AIRS 2014 Conference Archives

24th Annual National Aging and Disability Information and Referral Symposium


Atlanta, Georgia – June 1-4, 2014

AIRS Annual Conference and National Aging and Disability Symposium

The National Aging I&R/A Support Center held the 24th Annual National Aging Information and Referral Symposium in conjunction with the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) 2014 I&R/A Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, June 1-4, 2014.

Sponsor: National I&R/A Support Center at ADvancing States
Co-Sponsors: National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the National Council on Independent Living
With Support From: The U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL)

For over twenty years, the ADvancing States has convened the national symposium to support the professional development of state and local Information and Referral, ADRC, CIL and SHIP staff within the aging and disability network. Need to brush up your skills and knowledge of aging and/or disability services? Want to share innovative business practices and service improvement ideas with your national colleagues? Find all this and more at the 2014 National Aging and Disability I&R/A Symposium!

With a pre-conference I&R/A Summit for Aging and Disability professionals, and a full complement of workshops, panel discussions, an Aging and Disability Luncheon, and lively conversation throughout the week, the Symposium is essential for keeping apprised of the latest developments in aging and disability I&R/A. Join us to experience an exciting blend of workshops facilitated by I&R/A, ADRC, CIL, and federal, state and local professionals from across the country discussing cutting edge initiatives in aging and disability information and referral programs. This is your opportunity to gain insight that will help you to revitalize your organization's I&R/A programs and services as you continue to work with older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers.

The National Aging and Disability Information & Referral/Assistance Pre-Conference Summit - Sunday, June 1, 2014

Aging and disability professionals in I&R/A joined ADvancing States, National I&R/A Support Center, the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). This year, we joined NCIL for the first time to help answer disability-related questions, enhance state and local partnerships, and complete the policy and advocacy perspective of the aging and disability network. 

AIRS Conference Aging and Disability Track Sessions

The sessions on this track are geared towards issues distinct to Aging and Disabilities. However, there may be sessions here of interest to people working in other areas of I&R.

Monday, June 2, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

A-1: National Policy Updates: Aging and Disability I&R/A

Attendees will review and discuss the latest updates from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living (ACL), ADvancing States, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). A broad range of topics will give supervisors and front line staff of state and local agencies for aging and disability a comprehensive review of current trends in aging and disability policy, innovative models for the delivery of I&R/A, and the latest updates on how the Affordable Care Act impacts aging and disability I&R/A.

Rachel Feldman, ADvancing States, Washington, DC; Sherri Clark, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Washington, DC; Sandy Markwood, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Washington, DC; Lindsay Baran, National Council on Independent Living, Washington, DC 

Administration on Community Living Presentation

ADvancing States Presentation

NCIL Presentation

n4a Presentation

A-2: Increasing Access to Services for LGBT Older Adults

The state of Georgia convened a statewide workgroup to explore increasing access to services for LGBT older adults and to develop processes to identify and designate LGBT inclusive service providers within it's I&R network. This workshop reviews that workgroup’s results and considers application possibilities in other states and regions.

Linda Ellis, The Health Initiative, Atlanta, Georgia; Doug Carl, Georgia Department of Human Services, Department of Aging Services, Atlanta, Georgia; Shelly Wender, Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta, Georgia


Monday, June 2, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

A-3: Conversations that Matter: Working Across Disciplines to Support Aging in Place

This presentation is aimed at ADRC staff, options counselors, case managers and others within the ADRC network. The presentation will touch on the work of ADRCs across populations, in a person-centered manner, and empowerment of individuals and families promoting true community inclusion through ADRCs network and plethora of programs. Hear discussions from the founders of person-centered work and how this work can shape and drive the work of the ADRCs. 

Amy Riedesel, Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services, Atlanta, Georgia


A-4: Health Insurance Jeopardy: Asking the Right Questions when Assisting Consumers with Disabilities with Healthcare Enrollment

People with disabilities who lack health insurance face many options now that the ACA has gone into effect. I&R specialists assisting these uninsured individuals need to make sure they are asking the right questions when providing this assistance. The National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative aims to provide the resources needed to assist consumers with disabilities as they enroll.

Karl D. Cooper, American Association on Health and Disability, Rockville, Maryland


Monday, June 2, 3:00 p.m. - 4.15 p.m.

A-5: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Protecting and Empowering Older Consumers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau works to make markets for consumer financial products and services both transparent and fair. We respond and analyze complaints related to financial products from consumers. Whether you are frontline staff or a manager, join us to learn more about our consumer complaints system and the work of our Office for Older Americans.

Hector Ortiz, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office for Older Americans, Washington, DC; Darian Dorsey, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of Consumer Response, Washington, DC


A-6: A Humorous Introduction to Disability Culture

This session will be of value to anyone who needs an introduction to disability culture, disability humor, little known facts about how people with disability were embraced in some cultures and finally the expected outcomes for quality I&R services in Centers for Independent Living.

Pat Puckett, Statewide Independent Living Council, Decatur, Georgia; Roger Howard, LINC Center for Independent Living, Boise, Idaho


Tuesday, June 3, 8.30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

A-7: The Affordable Care Act: Marketplace Plans and Medicare

In January 2014, many uninsured individuals began to receive their health insurance through Marketplace plans authorized under the Affordable Care Act. This session will provide information on the first five months of the new health insurance Marketplace plans and some of the challenges faced. There will be an emphasis on the relationship between the health insurance Marketplace plans and Medicare. This session will provide information on transitions from Marketplace plans, including Medicaid expansion, to Medicare and Medicare related programs (MSP and LIS).

Leslie Fried, National Council on Aging, Washington, District of Columbia 


A-8: Newly Arrived Refugees: Cultural and Linguistically Competent Services

This workshop will cover best practices working with newly arrived immigrant and refugee populations. Participants will learn how to make referrals and access resources to assist newly arrived immigrant and refugee populations. They will gain knowledge about protective and risk factors of limited English proficient communities and how to target those risk factors. This workshop is intended for social workers, health-related providers, interpreters, government human services staff and agencies serving refugees. The information shared will be relevant to all individuals, both frontline and managerial, working with low-income and underserved communities.

Pabitra Rizal, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Atlanta, Georgia; Diana Bui, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Atlanta, Georgia


Tuesday, June 3, 10.30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

A-9: No Wrong Door System for All Populations and All Players

What does a ‘No Wrong Door System’ for all populations and all players mean for aging and disability I&R/A? How does it affect the role of Options Counselor, I&R/A specialist, Center for Independent Living staff or DD/ID system professional? From the Federal vision to the basics of service delivery, join the Administration for Community Living and representatives from state and local I&R/A organizations including presenters from the ADRC, AAA, CIL and DD/ID systems, as they explore these questions with session attendees.

Joseph Lugo, Administration of Community Living, Washington, DC; Maureen Strickland, Office for Resource Development, Wisconsin Department of Health Services; Lindsay Baran, National Council on Independent Living, Washington, DC 


A-10: Steering Towards the Future: The Importance of Rural Transportation Programs and Initiatives

How does a caller who lives in a rural area locate transportation options? What funding sources are available to assist my agency in enhancing transportation I&R/A for individuals located in rural areas? How do I tell callers there are no transportation options available? Are these questions relevant to your agency? Through a panel presentation and group activity, participants will explore potential partnerships, funding sources, and both local and national initiatives that address some of the challenges faced by I&R/A agencies that assist rural older adults and adults with disabilities in accessing transportation options.

Angela Brown, n4a/NCST, Washington, DC; Melisa Lopes, n4a/Eldercare Locator, Washington, DC; Angela Brown, n4a/NCST, Washington, DC; Lynne Joyner, Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission, Baxley, Georgia; S. Darren Wallace, Veterans Health Administration, Atlanta, Georgia


Tuesday, June 3, 12.15 p.m. -2.00 p.m.

Aging and Disabilities Luncheon: Person First-Person Centered-Self Determination

What does “person-centered” mean from the unique perspectives of persons served and their families, organizational leaders, program administrators and professionals? Building alignment of perspectives and a common language is essential to cultivating a person first culture. Grounded in self-determination theory, person centered planning goes beyond consumer choices to supporting a person’s ability and desire to self-direct. Pablo Picasso once said “Everything you can imagine is real.” Person centered approaches make it possible for persons with disabilities to make real their meaningful life in their community.

Gerianne Prom, Centers for Independence, iLIFE LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 


Tuesday, June 3, 2.15 p.m. -3.30 p.m.

A-11: Social Security Disability Benefits and Online Resources for Veterans and Other People with Disabilities

This session is designed to help I&R specialists obtain viable information and tools to assist people with disabilities, including veterans, in applying for Social Security disability benefits. The presenter will discuss Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility requirements, the online application process and best practices. Special focus will also be given to a variety of online resources that veterans and caregivers can use during and after the application process.  

Alicia Lipscomb, Georgia Area Director’s Office, Social Security Administration, Atlanta, Georgia

A-12: Alleviating Elder Economic Insecurity: Resources for Communities

Nearly 23 million older Americans are economically insecure and lack the resources to make ends meet. Session participants will learn about a new holistic approach to economic security that involves a new way of thinking about service delivery at the community level, and EconomicCheckUp, a new online consumer tool that can empower low-income seniors to assess their needs and seek assistance. 

Maggie Flowers, National Council on Aging, Washington, District of Columbia


Wednesday, June 4, 9:00 a.m. - 10.30 a.m.

A-13: Rights in Passage: Transition Age Youth Achieving Independence

As young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities make the passage from adolescence to adulthood, they are faced with many unique challenges. Large numbers of transition age youth are entering into Participant-Directed programs. While the ability to locate, hire, train, schedule and supervise homecare workers can be liberating, personal choice also requires responsibility and accountability, which can be barriers to success. Caregivers may also complicate the process when they do not acknowledge what young people want for themselves. This session reviews consumer rights, person-centered planning and self-determination, models of participant-directed services, employer authority, boundaries and ethics concerns, solution-oriented discussion of best practices, and an examination of successes through film vignettes. 

Gerianne Prom, Centers for Independence, iLIFE LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Danielle Skenadore, Centers for Independence, iLIFE LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


A-14: Getting from A to B:  Finding Community Transportation Resources for Customers

Are you challenged to find resources when a caller asks “I need to find a ride?” If so, join a discussion on matching transportation resources with customer needs. This session will cover the family of transportation services including ADA paratransit, dial-a-ride, and private, human service, veteran, and medical providers, as well as voucher networks. Learn about regional and national initiatives for transportation resource development around Mobility Management, I&R/A networks, and the Veterans Transportation Community Living Initiative. A facilitated small group activity on working through challenging “Find a Ride” scenarios will demonstrate the value of locating resources through network partnerships. Participation will help you get your callers from A to B!

Kenneth Thompson, Easter Seals Project ACTION, Washington, DC; Carolyn Rader, Atlanta Regional Commission, Atlanta, Georgia


Wednesday, June 4, 10.45 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.

A-15: Beyond the Silos: Collaboration Between Behavioral Health and Aging

Individuals and families contact ADRCs with very complex circumstances which frequently involve challenges associated with mental illness and developmental disabilities. Systems and service providers specializing in mental health, substance use and developmental disabilities as well as the aging network have generally functioned separately, ill-equipped to adequately serve those in need of a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to receiving care and services. This session will teach participants about screening tools which can help identify persons with behavioral health needs; and on the different types of cross training necessary to truly integrate I&R systems. This session will also provide examples and the opportunity to discuss processes that have been implemented in Georgia aimed at improving access to the full array of community-based services for individuals and families.


Eve Byrd, Fuqua Center on Late Life Depression, Atlanta, Georgia; Mary Lou Rhan, Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Atlanta, Georgia; Wendy Martinez Schneider, Behavioral Health Link/ Georgia Crisis and Access Line, Atlanta, Georgia

A-16: Highlighting Aging and Disability Partnerships through I&R/A Resources

As aging and disability programming continues to intersect at the national, state, and local levels, I&R Specialists are fielding an increasing number of questions concerning programming for client groups that include older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers. This session will present the work that the National I&R Support Center, ADvancing States, AIRS, and the National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrolment (at NCOA), are doing to expand the reach of I&R to help individuals with disabilities and their caregivers find appropriate resources.  Presenters will discuss the new “disability competency” section in this year’s ABC’s of I&R manual, changes to the CIRS-A certification, and other updates to the Support Center’s training materials.  Additionally, presenters will highlight resources available to help older adults and individuals with disabilities access Medicare.

Kelsey Walter, ADvancing States, Washington, DC; Erin White, ADvancing States, Washington, DC