RE:CON 2022

Sessions and Presenations
at This Year’s re:con


re:con 2022 Presentations and Summaries

LUNCH KEYNOTE – Change the Course of Your Life With These 10 Good Habits

PRESENTED BY:  Jordan Levin

Sometimes, what it takes to change your life for the better are just little yet meaningful changes. Jordan Levin enumerates ten good habits that can elevate your life. He explores the beauty of looking inward and the fulfillment of serving and connecting with others. Jordan also injects his own reflections to this topic as a deaf person, providing interesting anecdotes of how he copes with his disability. He looks back on his formative years, focusing on becoming the motivated man today who inspires others to move forward.  

BREAKFAST KEYNOTE – The Power of Inclusive Communities

PRESENTED BY: Katie Oswald

We will explore what life is like from the perspective of someone who is largely excluded from society, including the mental health impacts like depression, anxiety, and suicidality. We will discuss inclusion as prevention and how powerful it is for an individual just to have a place where they belong. Rethinking barriers – We are used to thinking of barriers as physical, but there are different types of barriers, including noisy and/or chaotic environments and expectations of verbal communication. We will discuss barriers and how to remove them. Inclusion isn’t just about the workplace, school, and business settings. It is a way of being in the world that each of us as an individual can choose to embrace. She will provide tangible strategies for being more inclusive in our daily lives. She will include a blend of her personal experience as an autistic individual, experience from leading a group for autistic adults, and learnings from current research.

View Presenter Bios

Learn more about the presenters, their background, education and experience.

Presenter Bios

LUNCH KEYNOTE – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; What, Why and How



This workshop will focus on ways of integrating prevention tools in assisting individuals who live with differing abilities and those professionals who support them. Bystander intervention programs often do not consider the unique lived experiences and challenges of those from these communities. This training is built on the foundations of MCEDSV’s Great Lakes model: trauma informed, survivor centered, and intersectional. This training will cover the foundational understanding of what sexual violence is, with recognition to the intersectionality of those from these communities. Trainers will then walk through both peer-to-peer bystander intervention techniques and professional policy and procedures that encourage prevention of sexual violence.

This training if done in person or virtually will take into account neurodivergence, differing lived experiences, and learning styles. This will include 508 compliance for all materials given out.

HIDDEN :: PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

BREAKFAST KEYNOTE – Vulnerable Leadership



This workshop will focus on ways of integrating prevention tools in assisting individuals who live with differing abilities and those professionals who support them. Bystander intervention programs often do not consider the unique lived experiences and challenges of those from these communities. This training is built on the foundations of MCEDSV’s Great Lakes model: trauma informed, survivor centered, and intersectional. This training will cover the foundational understanding of what sexual violence is, with recognition to the intersectionality of those from these communities. Trainers will then walk through both peer-to-peer bystander intervention techniques and professional policy and procedures that encourage prevention of sexual violence.

This training if done in person or virtually will take into account neurodivergence, differing lived experiences, and learning styles. This will include 508 compliance for all materials given out.

HIDDEN :: PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

On Demand Sessions – Accessed Through LMS

A Call To Duty: Strategies for Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Veteran Talent 

PRESENTED BY: Michael Poyma


This is my primary presentation to employers and / or service providers. The presentation has been HRCI-accredited on several occasions dating back to 2012. The ideal length of this presentation is 75 minutes including Q & A, but I can modify to fit a 60 minute timeframe. The presentation includes discussions and examples in the following areas: 

The Business Case for Hiring Veterans; Military Service & Culture; Challenges to Veterans; Challenges to Employers; Sourcing Veterans Talent; and Best Practices for Retention. 

I utilize a mix of personal and professional experience, as an Army soldier, disabled veteran and employment professional, to guide attendees through the various nuances of the largest obstacle to veterans’ employment: the military – civilian cultural gap. Additionally, attendees will leave with takeaways: resources and professional contacts for the future. 

Advancing Careers for Disabled Artists: The History and Practice of a Progressive Art Studio

PRESENTED BY: Anthony Marcellini


STEP staff will present on the Progressive Art Studio Collective (PASC). Launched in 2021, PASC is an art and design studio and exhibitions program dedicated to building careers for disabled artists in contemporary art. The PASC program brings focus to the artistic talent, expression and life experiences of disabled adults, while making a considerable change in the quality of their lives. PASC is the first progressive art studio in Detroit and Wayne County, joining an international network of peer studios. PASC uses a “progressive art studio” structure, an effective participant-driven model adopted by many disability art programs across the United States and internationally over the last 50 years, to encourage participants to develop their own independent art practices. Through in-person and online studios participants are supported by a staff of professional artists, and provided professional art materials to create artwork. Through exhibitions and commissions participants showcase their artwork and earn an income from sales. PASC currently runs three in-person studios – PASC Detroit, PASC Westland and PASC Southgate. The goal of this presentation is to provide an overview of the PASC program, as well as the importance and history of the progressive art studio model.

A Refresher: Michigan’s Civil Commitment Laws and the AOTs

PRESENTED BY: Sarah Sabin and Amy Maes


Participants will receive a refresher on Michigan’s Civil Commitment laws, known as “Kevin’s Law” as well and an update on how the system is working, roles of the courts, mental health providers, law enforcement and family and advocates. Participants will hear the perspective of a clinician and the realities facing the individuals within the system and barriers within the existing system. 

Assistive Technology & Social Isolation

PRESENTED BY: Kellie Blackwell, Jileesa Irwin and/or Abby Squires 


This session will provide an overview of the Michigan Assistive Technology Program (MATP) and highlight AT options that have helped to address social isolation. Discussion of new AT devices in the device library will be showcased such as robotic companion pets, e-bikes, and AT for gaming and crafting, just to name a few. Details will be shared on the overall success and challenges experienced with regard to the MATP iPad pilot program. Additionally, presenters will also share anecdotal stories.

Beyond Burnout: Prioritizing Health, Restoring Self-Care & Reclaiming Wellness

PRESENTED BY: Stephanie Huhn

(1 CRC CEU Ethics, 1 SW CEU)

“If you don’t pick a day to relax… your body will pick it for you.” This quote hits like a ton of bricks, reminding us of the critical and non-negotiable nature of ‘self-care’. In this, sometimes hectic, world we live in (particularly over the last two years), self-care has too easily slipped from the forefronts of our minds; and when this happens, we tend to suffer. This session brings ‘investing in you’ and your wellness back into the foreground – shining a light on what self-care really looks like, providing you with knowledge and tools to better integrate self-care into your life, and guiding you towards improving your overall wellness. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the emotional and physiological consequences of stress and traumatic-stress, including the effects on our moods, behaviors, brains, nervous systems, and immune systems. Various strategies for nervous system regulation, relaxation, and for coping with burnout, stress, and anxiety will be discussed and presented, as well as information on building resilience and post-traumatic growth. The goal of this seminar is to help bring deeper understanding and awareness to the impacts of stress, trauma and burnout, and further – to provide you with feasible and realistic tools and strategies for health and wellness that you can incorporate into your life. 

CAMS: Comprehensive Automotive Mobility Solutions 



This presentation is created by NMEDA (National Mobility Dealers Association) contains a range of topics pertaining to personal automotive mobility solutions. It will assist the allied health care practitioner in understanding and advocating for individuals seeking automotive vehicle modification solutions, while also teaching practitioners about the unique process involved in evaluating and purchasing appropriate automotive options. 

Career Exploration – Different, Creative Jobs, (Not Just Janitorial)

PRESENTED BY: Carla Dean and Aimee Szabo


Career Exploration is important for discovering an individual’s dreams. Learn from the experts about the best methods to make dreams a reality.   

It is important to have a program that encourages creative alternative jobs, that help individuals get into a career they love.  

This will also require a wide range of employers from various industries.  

See how these options differ virtually and in person. 

Coping With Loss

PRESENTED BY: Tracey Cohen


Loss can be devastating, for individuals with or without a known disability. Author/Educator/Speaker, Tracey Cohen, a woman on the autism spectrum, will very candidly share her ongoing ‘year’ of tragic personal loss and the need to extend herself while finding ways to cope. In addition, Tracey will explore the meaning of loss, the individuality of it in its very nature and the importance for the bereaved and sympathizers to remain nonjudgmental. Cohen will offer resources and suggestions and answer any questions potential attendees may have. 

Developing Leaders Through Experience

PRESENTED BY: Jessica Diener and Sarah Preisser


In FY22 Peckham launched a pilot Managerial Rotation Program with the intent of providing a larger breath of development experiences for those on a leadership track, while building a deeper bench of potential leaders in the organization. During this presentation you will learn how we developed this pilot program, hear from the participant on experience gained, learn what worked and didn’t, gain ideas of why and how a rotational program may benefit you and your teams, and learn ways this idea can be adapted to any size organization. 

Do You Mind? Trauma Informed Workplaces 

PRESENTED BY: Menachem Hojda

(2 Ethics CRC CEU, 2 SW CEU)

This workshop will engage learners to understand the impact that trauma has on the brain. Participants will learn about how to implement practices that are sensitive to the possibility that anyone can be affected by trauma, while providing skills to identify and respond to trauma when it is present. 

Ethical Implications of E-Counseling

PRESENTED BY: Michael C. Laird, Milan Michelle Monardes, Hung Jen Kuo, PhD, CRC, LPC,

(1 Ethics CRC CEU, 1 Ethics SW CEU)

Over the last few years the world has had to deal with an ever-changing work environment. Due to the pandemic and sudden lifestyle changes, many practitioners chose to convert their traditional in-person services to an online format. Many of these transformations were not by choice and not of deliberate planning but by necessity. Concerns for using new technologies to facilitate service delivery have been raised, especially those related to ethical practices. With distance counseling becoming more prevalent and, likely becoming more commonplace, it is important to become more familiar and comfortable with ethical implications to these new challenges as it pertains to the counseling field, such as how engagement between the counselor and client can be negatively impacted. In this presentation, we will focus on guiding practitioners on how to provide e-counseling both effectively and ethically. A variety of strategies and tools that enhance counselor client engagement, the working alliance between the dyad, and the delivery of e-counseling will be discussed as well. 

Ethics of working from home: confidentiality and challenges that can arise Employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities working from home

PRESENTED BY: Belinda Jones and Lakisha Foreman

(Pending 1 Ethics CRC CEU, 1 SW CEU)

1. This session will focus on working in a virtual world and related challenges of developing policies that adopt the workforce culture. The Customer Service Training Center will share their research as it applied to inclusion of individuals who have decided to make telework a permanent career choice.

2. This session will focus job opportunities that have become available to PWD, career paths, and workforce supports. Since 2021 the affects of Post COVID has caused employers to see the value of transferrable skills that PWD and bring to the table in filling many roles in the remote workforce.

Employment First and Income Generation for All, but do we REALLY mean “ALL”?

PRESENTED BY: Annette Downey


The type of supports people are asking for is changing, and the funding for such arrangements is changing too. “REAL JOBS for REAL PAY” is the current advocacy push – Can we adapt the services we provide to deliver the income generation outcomes people want? Can we make the employment dream actually happen for ALL people, or just some? Is true community inclusion possible for everyone? What can we do to make an impact? Let’s start by being honest with ourselves about where we are now as a service system, and overall society, compared to where we would like to be. Getting great services should never be the goal for the people we serve, Getting Great LIVES should be! 

Exploring Michigan Career and Technical Institute as a Post-Secondary Education Option

PRESENTED BY: Sen Toda, Amanda Matthews, Kerrie Jackson

(1 CRC CEU, Pending 1 SW CEU)

Learn about Michigan Career and Technical Institute (MCTI) and the vocational training opportunities available for post-secondary students with disabilities. Demographic and statistical information regarding students served at MCTI will be discussed. Available MCTI training programs will be reviewed and content of each training program will be discussed. 

Fostering Special Interests in a Healthy Way

PRESENTED BY: Tracey Cohen


Join us, and listen to Tracey’s journey as a person with Autism. She will expand on the importance of encouraging and supporting all special interests for every individual and ability. She will also share tips on how to do so in a healthy, productive way and share some of the many benefits that can transpire, including some that one might never have imagined!

Tracey will allow time for any questions attendees may have and share suggested resources.

From Unconscious to Conscious Leadership

PRESENTED BY: Shonda Rushing

( 2 CRC CEU, 2 SW CEU)

It is so easy to go through life unconscious of ourselves, our actions and other people’s experience of us and when we move into positions of leadership, we tend to lead from who we are. When we are unaware of ourselves and our presentation into the world, we lead from self-centered thinking and become frustrated bosses trying to get others to do what we say. When we transition to conscious leadership it becomes much easier to build connections and establish the relationships that makes leading people easier.

Get READY for Rapid Change!

PRESENTED BY: April Callis-Birchmeier


We are inundated with change. New technologies, operational challenges, and adjusted expectations are creating rapid, compounding change. Discover a model to navigate personal and organizational change while building agility and resilience in yourself and others. Identify strategies and techniques to recognize and overcome resistance, uncertainty, and apprehension. Use the READY framework to design an action plan to adapt to and encourage organizational adoption of change.

Hannahville Indian Community (HIC) & Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) Interagency Cash Transfer Agreement: 31 Years of Collaboration

PRESENTED BY: Carol Bergquist and Kasey Koster


In 1991, the HIC and MRS created the first Interagency Cash Match Agreement (ICTA) in the United States between an Indian Tribe and a State VR Agency. Our goal was to create a model to enhance the provision of VR services to American Indians living on reservations. For the last 31 years, this agreement provided a MRS counselor to meet ICTA clients on our reservation 1-2 days a month and access VR services through cash-match funds. Eligibility has expanded to tribal members, descendants and others with social, economic or familial ties to our community. 


Increased Audience Via Digital Accessibility



Digital accessibility connects the world to our messages, products and services. Screen readers are an adaptive tool that enable users to interpret digital documents, websites and social media posts. Screen reader use as an accessibility tool has grown to more than 7.3 million users in the United States, up from 4.4 million users as of 2014, and continue to grow. The adaptive tool is used by persons who identify as blind or low vision as well as those with other reading or comprehension barriers such as cognitive disabilities. Yet less than 20% of the world wide web is fully accessible and capable of proper interpretation from screen reader devices. This lack of accessibility leaves users disconnected from digital content. This presentation will center on simple measures that will immediately impact digital accessibility.


Impact of Auto No-Fault Reform: Michigan’s Crisis in Care



The Michigan no-fault auto insurance system was drastically changed with the passage of Public Acts 21 and 22 of 2019. While the aims of the legislation was to provide drivers with more choice in their coverage plans and lower the cost of auto insurance in the state, there were unintended consequences for the care provided to catastrophically injured crash survivors who paid for lifetime care. A small section in the law that cuts reimbursement rates for essential rehabilitation and care services has caused significant disruption in the ability of post-acute providers to continue to provide services, leaving crash victims and their families in turmoil and desperate situations. This presentation will detail the impact of the law and ramifications for community providers that may not have historically provided services to car crash victims.


Improving disability employment with iStrive: an evidence-informed group intervention

PRESENTED BY: Sarah George, Beatrice Lee, and Hung Jen Kuo


People with disabilities continuously face employment challenges. The situation persists even post the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, with only 17.9% of people with disabilities employed in 2020. Whereas finding and obtaining a job opportunity can be difficult for people with disabilities, maintaining it adds another level of challenges. A plethora of research shows that the low job retention rate may not have to do with how well the person can perform the essential functions of the job. Instead, it is skills such as decision-making, social networking, and emotional management that make the difference. iStrive is a group-based training program designed to teach individuals to identify and manage high-risk situations related to obtaining and maintaining employment. Based on cognitive behavioral theory, iStrive emphasizes skill-building activities to assist with cognitive, social, emotional and coping skill development for the work environment. During the past year, we administered the training program to multiple groups of employees with disabilities in a community rehabilitation organization. The results show that iStrive was not only well received by the participants but improved their job efficacy, work engagement, job satisfaction, and overall quality of life. In this presentation, we will discuss our experience with iStrive and how it may be of value to the disability community and service providers. 


JAYDA – Joining Adults & Youth with Disabilities through Access


(1 SW CEU)

JAYDA attempts to augment the reality of healthcare for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. The Jayda Network matches individuals with disabilities to the best healthcare providers and Social services tailored to their specific needs. The goal of this discussion is to come to a common understanding of the needs of the disability community and present a solution for healthcare management to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families. 


Long Covid – Medical Overview & Legal Update



In this presentation, participants will receive a brief medical update from the latest studies on symptoms, causes and prevalence; In addition, a legal update will be provided focusing on the current legal trends around individuals with long covid navigating the workplace. 

Michigan Direct Care Worker Initiatives

PRESENTED BY: Lauren Swanson and Kym Juntti


A short description of the direct care workforce shortage will begin the presentation. Next, the major strategies and initiatives Michigan is taking to address the issue will be presented. Following, an overview of how and why DCW Competency Guidelines were developed will be explained as a major step toward professionalizing the direct care workforce. Participants will be given the opportunity to ask questions and share their ideas about this vital issue. 

Michigan Vaccination Partners: Creating Healthy Communities for All

PRESENTED BY: Kathleen Larson, Patti Ramos, Elizabeth Janks, Kristen Milefchik, and Nicole Shotwell TBD


The Autism Alliance of Michigan (AAoM), Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI), Disability Rights Michigan (DRM), and Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute (MI-DDI) each received 3-year funding through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) COVID-19 Vaccination Supplement 4. Efforts from this funding aim to ensure greater equity and access to vaccination for people disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Our organizations joined together to form Michigan Vaccination Partners (MVP) to optimize the impact of our collective funding. People with disabilities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. They were six times more likely to die from COVID-19 and experienced reduced access to routine health care and services. Before the pandemic, people with disabilities were already more likely to report poorer health compared to those without disabilities. MVP works to empower people in their communities by: 1. Creating a consistent vaccination and health clinic experience. 2. Dispelling misinformation about vaccinations and other health topics. 3. Using current scientific information to direct our initiatives. 4. Collaborating with trusted community-based organizations across the state of Michigan. 5. Identifying the need for community resources, like food, transportation, and housing. 6. Collecting and reporting disability-related data. Audience members will leave the presentation with a firm understanding of the unique health and access needs of persons with a range of disabilities. 

Moral Injury in Service Professions 

PRESENTED BY: Menachem Hojda

(1 Ethics CRC CEU, 1 SW CEU)

During the COVID pandemic researchers began to look at the impact of Moral Injury on service professionals. This newly discovered phenomenon that emerged from research on PTSD in military veterans causes severe depression, suicidality, self-harm, and substance use behaviors when people are forced to make decisions that are incongruent with their moral beliefs about themselves, and when the structures they depend upon fail to support them in the ways they expect. This workshop will look at the research to understand more about what moral injury is, how it impacts service professionals, and what employers can do to mitigate harm and support healing. 

MRAJPD Presents: Job Development in a Virtual World

PRESENTED BY: Rachel Mularz and Stephanie Conifer


Job Development Tips to “Bridge the Gap” of Virtual Work Benefits of Virtual Options – Retention etc. Open the Conversation (Employer feedback) Provide Resources/Solutions to the Hiring Needs Employer/Customer Panel- Success Stories and Challenges Guest Speaker- Janet Fiore

Overcoming Ego: Brave Enough to Love

PRESENTED BY: Shonda Rushing


In the field in which we all work and in all of our interactions in life, it takes heart and love. That requires that we are always at the ready to initiate or accept change. We acknowledge that change feels like chaos until it is complete and the accountability for that is uncomfortable to say the least. Everyone that we encounter is facing or has faced some type of change or adjustment that has shaped their life and/or behavior about love or their reaction to it. And those who need it the most, ask for it in the worst ways and if we aren’t careful, we react to behaviors, instead of responding to people in love. One of the biggest barriers to authentic love that has the power to convert is EGO! It is what causes you to say, “I will not be the bigger person,” or “I’m not doing all of that.” Ego gives us an over inflated view of our own self-importance that hinders us from having courage to be vulnerable enough to love and to be loved. A lot of us who come into this field to do the work of love, have our own areas of unaddressed changes that have interrupted our lives, without permission, that have shaped our perceptions and core system of values, and created states of eisegesis that control how we view and build relationships in the workplace and beyond. When we understand these truths, we can then become brave enough to love and help others find the courage to do the same.

Peer Mentoring Panel

PRESENTED BY: Ed Steinberger, Carla Dean, Stephanie Laird, John Carter


Panel presentation regarding Peer Mentoring. 

The panel will discuss  

  • Benefits to person served and organizations.  
  • Ways to implement peer mentoring. 
  • Strategies to support employment outcomes  
  • How to successfully assist with an individuals goals. 

Project STEMM-Up: Promoting Career Pathways and Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities from Racial/Ethnic Minority and other Marginalized Communities

PRESENTED BY: Connie Sung, Elizabeth Camfield


The Project STEMM-Up is a collaborative project of Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS) to create and strengthen career pathways for individuals with disabilities from racial/ethnic minority and other marginalized (IWD-REM) communities who are interested in pursuing careers in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine). These career pathways will increase quality employment and promote upward mobility for IWD-REM through the development and validation of Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT)-based interventions. MRS and LRS have teamed up with Michigan State University and Southern University, Baton Rouge, to implement five project objectives in two phases. In Phase I, a comprehensive statewide needs assessment will be conducted through focus groups and surveys to evaluate MRS and LRS policies and practices regarding diversity, equity, access and inclusion, and technology readiness. In Phase II, the findings of the needs assessments will help develop and implement virtual, in-person, and hybrid interventions within MRS and LRS, as well as with project stakeholders, to increase academic and career placements of IWD-REM in the STEMM fields. The logic model will evaluate the efficacy of the project. During this presentation, we will provide an overview of Project STEMM-Up and opportunities to be involved and collaborate with Project STEMM-Up. We will also share the preliminary results of the comprehensive statewide needs assessment on MRS policies and practices regarding diversity, equity, access and inclusion. 

Project SEARCH: School to Work Transition Program

PRESENTED BY: Sarah Winslow


The Project SEARCH Transition-to-Work Program is a unique, business-led, one-year employment preparation program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations. The program culminates in individualized job development where the national employment rate is 74%! Learn how this unique program braids funding to remove barriers to employment culminating in competitive integrated employment. 

Service Animals 101 

PRESENTED BY: Christa Martin, MRC, CRC

(1 Ethics CRC CEU, 1 SW CEU)

Navigating the difference between service animals, emotional support animals, and the laws and regulations that impact individuals with disabilities use of them at work, at home, in public, etc. is not always easy for rehabilitation professionals or their clients. This is an interactive session that engages participants and tests their current knowledge of this subject, particularly how it relates to the ADA and employment, as well as the CRCC Code of Ethics. They will learn about the variety of services animals, the types of services they provide, and service animal etiquette. The audience will also gain a better understanding of how service animals and emotional support animals differ regarding state and federal laws.

Social Enterprise Impact on Vocational Programming

PRESENTED BY: Caleb Rutledge and Jay Wilber


Presentation Abstract for Social Enterprise presentation: A social enterprise is a business with a primary social objective. Social Enterprises are usually run by or are set up as not-for-profit businesses where surplus revue is reinvested or utilized for social impact of the non-profit. Social enterprises can be almost any business as long as it meets the above stated criteria. Social enterprises run by non-profits also often offer opportunities for persons receiving services from a non-profit to gain work experience and learn on-the-job soft skills necessary to getting and keeping a job. These opportunities are especially helpful for people with disabilities and other marginalized populations that have difficulty securing jobs and being successful in the employment arena. Goodwill Industries of Detroit has three social enterprises. Goodwill Donated Goods which runs several stores in the Detroit Metropolitan area as well as being a seller on the online store and is also a recognized Amazon bookseller. Goodwill’s Green Works recycles waste materials from industrial structures. Using the commodity market, Green Works breaks down scrap material and resells and distributes them for the opportunity at a second life. Some of these materials include cable wiring, oil filters, or even household refrigerators! The Green Works facility uses ‘clean room’ processing to help break down and process environmentally sensitive materials. They also offer low-cost solutions for labor intensive operations. Goodwill’s Green Works is proud to work with a variety of customers, including a 70+ year partnership with DTE Energy. Goodwill Integrated Solutions provides job opportunities for people in our Skill Building program. Many of these people become long-term members of the Goodwill Integrated Solutions team. This business also offers transitional work experiences for our Flip the Script trainees as well. Our trainees are given a fresh start and learn new skills in the process. Goodwill Integrated Solutions also offers full-time jobs. These positions include general laborers, sales, and management. Goodwill Integrated Solutions ships over 1,200,000 parts every month. Our customers expect the same quality product from us as they do from other suppliers. Everything that a Tier One supplier has to do, Goodwill Integrated Solutions must do. 

Spiraling Up: The Ethics of Effective Self Care for the Helping Professional

PRESENTED BY: Rosanne Renauer

(1 Ethics CRC CEU, 1 Ethics SW CEU)

If you are a helping professional in an organization, you are well aware of the struggle to provide quality services and remain personally happy and healthy while meeting what can seem like never ending demands. Reframing your ethical obligation to remain professionally competent is built upon a foundation of positive psychology. This includes integrating self-care practices into our practice and routines and adopting mindfulness –based positive principles. Productivity and wellness in the workplace require a focus on person centered principles and building resiliency. 

Teaching Digital Skills to help I/DD adults transition into the workforce

PRESENTED BY: Alics Dillard


Adults with Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities are faced with staggering unemployment numbers. Using a STEM focused transition model, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit is preparing and training adults with a wide range of developmental disabilities for a variety of career pathways. With assistance from Digitability’s transition curriculum, GIGD teaches digital literacy and work-ready skills to people with cognitive disabilities. This platform prepares its users for a tech-driven society and aligns employment goals to project-based learning. This increases positive employment outcomes and enables job seekers to successfully transition into the workforce. 

The Importance of Professional Development for Businesses Implementing Supported Employment 

PRESENTED BY: Lisa Friedrich, Jenny Brown, Mike Harris


The presentation will provide information on the philosophy and practice we use to interact with potential employers at all stages of placement. These are some questions that will be answered:  

How do we research appropriate employers? 
What is the best way to communicate? 
How do we assess “best fit” jobs for our participants? 
How do we present Supported Employment as beneficial to the employers? 
What does the Professional Development training for employers look like? 
How successful has it been in creating positive work environments?  

As we know, Supported Employment placements are puzzles with many interlocking pieces: best fit, authorization, transportation, job coach support. When employers understand the efforts behind providing best fit employees and are presented with the benefits of hiring a supported employee, we experience higher retention and success.  

(CANCELLED) The Importance of Sexual Self-Advocacy for People with Developmental Disabilities

PRESENTED BY: Mary Shehan-Boogaard, and Frank Vaca


We understand what the lack of sexuality and relationship education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can lead to: High rates of abuse, being charged with a sex crime, unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and isolation and loneliness. We also know that self-advocates want to learn about this topic and often say they are still healing from the trauma of learning the hard way. These statistics can improve by providing medically accurate, age-appropriate sexuality and healthy relationship education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Another reason this is so important is there are ways to provide this education by having self-advocates become one of the sexuality and relationship instructors or peer educators of this topic which provides them with leadership opportunities that will be part of the solution

The Power of Disability on the Other Side of Counseling

PRESENTED BY: Milan Monardes


Disability can affect an individual’s life in a variety of ways. These challenges may significantly alter one’s mental, physical, emotional, social, and developmental functioning. As a key role serving individuals with disabilities, rehabilitation counselors are poised to provide services that help overcome barriers and facilitate a more productive, independent and successful lifestyle. Grappling with the idea “nothing about us without us”, rehabilitation services provided by counselors with disabilities can be even more powerful. As we continue to promote diversity and inclusion, and expand vocational opportunities for all, there is a significant influence amongst counselors who thrive through both their professional expertise as well as their personal experiences and understanding of disability that have guided them to their passion. Within this presentation, aspiring rehabilitation counselors will take a deeper dive into exploring how this mutual understanding between counselor and client helps to foster a greater sense of trust, understanding, and motivation as they continue to work towards a more empowering lifestyle. 

The Value of the Therapeutic Relationship in Clinical Practice

PRESENTED BY: Stephanie Huhn

(2 Ethics CRC CEU, 2 Ethics SW CEU)

The professional clinical relationship, between the clinician and the individual in treatment, holds the potential to promote growth, change, and to positively impact clinical outcomes across disciplines and diagnoses. In this session, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the therapeutic-relationship, also referred to as the “therapeutic-alliance,” including the ethical principles that underlie its formation, including autonomy, justice, beneficence, veracity, non-maleficence, and others. They will learn how a quality therapeutic alliance impacts and improves treatment compliance and treatment outcomes. Attendees will learn about the features and defining characteristics of a ‘quality therapeutic alliance’ and will learn tools and approaches to help build, foster, and maintain this type of clinical relationship. Attendees will learn motivational interviewing concepts, tools, and strategies, as well as other communication techniques aimed at enhancing emotional intelligence, attunement, and a quality connection between clinician and client throughout treatment. 

Through the Lens of Adult Women with Autism

PANEL: Tracey Cohen, Katie Oswald FACILITATOR: Katie Kinde


This will be a panel comprised specifically of adult women with Autism. Their insight and personal experiences are extremely valuable. We will cover these topics:

  • Differences between male and female expression of autism
  • Diagnosis – the importance of a clinician familiar with the female expression of autism and adults as relevant
  • Reasons many females go undiagnosed and/or misdiagnosed
  • Diagnosis – a personal choice but regardless, getting correct information is very important to move forward in positive productive ways and avoid misdiagnosis which can be pretty dangerous…
  • Masking Autism: practical insight, feasible suggestions, myths and more
  • Personal stories
  • Funny and/or offensive experiences
  • Top Advice

Transitions Partnerships with MRS

PRESENTED BY: David Gnegy and Valerie Maloney


MMI has had a longstanding relationship with our local MRS office, and we have worked together to provide services to adults and youth throughout the Mid-Michigan area. In the 2016-2017 school year, MMI and MRS have worked together to serve hundreds of students and transition many of these students into the workforce. Between work-based learning programs, classroom-based instruction, and job placement services, MMI and MRS have developed thorough communication practices and service coordination in order to yield the best results for our area’s youth. Sharing this partnership and these processes could serve beneficial to other service providers and MRS offices around the state.

Stay tuned for details on additional sessions.

Thank You to our Sponsors!


Logo - Peckham

work skills

Logo Work Skills Corporation

superior van

Logo Superior Van & Mobility
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re:con Awards

BOOM is a statewide award ceremony recognizing individuals with a disability who have excelled. The goal of the BOOM Awards is to provide stereotype-busting role models for people with disabilities.

Boom Awards

logo apex awards

The apex awards recognize outstanding achievement in the following categories: Outstanding Employer, Outstanding Community Partner, Transformational Leadership, and Lifetime Achievement.

Apex Awards