AIRS 2016 Conference Archives

AIRS Annual Conference and National Aging and Disability Symposium

I&R Annual Training & Education Conference    

St. Louis, Missouri – May 22-25, 2016

The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) in collaboration with ADvancing States, the National Aging and Disability I&R Support Center, and military family support specialists held the 38th Annual I&R Training and Education Conference, "AIRS: I&R’s Gateway to Networking and Learning," in St. Louis, Missouri, from May 22nd to 25th, 2016. The Annual National Aging and Disability I&R/A Symposium included a pre-conference I&R/A Summit for aging and disability professionals and a full complement of workshops comprising the Aging and Disability conference track.

The National Aging and Disability Information & Referral/Assistance Pre-Conference Summit, held Sunday, May 22, focused on person centered thinking. Presentations from the three-day conference are available below.

2016 Pre-Conference Summit Agenda

Welcome and Introductory Remarks from ACL, ADvancing States, n4a, and NCIL
Sherri Clark, Administration for Community Living (ACL); Deborah Merrill, ADvancing States;  Nora Super, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a); Lindsay Baran, National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
ADvancing States Presentation
n4a Presentation

Updates from the I&R Support Center, the Eldercare Locator, and AIRS
Nanette Relave, I&R Support Center, ADvancing States; Patrice Earnest, Eldercare Locator, n4a; Charlene Hipes, the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS)
ADvancing States Presentation
n4a Presentation

Setting the Stage for Person Centered Thinking
Shawn Terrell, ACL

Person Centered Thinking: Policy and Practice and Putting Skills into Practice 
Shawn Terrell, ACL; Michael Smull, Support Development Associates

AIRS Conference Aging and Disability Track Luncheon

A luncheon was held by the National Aging and Disability I&R/A Support Center and the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (ADvancing States), National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) and the U.S. Administration on Aging. The speaker for the luncheon, Beth Kallmyer, MSW, is the Vice President of Constituent Services for the national Alzheimer's Association based in Chicago.   


AIRS Conference Aging and Disability Track Sessions

A-1: Tools for Serving LGBT Older Adults: What Service Providers Need (and Don’t Need) to Know

The goal of this workshop is to support participants in improving and expanding the continuum of care and services offered to older adults who are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender), as well as LGBT caregivers and volunteers. Participants will obtain information on LGBT friendly referrals and resources, as well as LGBT outreach. The second half of the presentation will focus on the specific needs and concerns as related to serving Transgender older adults. This workshop is appropriate for all audiences, as it provides a general orientation moving to more advanced knowledge of understanding different generations of LGBT populations as well as concrete information about transgender affirming care.

Sherrill Wayland, SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders), National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, St. Louis, Missouri; Eugene Potchen-Webb, SAGE (Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders), PROMO Fund, St. Louis, Missouri


A-2: Transition from High School to the Good Life for People with Disabilities: Using the New Perspective of Life Course Framework, Trajectory and Integrative Supports Star

Experience transition-specific problem solving from a new paradigm by using the Life Course Tools including the Trajectory and the Integrative Supports Star. The intended audience ranges from initial front line responders up to and including all staff that influence service culture.

Sheli Reynolds, PhD, Missouri Family to Family; Susan Bird, Missouri Family to Family; Jenny Hatfield-Callen, Missouri Family to Family; Georgia Mueller, Missouri Family to Family


A-3: The Amputee Coalition’s National Limb Loss Resource Center: Meeting the Information and Resource Needs of the Limb Loss Community

Since 1997, the Amputee Coalition has operated the National Limb Loss Resource Center (NLLRC) to meet the information and resource needs of the limb loss community. As a specialized I&R center, the Coalition’s NLLRC provides a critical resource for I&R practitioners who may encounter clients with limb loss. This presentation will provide background about the limb loss community, including information and resource needs, how the NLLRC addresses these needs, and how the NLLRC can serve as a resource for other I&R services.

George Gondo, The Amputee Coalition; Keith Canady, The Amputee Coalition


A-4: Assistance and Options Counseling: Maryland’s No-Wrong-Door Data Collection Efforts

Share our journey from I&A to Options Counseling (OC) through case examples, best practices and participation. This workshop is for all ADRC, NWD, I&R/A professionals but will have a specific focus on managers, state level administrators, and those who submit data reports. Participants will hear the strategies used to consolidate I&A and OC requirements for reporting purposes. OC is a key service of ADRCs for supporting informed decision-making by assisting individuals and families to evaluate strengths, needs, preferences, and unique situations. I&R/A staff who directly receive and respond to inquiries about long-term support options will benefit from attending this workshop. Participants will practice using tools that help facilitate the process.

Emily Miller, Maryland Department of Aging; Eram Abbasi, Maryland Department of Aging


A-5: National Policy Updates: Aging and Disability I&R/A

Learn 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). These updates will give managers and front-line staff of state and local I&R/A agencies an overview of current trends and developments in aging and disability policy, financing, and service delivery.

Sherri Clark, Administration for Community Living, HHS; Nanette Relave, ADvancing States; Sandy Markwood, n4a; Lindsay Baran, National Council on Independent Living; Ben Belton, Social Security Administration

ACL Presentation
ADvancing States Presentation
n4a Presentation
NCIL Presentation

A-6: Shouting Doesn’t Help: Real Ways to Serve People with Sensory Disabilities

It can be a challenge for people to reach out for help in times of need, even more so if someone has a speech, hearing or visual disability. Learn more about disability awareness and etiquette, particularly in regards to helpful techniques for delivering I&R services to people who need best practice methods for receiving information.

Sarah Coyle, Paraquad; Diane Wieland, Paraquad; Colleen Burdiss, Paraquad


A-7: Community Outreach Collaboratives: Using Local Disability Organizations for Outreach during Open Enrollment

People with disabilities who lack health insurance face many options under the ACA. I&R Specialists assisting uninsured individuals need to make certain to ask the right questions when providing assistance. This session will focus on resources available through the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC) to assist I&R staff and give ideas for working with local disability organizations during ACA open enrollment. It will also review some of the challenges that people with disabilities have faced when enrolling in health care coverage in the ACA marketplaces.

Karl D. Cooper, American Association on Health and Disability; Jennifer Akers, Family Voices; Rick Cagan, NAMI Kansas


A-8: The “How” Matters: Exploring Customer Satisfaction

Wisconsin has conducted numerous customer satisfaction surveys and developed a nuanced understanding of how customer satisfaction develops through the process of providing I&A and options counseling. This workshop will discuss the “hows” of customer satisfaction, including the challenges, triumphs and achievements of helping customers understand and explore the options available to them. This material will be especially relevant to those who work directly with customers or manage staff who work with customers.

Amy Flowers, Analytic Insight; Maurine Strickland, Department of Health Services, Bureau of Aging & Disability Resources


A-9: Customer Experience Drives Program Performance in Public Sector: A Case Study

Learn how San Diego County’s Aging & Independence Services Contact Center developed a Customer Service Excellence Program that focused on customer experience as the driver for program success, relying on both quantitative measures (how much/how fast) and qualitative measures (how well) to drive key performance indicators such as First Contact Resolution. The program tracked measureable success and showed tremendous improvements in as little as five months. One of the common oversights in creating and operating a government contact center is focusing primarily on technology to solve problems and address ever increasing call volumes. Technology alone will not lead to contact center success. This session will address the barriers to effective change and how to create an inclusive culture.

Lourdes Ramirez, Health & Human Services, Aging & Independence Services; Beth Riedler, Customer Service Advantage


A-10: What You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Insurance

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is part of the largest government benefit program in the United States. It is essential for agencies serving individuals facing chronic illness and disability to fully understand SSDI and its impact on health, insurance, future employment, finances, and retirement income. This session covers eligibility criteria (including special populations, such as veterans, adult disabled children, widow(er)s and divorced spouses), explanation of SSDI benefits, the application process, the difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSDI, and assistance resources. The presentation will also describe the benefit protections and employment assistance available to individuals who currently receive Social Security disability benefits and want to return to work.

Tai Venuti, Allsup

Continuing Disability Reviews Handout
SSDI v. SSI Handout 

A-11: Future Planning for Individuals and Families with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

For two-thirds of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) living with aging caregivers, there is no plan in place for what will happen when the caregivers are no longer able to provide support. Through this interactive session, intermediate and advanced practitioners will learn the essential principles of future planning, the barriers to planning, how The Arc’s Center for Future Planning supports adults with I/DD and their families, and what additional resources are available in the community to support planning.

Jenny Sladen, The Arc of the United States; Max Daniel, The Arc of the United States


A-12: Merging Military Service Member and Paralysis I&R

The session is relevant for frontline I&R staff across all skill levels that may assist individuals who have a paralysis specific disability and have military service. It is beneficial to both civilian and military I&R services of all sizes. Participants will learn how to create an intake process that readily identifies military and veteran status while highlighting the importance of disability (paralysis) criteria in obtaining services. The presentation will also identify current resources available to this specific population.

Bernadette F. Mauro, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Paralysis Resource Center


A-13: Alzheimer’s Resources at Your Fingertips

With over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and more than 15.5 million providing their care, the need for educational, financial, and emotional support has never been greater. Learn how the Alzheimer’s Association provides 24/7 support and education, how the local chapters and national office work together, and discover resources and tools that can help your staff and the clients you serve.

Mariam Schrage, Alzheimer’s Association; Cheryl Kinney, Alzheimer’s Association, St. Louis Chapter       


A-14: Improving Medicare Access and Affordability for Low-Income Beneficiaries

Since 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) allows grant money to states and territories (AAAs, ADRCs, and SHIPs) to promote Medicare Preventive Services and enroll low-income beneficiaries in subsidy programs. I&R specialists play a key role in screening callers for program eligibility and referring them for help. This session will review eligibility rules and benefits, promising practices for screening and referral, and offer resources about tracking savings for beneficiaries and targeting individuals with disabilities and individuals living in rural areas.

Melissa Simpson, National Council on Aging; Linda Nakagawa, ADvancing States


A-15: Innovative Routes in Transportation Services

This session will highlight innovative programs and initiatives that address transportation needs. AAAs, ADRCs, and local, state and national service providers are addressing transportation needs with innovative programs, education and technology. Examples include the newly formed National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) which promotes the availability and accessibility of transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities, caregivers and communities. The NADTC offers a wealth of educational materials and resources for I&R Specialists.

Patrice Earnest, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging; Virginia Dize, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

n4a Presentation
NADTC Presentation
MO Rides Presentation
MO Rides Handout 

A-16: Right Resources, Right Now, Disability and Rehabilitation Resources Your Clients Can Use Today

Are your community partners looking for good, evidence-based programs, tools, and materials they can use to help their clients with disabilities? The grantees of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) generate a wealth of ready-to-use guides, tools, webinars, and more for everything from creating welcoming congregations to testing the accessibility of the local health club. We’ll sample the diverse library of NIDILRR-funded resources your center can use RIGHT NOW to help people with disabilities live independently! And we’ll show you where to find more!

Jessica Chaiken, National Rehabilitation Information Center