Presentation Descriptions

Facing the Future Together: Presentation Descriptions

Wednesday, July 21


10-11:15 a.m.

Keynote Address:Applying an Intersectional Approach to Supporting Youth and Adults with Disabilities
Research has demonstrated persistent and significant inequities in both the delivery and outcomes of transition and vocational services between people with disabilities who also possess other marginalized identities and their disabled peers. In her keynote address, Dr. Seena M. Skelton will discuss the importance of considering intersectionality when working with youth and adults with disabilities. Her address will discuss the intersections of ableism, racism and other interlocking systems of oppression people with disabilities who embody multiple marginalized identities must navigate in work and living spaces. Dr. Skelton will also share key practices for applying an intersectional approach in service delivery to ensure equitable outcomes for all.
Seena Skelton, Great Lakes Equity Center

11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Being a Critically Conscious Practitioner: Considering Intersectional Approaches in Transition Planning, Self-Advocacy Instruction, and Service Provision
In this interactive breakout session, participants will examine what it means to be a critically conscious practitioner and the implications for providing equity-focused supports for youth and adults with multiple intersecting marginalized identities.
Seena Skelton, Great Lakes Equity Center

The Mountain That Isn't: Empowering Blind Students Through Transition Services (Panel)
The Bosma Center for Visionary Solutions is a leading service provider for blind and low vision individuals across Indiana. Join our Youth Services Specialist and a panel of blind/low vision students to learn helpful strategies, techniques, and resources for this population. Topics to include transition services, community groups and resources, information on effectively serving blind/low vision students with additional disabilities, and ample opportunity for questions and knowledge sharing.
Mika Baugh, Bosma Center for Visionary Solutions

Future-Focused Motivational Interviewing, Part 1: Spirit and Collaborative Core Skills
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a strength-based conversation style that helps people resolve ambivalence and increase commitment for making a behavior change. This introductory session is designed to help you learn the spirit, foundational skills, and processes of MI that enable collaboration and relationship building. Participants will feel the “spirit” of MI through exercises that highlight personal experiences and perspectives. Participants will be able to identify the processes of MI and as well as describe ways in which MI is both future-focused and empathic. This session includes didactic presentations, case examples, and small and large group activities. Participants will leave this training with practical knowledge of the MI fundamentals and some initial skills.
Trevor J. Manthey, VR Development Group

Creating Work-Based Learning Experiences
Come share tips and tricks for how to have meaningful work-based learning experiences for students with disabilities. Participants will learn how to create work-based learning experiences that can occur within the school and out in the community. Learn how to foster collaboration between local businesses and the school community in order to create opportunities for students to learn employability skills and move into competitive integrated employment opportunities after high school.
Michelle Oja, Indiana Department of Education

Wondering What Vocational Rehabilitation and Pre-Employment Transition Services Are All About?
If you have some familiarity with these programs, but are uncertain about the process or have questions, or you've never heard of them before, then this presentation is for you! Jonathan will be presenting on the basics of VR and pre-ETS, how the two relate to one another and can assist you, your student, and other individuals with disabilities in learning about the world of work and finding and maintaining employment. If you're already familiar with these programs, then by all means, find another breakout to attend!
Jonathan Kraeszig, Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation

1:30–2:45 p.m.


Neurodiversity 101: How to Promote and Foster a Culture of Inclusivity for Neurodivergent Individuals (Panel)
A panel of self-advocates will discuss the following topics and more:

  • Definitions of neurodiversity and other key terms
  • Understanding neurodiverse identities and intersectionality
  • Myths and facts about neurodiversity
  • Etiquette—common pitfalls, appropriate terms
  • How to be an advocate
  • Establishing a culture that embraces neurodiversity

Brought to you by members of the Neurodiversity Coalition at IU Bloomington. The mission of the Neurodiversity Coalition at Indiana University Bloomington is to promote and foster a culture of inclusivity for neurodivergent individuals on the university campus and within the greater community.
Cecilia Buckley & Alexus Lucas, Neurodiversity Coalition at IU Bloomington

Transition-Age Youth, Benefits, and ABLE Accounts
An important aspect of the transitional period for youth relates to Social Security disability benefits. Understanding the disability benefits programs under Social Security and how working and earnings correlate to these benefits is essential. This presentation will introduce you to benefits and the most common issues that transition-age youth and their supports face regarding benefits. We will also explore work incentives that can support youth as they transition into the workforce and asset building resources that can help youth safely safe for goals while protecting their benefits. One of these resources is through an ABLE account. ABLE accounts are an important financial planning tool for individuals with disabilities. As part of this presentation we will explore ABLE account basics, including the benefits of an ABLE account, who is eligible, what the money can be used for, how to enroll and more. Whether or not you are familiar with ABLE accounts, this presentation will provide a clearer picture of how you or a loved one can use this impactful tool to achieve greater financial independence.
Brady Powers, Center on Community Living and Careers, & Amy Corbin, INvestABLE

Future-Focused Motivational Interviewing, Part 2: Building Motivation and Evoking Change
In employment and educational settings people often wrestle with serious ambivalence, such as “Will I lose my benefits?”, “Do I really want to take an entry-level industrial job?”, or “Can my body handle work again?” We also hear less serious ambivalence, such as “Will I have to cut my hair?” or “Do I really want to get up that early?” Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a strength-based conversation style that helps people resolve ambivalence and increase commitment for making a behavior change. This second session of MI is designed to help you hone your foundational skills to help people resolve their ambivalence and become more motivated. Participants will feel the “spirit” of MI through exercises that highlight personal experiences and perspectives. This session includes didactic presentation, case examples, and small and large group activities.
Trevor J. Manthey, VR Development Group

Seamless Transition: Laying the Foundation for Improved Student Employment Outcomes
Providing students with significant disabilities opportunities for meaningful work experiences and competitive employment has become a focus of interagency school teams. Two of the greatest programmatic challenges are engaging families and employers. This session will focus on three key aspects of improving employment outcomes for students with disabilities: 1) Improving the capacity of professionals to build partnerships with families, 2) Improving understanding of employer needs and how to partner with them effectively, and 3) Using proven tools and strategies to utilize family and employer engagement as a means to achieve intended school and employment program outcomes.
Sean Roy & Dale Verstegen, TransCen Inc.

The Pre-ETS Journey (Panel)
Public Consulting Group (PCG) provides Pre-Employment and Transition Services (Pre-ETS) in multiple states. We have developed several programs to ensure that high quality, integrated services are available to students with disabilities in each of the Pre-ETS components. We built our programs on our prior experience, knowledge, resources, and local district relationships to implement a comprehensive system of services, while building internal capacity within partner schools and communities to increase post-secondary education and employment opportunities for students with disabilities. In today's session, we will provide examples of our services, our curriculum, and our student celebrations. We will describe how we accommodate, modify, and adapt our lessons to meet the needs of ALL students. We will share several success stories.
Heidi Anne Brett Baker & Amy Howie, PCG

3–4:15 p.m.

Sometimes We Are the Barriers: Approaching Transition with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Mind
In this breakout session, Dr. Harris Garad will invite participants to critically reflect on their own practices, looking for ways in which we—the practitioners—can be barriers to successful transition experiences. Drawing from frameworks such as Universal Design for Learning and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies, participants will use an equity lens to examine how deficit-oriented thinking and systemic barriers impact our thoughts and practices in the work of transition.
Brooke Harris Garad, Center on Education and Lifelong Learning

The Indiana Benefits Information Network: Educate, Inform, Empower
The Indiana Benefits Information Network (BIN) supports people with disabilities by providing work incentives counseling across the state through Vocational Rehabilitation funding. In this session, you will hear firsthand accounts of transition-aged youth who are beginning their employment journey. You will see how the Indiana Benefits Information Network provides support with Social Security benefits, Medicaid, or other government assistance along the way. Walk away empowered and informed about work incentives, ways to protect or extend eligibility for government benefits, and the resources available for future needs.
Becky Lohman & Angie Hoskins, Easterseals Crossroads

Using Videos to Support Soft Skills Acquisition for Employment
Preparing individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities for work in their communities is an accountability issue established through Indicators 13 and 14 of the state's performance Plan in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004). Unfortunately, transitioning into jobs for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) has not been very successful to date because of soft skill deficits that hinder their chances of obtaining and maintaining employment, despite documented benefits of work. The purpose of this presentation will be to illustrate the types of video technology (VT) researchers and practitioners have used in teaching soft skills that may enhance employment opportunities for individuals with ASD and IDD. Also, to illustrate what soft skills researchers and practitioners have targeted using the available VT interventions across settings to provide an opportunity for practitioners and educators with information that may benefit their student's chances of successful transition into employment.
Cliff Guya Oliech, Grad Student, Duquesne University

Building Successful Strategies to Transition into College
This session will provide strategies throughout the transition process, from IEPs to preparing for college, as well as compensatory skills needed to be successful during college. Many students need to understand the federal law changes, self-advocacy, and executive function strategies that will make postsecondary education a positive and successful experience. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will be promoted throughout this presentation to fit all students and attendees’ learning styles.
Candace Joles & Cheryl Litherland, Vincennes University

The IN*SOURCE Youth Training Program
Developed as a multi-tiered program for students, ages 14-22 with special needs, IN*SOURCE’s Youth Training Program offers two tracks. The Self-Advocacy for Youth track introduces students to information and skills needed for successful self-advocacy as they complete their high school education and transition to adult life. The FEAT (Family Employment Awareness Training) for Youth track has been adapted from the research-based Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) curriculum for delivery directly to transition-aged students with disabilities. FEAT for Youth introduces students to information about local, state, and federal resources supporting young adults with disabilities so they can work in their communities. Learn about how these FREE trainings are available across the state and receive information on how student referrals can be made.
Jessica Terry & Karen Rusk, IN*SOURCE

Thursday, July 22


10:00-11:15 am

Keynote Address: Personal and Professional Resilience
We cannot control many of the challenges we face, but can we control our reactions to these events? Research has demonstrated that resilient people are more successful, happier, and healthier. In this session, participants will examine how they respond to adversity and explore methods to improve their resilience.
Linda Hedenblad, VR Development Group

11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Ethical Decision Making
Acting ethically means so much more than not stealing the pens. We make decisions each day that reflect on our moral and ethical character. The problem is that we rarely take time to reflect on these decisions. Instead, most of us go through life acting and reacting within flexible ethical limits that are unconsciously impacted by our own self-interest. Ethical thinking needs to be cultivated. Each day we are faced with ethical decision-making, often reacting in favor of our own self-interest. In order to become more ethical, we need to look closely at our own behavior and make a conscious effort to improve.
Linda Hedenblad, VR Development Group

DSP Boost Program: Our Answer to Solving the DSP Crisis!
Stone Belt has recognized two important issues and created a solution. The Direct Support Professional (DSP) crisis is a national workforce discussion. Preparing students for the workforce is another important subject. The DSP Boost Program was created to assist in addressing both of these matters. In this session, we will share how we have created a paid 12-week integrated internship program for high school seniors. Interns are provided with our in-house training along with a “Boost” of life and employability skills to enhance their DSP qualifications. The students participate in several weeks of on the job shadowing to discover their best fit as a DSP. Upon exiting the program, the interns have an updated resume, certifications and job readiness for employment. If the intern is hired into our agency, they are then provided with long-term natural supports for success. We will discuss how this program can benefit retention and the workplace environment as a whole. The idea of creating a robust workforce program that is cost-neutral or creates income seems almost too good to be true, but it is completely do-able and rather easy! Join us to learn more!
MaryEllen Jones & Bitta DeWeese, Stone Belt Arc

Sexual Health Education Needs and Individuals with Disabilities
The Center for Health Equity (CHE) at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community will share what we have learned from two recent research projects regarding the necessity of sexual health education for Hoosiers with disabilities. Compared to those without disabilities, individuals with disabilities are at higher risk for unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual abuse. They do not have equitable access to sexual health education, despite research emphasizing its importance to their safety and well-being. Due to misconceptions and other barriers, they may not have the comprehensive information, skills, or support they need to develop healthy and safe relationships.
Lydia Hamilton, Jane Harlan-Simmons & Don Dumayas, Center for Health Equity

Friday, Indicator 13th: Transition IEP Monitoring Doesn't Have to Be a Nightmare (Panel)
Indicator 13 monitoring can be a frightening process, yet there are many ways to accomplish this successfully. During this panel discussion, hear from a variety of districts and cooperatives about their experience with building systems for local Indicator 13 compliance monitoring. In this session, we will share resources, strategies, and suggestions for developing successful monitoring procedures in your district. Whether you’re just getting started or have already crafted and implemented an Indicator 13 monitoring plan, this session has something to offer for everyone.
Lindsey Cox, Elkhart Community Schools, & Libby Zeeb, Northeast Indiana Special Education Cooperative

Transition Planning Starting in Early Grades
This presentation will focus on strategies to implement transition planning for students from a young age. The presentation will preview ways that students can be involved in their IEP goal development at an early age that leads to transition goal planning at a later stage. The presentation is aimed toward parents and teachers in order to provide an overview of strategies for collaboration from an early age to focus on transition planning as a whole and the importance of this.
Ashley Anderson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

1:30-2:45 p.m.

What Students Say About Mental Health and Student-Led Mental Health Clubs
Students with and without disabilities face mental health challenges that can isolate them and make participation in the school and broader community challenging. This presentation will discuss the role of Bring Change to Mind in Indiana, including the history, process needed to become involved and the research supporting the impact on students and staff.
Cathy Pratt and Betty Lou Rowe, Indiana School Mental Health Initiative, & Teresa Grossi, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Inclusive Talent Apprenticeships
This session will detail The Arc Southwest Indiana's award winning project "Inclusive Talent Pipeline." In early 2020 The Arc Southwest Indiana responded to a nationwide challenge from The Administration for Community Living to create a model for an Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American business. The Arc Southwest Indiana partnered with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana to offer twelve week apprenticeships to individuals of differing abilities. Not only does the apprenticeship offer mentored training in automobile manufacturing, it also includes life skill training, and training in several other areas to help an individual gain independent living skills be successful in a lifelong career opportunity. The Inclusive Talent project was selected as a first round winner and is now being implemented on the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana campus.
Stan Keepes & Melissa Walden, The Arc Southwest Indiana

Using FINDER to Locate Disability Resources and Supports in Indiana
Presenters from AWS Foundation and the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community will demonstrate how Indiana's online FINDER search tool helps individuals, families, and professionals locate community-based residential and employment services, state agencies, assistive technology companies, and more. In this session, you'll discover what a gold mine FINDER can be!
Vicki Johnson, AWS Foundation; Joel Fosha, & Sharon Soto, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

3-4:15 p.m.

Living a Quality Life After High School
This session will focus on the opportunities and challenges faced by those on the autism spectrum, including potential accommodations for the future. Presenters will also talk about taking care of mental health needs of individuals, the importance of building relationships and social networks, and the importance of sustaining behavior expectations.
Cathy Pratt & Betty Lou Rowe, Indiana Resource Center on Autism

IMPACT: A Post-Secondary College Program at Indiana Wesleyan University (panel)
Students in the IMPACT PROGRAM will reach their full potential for independence as they strive to successfully complete high school and transition into adult life.
Our philosophy is that together we can develop knowledgeable, confident, and responsible citizens who function as independently as possible in vocational, community and social areas by providing learning experiences relevant to their interests and capabilities. Learn how you can create a similar program for your students or send them directly to the IMPACT program.
Lisa Graham, Grant County Special Education Cooperative, & Jamie Westgate, Indiana Wesleyan University

The Americans with Disabilities Act: 31 Years of Disability Rights in Employment and Community Life
The Center for Health Equity (CHE) at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community will provide attendees with an overview of research activities conducted in 2020, during the 30th Anniversary Year of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose of these activities was to gather insights and reflections about the implementation of the ADA in Indiana over 30 years, from various stakeholders including people with disabilities and disability-related organizations. CHE will present the main findings from interviews with leaders of disability advocacy organizations, regional town hall meetings, and an online survey. While many participants noted increased opportunities under the federal civil rights law, they also identified challenges and barriers that remain in employment and other aspects of community life for Hoosiers with disabilities. It is critical to possess a good knowledge of the ADA to ensure that every individual with a disability has the same rights and equal opportunities as everyone else in all facets of public life. To this end, the presenter will give a brief overview of the ADA. They will also provide information on the free technical assistance, resources, and training available through ADA-Indiana, Great Lakes ADA Center, and the ADA National Network.
Matt Norris & Lydia Hamilton, Center for Health Equity

Evidence-Based Strategies to Support People as They Transition to Adulthood
Strategies that provide structure and predictability can help people with disabilities better understand a given situation, which leads to greater success and independence. This session will explain three structured strategies that can be used throughout a person’s day: structured language supports, visual schedules, and work systems. The purpose of these strategies, along with how to create them and many examples of when to implement them, will be shared. The discussion will include how these strategies can be used in the classroom, home, and vocational settings. Many times the person learns to use these strategies in school, but when they exit school as young adults, they no longer have these structured strategies to assist them. This session will show easy, user-friendly ways to create these evidence-based strategies, to support people as they transition out of school and into their adult lives. Participants will be encouraged to think about students, clients, or loved ones during the session and create an action plan of strategies to try and times to implement those strategies.
Amy Gaffney, Indiana Resource Center for Autism