all mainstage sessions, a wide range of breakout sessions and several mini-break sessions exclusive to virtual participants.

What Does it Cost to Register?

Registration Type Early Bird (by Feb. 7) Standard (Feb. 8-Mar. 31) Late Bird (On or after Apr. 1)
In-Person ANCOR Member $895 $1,015 $1,250
In-Person Non-ANCOR Member $1,230 $1,345 $1,399
Virtual ANCOR Member $445 $559 $615
Virtual Non-ANCOR Member $615 $670 $725

Register Yourself  Register Others

If you’re a DSP, a self advocate or family member, special pricing is available. To learn how to register at a special rate please email [email protected].

Need to Modify Your Registration?

If you have already registered for the Conference and need to modify your registration, including adding Pre-Conference Sessions, click on the link below. You will be asked to log into your ANCOR account using your email address and previously established password.

Modify Your Registration

Cancellation, Substitution & Transfer Policies

All requests for cancellations, substitutions and transfers must be made by 11:59 pm PDT on March 31, 2023.

Cancellations: Registrations canceled on or before March 31, 2023, will be fully refunded, less a $100 administrative fee. No refunds will be issued on or after March 31, 2023.

Substitutions: All registrants are entitled to one no-cost substitution provided that (1) the substitution request is submitted in writing via email to [email protected] no later than 11:59 pm PDT on March 31, 2023, and (2) the registration is transferred to another employee of the original registrant’s organization. Registrants are not permitted to substitute someone from a different organization in their place. Subsequent substitutions after the first, as well as substitutions requested on or after March 31, 2023, will incur a $100 administrative fee.

Transfers: Registrants who have paid to participate in the face-to-face event who decide they want to participate virtually instead may transfer the format of their registration provided that the transfer request is submitted in writing via email to [email protected] no later than 11:59 pm PDT on March 31, 2023. Requests to transfer from face-to-face to virtual submitted by the deadline will be eligible for a refund of the difference in registration costs, less a $100 administrative fee. Pricing for the newly transferred registration will be determined by the cost of registration on the date the transfer request is made. For example, an ANCOR member who registers for the in-person event at the early bird rate and then requests a transfer during the standard registration window will be refunded $200 ($895 member early bird rate – $559 member standard rate – $100 administrative fee).

Registrants who have paid to participate in the virtual event who decide they want to participate face-to-face instead may transfer the format of their registration provided that the transfer request is submitted in writing via email to [email protected] no later than 11:59 pm PDT on March 31, 2023. Requests to transfer from virtual to face-to-face submitted by the deadline will be charged the difference in registration costs to the registrant’s original payment method.

Pricing for the newly transferred registration will be determined by the cost of registration on the date the transfer request is made. For example, an ANCOR member who registers for the virtual event at the early bird rate and then requests a transfer during the standard registration window will be charged an additional $570 ($1,015 member standard rate – $445 previously paid member early bird rate).


We’re here to help! Email [email protected].

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

Stay in ANCOR’s block to unlock deeply discounted room rates!

ANCOR has contracted with the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile to offer deeply discounted room rates to Conference participants. Book now using the link below to take advantage of our special rate of $259 (per room, per night, plus applicable taxes). The deadline for making reservations at the discounted rate is March 31, 2023, although the block may sell out much sooner, so we recommend booking your room as soon as you have completed your registration.

Book Your Room Today

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

Return on Investment Unleashed

Sponsor the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference in Chicago!

Each year, the ANCOR community comes together for three days to celebrate our accomplishments from the past year, look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead, and celebrate the people whose imagination makes possible community inclusion for all. We hope you’ll join us for three days of building connections, sharing inspiration and shaping innovations.

View the Prospectus

Become a Sponsor

A wide array of sponsorship opportunities are available to bring you maximum visibility among the nation’s premiere gathering  of the I/DD community. Information about these opportunities can be found in our Sponsorship Prospectus below. To take advantage of one of these opportunities today, email Mariana Nork.

Explore Sponsorship Opportunities

Our Exhibit Hall is Now Sold Out

Due to high demand, we have sold out our Exhibit Hall, and we are no longer accepting new additions to the waiting list. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see the amazing lineup of exhibitors who you’ll have the opportunity to connect with in Chicago in April.

If you had hoped to exhibit but did not reserve an exhibit space, we hope you will consider sponsorship opportunities, several of which remain available. If you have questions about sponsorship opportunities, please email Mariana Nork. We also hope you’ll still register to attend, as the incredible networking opportunities certainly aren’t limited to the Exhibit Hall!

Exhibit Booth Pricing*
Type Price
ANCOR National Partner $0
All Others $1,850
Additional Exhibit Booth Personnel $975

* Note: Exhibit booth registration includes one all-access Conference registration. Exhibitors may purchase additional Conference registrations at a discounted rate.

Sponsor & Exhibitor Timeline
November 7, 2022 Exhibitor Registration Opens
March 13, 2023 Deadline to request permission to serve food or beverage in Exhibit Hall
March 20, 2023 Deadline to cancel sponsorship and receive partial refund
March 23, 2023 Deadline to cancel exhibit booth and receive partial refund
March 31, 2023 Deadline to reserve hotel rooms in ANCOR's discounted room block
2-3 weeks before Conference Pre-Conference Webinar: Supercharging Your Annual Conference Experience
April 24-26, 2023 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference!
April 24-25, 2023 Exhibit Hall Open


What is the ANCOR Annual Conference all about?

The ANCOR Annual Conference is our nation’s premiere gathering of providers of long-term supports and services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those who are dedicated to providers’ success. With 800+ participants this year, the ANCOR Annual Conference convenes you and your colleagues to:

  • Learn from one another about pressing challenges and emerging innovations.
  • Share best practices that enable providers to support more people with high-quality services.
  • Connect with leaders, up-and-comers and newcomers to the field.
  • Advance our shared vision for fully inclusive communities.
Who attends the ANCOR Annual Conference?

All staff from I/DD provider agencies are welcome and encouraged to attend ANCOR’s Annual Conference, including:

  • Executive leaders
  • Program directors & program managers
  • Frontline supervisors
  • Direct support professionals
  • Care coordinators & support coordinators
  • Nurses & other clinical staff
  • Administrative support staff
  • Board members

In addition to staff from provider agencies, the ANCOR Annual Conference draws a diverse range of other participants, including:

  • Self-advocates & other individuals with I/DD
  • Family members of individuals with I/DD
  • Researchers
  • Federal, state and local policymakers & regulators
  • Corporations offering products & 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!

When and where is this year’s ANCOR Annual Conference?

Our commitment to ensuring the safest possible Annual Conference experience while making the event accessible to as many who want to participate means we’re offering the option to participate in the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference face-to-face or virtually.

The face-to-face event will take place April 24-26, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. The virtual event will also take place April 24-26, 2023. Virtual participants will access select Conference programming via a virtual event platform powered by Attendify. Registered virtual participants should have received information about how to access the virtual platform via email during the week of April 3. If you did not receive this information and you are registered for the Conference, please email [email protected].

What does it cost to attend?

Generally speaking, pricing depends on whether you’re an ANCOR member, whether you participate in the Conference in-person or virtually, and how far in advance of the Conference you register. Additionally, special pricing is available for direct support professionals. Visit the “Register Now” tab of the Conference website to learn more.

What does my registration include?

Your registration for the in-person Annual Conference includes full access to the entire array of activities on offer at the Chicago Marriott Downtown on April 24-26, including:

  • Keynote presentations and plenary sessions
  • Breakout sessions
  • The presentation of the 2023 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards
  • Multiple networking receptions and events
  • The chance to connect with leading companies in the Exhibitor Lounge

Your registration for the virtual Annual Conference includes:

  • Live and on-demand access to all keynote presentations and plenary sessions
  • A limited selection of breakout sessions, with our top sessions curated especially for virtual participants
  • The presentation of the 2023 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards
  • Dedicated time to network with other virtual Conference participants
  • The opportunity to set up times to connect one-on-one with the 54 leading companies that will be exhibiting at the face-to-face event

Registrations do not include access to Pre-Conference Sessions. Pre-Conference Sessions will only be available for participants in the face-to-face Conference and can be purchased as an add-on to your Conference registration.

What precautions are being taken to mitigate the risk of COVID-19?

Due to the fluid nature of public health, ANCOR will decide upon an official health and safety protocol one month prior to the event. At which time we will communicate details to all registrants as well as interested parties.

How do I demonstrate proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

ANCOR is partnering with a platform called CrowdPass to complete health screenings for all participants. Attendees that are registered to participate in the face-to-face event should complete the health screening form prior to their arrival at the Conference venue.

I already registered, but can no longer attend. Can I cancel my registration?

Registrations canceled on or before March 31, 2023, will be fully refunded, less a $100 administrative fee. No refunds will be issued on or after March 31, 2023.

I already registered, but can no longer attend. Can I substitute my registration?

All registrants are entitled to one no-cost substitution provided that (1) the substitution request is submitted in writing via email to [email protected] no later than 11:59 pm PST on March 31, 2023, and (2) the registration is transferred to another employee of the original registrant’s organization. Registrants are not permitted to substitute someone from a different organization in their place. Subsequent substitutions after the first, as well as substitutions requested on or after March31, 2023, will incur a $100 administrative fee.

I had planned to participate [in-person/virtually], but now I’d like to participate [virtually/in-person]. Can I transfer the format of my registration?

Registrants who have paid to participate in the face-to-face event who decide they want to participate virtually instead may transfer the format of their registration provided that the transfer request is submitted in writing via email to [email protected] no later than 11:59 pm PST on March 31, 2023.

Requests to transfer from face-to-face to virtual submitted by the deadline will be eligible for a refund of the difference in registration costs, less a $100 administrative fee. Pricing for the newly transferred registration will be determined by the cost of registration on the date the transfer request is made. For example, an ANCOR member who registers for the in-person event at the early bird rate and then requests a transfer during the standard registration window will be refunded $200 ($895 member early bird rate – $559 member standard rate – $100 administrative fee).

Registrants who have paid to participate in the virtual event who decide they want to participate face-to-face instead may transfer the format of their registration provided that the transfer request is submitted in writing via email to [email protected] no later than 11:59 pm PST on March 31, 2023. Requests to transfer from virtual to face-to-face submitted by the deadline will be charged the difference in registration costs to the registrant’s original payment method. Pricing for the newly transferred registration will be determined by the cost of registration on the date the transfer request is made. For example, an ANCOR member who registers for the virtual event at the early bird rate and then requests a transfer during the standard registration window will be charged $500 in addition to the amount already paid ($899 member standard rate – $399 previously paid member early bird rate).

I submitted a session proposal. When will I hear whether it’s been accepted?

Session proposals are solicited in the fall prior to the ANCOR Annual Conference and submissions are typically due in November. Members of the ANCOR team review all completed submissions in December and January, and notifications were sent in January. If you completed and submitted a session proposal, you should have already received a notification whether your proposal was accepted or declined.

Who exhibits at the ANCOR Annual Conference?

The ANCOR Annual Conference is the premiere gathering of community-based I/DD service providers and the community of practitioners that support these providers. The organizations that exhibit at the ANCOR Annual Conference offer products and services that are relevant to leaders at all levels of the organizations that comprise the Conference audience. Featured exhibitors each year include ANCOR’s Diamond, Platinum and Gold Partners. Nonprofit, for-profit, academic and provider organizations are all welcome to exhibit at the Conference.

Can I exhibit at the ANCOR Annual Conference?

Unfortunately, our Exhibit Hall is completely full and several organizations remain on the waiting list. If you are interested in learning about exhibiting opportunities for the 2023 ANCOR Annual Conference, please email Mariana Nork.

What does it cost to exhibit at the ANCOR Annual Conference?

Pricing depends on the type of organization you represent (i.e., nonprofit vs. for-profit) and when you complete your registration. The price to exhibit includes one (1) six-foot table in the ANCOR Annual Conference Exhibitor Lounge and one (1) complementary Conference registration for the person who will staff the exhibit table. Visit the Exhibitors tab of the Conference website for specific pricing information.

I registered for an exhibit table, but can no longer exhibit. Can I cancel my exhibit table?

Exhibit table cancellations made on or before March 23, 2023 will be eligible for a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No refunds will be made on exhibit booth cancellations on or after March 23, 2023.

Are direct support professionals encouraged to attend?

Yes! Not only are DSPs welcome and encouraged to attend, but there is special programming available for DSPs, including the presentation of the annual Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards. To encourage DSPs to participate in the ANCOR Annual Conference, deeply discounted registration rates are available.

Can I receive continuing education credits for attending?

ANCOR is happy to provide certificates of attendance upon request. Information about how to request a certificate of attendance will be made available onsite (for face-to-face participants) and on the virtual event platform (for virtual participants).