ANCOR Connect 2024

Join members of your community for three days in historic Santa Fe, New Mexico, to explore how our collective power better equips us to adapt, thrive and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing landscape. Because when we work together, we accomplish amazing things.

Santa Fe at sunset
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Logo for ANCOR Connect '24. Desert mountains and sun motif that reads "The Power of We."

ANCOR Connect 2024: The Power of We

The ANCOR Annual Conference is now ANCOR Connect! Although the new name reflects our mission to connect you with the people and ideas that empower you to deliver better services to more people, our signature gathering still remains a hub for the learning, networking and the sense of community you’ve come to expect.

Our theme for ANCOR Connect ‘24, The Power of We, celebrates the strength of our community. It reminds us that when we connect as a network of diverse providers—large, small and everything in between—we tap into a collective intelligence that translates into powerful results. There’s little we can’t achieve together when we learn from each other’s experiences, leverage each other’s talents, and pool our collective insights.

Join members of your community for three days in historic Santa Fe, New Mexico, to explore how our collective power better equips us to adapt, thrive and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing landscape. Because when we work together, we accomplish amazing things.

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].

Keynote Speakers Announced!

Justin Skeesuck & Patrick Gray

Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray

Longtime friends Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray draw on their 500-mile trek across Spain’s Camino de Santiago to offer their reflections on the powerful accomplishments possible when friends and strangers alike see the humanity in one another. Skeesuck and Gray have been featured on The Today Show, TEDx, and in The New York Times.


In their keynote presentation during the ANCOR Connect ‘24 opening plenary on Monday, April 8, Skeesuck and Gray will use their experiences and adventures to deliver a powerful message of leadership, teamwork and the power of the human collective.

Gregg Deal

Gregg Deal

Gregg Deal is a multi-disciplinary artist, activist, and disruptor. His work is informed by his Native identity as a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe.

Through paintings, murals, performance work, filmmaking, spoken word, and more, Deal invites us to learn more about who we have been in order to build a more equitable future.

We can’t wait to hear from Deal on Tuesday, April 9, as we gather for our afternoon plenary! Together, we’ll discover a new meaning of our collective power.

This agenda is tentative and subject to change, and additional sessions may be added. Check back often for the latest news about our ANCOR Connect ’24 agenda.

Monday, April 8, 2024

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

3:45-4:45 pm

New Attendee Meet & Greet

3:45-4:45 pm

Welcome Reception

6:30-7:30 pm

ANCOR DC PAC Reception

7:30-9:30 pm

Pre-Conference Workshops

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 8, with three 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 $185 per Pre-Conference Session is required; add the session(s) you want to attend when completing your Conference registration.

Raising the Bar on Inclusive Leadership: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Renee L. Pietrangelo Leadership Forum | Monday, April 8, 11:15 am – 1:15 pm

Let’s be honest. No matter where you are in your career, you face countless obstacles daily. Your job is challenging and demands high energy, creativity, and patience. Furthermore, these days, you are frequently leading your team on a path you all have never traveled. Helping your team navigate the uncertainty of an untraveled path is an essential leadership skill. Regardless of your leadership experience, supporting your team when faced with unknown obstacles and constant change is mission-critical. In this interactive session, participants will self-assess the obstacles they face and learn how to use inclusive leadership tactics to turn these obstacles into organizational opportunities.


  • Denice Hinden, Managance Coaching
WORDSLAW: Using True Stories to Center the Caregiving Experience

Monday, April 8, 11:15 am-1:15 pm

In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn about the power of storytelling—for both people with I/DD and those who provide their care. Longtime journalist Amy Silverman and her daughter Sophie Stern, who is 20 and has Down syndrome, will talk about how telling stories can better connect us all. Sophie will read an essay she has written about her experience of working with her own direct support professional, and we will discuss how caregivers at all levels of the system can amplify their stories. Through prompts, tips and tricks, participants will be encouraged to begin the process of documenting their own stories. This workshop is for storytellers of all levels of experience, including none! The atmosphere will be easy-going and supportive—and there will be free stickers.


  • Amy Silverman, Journalist & Author
  • Sophie Stern, Storyteller & Self-Advocate
Supporting Individuals with Complex Needs

Monday, April 8, 11:15 am-1:15 pm

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities who also live with behavioral health issues and/or physical disabilities should be supported in ways that are holistic, address all of their needs and still allow the person to live as independently as possible. However, this can often be a challenging balance to achieve. This session brings together provider, medical and policy perspectives and experience from across the nation to share programs and plans that have worked to successfully and sustainably support individuals with complex needs.

How Artificial Intelligence Can Support Person-Centered Practices, Not Replace Them

Monday, April 8, 2-4 pm

In an era where technology is reshaping the way we interact with the world, cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) tools can be harnessed to bring about extraordinary improvements in the delivery of human services. However, there are conversations and considerations providers should be having now to ensure that positive outcomes are not overshadowed by preventable potential harms. During this session, we will work together to delve into the transformative potential of generative AI by discussing the ethical considerations, privacy concerns, and potential pitfalls of integrating these tools into our agencies. Using real-world cases and insights from a provider perspective, this session will demonstrate how AI can illuminate trends in health, housing, employment, and other areas–ultimately enhancing outcomes while reducing costs.


  • Doug Golub, MediSked
Harnessing Cultural Intelligence: Practical Applications to Avoid Tokenism

Monday, April 8, 2-4 pm

Cultural intelligence is an essential ability to relate and work across different cultural contexts. It is a critical skill that enables leaders to navigate cultural differences and increase their chances of success in today’s globalized world. In the absence of cultural intelligence, diverse representation can easily devolve into tokenism—the symbolic or performative representation of marginalized groups without addressing concerns of equity or inclusion. Developing cultural intelligence equips leaders to move beyond tokenism and build meaningful relationships internally and externally. By recognizing the power of cultural intelligence, leaders ensure that their organization is well-equipped to navigate future challenges. In this session, participants will learn how fostering a robust learning culture ensures that their organization remains focused on its long-term goals while staying competitive.


  • Dr. Hassan Abdulhaqq, AHRC Nassau
  • Dr. Sarah Gonzalez Noveiri, AHRC Nassau
From Me to We: Breaking Down the Barriers of Loneliness

Monday, April 8, 2-4 pm

Social connection is an essential part of being human. Our relationships with friends, family, neighbors, and romantic partners greatly contribute to our physical and emotional well-being. However, in 2023, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a public health advisory on the “Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation” in America. Unfortunately, people with disabilities are one of the groups at greatest risk. Luckily, loneliness is not an individual, or “me,” problem, but a collective “we” problem. Through case studies, collaboration, and presentation of new technologies, this interactive workshop will introduce strategies for fostering relationships and social connections for the people we support.


  • Dr. Karyn Harvey, Myoho Supports
  • Kevin Drumheller, Richcroft


Opening Plenary (5-6:30 pm)
Opening Keynote

5:30-6:30 pm

Our opening keynote presentation will be delivered by Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, longtime friends draw on their 500-mile trek across Spain’s Camino de Santiago to offer their reflections on the powerful accomplishments possible when we see the humanity in one another. Skeesuck and Gray will use their experiences and adventures to deliver a powerful message of leadership, teamwork and the power of the human collective.


  • Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, Award-Winning Filmmakers & Best-Selling Authors

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Morning Plenary (9-9:45 am)
2024 State of the Association Address

9-9:45 am

Breakout Sessions A (10:15-11:15 am)
The Role of Frontline Supervisors in Competitive Integrated Employment

Track: Quality Outcomes

This session focuses on the role of frontline supervisors in transitioning and expanding employment and community engagement programs to better support competitive integrated employment (CIE) efforts. Often overlooked—yet charged with turning strategic planning into actionable reality—frontline supervisors are a critical resource for providing stability and continuity. Moreover, they are uniquely positioned to affect all phases of service delivery. This session explores avenues of support and training, the role of mentoring and accreditation, ideal team structures, and the importance of mission buy-in. Additionally, the presenters will discuss the active role national and federal partners like the Office of Disability Employment are taking to increase available provider resources for expanding CIE offerings.


  • Richard Davis, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Jeannine Pavlak, New England Business Associates
  • Michael Petrick, Economic Systems, Inc.
More than a Needs Assessment: Developing Organizational DSP Surveys

Track: Business Acumen

Direct support professionals (DSPs) compassionately and collaboratively meet the needs of the people they support daily. However, retention and burnout are real concerns. How do we better meet the needs of our DSPs? How do we protect psychological safety? Where do we even begin? The Guild for Human Services wanted to explore these questions with its DSPs. To do so, they partnered with Relias to replicate Relias’ 2023 DSP Survey. Organizational leaders attending this session will learn about the survey methodology, strengths and opportunities identified, lessons learned, and the value of obtaining feedback to catalyze the development of their own organizational DSP survey.


  • Michael Clontz, The Guild for Human Services
  • Suzanne Henderson, The Guild for Human Services
  • Elise Valdes, Relias
The Meaning of “Meaningful”

Track: Person-Centered Programming

You want to provide services that are meaningful services to the people you support. Yet when you sit down with your teams to develop those meaningful services, you may often feel frustrated and overwhelmed because it is tough to think up integrated, individualized, outcome-based ways to meet CMS’ expectations daily. This interactive session will take a deep dive into what “meaningful” truly means and will outline a few simple strategies you can implement immediately.


  • Sara Sherman, Provider Power Moves
Empowering Leaders in the Era of AI: Navigating the Technology Frontier

Track: Leadership Development

As we continue to uncover the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), executive leaders and Boards of Directors are asking themselves: What’s legally required and what’s just good governance? How much do executive teams and Boards need to know to understand levels of threat? Do ChatGPT and tech-enabled services disrupt our strategic planning? In this session, you’ll hear from a health care IT attorney and an industry thought leader on how cybersecurity and technology are changing the way we lead provider organizations and deliver services. This session is for all leaders, not just the CIOs.


  • Stacy DiStefano, Consulting for Human Services
  • Helen Oscislawski, Attorneys at Oscislawski LLC
Embracing, Valuing and Retaining a Diverse and International Workforce

Track: Widening the Workforce

Much like the disability community itself, the direct support professional (DSP) workforce comprises people of all ages, gender identities, races, ethnicities, language expertise, and immigration statuses. This diversity is critical to our collective success, as it ensures that people receiving services can access quality, culturally competent, and person-centered supports. This presentation will share turnover and tenure demographics using data from the National Core Indicators-Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NCIIDD) State of the Workforce Survey. Then, we’ll outline policy and programmatic recommendations for recruitment and retention, and discuss the role of immigrants and New Americans as part of the direct care workforce.


  • Valerie Bradley, Human Services Research Institute
  • Jake McDonald, PHI
  • Laura Vegas, NASDDDS
Possibilities: How Intentional Support Amplifies Self-Determination

Track: Person-Centered Programming

The Michigan Developmental Disability Institute (MI-DDI) created the award-winning “Possibilities” project to present a vision of how individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities can lead the lives that they wish without barriers. The most recent addition to the “Possibilities” project features Alex. Known as “The SelfDeterminator,” Alex lives a full, purposeful life. And when it comes to his work life, his goal is to help others realize the positive impact of living a self-determined life. In this session, Alex provides a guided and interactive discussion on important philosophies such as the culture of gentleness and the 11 core competencies of self-determination. All attendees will walk away with a fresh perspective on moving forward in life. So, come ready for laughter and an opportunity to challenge your assumptions and thoughts on neurodiversity!


  • Alex Kimmel, The SelfDeterminator
Afternoon Keynote (1-2 pm)
Afternoon Keynote Address

1-2 pm

Our afternoon keynote presentation will be delivered by Gregg Deal, a multi-disciplinary artist, activist, and disruptor whose work is informed by his Native identity as a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Deal’s keynote will challenge us to learn more about who we have been in order to build a more equitable future. In doing so, we’ll gain a new understanding of our collective power.


  • Gregg Deal, Multi-Disciplinary Artist and Activist
Breakout Sessions B (2:15-3:15 pm)
The Time is Now to Embrace a Health Equity Framework

Track: Business Acumen

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) continue to experience significant barriers to accessing health care and other services, resulting in not only poor health outcomes but also more significant costs of care. Woods Services, a Life Cycle Care Management Organization with more than 110 years of experience serving children and adults with I/DD, dedicates significant resources to combatting these health inequities. To this end, Woods has crafted a roadmap for action. This session will focus on four imperatives to advance health equity and ten policy recommendations others can adopt. Together we’ll learn about strategies that will help change our fragmented systems and improve coordination and quality of care.


  • Dinetta Armstrong, Woods Services
Addressing Ableism: Progressive Transformation for Direct Service Organizations

Track: DEIA

Anti-ableism represents the next great movement in direct employment services. Northwest Center, a multi-state provider with over 60 years of experience, shares an origin story similar to many ANCOR members: it was founded by parents and family members on behalf of disabled children and individuals. As a result, ableism and paternalism often (even unintentionally) colored their modern operations. Organizations that choose to engage in self-reflection by acknowledging challenging histories and current realities are better able to honor the people they support. To bring about systemic change, Northwest Center underwent a deliberate internal transformation by acknowledging institutional ableism and incorporating a commitment to anti-ableism into its strategic vision and day-to-day operations. Participants will receive an overview of ableism and the necessity of anti-ableism, an explanation of Northwest Center’s journey, and tools for change implementation at their own organization.


  • Nora Genster, Northwest Center
  • Laura Kneedler, Northwest Center
  • Jenn Ramirez Robson, Northwest Center
An Agency-Wide Approach: Inspiring DSPs to Use Healthy Behavioral Practices

Track: Quality Outcomes

This engaging session offers a glimpse into the future of compassionate, effective, and efficient care by digging into the core characteristics of an innovative, pyramidal approach to behavioral support. You will be introduced to a research-based, organization-wide, tier 1 intervention package called “Healthy Behavioral Practices.” The session will explore the science and compassion driving the model’s success—and the technology that enhances its impact. Participants will learn to actively nurture growth, promote active treatment, and minimize challenging behaviors. Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired and equipped with actionable strategies to transform your behavioral support approach!


  • Nicole Kanaman, GoodLife Innovations
An Administrator’s Guide to Managing and Containing Crises from the Top

Track: Leadership Development

Service providers need the trust of their communities to succeed. Without solid communication channels, that trust can be eroded quickly when problems arise. Everyday challenges—a program change, an unhappy family member, an employee who makes a mistake on or off the job—can be used as fodder by critics on social media without regard for context or facts. Having a strategy for how to respond is essential. In this session, we’ll look at how to anticipate and prepare for potential risks, determine the most effective communication channels for your organization, and engage your constituents and supporters to help get your message out. An effective communication plan can help prevent minor problems from becoming large and help you maintain control of the narrative even when significant challenges occur.


  • Brad Goldstein, Resilience Communications LLC
Strengthening and Retaining the DSP Workforce through Provider Partnerships

Track: Widening the Workforce

The MDDSP Training Program was launched with support from EARN Maryland (DOL), which seeks to advance employment opportunities and higher pay for historically undervalued workforce sectors. Over the past five years, the Maryland Training Consortium has built a comprehensive tiered DSP training model to expand career opportunities, leading to increased professionalism and wages for Maryland DSPs. This initiative was only possible with strong partnerships across provider organizations, state entities, and national subject matter experts. This session will discuss these key partnerships critical to the initiative’s development and ongoing success.


  • Karen Lee, SEEC
  • Jessica Neely, SEEC
  • Lori Sedlezky, Ardmore Enterprises
Transforming Futures: An Innovative Partnership for Improved Supports

Track: Person-Centered Programming

Three years ago, Oklahoma faced a crisis in its Child Welfare Services (CWS) system, particularly concerning children with I/DD in foster care. They had experienced trauma and struggled with mental health issues, often resulting in multiple failed foster placements. In response, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services and Bios began to rewrite the narrative. Their unique approach focuses on establishing a deep sense of permanency and connection, with an unwavering commitment to person-centered support. The success of this pilot program propelled Oklahoma to seek and receive approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a full Medicaid Waiver. In this session, we’ll uncover the heart of this transformative journey, and explore how this collaboration reshaped the support system and provided adaptability to cater to evolving needs.


  • Kirk Elam, Bios Companies
  • Samantha Galloway, Oklahoma Community-Based Providers
Breakout Sessions C (3:45-4:45 pm)
The ROI of Engaging Internationally

Track: Leadership & Business Acumen

Have you ever wondered how you can get involved in disability services beyond the continental US? This session explores how and why ANCOR members are engaging globally and how you can participate. From developing programs in other countries to sharing best practices at international disability conferences, this discussion-based session will share the highlights of international study tours, offer insights about ANCOR’s membership in the European Association of Service Providers of Persons with Disabilities (EASPD), and articulate the value of Zero Project recognition and its impact internationally.


  • Susan Brownknight, LADD
  • Genevieve Fitzgibbon, Keystone Human Services International (moderator) 
  • G.N. Janes, Valley Community Services  
  • Donna Martin, ANCOR 
  • Gary Milchman, YAI (moderator) 
The Sibling Experience Across the Lifespan

Track: DEIA

Siblings are becoming primary caregivers for their sister or brother with a disability at an alarmingly—yet not surprisingly—high rate. Many siblings don’t know what path to take, and they are often ill-prepared for the role. Join us as we look at the sibling experience across the lifespan, including a review of sibling research and national resources, and hear directly from siblings about their lived experiences as primary caregivers.


  • Mary Valachovic, The Massachusetts Sibling Support Network
The Power of Partnership: Easterseals Colorado Affiliate Network

Track: Quality Outcomes

Easterseals Colorado Affiliate Network (ESCAN) is a network of like-minded organizations fostering a more inclusive Colorado. Founded in 2018 by Easterseals Colorado, ESCAN’s vision is an enhanced disability service system that seamlessly connects people with disabilities to customized, high-quality services, and more ways to contribute to inclusive communities. In this session, ESCAN will share how they have tested an innovative model for service delivery and will share some of what they’ve learned from pursuing outside-the-box ideas and staying up to date with current trends. Together, we’ll discuss how you can replicate the successes of their innovations.


  • Danny Combs, Teaching the Autism Community Trades
  • Roman Krafczyk, Easterseals Colorado
Managing and Supporting Staff with Invisible Disabilities

Track: Leadership & Business Acumen

While most companies and organizations now focus on inclusion based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, there is little recognition of the diversity of employees entering the workforce with invisible disabilities. While varying from person to person, the inclusion of more invisibly disabled workers can often result in subtle challenges in the workplace, especially during training sessions and supervisory feedback. To successfully manage a more neurodiverse workforce, agencies must first understand neurodiversity, the everyday experiences that connect its members, and its impact on the individuals they serve. During this session, attendees will learn the characteristics of people with invisible disabilities, effective training strategies, and the various learning styles to help manage a more neurodiverse staff.


  • Cathy Peterson, Special Needs Resource and Training Company
Technology for Independent Living: Remote Supports & Assistive Technologies in Action

Track: Person-Centered Programming

The current service delivery system is unsustainable, so systemwide transformation is required to ensure the right supports for each person. Attendees will learn to rethink services and reframe their understanding of new technologies that foster independent living. The session will provide resources, including successful case studies, to help build capacity to increase independence through the successful implementation of assistive, smart home, and remote support technologies centered around independent living. We’ll demonstrate how providers, family members, and caretakers can get remote feedback while enabling independent living options. These cases will show that the possibilities are wide-ranging and individualized, providing increased independence while ensuring safety, wellness, and community involvement.


  • Pamela Fields, MidState Arc/Assistive Technology Training Center (ATECH)
  • Michael Gibney, MidState Arc/ATECH
  • Amy Rubin Mindell, MidState Arc/ATECH
Why Your Agency Needs a Telehealth Solution NOW!

Track: Business Acumen

In this session, we will review the pain points of providers and the people they support when it comes to medical care. From transportation to staffing issues and everything in between, leaving the comfort of home to visit an urgent care or ER for medically unnecessary reasons is costly and highly stressful for all parties. When the pandemic hit, the popularity of telehealth skyrocketed—but some telehealth options can only exacerbate the gaps in medical care that the population with I/DD faces. This session will discuss how a specialized telehealth solution can address gaps in care, improve outcomes, save providers time and money, and provide individuals with a better quality of life.


  • Maulik Trivedi, StationMD
Networking & Special Events (times vary)
Exhibit Hall Open

8 am-4 pm

Continental Breakfast

8-9 am

Networking Break with Exhibitors

Networking | 9:45-10:15 am

Lunch on Your Own

11:15 am-12:30 pm

Brain Breaks

11:30 am-12:15 pm

Networking Break with Exhibitors

Networking | 12:30-1 pm

Networking Break with Exhibitors

Networking | 3:15-3:45 pm

Build Competition Benefitting Santa Fe Public Schools

4:45-5:30 pm

ANCOR Foundation Awards Presentation

La Terraza | 6-6:30 pm

ANCOR Foundation Reception

Santa Fe Sunset Soiree | 6:30-8:30 pm (ticket required)


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

2024 DSP of the Year Awards Breakfast (8:30-10 am)
2024 Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards Breakfast

8:30-10 am

One of the most powerful parts of ANCOR Connect ’24 is sure to be this third morning of the conference. Together, we’ll honor the recipients of the 2024 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 nominees, the stories of this year’s honorees will remind us all that there’s real power in the difference we make in our communities, and why we keep fighting on behalf of our incredible workforce and the people they support.

Breakout Sessions D (10:15-11:15 am)
The Future of Independence: Lessons Learned from Technology Innovations for People

Track: Business Acumen

When technology meets lived experience, amazing things can happen. Join this session to learn about one organization’s innovative approach to empowering people with disabilities by leveraging the potential of technology. We’ll learn from Ability Beyond’s innovative TIP Squad (Technology Innovations for People) about how their innovative educational training program got started. Michael will present from his lived experience about what’s possible when we tap into the power of technology and collaboration. From lessons learned to obstacles overcome along the way, this session will speak to how you can leverage the innovative power of technology in your organization!


  • Laurie Dale, Ability Beyond
  • Michael Montgomery, The TIP Squad
Effecting Change through Public Policy: Traveling with Dignity

Track: DEIA

In this field, we come across challenges every day that need solutions. Moreover, we often know we could make a difference, provide an answer, or create a road map if we could only get someone to listen. This session will explain how one agency assisted individuals in getting their voices heard in the state capital and the resulting accomplishment—The Travel with Dignity Bill, authored by NY Senator Pete Harkham. This new bill requires that public buildings (including government offices) have accessible adult changing rooms for people who cannot use typical toileting facilities. In their own words, you will hear how individuals gained access to their local representatives, built relationships with them, and communicated the difference this will soon make in their lives.


  • Christine Mattson, Constructive Partnerships Unlimited, Hudson Valley Division
  • Penny Pagliaro, Constructive Partnerships Unlimited, Hudson Valley Division
Life Best Enjoyed: Decreasing Negative Behaviors with Recreation Interventions

Track: Person-Centered Programming

Having a disability does not mean someone can’t participate in recreational activities. However, in a world of technology and sedentary entertainment, such as watching television and playing video games, many providers, caregivers, parents, and/or guardians struggle to encourage participation in and planning for accessible recreation activities. This session will consist of strategies for structuring, assessing, and planning meaningful recreational activities, present how a provider organization can develop and implement an entire recreation program, and provide data proving the positive effects on the lives of those we support.


  • Jessica Barnette, Mission Mountain Empowerment
  • Lauren Oliver, Mission Mountain Empowerment
How to Put the “P” in DSP

Track: Business Acumen

Services improve when we empower DSPs to step fully into their roles as knowledgeable, capable, professional team members. However, when we created the title “Direct Support Professional” to elevate the direct care support role and to acknowledge the importance of the hard-working specialists who provide this support, we did not change anything about the job, define the new term, or set clear expectations. Consequently, we have a group of confused workers and frustrated management teams. In this session, you will learn why the I/DD system struggles to empower DSPs to embrace their professional role fully, about training methods may be blocking DSPs from their best work, the secret ingredient that supervisors need in order to support DSPs to achieve maximum success, and the success mindset that agency leaders must maintain to unleash full DSP potential.


  • Sara Sherman, Provider Power Moves
From Root Cause Analysis to Deploying Organizational Initiatives: Reducing the Fatal Five Health Risks

Track: Quality Outcomes

Participants will learn how Mosaic launched a multi-year quality improvement initiative that had measurable, positive impacts on health outcomes, including overall declines in ER visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to unexpected Fatal Five events/illnesses. Presenters will share Mosaic’s lessons learned, including how they assessed the need and current gaps, developed standardized systems and protocols, and launched the improvement campaign. Participants will receive a toolkit comprising brochures, marketing materials, and best practices that could be implemented in their organizations.


  • Elizabeth Gifford, Mosaic
  • Angela Weis, Mosaic
Breakout Sessions E (11:30 am-12:30 pm)
Innovative Strategies in ICF/IID Services: Navigating the Future through Tech-First Service Delivery

Track: Quality Outcomes

During this session, we will explore the possibilities and potential hurdles associated with transitioning ICF/IIDs to a Technology First Service Delivery approach. With a focus on the Active Treatment model, participants will gain insights into the transformative impact technology can provide in areas like physical health, communication, mobility, personal care, and cognitive development. We will also explore what regulatory considerations and conversations are needed as this transformation is undertaken. By the end of this session, attendees will be equipped with practical knowledge and actionable insights to integrate tech-first service delivery within their ICF/IID programs.


  • Nora Eskin, Independence Advocates of Maine
  • Catherine Thibedeau, Independence Advocates of Maine
Revolutionizing the Workforce: Harnessing AI for Customized Employment

Track: Widening the Workforce

In today’s rapidly changing job market, the concept of employment is evolving at an unprecedented pace. Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into customized employment offers a promising and transformative solution as we adapt to new paradigms and challenges. This thought-provoking presentation will delve into the exciting intersection of AI and customized employment, exploring how AI technologies can be harnessed to revolutionize the workforce and unlock the full potential of individuals with diverse abilities.


  • Eric Nelson, SETWorks
My Body, My Choice: Respecting the Bodily Autonomy of People with Disabilities

Track: DEIA

Although it is a fundamental right, the bodily autonomy of people with disabilities has been traditionally discounted by family, friends, strangers, and doctors, to name a few. People with disabilities have been led to believe that their bodies are not valued and that they do not deserve the same respect as their non-disabled peers. Through an interactive program called My Body, My Choice, RCM of Washington facilitators met weekly with self-advocates to educate and empower them about their bodies and their choices. Through candid conversations and meaningful activities, participants in this program build skills in self-determination, learn about anatomy, consent, and privacy, recognize those who can support them in decision-making, and more! Join RCM of Washington for an interactive discussion about the importance of having these critical conversations.


  • Breeanna Reyes, RCM of Washington
  • Erica Thomas, RCM of Washington
2024 Policy Trends for I/DD Providers

Track: Business Acumen

This session brings providers that offer community-based services together to troubleshoot and share insight into the current federal policy trends impacting services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through facilitated discussion, participants will navigate the ins and outs of service delivery through shifts in policy from rulemaking to legislation. Join us as we learn from each other in identifying opportunities, challenges, and creative solutions to delivering high quality supports and services.


  • Elise Aguilar, ANCOR
  • Noah Block, ANCOR
  • Lydia Dawson, ANCOR
Strengthening Mission Through Mergers & Acquisition

Track: Business Acumen

Hear CEO Patrick Maynard and former CEO Diane Beastrom explain why they decided to bring their organizations together to strengthen their mission and coincidentally create the largest non-profit I/DD provider in Ohio. Understand the “why,” make notes of the “how,” and listen for “what” has happened since the two organizations, I Am Boundless and Koinonia, came together in October 2023. Beyond the technical aspects, hear about the importance of culture and building trust throughout the process, as well as recognizing organizational dynamics. The presenters will offer an open and reflective assessment of where things are today in addition to underscoring the importance of having an organizational merger and acquisition strategy.


  • Diane Beastrom, I Am Boundless
  • Patrick Maynard, I Am Boundless
Residential vs. Day Services: Breaking Down Silos for Quality Services

Track: Quality Outcomes

Given the array of supports and services many of us offer, organizational and service-specific silos are common—but not inevitable—occurrences. This session explores the experience of one organization in its quest to address the silos that existed between residential services and day services. The drastic restructuring of service delivery has reaped huge benefits in staff retention, satisfaction expressed by families, people supported and staff, quality of services, and operational efficiencies. Attendees will hear personal testimonies from a person supported, a staff member and supervisor, and a parent. Participants will leave the session with strategies for they might go back and evaluate their own challenges related to silo mentality and, subsequently, implement some potential solutions to create better levels of constructive collaboration amongst their organization’s teams and departments.


  • Sammy Gutierrez, UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago
  • Lori Opiela, UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago
  • Michelle Sanders, UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago
Closing Session: Critical National Trends (1-2:30 pm)

ANCOR Connect ’24 is Sold Out!

UPDATE FEBRUARY 26, 2024: ANCOR Connect ’24 is now sold out, and the waiting list is now closed. We are so appreciative of everyone’s interest in the nation’s premier gathering of community-based providers of I/DD services.

Need to Modify Your Existing Registration?

If you have already registered for ANCOR Connect 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

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Table of our 2024 ANCOR Connect sponsors' logos

Thank you to our exhibitors!

Exhibitors at ANCOR Connect 24 listed in text, in alphabetical order

Already Signed Up to Exhibit?

Our Exhibit Hall is completely sold out. However, if you are already a confirmed exhibitor and are looking for information about what to expect and answers to frequently asked questions, we invite you to visit the Exhibitor Service Center.

Exhibitor Service Center

Staying in Santa Fe

One of the many benefits of having a citywide conference is that we can offer a wide array of different lodging options. ANCOR has secured room blocks with more than a half-dozen hotels, all of which are within a short walking distance from Santa Fe’s central plaza and the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. These hotels will offer guests an array of different amenities at a variety of different price points to help meet your needs.

ANCOR’s Contracted Room Blocks

The Drury Plaza Hotel $199 SOLD OUT 0.4 miles (9-minute walk/wheel)
The Hotel Santa Fe, Hacienda & Spa (Native-Owned) $219 SOLD OUT 0.7 miles (14-minute walk/wheel)
La Posada de Santa Fe $239 SOLD OUT 0.6 miles (12-minute walk/wheel)
El Dorado Hotel & Spa (PAC Event Venue) $249 SOLD OUT 0.2 miles (5-minute walk/wheel)
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza $249 SOLD OUT 0.3 miles (5-minute walk/wheel)
La Fonda on the Plaza (Pre-Conference Venue) $249 Book Your Room at La Fonda 0.3 miles (7-minute walk/wheel)
The Inn & Spa at Loretto $269 SOLD OUT 0.5 miles (9-minute walk/wheel)

* For Hotel Santa Fe: When speaking to your customer service rep, be sure to mention “ANCOR Annual Conference 2024.” Also, if you intend to add stays outside of the ANCOR room block window you will need to call to make your reservation (855.825.9876). Please do not use the link above. 

Getting to Santa Fe

Air Travel

Santa Fe is an easily accessible destination from one of two area airports:

  • Santa Fe Regional Airport (SAF) is just 10 miles from downtown Santa Fe. You can reach downtown Santa Fe from the airport using a taxi or rideshare service. SAF is a smaller, regional airport, making it a convenient option. American Eagle offers service from SAF to Austin (AUS), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) and Phoenix-Sky Harbor (PHX), while United Express offers service from SAF to Denver (DEN).
  • Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is a popular choice among visitors to Santa Fe because, although it is farther away, ABQ offers nonstop service to nearly 40 destinations across eight different airlines. Travel time between ABQ and downtown Santa Fe is just over an hour, and there are several easy options for getting between ABQ and downtown Santa Fe. See the Ground Transportation section below for more information.

Ground Transportation

Once you have landed in New Mexico, you have several options for how to make your way to downtown Santa Fe.

If you fly into Santa Fe Regional Airport (SAF), there are four convenient options for getting to and from the airport. For the most up-to-date information about ground transportation options from SAF, please visit the Fly Santa Fe Ground Transportation page.

  • Taxi service is available from Northern New Mexico Taxi Service. Rides can be pre-arranged by calling 505.423.3426.
  • Rideshare service is available from both Uber and Lyft.
  • Shuttle service is available from Road Runner Shuttle. To explore options, visit the Road Runner Shuttle website or call 505.424.3367. Alternatively, if you choose to stay at the Hotel Santa Fe, they offer free shuttle service.
  • Rental cars are available from both on-airport and off-airport companies, but please note that once you are downtown, all ANCOR Connect ‘24 activities will be within walking distance from the conference hotels and the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. If you choose to rent a car, please consult with your hotel to confirm parking rates and availability to ensure a smooth experience. However, the average price of parking per day across the various hotels is $15.

If you fly into Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), there are a variety of convenient options for getting to and from the airport. For the most up-to-date information about ground transportation options from ABQ, please visit the Sunport Ground Transportation page. 

  • Shuttle service between ABQ and the hotels in Santa Fe where ANCOR has secured room blocks is available from Groome Transportation. One-way or round-trip service must be booked in advance. The schedule and availability will be adapted to accommodate ANCOR Connect participants. Please view the shuttle schedule before making your reservation. To book a shuttle service, you must use this link, which is unique to our conference guests. After the conference concludes on April 10, ANCOR has arranged free bus service back to ABQ, leaving at 3:15 pm and 3:30 pm. More information on how to sign-up for your seat on the buses is coming in early 2024.
  • Rental cars are available from a variety of companies, all of which operate from a consolidated rental car facility that is accessible via a free shuttle that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please note that once you are in downtown Santa Fe, all ANCOR Connect ‘24 activities will be within walking distance from the conference hotels and the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. If you choose to rent a car, please consult with your hotel to confirm parking rates and availability to ensure a smooth experience. However, the average price of parking per day across the various hotels is $15.
  • A taxi or ride-share service may be available, although rates may be high, and availability may be limited given the 66-mile journey between ABQ and downtown Santa Fe. If you pursue this option, we encourage booking service in advance. 

General Questions

What is ANCOR Connect all about?

ANCOR Connect, formerly the ANCOR Annual Conference, is our nation’s premier 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 nearly 1,000 participants expected this year, ANCOR Connect 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.
  • 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 ANCOR Connect?

All staff from I/DD provider agencies are welcome and encouraged to attend ANCOR Connect, 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, ANCOR Connect 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 ANCOR Connect participants, there’s something for everyone—including YOU!

When and where is this year’s ANCOR Connect?

ANCOR Connect 2024 will take place April 8-10, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

What does it cost to attend?

Generally speaking, pricing depends on whether you’re an ANCOR member 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 ANCOR Connect registration includes full access to the entire array of activities on offer in Santa Fe on April 8-10, 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 does not include access to ticketed events, namely our Pre-Conference Workshops on April 8 and the ANCOR Foundation Reception on April 9. Tickets for these events can be added onto your registration at the point or purchase or at a later date, space permitting.

Registration Questions

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

Registrations canceled on or before March 15, 2024, will be fully refunded, less an 8.5% administrative fee. No refunds will be issued on or after March 16, 2024.

I already registered, but can no longer attend. Can I transfer my registration to someone else?

Our online registration system does not permit transfers, but you are permitted to cancel your existing registration and establish a new one. Please note, however, that you will incur an 8.5% administrative fee in the event that you cancel your original registration. Please also ensure that additional registrations are available before cancelling your existing registration; if we are operating a waiting list when you attempt to establish the new registration, the new registrant will be added to the end of the waiting list and may not be approved to register if space does not become available.

I’m having trouble logging in. What should I do?

When establishing a registration, you will be asked to log into our event management system. To do so, you will use the same email address and password that you use to log into any ANCOR website (e.g.,, the ANCOR Connected Community, etc.).


If you have an account but don’t know your password, you can reset your password. If you submit the password reset form but don’t see the email with the password reset link in your inbox, please check your spam and junk folders. If you find that the password reset email isn’t in either of those places, please send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to reset your password manually.

I’m an ANCOR member, but I don’t see the member pricing. What do I do?

Once you have logged in, click “View Product” to the right of “Full Conference.” Assuming your identity has been authenticated, the non-member pricing should be crossed out and next to it, the member pricing should be displayed.


If you still aren’t seeing the member pricing, it may be because you have been newly added to our database and our backend systems have not yet fully synced. Please wait until at least two business days following the addition of yourself or your colleague to our database before attempting to complete the registration.

Do I need to create an account in order to establish a registration?

Yes. Creating an account is fast and simple, and it’s the only way we can discern your eligibility to participate and the pricing you should see. Therefore, we ask that you create an account or log in with an existing account.

If I’m registering multiple event participants, does each person need their own account?

Yes. If you are registering multiple colleagues and you search for their names in the online system, you may find that some names appear and some do not. In this scenario, it is likely that the people whose names don’t appear don’t yet have an account. Please note that each individual registrant will need their own account in order for a registration to be created on their behalf.


Although you can create an account on their behalf, we strongly encourage the individuals you seek to register to create their own account so that their account credentials can be secure. Once their account(s) has been established, please wait at least two business days before trying again, as it takes some time for our online systems to sync.

Exhibitor Questions

Who exhibits at ANCOR Connect?

ANCOR Connect is the premier gathering of community-based I/DD service providers and the community of professionals who support these providers. The organizations that exhibit at ANCOR Connect 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 ANCOR Connect ‘24?

Unfortunately, our Exhibit Hall is currently sold out. You are welcome to add yourself to the waiting list by visiting the Sponsors & Exhibitors tab of the ANCOR Connect website, but we cannot guarantee that space will become available. If you are unable to secure an exhibit booth, we encourage you to consider sponsoring the conference instead. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Sponsors & Exhibitors tab of the ANCOR Connect website or email Mariana Nork.

What does it cost to exhibit at ANCOR Connect?

The price of an exhibit booth is $2,750, and your exhibit booth is an 8’ x 10’ space with a six-foot table. The price includes two all-access registrations for the personnel who will staff your exhibit booth. Visit the Sponsors & Exhibitors tab of the ANCOR website for more information.

I registered for an exhibit booth, but can no longer exhibit. Can I cancel my exhibitor registration?

Exhibit booth cancellations made on or before March 8, 2024, will be eligible for a refund, less a $250 administrative fee. No refunds will be made on exhibit booth cancellations on or after March 9, 2024. To cancel your exhibitor registration, please email [email protected].

Miscellaneous Questions

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

Session proposals are solicited in the fall prior to ANCOR Connect and submissions are typically due in October or November. Members of the ANCOR team review all completed submissions in November, December and January, and notifications are sent no later than early January.

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.

Still have a question not addressed here?

Don’t hesitate to reach out—we’re happy to help! Simply drop us a line at [email protected].