Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Statewide Independent Living Council

2018 Independent Living Conference Workshops and Speakers

crowd listens to Bruce Darling


You Can Save a Life: Suicide Prevention Training

Robin Krawczyk, Jewish Family & Children's Service
Suicide can be uncomfortable to think about, talk about, and deal with so, often, it is simply not acknowledged. This workshop will provide an opportunity to explore the issue and better understand the reasons behind suicide attempts and become more aware of the risk factors and warning signs. If we can better understand how the individuals we serve are communicating risk and warning signs for suicide it will help us respond more effectively. The workshop will use interactive techniques for assessing and responding positively to someone exhibiting suicidality and we will conclude the workshop with a discussion of ways to identify and build protective factors to prevent suicide and offer a template for having an action plan in place before it is needed.

Next Steps: Connecting to Supports and Services as a Young Adult

Nancy Mader, Federation for Children with Special Needs
The goal of this workshop is to help parents, young adults, and professionals understand the changes that occur in services when a student with a disability turns 18. Next Steps covers Chapter 688, adult services, and postsecondary options.

ADA Updates in 2018

Stacy Hart, Jason Angel, New England ADA Center
The principle, all people including people with disabilities have the right to participate, seems simple enough. However, even though the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed 28 years ago, the implementation of the ADA has been spotty. We will discuss recent settlement agreements from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) and resources from the US Access Board and the New England ADA Center.    

Workforce Challenges: PCA workforce Council Statewide research study of the Consumer –Employer experience within the MassHealth PCA Program

Lisa Sirois, PCA Workforce Council and Lisa Marschke, UMass Medical School
The mission of the PCA Workforce Council is to insure a quality workforce through recruitment and training, and consumer employer satisfaction by preserving the consumer-controlled model. To better understand Massachusetts PCA consumers' experiences with the PCA program, in 2008, the Council conducted a research study to evaluate PCA consumer experience and satisfaction with the PCA program. The Council completed a replicative study in 2018. This workshop will share results from the study to include: PCA consumers' characteristics, needs, experiences, satisfaction, and recommendations, as well as changes noted since the previous study. Presenters will also discuss how the results inform the Council's future recruitment and retention strategies and programming.     photo of Ann

Statewide Transition to Adult Program Meeting

Ann Hermann, Mass Rehabilitation Commission

This workshop period is for TAP program staff and supervisors.    

Addiction Recovery and the ADA

Stacy Hart, Jason Angel, New England ADA Center
Substance use is a topic that has received a lot of press in the last couple of years. In this session, we will look at substance use and alcoholism through an ADA lens. Are people who use alcohol covered under the ADA? How about people who use substances illegally? What does ADA coverage mean? We will define who is and isn't a person with a disability in this context with supporting scenarios.

MassDOT ADA Transition Plan Update

John Lozada Mass Dot
The path to independent living is critically connected to mobility and access to opportunities. The MassDOT ADA Transition Plan effort has moved from the process of self-assessment, prioritization and documentation to the remediation of deficiencies in the Commonwealth's highway infrastructure. With a primary focus on Commonwealth owned locations with missing or and non-compliant curb ramps, MassDOT has now established active projects in all six Highway regional districts. This work which includes efforts to improve signalization and eliminate hazards for the public, has developed innovative strategies and our work has become a role model for other initiatives within MassDOT, at the MBTA and among cities and towns. In this moment, we want to provide an update that will offer details on the work that has been achieved, the work that is planned and the other efforts that are part of the effort to meet our compliance objectives. We are eager to continue sharing our progress and learning from community leaders and advocates within the ILC community who bring rich ideas and concerns into the transportation planning, design and construction processes that will support MassDOT's ADA Transition work, and in the end, assist people with disabilities to more fully explore and engage in society. By demonstrating what MassDOT has achieved and is planning for continued implementation of remediation plan for overcoming inaccessibility in the state Highway system, we hope that community members will share thoughts, raise questions and help us learn if the approach we are taking is worthy of community support. This input is vital to help MassDOT explain within the Commonwealth and to the federal government that we are seriously responding to the challenge of building access and that we are earning community support toward achieving this important goal.

Advocacy to Stop Bullying and Mobbing in Subsidized and Public Housing

Jerry Halberstadt, Stop Bullying Coalition and Mary Margaret Moore
We will share our methods of advocacy consisting of creating partnerships to solve problems of our consumers: tenants in public/subsidized housing who are victims of bullying, harassment, and mobbing. This workshop will: Inform the independent living community about bullying and mobbing in multifamily housing, share a framework to address consumer issues, identify existing resources, including Stop Bullying Coalition, update participants in the status of legislative efforts in Massachusetts, Missouri, other locations and finally engage audience to join in next steps to change the system.

Housing for People with Disabilities

Courtenay Loiselle Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
This training will provide an overview of affordable housing resources for people with disabilities and how to access them. Training includes guidance on creating a housing search plan which focuses on the consumer's housing needs. The workshop will include: 1. Planning for a consumer's housing search, available housing resources, documenting a housing search, tips and tricks to housing search and following up on housing applications.

Understanding How to meet the needs of everyone we serve: Inclusion and Accessibility

Kimberley Warsett , Health and Disability Program (HDP)
This workshop will give an overview of the Department of Public Health, Health and Disability Program and the resources they can provide to help support individuals with disabilities living independently. Individuals who participate in this workshop will have a better understanding of the prevalence of health issues as well as disparities among those living with disabilities. The workshop will address how access to health care, dental care, mental health services and housing can impact disparities and how the Independent Living Movement can work to address these disparities.


Shaya French, Boston Center for Independent Living
Disabled people are given the short end of the stick at every turn. When we organize with each other we can have power over transportation systems, health care, governmental resources, etc. This workshop will cover how to empower members to become powerful speakers at legislative meetings. It will cover how to understand the power dynamics in your local communities and fix the problems consumers are coming to you with at a systemic level. For staff of ILCs it is also important to understand the power we hold as staff members because we are in control over the resources our ILCs have to hold and our identities also confer power.

Hearing Assistive Technology 101

Ellen Perkins, Center for Living and Working
Hearing aids and cochlear implants are one example of Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) but for some people, in certain situations it's just not enough. Come learn about the different technology available and see some items demonstrated! Participants in this workshop will: understand be able to identify "Listening Needs & Situations", understand why Hearing Aids/Cochlear Implants aren't always enough, understand what a "T-coil" is, receive an overview of Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) and some "non-technology" solutions, and have an opportunity to see some HAT demonstrated.

Morning Keynote

Bruce Darling - President/CEO of the Center for Disability Rights, Inc. (CDR), Board of Directors President for the National Council on Independent Living
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Independent Living Updates

Kate Beibel: Deputy Commissioner of MRC
Bill Henning: ED of Boston Center for Independent Living
Jennifer Lee : Newly elected president of the MA Statewide Independent Living Council

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In honor of Shawn McDuff

Honored by Mary Margaret Moore and Karen Langley. Shawn's mother, sister and wife attended.

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Lunch Keynote

Marlene Sallo, Executive Director of the Disability Law Center
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