• Wednesday
    Pre-con November 6 2019
    12:00 - 2:00
    Ethics and Mental Health Diagnosis
    12:00 - 2:00
    Rate Restructuring- Value Based Purchasing
    A national perspective on VBP and Michigan-specific info Recognition of the trend toward outcome oriented reimbursement models in healthcare in general, including behavioral health; and then refining the focus to emphasize employment. An outline of the CMHs that have received TA, an update on the status of implementation, including incentives for acuity, wage levels, and hours worked - and close with Lisa's perspective on how this initiative will advance the goals of Employment First.
    12:00 - 2:00
    Seamless Transition
    The Seamless Transition project in Michigan is a collaboration between the Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, and the Developmental Disability Council. The focus of the project is to develop local, cross-agency teams and provide structure, technical assistance and training to support the teams with the implementation of the Seamless Transition Model. There are Five Essential Elements on which the Model is built. This presentation will provide an overview of the Seamless Transition process, the Five Essential Elements and the Fidelity Checklist, and other tools designed to support the team process. Additional State initiatives related to secondary transition and employment will also be highlighted.
    2:00 - 2:30
    Refreshment Break
    2:30 - 4:30
    “Orientation” to the Intersectionality of LGBTQ, Gender Identity, and Disability Issues in VR and Employment
    What is gender expansive language, why is it important, and how do rehabilitation professionals apply gender language in an empowering way? What potential employment barriers exist when serving consumers experiencing the intersectionality of LGBTQ+ and/or gender diversity and disability? Join this “orientation” and discussion about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity; terminology and language associated with the LGBTQ+ and gender diverse community; and, to analyze how the intersectionality of the LGBTQ+ community and disability experiences may compound vocational barriers. Recommendations and resources will provide opportunity to foster an Inclusive environment for people with disabilities with intersecting identities in the rehabilitation process.
    2:30 - 4:30
    You Always Come Out Ahead While Working
    Understand how working effects a person's Social Security Disability benefits. Also understand how people CAN maintain their Medicare and Medicaid while being employed. Finally get to know how you can seek individualized benefit counseling within your local community.
    2:30 - 4:30
    Building a Dream, Making it Yours - Person Centered Planning and Dream Night
    This session will provide the audience with an overview of person centered planning, how to get involvement from focus individuals and their support team, and a step-by-step walkthrough on how to conduct a "Dream Night" using an adapted version of the Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH) process.
    4:30 - 6:30
    re:connect event with exhibitors
  • Thursday
    November 7, 2019
    7:00 - 8:00
    Breakfast with Keynote from Lee Thomas
    8:00 - 8:30
    apex Award and Harry Smith IMPACT Scholarship Award
    8:45 - 9:45
    Public Advocacy: Your Voice and Message Matter
    Audience participants will hear about strategies for having your message heard by public officials. These include three primary areas: knowing your audience, scheduling, and messaging regarding the issues presented for consideration and action. This presentation also considers balancing education and awareness regarding general professional identity with the specific and particular issues you’re advocating for. This presentation also incorporates the NRA and MRA position information for audience consideration.
    8:45 - 9:45
    Legalized Marijuana In Michigan- Impacts of Rehabilitation
    This workshop will provide participants with up to date information on legalized marijuana in Michigan with and in-depth discussion identifying the impacts of rehabilitation and a brief overview of the employment, social, and economic impacts.
    8:45 - 9:45
    The Access to Better Living and Employment (ABLE) Program
    Access to Better Living and Employment (ABLE) is an independent living and employment program that is geared towards assisting individuals with mental health or psychiatric disabilities gain skills and tools to assist them with living better and managing their conditions, to be better suited for employment pursuits in the future. Topics this program covers are disability awareness, stress management, coping skills, life management skills, self-care, stigma, advocacy, community resources and supports, and work readiness. This program focuses around the idea that to live better and work better, an individual needs to learn skills that will assist them in discovering their strengths, triggers and what supports they need to be able to live their best life overall. The program is best suited for adults (ages 18-65) who have a diagnosis of a mental health or psychiatric disability who are not ready for traditional employment services and need assistance identifying areas to improve upon as they try to work to live better and thus eventually work better.
    8:45 - 9:45
    Amazon- A Roadmap to partnering with Big Business to employ differently abled job seekers.
    This session will cover Amazon’s approach to partnering with non-profits to employ individuals with disabilities. We will discuss the staffing, preparation activities, marketing, launch readiness steps along with several technologies employed to ensure program success.
    845 - 945
    Inspired Agriculture with TBI
    Using agriculture and beekeeping as a way to engage clients in vocational training in a social environment unlike many traditional settings. Providing examples of practice in both areas for accessibility and inclusion.
    Ethical Dilemmas of Working With Students
    Working with students with disabilities can present challenges and ethical dilemmas while providing support services. Ethical dilemmas can arise from the involvement of parents or guardians, collaboration between agencies and stakeholders, and from the provision of accommodations within a post-secondary setting. This session will focus on how to identify potential ethical dilemmas and strategies for resolving them when considering the CRC Code of Ethics. We will examine case studies to put the Code into practice.
    10:00 - 11:00
    Unconscious Bias: Overcoming Ethical Obstacles While Increasing Multi-Cultural Competencies
    This session will assist rehabilitation professionals in overcoming ethical obstacles involving unconscious bias by increasing multi-cultural competencies and providing “best practices” in accordance with the CRCC Code of Ethics. Many clients with disabilities are impacted by unconscious bias in the workplace and within service settings such as ours. We have an ethical obligation to reduce our unconscious bias, so as not to serve as an additional barrier to clients obtaining gainful employment or putting your professional relationship at risk. This interactive presentation will demonstrate how to overcome this obstacle including, but not limited to: differentiating conscious versus unconscious bias, various examples of unconscious bias, identifying ethical risks and implications for professionals, tangible methods to identify and address our own unconscious bias, etc. We will end with a facilitated discussion because hearing from other professionals within the field is the best way to find new ideas and resources for assisting our clients, both consumers and employers.
    10:00 - 11:00
    Navigating Collaboratively through the implementation of WIOA
    Since the implementation of WIOA the state vocational rehabilitation program (VR) has been adjusting, aligning and complying with the newer regulations. Change sometimes causes fear and uncertainty in moving forward. This presentation will focus on the case scenarios in which the State VR, Community Partners, Businesses and the Client Customers have worked collaboratively together to move forward to embrace the sprit of WIOA. Presenters will share their challenges, roles and responsibilities, and identify effective streamline processes for all stakeholders.
    10:00 - 11:00
    Self-efficacy and Motivation in Young Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury in Relation to Vocational Outcomes
    Young adulthood is a pivotal time in the development of career identity and career related attitudes. The session will explain why young adults with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are more vulnerable to stress during this developmental period namely due to underdeveloped career paths, limited work exposure and the impact of TBI as an invisible and multi-faceted disorder. Further, the session will consider the impact of their disabilities, and detail why young adults with TBI require additional opportunities and information to foster effective career-based decision making and the development of skills such as self-awareness. The presentation will address interventions that reinforce self-efficacy, promote motivation, and impart work-related skills that are critical to employment.
    10:00 - 11:00
    Supported Employment as a Step to Long Term Vocational Success
    This session is going to look at the benefits of supported employment programs as a lunching point for future vocational success. We will explore client goals, an overview of supported employment, a customized approach to the rehabilitation process along with the benefits of client participation within supported employment. We explore the benefits of client centered planning and a work program designed to meet client specific needs. We wrap up with an interactive review of case study examples.
    10:00 - 11:00
    Can You Hear Me Now? Workplace Accommodations for Individuals with Hearing Loss
    According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately forty-eight million Americans report some degree of hearing loss. Of these, sixty percent are either in the workplace or an educational setting. This presentation will address some of the barriers in the workplace facing individuals with hearing loss and share case scenarios highlighting accommodations, strategies, and technology to overcome those barriers. The presentations will also give the participants an opportunity to problem solve through a case scenario and network with other participants in attendance.
    10:00 - 11:00
    The story of transitions: A leadership perspective
    This interactive presentation will guide participants to explore transitions in the context of leadership. The topic will be explored from a practice informed perspective. Participants will discuss the similarities and differences between traditional transition program focus, caregiver, and consumer expectations. They will also examine seven principles for successfully navigating the transition and will be asked to share their own guiding principles and the implications for their practice.
    11:00 - 11:30
    Microenterprise Marketplace
    11:30 - 1:00
    Lunch with BOOM Awards
    1:15 - 2:15
    Improving your workplace satisfaction and performance despite all the demands and distractions.
    Your work environment and performance need not suffer because of the demands of your job. This interactive workshop will help you develop constructive strategies for providing vocational rehabilitation services in an ever changing regulatory environment. Whether you are working with a new supervisor, co-workers or customers, learn how to avoid common pitfalls that can zap your energy and diminish your delivery of good customer service.
    1:15 - 2:15
    No Fault: What’s Next?
    This presentation provides a look at the impetus and the politics behind the changes to No Fault. What do these changes now mean for the post-acute rehab industry; some 18,000 accident survivors currently in the no-fault system; and the auto insurance rates for some 7 million licensed drivers in the state? (Hint: They’re not going down.) What are we doing about this? What’s the short and long term plan.
    1:15 - 2:15
    Living Well in Michigan: An Evidenced Based Intervention
    Individuals with disabilities are at a higher risk of developing secondary health conditions and struggle with participating in health promotion programs. That changed with the actualization of Living Well with a Disability. With a 30+ year history and now recognized as an evidenced based chronic disease self-management tool; the 10-week curriculum focuses on goal setting, health living and self-advocacy. The program was designed with and for people with disabilities and has shown to be an empowering and cost-effective intervention. For Centers for Independent Living, it has been a great way to make first contact with individuals and often resulting in follow up contacts regarding food assistance, insurance and accommodations. With funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, Living Well is now in Michigan focusing on seniors and individuals with disabilities in low-income housing along with caregivers. This year a new partner; health care providers joined the efforts. The team will discuss their roles, outcomes and the future; including sustainability options.
    1:15 - 2:15
    Hiring People With Disabilities: The Tangible and Intangible benefits
    Hiring people with disabilities can be a win-win situation for employers. Besides acquiring trained and motivated employees, organizations can reap other benefits as well. Increased employee morale, positive PR and coaches to assist in task management are just a few examples. This presentation will look at real life examples from the world of sports and entertainment.
    1:15 - 2:15
    What are ACEs and Why are they Important?
    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are hyper-stressful, traumatic events experienced in a child’s or adolescent’s life. ACEs very common and most Americans have at least one, they can happen to anyone. The experiences and environments during our childhood and developing years have a tremendous, lifelong impact on our health, ability to learn and the quality of our lives – as they can alter the architecture of our developing brain and body. The ACE Study showed dramatic links between adverse childhood experiences and risky behavior, psychological issues, serious illness and the leading causes of death. Looking upstream, the science also positively affirms what is predictable is preventable! Each of us has the potential to reduce ACEs and build Resilience that will lead to better lifelong outcomes. Together, we can grow a thriving and healthy community family tree for generations to come.
    1:15 - 2:15
    Challenge Accepted: It really does take a village! When partners work together, students succeed.
    Can a government agency, non-profit, for-profit, and university successfully work together? Yes! Come and find out how! This presentation will share how all these entities have come together to create and provide programming and services for transition students. This will focus on the strengths and challenges of collaboration, how to implement, how to maintain a positive relationship between all these partners, and ultimately how to help our students. Information will be provided on how we came together to create a new and exciting program covering all five required pre-ets categories. Discussion about your own collaborations will be welcomed so ideas can be shared with all participants.
    2:30 - 3:30
    Why Mentoring Matters
    A moderated panel discussing good vs. bad experiences, progressive views around mentoring and how it has changed over time, any tools we use with mentees, models we use in our organizations, barriers to a successful mentor relationship, ways to find a mentor, mentorship etiquette and more
    2:30 - 3:30
    Employment First in Michigan: 2019 Update
    An overview of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Network 2019 report will highlight detailed data summaries and descriptions of initiatives undertaken since 2014. While the environment is improving for Michigan adults with developmental disabilities and/or dual diagnosis, employment remains persistently low despite marketable skills and a true desire to work. Data will be available to compare PIHP and CMHSP performance in this area.
    2:30 - 3:30
    Sole Proprietorship for People with Disabilities
    Exploring Sole Proprietorship from an Autistic Individuals perspective. Sharing What Michael's experience in Sole Proprietorship has been like. Will be discussing what individuals with disabilities (Autism) may gain by venturing into a Sole Proprietorship, as opposed to seeking an occupation from traditional means.
    2:30 - 3:30
    Agriculture: A work option for people with disabilities
    Agriculture can be a viable work option for people with disabilities. The AgrAbility program is a non-profit that helps farm workers statewide who have disabling injuries or illnesses. We provide direct services at the farm site to research and develop assistive technology solutions that will enable workers to continue their gainful employment. In other situations we provide assistive technology planning services to veterans returning from the services or other people with disabilities who would like to start farming and need to know how they could do the work.
    2:30 - 3:30
    MRS Innovation Projects Highlights
    In fiscal year 2018/2019, the MRS Innovation Unit made available case service dollars to local MRS offices that submitted proposals addressing at least one of these strategic focus areas: Maximize the Integration of Business and Consumers as Our Dual Customers, Provision and Expansion of Pre-Employment Transition Services, Consistent Achievement of Competitive Integrated Employment Outcomes, and Collaboration and Alignment with Core, Essential, and Primary Strategic Partners. The approved projects included promoting small business, pre-employment transition services, ex-offender re-training, post-secondary supports and business outreach. The Innovation team along with field staff currently implementing the projects will be part of the panel for this presentation. Project highlights and intended outcomes will be shared. Join us for an interactive discussion with time allotted for audience questions and answers.
    2:30 - 3:30
    Pre-Employment to Competitive: Connecting the Dots to a Job with Michigan Rehabilitation Services
    Do you need to learn about how Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) can lead to successful Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) outcomes? The Ann Arbor Transition Team will begin with a quick review of the basics, including review of the Prior-to-Application (PTA) case type, how to enroll students, identifying needed services and creating plans for next steps. From there, the team will dive deeper and attendees will learn about establishing an effective team concept that works to highlight meaningful Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) that supports the students' transition to individualized services. This presentation hopes to give insight on how counselors make their collaborative effort work in conjunction with the multitude of stakeholders to help youth with disabilities secure competitive, unsubsidized employment in communities throughout Michigan.
    3:30 - 4:15
    Exhibitor Finale with Prize Drawings
    MRA Annual Meeting
    MARO Leadership Academy Event
  • Friday
    November 8, 2019
    7:00 - 8:00
    Networking Breakfast (continental)
    8:15 - 9:15
    Disability Disclosure in Higher Education: What Does Choice Really Look Like?
    A college students autonomous choice to disclose their disability in Higher Education has an immense impact on academic resources, peer interactions, and vocational opportunities. Many individuals with disabilities feel uncertain about the decision to disclose their disability due to fear of academic stigmatization, social rejection, and insecurity regarding self-advocacy. This session will analyze the postsecondary landscape for people with disabilities in accordance with federal law and explore why we believe that disability disclosure can assist in higher retention, peer acceptance, and academic success. This interactive presentation will highlight correlations found between disability disclosure higher openness from peers and improved higher education matriculation. Additionally, attendees will gain insight on support services at the collegiate level for students with disabilities and develop tangible strategies and skills that promote
    8:15 - 9:15
    HCBS Update
    Adopted in 2014, the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Rule has had a significant impact on the provision of behavioral health services, including employment, in Michigan and across the country. This session will provide an overview of the Rule, status of implementation of the Statewide Transition Plan for compliance, and create a forum for interactive discussion on the effect on employment service delivery, and outcomes for job seekers who are Medicaid beneficiaries or VR customers - both through the compliance deadline of 2022 and beyond.
    8:15 - 9:15
    My App for That
    With so many new apps available for smart phones and tablets, it can be a challenge to keep up. This session will provide a fun and informative look into IOS and Android apps and the accessibility of each platform. A variety of apps will be demonstrated and audience participation is highly encouraged.
    8:15 - 9:15
    The Clubhouse Connection-Discover Employment Opportunities
    To provide information to facilitate local partnerships between Rehabilitation providers, Clubhouses, and businesses in order to help organizations and participants to meet their employment goals
    815 - 915
    ACES Part 2
    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful events in a child's or adolescent's life. They are very common, and most Americans have at least one. ACEs can happen to anyone. The experiences and environments during our childhood and developing years have a tremendous, lifelong impact on our health, ability to learn and the quality of our lives. The ACE Study showed dramatic links between adverse childhood experiences and risky behavior, psychological issues, serious illness and the leading causes of death. This session expands upon (Session 16 / Thursday Afternoon) and will explore how trauma related to adverse childhood experiences affects children and what communities can do to foster resilience through collaboration. The session will share examples and resources to: 1) increase awareness of how ACEs are being addressed in trauma-responsive communities of practice; including trauma-sensitive schools and cross-sector and cross-disciplinary collaborations; 2) Increase awareness of regional and statewide resources and the Michigan ACE Initiative which is underway to provide public education
    9:30 - 10:30
    Staff Training – Why it is Worth It From a Leadership Prospective
    Setting up effective staff training will assist organizations identify and develop future leaders, improve staff morale and help you provide your staff with a clearer focus of the direction of the organization
    9:30 - 10:30
    ADA Update
    ADA Employment Legal & Case Update. As we approach the 30th anniversary of the ADA, I will spot-check and briefly discuss some of the more notable ADA Employment related cases and EEOC disability-related technical assistance publications released, as well as other notable cases to keep on the ADA radar. Specific areas covered will include return to work, leave as a accommodation and interplay with FMLA, performance and conduct standards, interactive process and EEOC's focus on psychiatric and emotional disabilities and final rules on wellness programs.
    930 - 1030
    MRS Rate Study Project
    Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) has been contracted by Michigan Rehabilitation Services to conduct a rate study in order to align the State with federal Uniform Guidance requirements. As a portion of this project, PCG would like to invite all stakeholders to engage in this process by attending a learning session at this year’s re:con. This session is dedicated to 1.) An overview of the project 2.) How providers can participate and have a voice 3.) Allow for providers to ask questions on the project.
    9:30 - 10:30
    Michigan Workers’ Compensation: From Fee Schedules to Your Future!
    In this session you will get a brief overview of workers’ compensation in Michigan, current and future trends, and how vocational rehabilitation services intersects the claim management process. If you have ever considered opening your own private rehabilitation business, you will get a basic understanding of the steps needed to make your dream a reality!
    9:30 - 10:30
    Addressing the Empathy Gap
    Research indicates that even the most conscientious individuals, are often unware of how their biases impede their ability to connect with others. In addition to promoting greater awareness around implicit bias, this highly interactive presentation will assist participants in increasing their capacity to deliver compassionate and quality care to everyone… regardless of personal differences.
    10:45 - 11:45
    50 Ways to Fight Gender Bias
    Whether deliberate or unconscious, gender bias holds women back in the workplace and makes it difficult for companies to level the playing field. From how people of all genders view mothers at work to the compounding effects of double discrimination. As a group, participants will explore specific examples of the six most common biases women face and discuss research-backed recommendations for what to do. The program encourages group discussion and problem-solving among all genders to encourage everyone to play a meaningful role in identifying and combating bias.
    10:45 - 11:45
    Pre-ETS Programming: Early Introduction of Career Options
    Obtaining employment experiences are pivotal milestones for young adults. Pre-ETS services are designed to familiarize students with career options before HS graduation. This presentation will show how to design culturally sensitive curricula for career explorations, workplace learning and employment programs
    10:45 - 11:45
    Assistive Technology for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities: The Business Management Side
    Conferences & expo’s, farmers markets, and craft shows are where you’re most likely to find small business entrepreneurs selling their handmade goods; from tee shirts to dog treats, popcorn to paintings, and everything in between. Small businesses like these have become a growing employment option for people with disabilities to earn income, become a known figure in their local community, and to pursue their passions and interests. Assistive Technology (AT) devices can provide supports for people with disabilities to manage their small businesses. During this session, we will provide information about business management-related AT devices for people with disabilities who sell handmade goods and local resources available for accessing AT services in Michigan.
    10:45 - 11:45
    VHA Vocational Rehabilitation 2019 A Year for Transformation
    This presentation will explain the Compensated Work Therapy (CWT) Vocational Programs in the Veterans Health Administration and the changes that are being implemented this year.
    10:45 - 11:45
    Care for Yourself: Mindfulness
    Self-care is important in the counseling profession and is referenced in the CRC Code of Ethics. Being present in the here and now is a basic concept in Counseling and mindfulness is a prevalent way to practice this basic, traditional concept. Breathing, focus, and slowing down can transform your personal and professional life experience.