2019 Transition Conference: Workshops

2019 Transition Conference Workshops

All attendees will be able to select from 27 workshops to attend. These workshops are broken up into 3 sessions, with 9 options per session: Workshop Session A and Workshop Session B are 90 minute sessions, and Workshop Session C is a 60 minute session. Below, you will find the information on all available workshop sessions. Each session contains information on Presenters, Summary, Audience, and Charting the LifeCourse Domain.

The workshops are color-coded according to LifeCourse Domain as well.

  • Meaningful Day and Employment: YELLOW
  • Community Living: BROWN
  • Safety and Security: PINK
  • Healthy Living: BLUE
  • Social and Spirituality: ORANGE
  • Services and Supports: GREEN

Workshop Session A (10:45 AM - 12:15 PM)

Presenters:  Johanne Pino, Mass Advocates for Children
Summary:
This workshop will address the transition planning and services required for youth with disabilities ages 14-22. The training will both focus on the transition special education services which prepare youth for employment, independent living, and further education; and discuss mechanisms to plan for services students may require when they exit special education, as well as transition to the adult human service system. Using case examples, parents and professionals will learn strategies that may help students receive important transition services mandated by special education laws. Parents and professionals will also gain an understanding of Chapter 688, the state law that helps plan for youth with disabilities after they leave school.
Audience:
Early Transition, In transition
Domain:
Meaningful Day and Employment

Presenters: Olga M. Lopez, Federation for Children with Special Needs y Diana I. Santiago, Massachusetts Advocates for Children
Summary: El propósito de la educación es proveer a los niños y jóvenes las destrezas, conocimientos, y experiencias que necesitan para lograr sus metas en la vida adulta. La transición a la vida adulta es un proceso continuo para determinar las necesidades, preferencias e intereses de un estudiante que se relacionan con las demandas actuales y posteriores, y entornos sociales. Los niños en MA que reciben servicios de educación especial comienzan los servicios de transición a los 14 años. Este taller explicará los requisitos legales para que los distritos escolares garanticen la transición exitosa de los estudiantes, incluyendo la satisfacción de las necesidades de los adultos para la educación, el empleo y la plena participación en la comunidad.
Audience: Early Transition, In Transition
Domain: Supports and Services, Meaningful Life and Employment

Presenters: Pamela Tames, PLAN of Massachusetts and Rhode Island; Cynthia Haddad, Special Needs Financial Planning/Shepherd Financial Partners; Mary Rubenis, MEFA: Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority
Summary: What do parents and grandparents need to think about when it comes to money during the transition years and beyond? This workshop will discuss an overview of Special Needs Financial Planning, the five factors to consider, and the basics of Special Needs Trusts and ABLE accounts. Speakers will discuss the key tools to consider and the ways in which they can be used to support your child now and for their future.
Audience: All
Domain: Safety and Security

Presenters: Hillary Dunn Stanisz, Disability Law Center
Summary: Moving from special education and an IEP to adult services through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and an Individual Support Plan (ISP) can be a big change and require a different advocacy strategy.  This workshop explores the DDS ISP process and related navigation issues. Specifically, this workshop will discuss the services and supports available to adults supported by DDS, the prioritization process, and the ISP development process. Additionally, participants will learn about their rights in the ISP process, ISP appeals and advocacy strategies, as well as information about the DDS human rights system and the Plan of Care.
Audience: In Transition, After Transition
Domain: Services and Supports

Presenters: Michael Plansky, You’re with Us!; MaryEllen MacRae, Easterseals Massachusetts; Glenn Gabbard, Massachusetts Inclusive Enrollment
Summary: What are the different program options for students with disabilities pursuing higher education? Panel members will provide an overview of options, including Easter Seals’ College Navigator program, Mass Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment and You’re with Us! You will hear from real life experts on their experiences.
Audience: All
Domain: Meaningful Life and Employment

Presenters: Stacey Villani, Division Director Family Services, The Northeast Arc
Summary: This workshop will look at transition with ASD into adult services through the eyes of some young adults who have been there.  A panel of 3 young adults and their families with various and differing autism profiles will tell their story of how each of them went through the transition process and what they are doing now.  We will also compile a list of best practice tips and frameworks to use for transition planning.  
Audience: All
Domain: Meaningful Life and Employment

Presenters: Ingrid Flory, Regional Family Support Director; Pam Hickey, Regional Self Direction Supports Manager; Pamela Ferguson, Regional Autism Coordinator, Department of Developmental Services Central/West Region
Summary: The Department of Developmental Services provides a variety of services and supports to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This workshop presents a broad overview of DDS services and supports, explains key components of transition planning, and offers tips on how to partner effectively with DDS.
Audience: Early Transition, In Transition, After Transition
Domain: Supports and Services, Meaningful Life and Employment

Presenter: Catherine Boyle, Autism Housing Pathways; Desi Forte and Rob Bilotta, Easter Seals
Summary: This workshop introduces families to the range of public funds available to pay for housing and supportive services (including for those without DDS supports). Some examples are given of how these can be combined with private funds to create housing. There will be an overview of ways to apply for subsidized housing, and an example of advocacy in one community that improved access to Section 8 for people with disabilities will be discussed.  Desi Forte and Rob Bilotta from Easter Seals will demonstrate how technology can be utilized to support independent living.
Audience: All
Domain: Community Living

Presenters: Leanne Langmaid MSN, RN;  Colleen Huysman, MSW, Weitzman BRIDGES Young Adult Transition Program at Boston Children’s Hospital; Elaine M. Gabovitch, MPA, Division Director, Division for Children & Youth with Special Health Needs, Department of Public Health; Beth Bostic, MFOFC, Parent
Summary: This workshop will provide an understanding of the transition to adult health care and health related self-management.  Learn the framework for navigating adult care systems and developing communication strategies that will help your young adult participate in their health care.  Fill your toolbox with resources and strategies that will help youth and their families share information with adult service providers. 
Audience: All
Domain: Healthy Living

Workshop Session B (1:15 - 2:45 PM)

Presenters: Amanda Green and Martha Daigle, Massachusetts Department of Early and Secondary Education
Summary: This presentation will offer essential information about the secondary transition process, including the importance of student vision and student self-determination, laws and regulations, transition assessment, the use of the Transition Planning Form (TPF) and IEP, and whole school/community approaches. Special emphasis will be placed on the essential role of families.
Audience: Early Transition, In Transition
Domain: Meaningful Life and Employment

Presenters: Ashley Stone, Kathy Kelly, and Jill Richard, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Summary: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission will provide an overview of the services and offerings for students while they are in high school to engage in pre-employment transition services and outline how to connect to the agency for additional supports as they transition out of high school.
Audience: All
Domain: Supports and Services, Meaningful Day and Employment

Presenters: Margaret Van Gelder, Department of Developmental Services
Summary: Employment is an important part of life for most people.  Families play a central role in conveying expectations that their young adult can work, make contributions, and find satisfaction being part of the workforce. This session will highlight the importance of helping students explore their interests, identify career goals, the range of experiences that may lead to meaningful employment, and how to work collaboratively with schools and other partners on the road to employment. Learn from the panel of real-life experts about the strategies families and students have used to find meaningful employment.
Audience: All
Domain: Meaningful Life and Employment

Presenters: MaryEllen MacRae, Easterseals Massachusetts; Rachel Fichtenbaum, MassMobility; Kamisha
Summary: Participants will learn about transportation services available to people with disabilities in communities around Massachusetts, explore connections between transition-aged youth and transportation opportunities, and gain a greater understanding of how to effectively infuse the topic of transportation when discussing transition goals. We will also highlight creative transportation initiatives around Massachusetts, share a new tool developed by Easterseals, and feature resources available to individuals, families, and organizations to help solve the transportation puzzle.
Audience: All
Domain: Community Living

Presenters: Pam Hickey, Self-Direction Manager Central/West S; Bev McGovern, Self-Direction Manager, Northeast Region Department of Developmental Services
Summary: The presentation will provide information on Self-Directed services.  Participants will learn how this model can expand choices and individualize the DDS services they receive, as well as, having more control in how they are delivered.  We will offer examples from participants and share their unique and meaningful activities. 
Audience: In transition, After Transition
Domain: Meaningful day and Employment, Supports and Services, Citizenship and Advocacy

Presenters: Karen Mariscal, Esq. and Barbara Jackins, Esq.
Summary: The workshop will cover Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), MassHealth, Adult Family Care (AFC), ABLE accounts, and other financial benefits that can assist your child and your family. Learn the income and asset limits of these programs, how to qualify and keep benefits, problems with SSI and child support, and much more. 
Audience: In Transition, After Transition
Domain: Safety and Security

Presenters: Sandra Heller, MFOFC; Anna Krieger and Michael Kendrick, Center for Public Representation
Summary: Learn about Supported Decision-Making (SDM). SDM is an alternative to guardianship that allows an individual with a disability to work with a team of chosen supports and make decisions about his or her own life. It’s not a new concept – it focuses on person-centered practices.  Individuals choose one or more trusted people to assist them to make decisions - friends, family members, relatives.
Audience: In Transition, After Transition
Domain: Safety and Security

Presentadora: Yaritza Rizzo , madre de Alejandro, quien tiene 14 años; Cristina Cortez, Auto-promotora
Resumen: La transición comienza oficialmente cuando un estudiante cumple 14 años y continúa hasta la primer etapa de la edad adulta cuando deja la escuela.  Un panel de padres y auto-promotores compartirán sus esperanzas y sueños para sus hijos y si mismos, las preocupaciones, desafíos y éxitos a desarrollar una buena vida!  
Audiencia: Todos
Campo: Día e empleo significativo

Presenters: Melissa Levin, LICSW, Newton Public Schools; and Ariel Schwartz, PhD, OTR/L, Boston University
Summary:  We will discuss our recent research regarding mental health (MH) needs and services for young adults (YA) with intellectual/developmental disabilities (/IDD) and provide practical tips for families of YA struggling with MH. Participants will learn about a newly developed peer mentoring program, and findings from a study conducted by self-advocates and The Arc of the US about the needs and service experiences.  The workshops will also include strategies to help YA cope with MH challenges and self-monitor, as well as language to use to discuss their conditions.
Audience: All
Domain: Healthy Living

Workshop Session C (3:00 - 4:00 PM)

Presenter: Terri Farrell, Autism Insurance Resource Center, EK Shriver Center, UMass Medical School
Summary: This workshop will provide the most up-to-date information on accessing services and supports for those with autism during the transition years.  Recent changes to the law have opened the door to behavioral health access from birth through age 19 in some commercial health plans.  Updates to MassHealth services will also be included.
Audience: All
Domain: Healthy Living

Presenter: Michelle Arundale, The Arc of South Norfolk, Advisor to "Our Club" self-advocacy group; and Dr. Xinru, Bentley University
Summary: 95% of teens have access to a smartphone and 45% say they are online almost constantly. While access enables many benefits, teens need to be aware of the risks. For example: did you know that anything you’ve ever posted, searched, or shared can leave a digital footprint of data that is visible to employers, schools, or strangers? This workshop will help students and families learn how to safely use technologies and social media. It will teach easy but important steps to protect their identities and reputations, engage in social interactions online safely, and even connect with potential employers.
Audience: All
Domain: Safety and Security

Presenters: Katie Driscoll and Phoebe Goodman, The Arc of Mass/Pathways to Friendship
Summary: Pathways to Friendship consultants will share stories of connecting people, the benefits of inclusive friendships, and also what to do when efforts are distracted and misled, which even when well-intended, can be terrible barriers to relationship. Making connections is exactly what we plan for when we are looking at enriching people’s lives and our communities. Each section will emphasize the opportunity for people to build relationships within their communities, naturally wherever they live, learn, work, and play. Support on how to encourage friendships during transition age in different facets of a young person's everyday life will be explored.
Audience: All
Domain: Social and Spirituality

Presenter: Meredith H. Greene, Esq., Trust and Estate Department, Chair, Special Needs Practice Group, Fletcher Tilton
Summary: When an individual turns 18 years old, he or she is presumed to have the capacity to make informed decisions, including legal, educational, financial, and health care decisions.  In some situations, an individual with a disability may need assistance with making decisions.  It is important to understand the array of available options to assist with decision-making.  This session will discuss the legal implications of turning 18, the guardianship standard in MA, the impact of guardianship on self-determination, and several alternatives to guardianship.
Audience: Early Transition, In Transition
Domain: Safety and Security

Presenter: Beth Bostic and Sophia Johannson, Mass Families Organizing for Change, Northeast Region
Summary: Join a lively and interactive discussion about moving from pediatric to adult healthcare. Self-advocates, family members, and professionals alike will draw on the excellent work already out there to brainstorm considerations and strategies for a smooth and successful transition.
Audience: In Transition 
Domain: Healthy Living

Presenters: John Nadworny, CFP (r), CTFA, CEMDPCD, Cynthia Haddad, CFP (r), and Alexandria Nadworny, CFP(r), CTFA
Summary: This workshop covers the considerations beyond the wills and trusts: the details of living.  We’ve learned from the families we have worked with over the past 20 years that planning for an individual with special needs requires a different team: a team of professionals, friends, and family members who will form an infrastructure to carry on even when you are no longer there.  Planning for the future of an individual with special needs requires marshaling financial resources, but even more importantly, arranging for the human resources to carry on in the role of the parents. While no one person can duplicate what a parent does, the family should identify a person who will captain a team. Having a team provides the checks and balances that protect against any conflict of interest.
Audience: In transition/after transition
Domain: Safety and Security, Family Unit

Presenter: Dot Lucci, NESCA
Summary: In this workshop, participants will explore ways of achieving balance in oneself, among students, and within a family.  Foundations in the science of positive psychology, neuroplasticity, mindfulness, emotional memory, and cognitive-behavior techniques will be presented.  Utilizing this information, relaxation techniques will be experienced, and practical tools explored.  Lemons happen, so it’s what we do with them that matters!  Participants will learn ways to take charge of stress so that it doesn’t take over one’s life.  Achieving well-being and balance and an improved quality of life is possible for all.
Audience: All
Domain: Healthy Living

Presentadora: Raquel Quezada, Cambiando El Mundo de necesidades especiales
Resumen: Mapear los recursos de una comunidad es un proceso que reconoce que los individuos, las organizaciones, y las instituciones locales tienen todos la capacidad para crear cambios reales in sus comunidades, pero que ninguno de ellos puede hacerlo solo. Con unos presupuestos ajustados, la escasez de recursos, y unos servicios fragmentados, es una decisión sensata para comunidades animar que haya coordincación entre los agencias y sistemas que existen. Cuando esto se combina con la información de la comunidad, los mapas de recursos pueden proveer una imagen completa de la vision, las metas, los proyectos, y la infraestructura de una comunidad. 
Audiencia: Todos (Español)
Campo: Vida sana, Día e empleo significativo, Vivienda en comunidad, Unidad familiar

Presenters: Dina DiGregorio, NESCA; Jeff Gentry and Taciana Saab, 70/30 Partners
Summary: College is often a default for people when thinking about life after high school. However, while traditional college is an option, there are many other viable and rewarding paths for people to consider. This workshop will discuss different options, such as training and certificate programs at non-traditional schools and other options which can lead to a variety of meaningful careers.  The workshop will also address how to evaluate the various options and determine which may be the right path for an individual.     
Audience: All
Domain: Meaningful Life and Employment

Comments are closed