RE:CON 2021
PRESENTATIONS

Sessions and Presenations
at This Year’s re:con

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re:con 2021 Presentations and Summaries

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

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL  | PRESENTED BY:  Jim Bitterle

HIDDEN :: PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

BREAKFAST KEYNOTE – Vulnerable Leadership

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL  | PRESENTED BY: Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins

HIDDEN :: PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

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

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL  | PRESENTED BY:  Jim Bitterle

HIDDEN ::

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

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL  | PRESENTED BY: Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins

HIDDEN ::

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

Addressing Ableism in Bystander Intervention

VIRTUAL ONLY | PRESENTED BY: Eric Stiles & Jessica Edel Ph.D.

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.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

Getting Parents and Caregivers to Talk about Sex

VIRTUAL ONLY | PRESENTED BY: Amanda Barratt, LMSW & Merkeb Yohannes

Parents and caregivers have a unique opportunity to provide sexual health education that can have a lasting impact on their children. However, parents may feel that talking to their children about sexual health and sexual abuse can be overwhelming. This is especially true for parents of youth with disabilities. This interactive session will engage people who support families and assist them in identifying ways to talk to parents and caregivers about facilitating sexual health conversations. During the session participants will examine existing gaps in sexual health education across the United States, barriers parents and caregivers face, and sexual health resources.

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) shows that if we have comprehensive conversations with youth early on it is more likely to postpone intercourse to adulthood, avoid getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease, understand IPV/SV and develop healthy attitude toward sexuality. (SIECUS, 2018). Additionally, sexual abuse is incredibly prevalent and starting the dialogue on consent, bodily autonomy, and abuse early on is a way to combat stigma, prevent abuse, and encourage youth to talk to trusted adults when they do not feel comfortable. (NSVRC Resource Guide, 2017). Parents and caregivers have the ability to have these conversations in meaningful ways that other trusted adults do not. If we can empower caregivers to start talking with their kids the likelihood that youth will receive accurate information would increase.

Participants will be encouraged to engage in open and honest discussion with a mind toward survivor-centered and trauma-informed policies, intersectionality, positive change, and future-oriented thinking.

This will be relevant for all parents and caregivers, however the majority of the examples are related to youth and young people.
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.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

Difficult Conversations Made Easy – 3 Steps to Mastery

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Leslie C Fiorenzo, LMSW & Merkeb Yohannes

Leaders are frequently involved in difficult conversations. We all avoid conversations that are conflictual or uncomfortable. Often, those are exactly the conversations we need to have. Are you struggling to discuss an important issue with a colleague, customer, direct report, or your supervisor? Then this session is for you. You will leave with a road map and tools in your tool- box to use as you navigate the conversation you’ve been avoiding.

This session is designed to give professionals 3 tools to immediately take back to their workplace to use and share with other leaders. They will be able to create a structure that is easy to follow and implement, identify the words to get the conversation off to a positive start and how to create allies instead of an enemies.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Leadership

Building an Engaging Community Involvement Program

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Lisa J. Friedrich, PhD & Jeanette Brown

Not only is the movement toward increased community involvement for disabled individuals necessary based on the HCBS Final Rule guidelines (2014), but it is also best practice for meaningful life engagement. The challenge is to build a group community-based program that is solidly based on inclusion, choice, and dignity. Successful programs thrive as participants both learn from and enjoy their activities in the larger community. This session will give professionals a chance to explore the meaning and importance of community involvement as they discover a memorable method for enhancing an existing program or starting anew. Discussions include key pillars of consumerism, volunteerism, building relationships, and health/safety. This session is also designed to share materials/protocols for nurturing participant interest, aligning curriculum, meeting learning goals, vetting locations, and providing transportation.

Emerging From Our COVID Cocoons: Creating Workplaces That Nurture Post-Traumatic Growth

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Menachem Hojda

This presentation will explore the research on post-traumatic growth and provide tools for supporting employees as they return to in person work in a world that is so different from what they left.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Leadership

Accessible Digital Information

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Amy Maes

Every business, organization, governmental entity, school, place of worship rely on digital means to relay information about products, services, programs, etc. Ensuring the information you develop and distribute electronically is critical to optimizing the biggest audience. Information developed that is distributed electronically, email blast, social media posts, website, application, if not made accessible, has a big impact on individuals with disabilities who are users of the computer/internet.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

Natural Supports: Considerations and Implementation of a Person-Centered Approach to Self-Sufficiency

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Kayla Patino & Erin Shannon

This presentation aims to increase knowledge and understanding of natural supports by first defining the term and outlining the importance to an individual’s independence. We will discuss considerations when attempting to identify supports, the benefits of natural supports versus systemic or formal supports and creating a person-centered support plan.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

Natural Supports: Considerations and Implementation of a Person-Centered Approach to Self-Sufficiency

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Rene Dell

We are going to review the key components of customized employment. We will identify how to target if a customized approach will meet the needs of the participants you are serving. We will unlock how you customize a job description based on meeting an employer’s unmet needs. Services and supports are put in place to ensure that the employer and employee are able to work successfully together. An in-depth review of the key elements of customized employment will take place. We will unlock the components of the Discovery process and how the documents created during Discovery are a key to customized employment success. We will outline the plan for customizing employment and provide the audience with tools and tips for future use. We will wrap up with the employment development process and identify the ways in which the customized approach leads to long term community placement success.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Employment Opportunities

Addressing the Direct Care Worker Crisis: Statewide Initiatives, Provider Options

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Clare Luz, PhD & Emily Dieppa

There is a critical shortage of Direct Care Workers (DCWs) that is threatening Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). Providers across the state are feeling the pain daily of having to turn away individuals needing support, and the ongoing, costly challenge of recruiting and retaining a quality workforce. It is estimated that Michigan needs 34,000 more DCWs than we currently have. The turnover rate among DCWs exceeds 80% annually with an associated average annual cost of over $170,000 per agency. The shortage and rampant turnover rate are the result of multiple factors including rapid population aging, fewer family caregivers, longer life expectancy, and DCW jobs characterized by low wages/benefits and a lack of guaranteed hours, training, and respect. This dire situation has a dramatic impact well beyond HCBS. It affects Michigan’s businesses, health systems, economy, and citizens. The need to grow and stabilize this workforce is urgent. This session will focus on major initiatives at the state level to address the shortage, policy priorities, long-term goals and strategies, short-term options for providers to consider, and the business case for these options.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Policy

Breaking Down Barriers: Easing Eligibility and Certification for NLS/BTBL Service

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Stephanie Wambaugh

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) made a long-awaited change in February of 2021 to ease eligibility requirements for patrons with reading disabilities. In addition, NLS now also accepts typed and/or electronic signatures of certifying authorities, enabling the application process to be submitted completely online. The breakdown of these barriers for applicants means a smoother, faster, and overall, more accessible experience getting signed up for audio and/or braille books through the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL). Join this presentation to learn about the new eligibility language and certification requirements, as well as reading trends established in the pandemic that has put our service in higher demand than ever before.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Independent Living/Disability Specific

Natural Disasters and Pandemics: Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Jessica Hester, PhD, CRC

Natural disasters and pandemics have increased in number and intensity, devastating families and communities, and two of the most recent examples in Michigan are the Midland flood and COVID-19 pandemic. Basic preparedness and recovery efforts can be overwhelming, and having a disability puts a person at high risk during these events. In natural disasters, local, state, and national agencies have often either not considered people with disabilities (PWD), or consulted with them during the planning process. This has led to complications during evacuations, at shelters, and throughout recovery operations. Pandemic emergency preparedness plans for PWD are even more limited. Equitable assistance for PWD before, during, and after emergency events is manageable, but only if PWD are included in the planning process. This session will outline strategies and resources for developing emergency preparedness plans for and by PWD.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Policy

Learn, Make and Do: What’s NExT in Transition Career Exploration

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Terrie Hylton, PhD

STEP TRANSITION and PRE-ETS Services are offered within the Navigating Employment eXperiences Together “NExT” series. Career exploration services are pivotal milestones for young adults to be familiar with career options before HS graduation. This presentation will describe and demonstrate disability sensitive ways career exploration can be presented to provide students with learning opportunities with professionals, making STEAM projects, and doing job simulations that are fun, exciting, and virtual.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Transition

Grow Your Own: Touching the future with University Interns

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Terrie Hylton, PhD

University internships are beneficial for rehabilitation services, students, universities, and the profession. Learn how private and public rehabilitation services can be a host agency for interns at the bachelors, masters, and doctorate level. This session will explain how to find, supervise, train, and document internships for academia and utilize for agency secession planning.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Leadership

Enhancing Remote Service Delivery: The Avail Pilot

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Sarah George, Terey DeLisle, Kimberly Pietrylka-Miller & Mychal Fearncombe

Avail is a robust, evidence-informed, interactive online platform combining Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) tools, evidence-based interventions and technology to provide customized, remote job coaching for individuals who have intellectual disabilities, Autism, Brain Injury and other cognitive disabilities. Peckham, Services To Enhance Potential (STEP), New Horizons, and Community Enterprises of St. Clair County have formed a partnership with support from Incompass MI to pilot Avail in 2021. Dr. Hung Jen Kuo, Assistant Professor at the Michigan State University College of Education, is a research partner on the project, evaluating Avail on its usability and efficacy in helping people become more independent in their work tasks. This pilot provides an innovative way to address the digital divide facing people with significant disabilities and to support remote service delivery at a time when we are all looking to expand our remote service capabilities. This presentation will describe the partnership, the product, and the research study design.

Overcoming Barriers to Achieve Long Term Community Placement Success

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Rene Dell, MA, LPC, NCC, CRC

We will explore common barriers to job placement and long-term community placement success. We will dig into strategies that can assist with overcoming employment barriers. Through the process of rehabilitation, we can determine methods for assisting with difficult to place clients, the goal and intent of the discovery process, job development, job carving and job placement. We outline the process for the development of SMART goals while utilizing a person-centered approach. Strategies are reviewed to identify not only the keys needed for successful placement but also allowing room for growth and advancement. We pay special attention to the underserved populations and the unique techniques required to help all individuals despite their ability achieve short term and long term vocational success.

PRESENTATION TRACK: Employment Opportunities

Women and Disabilities

EITHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL | PRESENTED BY: Rosanne Renauer, PhD, LLP, CRC

This presentation addresses the interaction between gender and disability drawing on the 2020 Flint Women’s Study to identify individual and community impacts. This research was a large community engaged qualitative study of 100 women conducted to identify the needs, hopes, dreams and strengths of Flint area women. We will apply intersectionality theory and discuss related negative impact practices impacting women and especially women with disabilities within our current culture. Positive strategies for meaningful change at all levels is needed.

Exhibit At re:con 2021

Who Attends:

re:con will attract over 300 professionals from Community Service Providers, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons, Community Mental Health Agencies, Michigan Works! Agencies, Independent Living Centers, Michigan human services agencies, private rehabilitation providers, special education, school-to work transition services, employers, universities…

And more.

Learn More

Present at re:con 2021

You’re invited to share your expertise at re:con – the convention of new beginnings which will be held November 8-10, 2021 in Traverse City with a virtual component. *If safe meeting regulations prohibit an in-person event, the conference will be held entirely virtually.

Are you an innovative industry leader with knowledge to share? Then we’re looking for you!

Presenting at re:con is a unique opportunity to reach a broad audience from across the state in the disability community including: advocates, providers, educators and consumers.

Present At recon

Thank You to our 2020 re:con Sponsors

step

Logo - STEP Services to Enhance Potential

wsc

Logo Work Skills Corporation

peckham

Logo Peckham

new horizons

Logo New Horizons Rehabilitations Services, Inc

meijer

Logo - Meijer
View All Sponsors

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