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2015 ANCOR Conference: Ignite!

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2015 ANCOR Conference: Ignite!

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

Stoking the Fires of Innovation, Transformation and Leadership

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

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

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

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

What’s on Tap for 2015?

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

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

  • General sessions that feature nationally recognized speakers

  • Town Hall discussion about the HCBS community rule

  • Education sessions that maximize your learning and networking

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

  • Special days of educational content during the DSP Leadership Academy

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

Why Should You Be There?

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

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

  • Access educational offerings, including general educational sessions.

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

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

  • Immerse yourself in thought-provoking presentations and conversations.

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

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

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

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

Four Strands of Focus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Save The Date!

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

Register now and take advantage of special discounted rates!


Sponsored in part by ANCOR's proud Gold Partners:


ANCOR Gold Partners



(April 21, 2015 and onward)

  • ANCOR member: $875.00

  • ANCOR member 3rd and subsequent registrant: $830.00

  • Non-member: $1,200.00

Pre-Conference Sessions

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

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

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

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

    (by invitation only)


Online registration is closed. Registration onsite will be available.


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


Contact us.

(details subject to change)

The 2015 ANCOR Conference Program is available for download in PDF format.

Leadership Meetings

May 1 1:00 - 5:00 pm ANCOR Foundation Board Meeting (followed by dinner) — Lee Room
May 2 9:30 am - 12:00 pm Government Relations Meeting — McLean Room
  12:30 - 6:00 pm Board of Directors Meeting (followed by dinner) — Roslyn Room
May 3 8:00 - 10:15 am Board of Directors Meeting — Alexandria Room
  9:00 - 10:30 am Professional & Organizational Development — Fairfax Room
  10:30 am - 12:00 pm Lighthouse Leaders — Fairfax Room
  10:30 am - 12:00 pm Board of Representatives — Salon A
  1:00 - 3:30 pm State Association Executives Forum Meeting — Salon D

Conference Sessions

The following sessions are open to all Conference attendees. Click on the tab above for the DSP Leadership Academy sessions.

May 3 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration — Arlington Foyer

Pre-Conference #1
(Pre-registration is required and space is limited.)

Employment First — Making the Transition Initiative Work

Serena Lowe, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP),
              U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
Genni Sasnett, Independent Community Support Consultant, ODEP Employment First
              State Leadership Mentoring Program
Tom Wilds, Subject Matter Expert
Rick McCallister, Subject Matter Expert

For organizations interested in diversifying their services to provide expanded community-based options for individuals with significant disabilities, this pre-conference session is for you! Come learn about investments of the Office of Disability Employment Policy to provide community rehabilitation providers access to high-quality technical assistance, training and ongoing coaching from executives who understand the level of complexity involved and effective strategies for model conversion from facility-based work or day habilitation centers.

This pre-conference session is intended to provide highly interactive technical assistance and informational resources to providers who are looking to accelerate their own organization's transformation efforts, and offer strategies for how providers can engage in productive ways with state-led Employment First initiatives and implementation of various recent Federal policy regulations.

The presentation will include an overview of recent developments in Federal policy, trends in state Employment First initiatives, and ODEP's Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP). The remainder of the session will be a highly-interactive, hands-on coaching session and breakout discussions with two national subject matter experts in the area of provider transformation.

Participants will learn about new strategies related to funding diversification; organizational mapping and benchmarking; mission alignment and executive/leadership development; staff modeling, professional development in effective practices, and incentives; forecasting, budget modeling, and performance measurement from those who are receiving and giving technical assistance through the EFSLMP.

Pre-Conference #2
(This session is by invitation only for the first class of Emerging Leaders.)

ANCOR Foundation Emerging Leaders: Perspectives on the Challenges for Emerging Leaders in 2015 and Beyond

Thomas Schramski, PhD, President/Managing Partner, Vertess Advisors + Vertess Consulting, LLC
Wendy Swager, President & CEO, Soreo
Chris Stevenson, President & CEO, Cedar Lake, Inc.
Tyler Burke, President & CEO, Practical Training Solutions

Jennifer May, Vice President of Operations, STAR Services
James Bailey, Community Support Supervisor, OHI Maine

The ANCOR Foundation is committed to enriching leadership skills of all ANCOR members through its many activities and will present its first Renee Pietrangelo Leadership Forum. This session is by invitation only for the first class of Emerging Leaders, who are interested in paving the way to a new future. For more information, please contact Debra Langseth.

In 1971, Bernard Gunther and Pascal Fusco released a counterculture treatise, What To Do Until The Messiah Comes, that presented the necessary experience and skills for the next generation, many of whom became the leaders of today and the recent past. A new group of leaders are emerging for tomorrow's principled leadership and they face unique challenges — integration with larger healthcare reforms, an increased focus on individual choice, regulatory pressure, and managed care initiatives in an era of competition for limited public and private funds.

This session will include three basic elements. First, the four presenters will offer their individual perspectives on the challenges and opportunities for new, emerging leaders in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) marketplace, where the focus will be on practical insights and the leader's toolkit for success in the future. Second, the Emerging Leader panelists will offer their perspective on the presenters' remarks. Third, there will be an open discussion facilitated by the session moderator and members, with ample opportunity for questions, answers and considerations of various leadership scenarios.

Pre-Conference #3
(Pre-registration is required and space is limited.)

Shared Living/Host Homes: Inclusiveness and Quality

Nancy Thaler, CEO, NASDDDS
Dave Toeniskoetter, CEO, Dungarvin
Robert Baker, Vice President, Keystone Human Services
Jennifer Fuglestad, Quality Assurance Manager, The MENTOR Network

Shared Living and Host Homes have been an important model in honoring the desires and decisions of people with disabilities for many years. Some organizations have advanced the model to demonstrate key quality outcomes. Learn about shared living models across the country as well as a parent's perspective of a well-honed model. Key components of ANCOR's model Shared Housing contract will be highlighted.

One of the factors family members and people receiving support identify as crucial to shared living success is 'the match:' learn how to achieve this all important and multi-faceted match between people, interests, desires and self-direction. And what is a program without quality? Hear how multi-state organizations have identified, monitored, tweaked, and attained services and supports that all parties agree are of high quality.

Pre-Conference #4
(Pre-registration is required and space is limited.)

Updated ICF/IID Guidelines — What Do They Mean for Our Organization?

Catherine Hayes, President, H&W Independent Solutions

In January 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advance copy of the updated ICF/IID Interpretative Guidelines (IG). This is the first comprehensive update to the survey guidance in almost 20 years.

If your organization offers ICF/IID services, ANCOR's newest pre-conference session is one you cannot miss.

Catherine Hayes, President, H&W Independent Solutions, will tell us what is new, modified, or deleted from the previous IG and what is included in the new Exhibit to the State Operations Manual (SOM).

Ms. Hayes is a nationally recognized consultant and trainer in the area of regulatory compliance and quality assurance and a trusted ANCOR colleague. Prior to co-founding H&W, she served as the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) ICF/IID Team Leader and then Branch Chief for the Continuing Care Provider Branch.

This is a terrific chance to get a broad overview of the changes — as well as specific insight into how it will affect your organization. It's your first step in understanding the key changes to the Interpretive Guidance by Condition of Participation (with a focus on the fundamental Conditions of Participation). Plus, you'll come away with a summary of additional expectations for policy and procedures and/or record keeping by the facility.

  3:45 - 4:30 pm Exhibits Open
  4:30 - 5:00 pm Welcome and State of ANCOR Address

Chris Sparks, President, ANCOR

  5:00 - 6:00 pm KEYNOTE

Love No Matter What

Andrew Solomon, Activist, Philanthropist, Lecturer and Award-Winning Author

As the 25th anniversary of ADA approaches, Andrew Solomon's message of mattering — and of the unifying power of diversity — will resonate strongly with those who serve people with disabilities. A self-described student of adversity, Solomon is the Pulitzer Prize nominated author of the highly-acclaimed book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity.

If you're searching for the raw materials to help your organization truly ignite this year, don't miss this thought-provoking keynote! Not only will Dr. Solomon reaffirm our core belief that we all matter, he will also inspire you to think differently about diversity and the way forward.

  6:00 - 6:30 pm Legacy Leader Awards

Chris Stevenson, President, ANCOR Foundation

The ANCOR Foundation's Legacy Leader's Circle honors career-long contributions of outstanding champions in our industry. The program also raises funds to support the development of the leaders of the future. Join us as the 2015 members are inducted to the Legacy Leader Circle of ANCOR's leaders and leaders in the disability field.

  6:30 - 7:30 pm Welcome Reception with Exhibitors
Sponsored in part by ANCOR Services Corporation
  7:15 - 8:15 pm Sprout Film Festival

End your day by relaxing and enjoying several short movies created by and featuring people with developmental disabilities. Get inspired at this mini film festival of shorts selected just for you! A Sprout Film Festival representative will lead a lively discussion with the audience about the films viewed.

May 4 7:15 am - 6:00 pm Registration — Arlington Foyer
  7:15 - 8:00 am Continental Breakfast with Exhibitors
  8:00 - 8:30 am ANCOR Today — Looking Back, Moving Forward

Barbara Merrill, Esq, CEO, ANCOR

Just as your organization is changing and evolving in preparation for the future, your national association is as well. Join newly appointed ANCOR CEO, Barbara Merrill, for a retrospective of ANCOR's rich 45 year legacy of supporting communities of choice for people with disabilities, and how ANCOR is uniquely positioned to continue to shape the future of supports and services for the people we serve.

  8:30 - 9:30 am Plenary (Joint Session)

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

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

Don't miss this session as Dr. Braddock presents a photographic history of our nation's progress in providing services for people with intellectual disability, as well as longitudinal and current data on revenue, spending, and programmatic trends across the United States. This will be a powerful reminder of why we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ADA!

Be among the first to hear Dr. Braddock's analysis of national and state-by-state data emanating from the new "State of the States in Developmental Disabilities: 2015" and hear what important service delivery trends and impacts he believes are in store for the future.

Conference attendees at this session will receive their own copy of Dr. Braddock's 2015 State of the States in Developmental Disabilities (Tenth Edition), an essential resource for anyone in the field!

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

Person-Centered Services: A Meaningful Life Full of Possibilities

Dakota Johns, Self Advocate

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

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

Person Centered Services is defined as "creating a quality of life for all people with disabilities." We do this by learning about each individual, what they like, what they have & what they want. The only way to truly understand the importance and service philosophy behind Person Centered Services is to see the impact is has made in Dakota's life.

You will acquire wisdom and insight on how Person Centered Services is for ALL of us, not just people with disabilities in this session which will have you learning, moving and laughing.

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

Esmé Grant, Senior Director of Government Relations, ANCOR

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

  11:30 am - 12:00 pm Networking Break with Exhibitors
  12:00 - 1:15 pm Networking Luncheon
  1:15 - 2:15 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Shaping Policy

What Providers Need to Know About Emerging Employment Policy for People with Disabilities

Alison Barkoff, Director of Advocacy, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Donna Martin, Executive Director, Community Provider Network of Rhode Island

Employment policy for people with disabilities is undergoing historic changes and development. In January 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued their groundbreaking home and community-based settings rule which provides a new layout for Medicaid waiver eligible employment settings. In April 2014, the United States Department of Justice announced the nation's first statewide settlement agreement in Rhode Island based on the over-reliance of the state on placement of individuals with disabilities in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. In August 2014 the U.S. Congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which established new requirements for youth with disabilities transitioning to community services.

This session features experts at the heart of these issues who will walk the audience through what they mean for states and providers in 2015 and beyond and how to be involved in these changes.

Building Capacity

Managed Care for Complex Populations: Hear from the Experts

Bob Bond, Vice President, Behavioral Services, ResCare (Moderator)
Rick Fredrickson, Senior Vice President, Long Term Care Programs, Centene
Merrill Friedman, Vice President of Advocacy, Anthem
United Healthcare (TBD)

Until recently, complex Medicaid populations such as the aged, blind, and disabled (ABD) and individuals with IDD were carved-out of Medicaid Managed Care programs. Increasingly, this trend is reversing and states are carving IN these populations to encourage increased coordination of care between healthcare, behavioral healthcare, long term care, and other support services.

The purpose of the session is to increase dialogue between the Medicaid MCOs and providers dedicated to complex Medicaid populations, particularly supporting people with IDD. As this evolution continues, it becomes increasingly important that long term services and supports providers serving people with IDD and MCOs are working together to achieve a common goal. This session is one more step in the direction of increasing dialogue and understanding between our organizations.

Next Generation

Tapping into the Untapped Potential of the Board's Full Potential

Paula Hart, CEO, Volunteers of America, Minnesota and Wisconsin

The January 2015 issue of the Harvard Business Review features a cover article on "How Boards Fall Short" that begins with the simple declaration that "boards aren’t working." The article goes on to state that more than a decade after the first wave of post-Enron regulatory reforms most [for-profit] boards aren’t delivering on their core mission. Nonprofit boards aren’t faring much better and according to BoardSource, nonprofit boards are generally better at technical tasks, such as financial oversight and compliance, than they are at adaptive work related to strategy and community outreach. Strong, impactful board leadership will not happen on its own — but it can happen. Come to this session if you’re interested in tapping your board’s untapped potential. Learn about best practices that help boards move beyond proficiency in finance and technical tasks to engage in adaptive leadership work. Find out how to help your board be strategic and generative, while maintaining their oversight role, and gain new awareness, approaches and tools to immediately put into action to tap the untapped potential of any board.

What's New

Organizational Change and The New CMS Regulations: Positioning for the Future

Cathy Ficker Terrill, President and CEO, The Council on Quality and Leadership

When people talk about organizational change, what does that mean? How can it be used most effectively? What's the best way to solicit and provide open communication during an organizational change, and why it is important for all stakeholders to understand the facts behind the change?

This session will provide an overview of new requirements surrounding: Home and Community-Based Settings, Provider Owned/Controlled Residential Settings, Person-Centered Service Plan Process and Documentation and Quality Assurances & Sub-Assurances. It will also provide practical suggestions for reconfiguring organizations to reposition for the future with those new requirements in mind.

How do you provide an ISP that is accessible and available? How do you change staff thinking about who controls the keys to the front door? How do you rethink offering employment options that are customized? Hear best practices around these issues, including ways to empower staff to be a part of the changes your organization makes.

  2:15 - 2:45 pm Networking Break with Exhibitors
  2:45 - 3:45 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Shaping Policy

New Horizons: Reconfiguring Day Programs to Meet the HCBS Rule

Melissa Harris, Acting Deputy Director, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group,
Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

The Home and Community Based Settings (HCBS) Rule issued by CMS in January 2014 has set new federal standards for states receiving Medicaid waiver funding and will change the way many residential and employment services are provided. One burning question states and providers have had is what will day programs look like in five, ten years and beyond under this new rule?

This session features one of the key leaders behind the development and implementation of the CMS HCBS rule who will provide the audience with greater insight on what the rule will require and tips and tools for how to reshape day programs so that they meet or exceed the expectations of the rule.

Building Capacity

Insider’s Guide to the 2016 Presidential Election

Daryn Demeritt, Vice President of Government Relations, ResCare, and
              President, D2 Public Affairs (Moderator)
Phil Musser, President, New Frontier Strategy (former Executive Director, Republican Governor's
              Association, and Senior Advisor to Romney Presidential Campaign)
Jamal Simmons, Principal, Raben Group (former Obama Campaign Advisor and
              CNN Presidential Commentator)
Margie Omero, Managing Director, Purple Insights (Research Division of Purple Strategies)
Matthew A. Schlapp, Principal, Cove Strategies (former Deputy Assistant and Political
              Director to President George W. Bush)

Presidential elections are just around the corner and future candidates are now beginning to announce their plans to run. The Presidency shapes the future of disability policy and the role of providers. In the past several years, the Obama Administration has developed a new Administration for Community Living, led historical Olmstead settlements around the country, issued new rules on the companionship exemption and developed a new final rule on home and community based services for waiver funding. Join this session with expert Republican and Democratic political analysts who will share their insights into the 2016 race, potential candidates, and how regardless of who wins the office, providers can play a role in the policy development of the Oval Office.

Next Generation

Leadership is Created Not Bestowed: Opportunities for Emerging Leaders

Thomas Schramski, PhD, CMAA, President & Managing Partner, Vertess

Jennifer May, Vice President of Operations, STAR Services
James Bailey, Community Support Supervisor, OHI Maine

One of the biggest challenges for emerging leaders is understanding the opportunities available to them because of their unique circumstances. As leaders in crisis often have significant latitude to test the limits because of their environment, so do emerging leaders have unique possibilities for creating a direction for their organization.

The presenter and panelists will explore a number of "what if" scenarios for today's emerging leaders and how they can "earn their stripes" while pursuing a value-driven direction for their organization. Extensive consideration will be given to practical operational approaches for implementing strategy consistent with their leadership role.

The presentation will also include references to the ANCOR emerging leaders pre-conference workshop input as focus areas for growth, as well as a time for attendee questions, answers and discussion.

What's New

Providers Serving Diverse Populations

Aaron Bishop, Commissioner, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Cultural competency is critical to improving access to services that are respectful of, and responsive to, people's diverse needs. Culture involves a number of things, including personal identification, language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions that are often specific to ethnic, racial, religious, geographic, or social groups. For the provider of disability services, these elements influence beliefs and belief systems surrounding health, wellness, and delivery of services.

This session will open up the discussion of cultural competency around providing services to diverse populations and debut the plan of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to focus its programs on these goals.

  3:45 - 4:15 pm 25th Birthday Celebration of the ADA and Networking Break with Exhibitors
  4:15 - 5:45 pm Ignite! Town Hall 2015 (Joint Session)
(Sponsored by AHP Healthcare Solutions)

Chris Sparks, President, ANCOR (Moderator)

The IGNITE Town Hall opens up the floor to attendees to share what is going on in their states and communities to implement the new home and community-based settings rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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

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

  7:30 - 8:00 am Continental Breakfast
  8:00 - 8:30 am ANCOR Foundation Update

Chris Stevenson, President, ANCOR Foundation

The ANCOR Foundation is committed to supporting and developing leadership and innovative and inclusive organizations. Learn about the ANCOR Foundation's new mission and vision and how it is Your Foundation!

ANCOR Lighthouse Leader Program

Bob Turner, Leadership and Professional Development, RHA

The Lighthouse Leader project, a partnership of ANCOR and FranklinCovey based on the popular 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training, offers a comprehensive roadmap and training for inspiring change in your organization. During this session, learn how RHA is powering its Culture of Caring and Leadership by re-imagining its paradigms around Performance Management, Communication and Leadership Development, all tied to the key principles of the 7 Habits. Learn how RHA gathered quantitative data to clarify the need for their "7 Habits" initiative, earned senior leadership's support and funding, is deploying 7 Habits workshops every supervisor (over 600) in the company, and is and will measure the effectiveness of these efforts through culture surveys and performance reviews.

  8:30 - 9:15 am Plenary

Disability Insurance: Setting the Record Straight & Preparing for Congressional Action

Ellen Nissenbaum, Senior V.P. for Government Affairs, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Ms. Nissenbaum is regarded as one of the leading legislative directors among non-profit organizations in Washington and frequently is asked to provide support to a number of organizations and coalitions by providing policy assistance, strategic guidance, and communications planning for their legislative activities. In this session, she will provide an outlook for Congressional action on Disability Insurance (DI), and share critical aspects of this debate. She'll explore DI's solvency shortfall in 2016 and the need to act, the education gap on DI and the growing erroneous and misleading attacks on the program; she'll highlight the threats that have emerged to DI, and, most importantly, help attendees learn effective ways to respond to these threats and take key steps to help protect disability insurance.

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

Igniting a Vision for Change through Personal Power

Tom Pomeranz, EdD, President, Universal Lifestiles, LLC

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

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

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

Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards
Underwritten by Relias Learning

  11:45 am - 1:00 pm Lunch (On Your Own)
  1:00 - 2:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS
Shaping Policy

Community Matters: How HHS is Uniting Community Living Goals and State Medicaid Waiver Programs

Suzie Bosstick, Deputy Director, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, CMS
Sharon Lewis, Principal Deputy Administrator, Administration for Community Living, and
              Senior Advisor on Disability Policy for Secretary Burwell, Departent of Health
              and Human Services (HHS)

Throughout the past several years, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has undertaken significant systems changes and regulatory reviews to ensure that its programs and policies are responding to the increasing public demand for community services and supports. In April 2012, the Department of HHS established the Administration for Community Living (ACL), a new agency dedicated to improving access to community supports and achieving full community participation for older adults and people with disabilities. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Department of HHS have been working for several years to update their waiver programs, leading to the January 2014 issuance of the final rule on home and community-based services (HCBS), the biggest change to the Medicaid HCBS waiver program since its inception in 1981.

This session features two prominent leaders from the Department of HHS who will share the history, information and perspectives that led to these and other historical changes in recent years.

Building Capacity

Tools of the Trade: The DSP Workforce Development Toolkit

Lori Sedlezky, MSW, Director of Knowledge Translation, Research and Training Center,
              Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota

Recent data will substantiate the workforce challenge that you already know too well — the demand for a direct services workforce in home and community based services is rapidly and dramatically outpacing the growth of the traditional labor pool. High rates of DSP turnover are a significant barrier to the delivery of quality services. Consequences of DSP turnover are significant, as the estimated cost of hiring and training new DSPs is $4,872 per position and DSP vacancy rates can result in increased stress on the remaining workforce. Relationships with DSP directly correlate to the quality of services a person receives and his or her quality of life. What's an organization to do?

This presentation will introduce participants to the ANCOR DSP Workforce Development Toolkit and facilitate discussion about the application of these tools within organizations. The Toolkit was created with quality services in mind and includes: Targeted Marketing Strategies to increase the number of candidates recruited from non-traditional or niche markets; a Realistic Job Preview (RJP); a Structured Behavioral Interview Questionnaire tied to nationally validated core competencies; DSP and Frontline Supervisor Competency Sets and Competency Based Training and a Turnover Calculator, Retention, Wage and Benefit Electronic Survey designed to assist organizations and families easily calculate and trend their DSP turnover, retention, wage and benefit data.

Next Generation

Perspectives on Autism: National Leaders Speak Up!

Samantha Crane, JD, Director of Public Policy, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
Tonia Ferguson, Vice President External Affairs, the Autism Society
Angela Lello, Director of Housing and Community Living, Autism Speaks

Every state and community has its own perspectives, information and ideas about providing services to individuals with autism. As ANCOR members increasingly provide services for this community, it is important to hear from national leaders who frame federal policy and legislation that impact autism services on the ground.

This session will provide a platform for a diversity of perspectives from three major autism organizations, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), the Autism Society and Autism Speaks, to share their viewpoints of what the key policy and service issues are for autistic individuals in this Congressional session and beyond.

What's New

Managing Healthcare Reform for High Performance: One Organization's Journey in Process Improvement

Adrian Bishop, Director of eHealth Services and Organizational Development, AHP
Heather Brown, Assistant Executive Director for Program Operations, The Resource Center

This presentation will present a case study for an organization facing funding and productivity challenges, as well as the need to integrate IDD into primary healthcare services. Through hands-on consultation and process improvement, AHP and TRC worked together to produce significant costs savings, identifying over $300,000 of potential process and productivity improvement opportunities that produced actual savings of over $150,000 in primary care, and a reduction in outstanding revenue at 90 days from 40% to 10%. Building on these successes, AHP and TRC implemented a process and workflow improvement effort toward funding reductions. Results of this project have produced a reduction in TRC's revenue deficit from 36% to 11%, beating the goal to halve the deficit. The forecast show that within 12 months, the deficit should be reduced to 2%.

Learn how one organization successfully shifted its strategic planning from a process focused solely on the customer base to one that also considers the ACA, managing in the new environment, Board support, funding reserves, and data, which still staying focused on high performance. It can be done!

  2:00 - 2:15 pm Networking Break
  2:15 - 3:15 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Shaping Policy

ICFs in 2015 and Beyond: The Latest on New Interpretive Guidelines and Surveys

Melissa Rice, Social Science Research Analyst, Survey & Certification Group Division of
              Continuing Care Providers, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

In February 2015, CMS revised interpretive guidelines for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID). With trends and services moving towards community integration, the role of ICFs is undergoing important changes. The goal of the new guidelines is to provide a concise clarification of the regulation intent and represent current standards of practice in the field of ICF/IID. Join one of the leaders from CMS in this work as she explains the changes, why they made them, gaps that still exist in surveys and other data collection, and how CMS is now looking at surveying compliance.

Building Capacity

Trends for Self-Direction in Long-Term Services and Supports

Merle Edwards-Orr, PhD, LICSW, Director of Veterans Initiatives, National Resource Center for
              Participant-Directed Services, Boston College School of Social Work

The entire area of Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) is in flux. Managed care has made significant inroads in state Medicaid LTSS and the implications of that are still playing out. The impacts of the Affordable Care Act on LTSS are also still not fully known but the ACA's emphasis on outcomes, care coordination, and cost savings have clear implications for LTSS.

In that context, Self-Direction remains a vibrant and important force and self-directed programs continue to grow, if not at the same explosive rate as five years ago. Every state now has some form of a self-directed program; many states have several. Join Dr. Edwards as he discusses trends in LTSS and their impacts on self-directed supports, particularly as they relate to managed care, care for veterans and behavioral health.

Next Generation

Meeting the Market Demands of Autism: Trends and Lifespan Programming

Sherry Moyer, MSW, Executive Director, Keystone Autism Services

The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders is skyrocketing; the cost of providing supports through adulthood can seem unsustainable. With an eye toward future need, one ANCOR provider member is developing a lifespan orientation to service delivery with the hopes of creating a united vision of socially relevant outcomes and increased quality of life for all participants and their families.

Driven by the addition of children's services to the existing community-based adult programming, Keystone Autism Services is developing a common approach to continuous problem-solving with the ultimate goal of improved service quality. Staff will be trained to identify goals and objectives that contribute to a continuum of social, communication, behavioral, vocational, cognitive and sensory development across the lifespan — not just the limited duration of the service plan.

This workshop will provide guidelines for developing lifespan programming from both the workforce and participant/family points of view. Topics will include: creating culture change, staff development, lifespan oriented services plans, quality of life and the evaluation of meaningful outcomes at an individual and programmatic level.

What's New

Reflections on Successful Transition: Preparing Youth with Disabilities for School, Work and Life

Sue Swenson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office on Special Education and Rehabilitative Services,
              U.S. Department of Education

Transition from youth to adulthood is challenging for any young person, especially if you are a transitioning youth with a disability. This session highlights what those challenges are from the perspective of a longtime disability expert, parent and top official in the Department of Education. Most importantly, however, this session will share advice, tools, and guidance for providers to assist them in the transition of youth with disabilities to school, work and adult life so that they can achieve the greatest integration and success possible.

  3:15 - 3:30 pm Networking Break
  3:30 - 4:30 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS — Moving Forward to 2025

Shaping Policy

Let's Talk about Rate Setting: Conversations with Stakeholders

Shane Spotts, Principal, Health Management Associates (HMA)
Shirley Walker, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and
              Intellectual Disability (PAR)
Daniel J. Keating, PhD., Executive Director, Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with
              Disabilities (ABCD)

As states look to change the ways they pay for services to people with IDD, administrations are turning to independent contractors to guide them through the complex world of rate setting. Hear some stories and perspectives on rate setting from a contractor, a state association, and the states. Learn about changes in dynamics and advocacy as independent contractors are replacing long-term state employees. Take away some tips on what providers can expect and how to get ahead of the game.

Building Capacity

Making a House a Home: How to Advance Affordable, Sustainable Housing Policy for People with Disabilities

Jennifer Ho, Senior Advisor for Housing and Services, U.S. Department of Housing and
              Urban Development
Andrew Sperling, Director of Federal Legislative Advocacy, National Alliance on Mental Illness
Ed Gramlich, Special Advisor, National Low Income Housing Coalition
Lisa Sloane, Senior Policy Advisor, Technical Assistance Collaborative

There is a deficit in affordable housing for people with disabilities around the country and without addressing it; the goals of community integration will not be achieved. This session dives into the heart of what will make more affordable and sustainable housing available — policy. Hear from the top policy expert from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and top housing advocates from the community as they share information, tools, and actions for providers to take in order to create more inventory of affordable housing.

By joining this session, you get a front seat to hearing what President Obama and Secretary Castro are planning for providing greater housing for people with disabilities and prepare for your Hill visits by learning from advocates about supporting housing policies like the National Housing Trust Fund.

Next Generation
Special Thanks to CRSI for Their Support

The Risk of the HCBS Rule: Sibling Perspectives

Tom Fish, Director of Social Work & Family Support, Ohio State University Nisonger Center
John Hannah, Advocate, CRSI

The HCBS Rule values and expects people with disabilities to have full access to the benefits of community living and receive services in the most integrated setting and person-centered planning requirements. Siblings, people receiving supports and providers sometimes have different perspectives about The Rule and the latitude implied. Learn how some siblings and people with disabilities are navigating the many options available and share what you’ve experienced and learned.

What's New

Building Capacity for Sustainability — Collecting and Using Outcome Measures Data

Diane McComb, Aging and Disabilities Lead, Delmarva Foundation

Put your agency in the position of being able to say what you do and do what you say. Want to be able to market your agency? One thing leads to another. Whether your state is moving to managed long term services and supports or you are paid under fee for service, tracking outcomes meaningful to people with disabilities is a critical function of service provision these days.

This session will explore why agencies should be collecting data; ways to collect it; and how to use it. Join Diane McComb, while she wears her Delmarva Foundation hat, to look at ways to market your agency to individuals with disabilities, funders, legislators and more.

May 6 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Hill Day 2015

ANCOR's Hill Day gives you an opportunity to make a difference and share with your elected representatives what you have learned from the ANCOR 2015 Conference: Ignite! ANCOR has created a website with tips, tools, and presentations to help your Hill Day be a success!

Visit Hill Day 2015 on ANCOR Amplifier for everything you need!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

AAIDD – American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP)

American HealthCare Capital

ANCOR Services Corporation


Arlington Heritage Group

Benefits Consulting Group


Bethesda Institute

Butler Woodcrafters

CapGrow Partners

CareDirector USA, LLC

Carematic Systems, Inc.

CARF International

CQL – The Council on Quality and Leadership


Driver’s Alert

Embassy Management

eVero Corporation

Foothold Technology

Health Risk Screening, Inc.

Irwin Siegel Agency, Inc.

MediSked LLC

Medline Industries, Inc.

MetLife Center for Special Needs Planning



National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities



Pharmacy Alternatives

Practical Health Systems, Inc.

QBS, Inc.

Quantum Solutions

Relias Learning

Rest Assured


SEFCU Insurance Agency

Sengistix, LLC

SimplyHome, LLC



Stoneridge Partners

Therap Services


Training & eTracking Solutions


WhisperglideSwing Co., Inc.

Crystal Gateway Marriott

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

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

Airport/Ground Transportation

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

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

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


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

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

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

Questions? Please contact Jerri McCandless ([email protected]).