AIRS 2017 Conference Archives

AIRS Annual Conference and National Aging and Disability Symposium

I&R Annual Training & Education Conference    

Tampa, Florida – May 21-24, 2017

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 39th Annual I&R Training and Education Conference, "AIRS: I&R Treasures Await," in Tampa, Florida, from May 21st to 24th, 2017. 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.

National Aging and Disability I&R/A Pre-Conference Summit

Aging and Disability I&R/A professionals attended the National Aging and Disability Pre-Conference Summit on Sunday, May 21, for networking, training, and access to information and resources that can support effective I&R/A service delivery. This year’s pre-conference summit included an interactive training on motivational interviewing for aging and disability professionals provided by Dr. Debra Murray, Director of Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling Program at Viterbo University. This training offered an overview of the principles, skills and strategies of motivational interviewing, discussed professional applications, and allowed participants to practice basic interviewing skills.

Welcome and Introductory Remarks from ACL, ADvancing States, and n4a
Sherri Clark, Administration for Community Living (ACL); Kelsey Walter, ADvancing States; Patrice Earnest, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) 
ADvancing States Presentation
n4a Presentation

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

Motivational Interviewing for Aging and Disability Professionals
Debra Murray, Director of Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling Program, Viterbo University
A Change Interaction Presentation
Motivational Interviewing Handout
Motivational Interviewing Presentation 

AIRS Conference Aging and Disability Track Luncheon

The Aging & Disability Luncheon featured guest speakers Patrick Finnerty, Senior Advisor for State Oral Health Programs with the DentaQuest Foundation, and Suzanne Heckenlaible, Vice President of Public Affairs and the Executive Director of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. Dental care is an unmet need for many I&R inquirers, and oral health is connected to overall health and other key life domains. Our speakers illustrated the critical need for dental care among underserved communities and individuals, and highlighted new developments and initiatives aimed at improving access to care.


AIRS Conference Aging and Disability Track Sessions

A-1: 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; and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). 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, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, District of Columbia; Nanette Relave, ADvancing States, Washington, District of Columbia; Sandy Markwood, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Washington, District of Columbia.

ACL Presentation
n4a Presentation
ADvancing States Presentation

A-2: Acessible Healthcare: Rights and Responsiblities under the Americans with Disabilities Act

People with disabilities face significant barriers to healthcare and community programs. One way to reduce these barriers is to selfempower frontline I&R staff and consumers with ADA knowledge and resources so that they are better equipped to request accommodations and have greater opportunities for equal and accessible healthcare services. This lecture and discussion will assist beginning and intermediate I&R staff in understanding the rights of people with disabilities when it comes to accessibility in medical settings and community programs.

Michael Richardson, Northwest ADA Center (ADA National Network), Seattle, Washington

A-3: Offering Classes and Educational Events: Getting Started

With a growing population of older adults and persons with disabilities, and financial resources that are flat or even shrinking, classes and educational events are a critical tool for reaching more participants cost effectively. This workshop will help participants explore what’s possible with an education program. Participants learn about efficiently planning an event, effective marketing strategies, and identifying community partners. This session is intended for those with beginner-level experience in presenting to groups and planning events.

Jordan Lyons, Missoula Aging Services, Missoula, Montana


A-4: A Mystery Shopper Study: Options Counseling for People Needing Long-Term Services and Supports

With the advent of managed long-term care and other insurance-based care models, it is imperative that consumers receive comprehensive, correct, conflict-free information about the services and plans available to them. The National PACE Association (NPA) contracted with Secondto-None, a mystery shopper research organization, to determine whether consumers were receiving accurate information about PACE, and how well options counselors described the PACE benefit. This session will provide an overview of PACE, how options counselors fared, and tools to establish robust options counseling centers. The target audience is all levels of I&R call center staff and I&R call center management.

Asmaa Albaroudi, National PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Association, Alexandria Virginia


A-5: Look for the Evidence: Understanding How Evidence-Based Practices, Interventions, and Tools Can Help Your Clients

Your organization has a tight budget and high expectations. You need to convince your bosses that your new program or service is worth your time and their money. Look for the evidence! Evidence-based practices are gaining acceptance as primary approaches for increasing consumer involvement, controlling costs, and improving quality and accountability of service delivery in education, healthcare, and human services. In this session, you’ll learn what it means when a program is evidence-based and where to look for programs that have research behind them. Included are examples of evidence-based programs that have been developed and implemented by federally-funded centers. Service providers, administrators/managers, grant developers, and self-advocates are welcome.

Jessica Chaiken, National Rehabilitation Information Center, Landover, Maryland


A-6: The Role of I&R/A in Managed Care Contracts

Whether in-home or over-the-phone, I&R/A is the centerpiece of a successful outcome. Our agency’s managed care contracts cover a population of traditional clients, as well as younger workers coping with catastrophic events, nursing mothers, and those living independently with mental health issues. Today, our information database supports aging and in-home services staff in those managed care contracts in achieving outcomes and meeting the needs of those populations. Three contracting scenarios will be reviewed highlighting the role of a robust I&R/A database.

Maureen Widner, Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne, Indiana; Katie Hougham, Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne, Indiana


A-7: Overcoming Stigma to Identify Benefits

Despite the availability of public benefits programs that can help meet basic needs and improve economic security, many low-income older adults and younger adults with disabilities are under-enrolled. In this session, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) will present findings from a recent study on how stigma affects perceptions of these programs, and what messages can effectively counter stigma. Participants will also see how NCOA’s newly redesigned online screening tool, BenefitsCheckUp®, can assist with identifying benefits. The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities will present information about outreach to individuals with disabilities who may be eligible for the Medicare Savings Programs and Low Income Subsidy. Participants will participate in an interactive exercise to identify stigma when providing benefits outreach and share promising practices.

Brandy Bauer, National Council on Aging, Washington, District of Columbia; Rachel Feldman, ADvancing States, Washington, District of Columbia


A-8: Connecting the Dots for Community Transportation Resources

Increase your knowledge about national resources and local community transportation options that support older adults and people with disabilities with their mobility needs. Participants will gain an understanding of the range and family of ride resources that may be offered and successful partnerships between transportation and I&R programs. This interactive session will include a facilitated activity for working through challenging transportation ride request scenarios to locate best options to meet a caller’s need, so plan to share some of your best strategies and resources with your colleagues.

Kenneth Thompson, National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, Easter Seals, Washington, D.C; Jeff Graney, National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Washington, D.C; Eileen Miller, National Aging and Disability Transportation Center, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Washington, D.C.; Melisa Lopes, Eldercare Locator, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Washington, D.C.; Patrice Earnest, Eldercare Locator, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Washington, D.C.


A-9: Partnering Up with your Local University and Community Health Clinic

Learn the benefits of this private-public collaboration between a AAA/ADRC, the local University and the local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Senior Connection Center (the AAA in Tampa, FL) has worked in partnership with the University of South Florida and the local FQHC to facilitate disabled adults, elders, and caregivers to further access home and community-based support through the use of a Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA) grant. The grant-funded program, known as the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) has also helped the AAA to educate new professionals in the medical field, exchange referrals with local community clinics, and gain further exposure among primary care physicians.

Katie Parkinson, Senior Connection Center, Tampa, Florida; Zeke Barbosa, Senior Connection Center, Tampa, Florida; Anna Wenders, University of South Florida, Tampa Florida


A-10: Navigating Disability: Communication and Resources

An estimated 4.6 million Americans have an intellectual or developmental disability (Larson, 2000). These Americans and their families need I&R services to help them naviage the service system, resolve crises, and find assistance to live full, independent lives. Through this interactive session, beginning and intermediate practitioners will learn effective strategies to interact with callers with I/DD and their families in a disability-competent manner, become more familiar with resources available in the community to support people with I/DD, and learn how to respond to regular intake and crisis calls from people with I/ DD and their families.

Jennifer Sladen, The Arc of the United States, Washington, District of Columbia


A-11: More Than a Toothache: Addressing Oral Health Needs Through Efforts to Improve Coverage, Access and Quality

Dental care is a critical need among underserved communities and individuals, and yet is also a significant unmet need among those contacting I&R/A programs. Join this session to learn about initiatives that seek to improve access to oral health services at the national, state and community levels. Presenters will highlight national programs that can help connect individuals to oral health services and build community capacity to meet oral health needs, including the Administration for Community Living’s Oral Health Project, Oral Health 2020, Donated Dental Services, and Give Kids a Smile programs. The session will also share new developments to improve access to care. All attendees to this session will receive toothbrushes that can be donated to a non-profit organization of your choice!

Patrick Finnerty, DentaQuest Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts; Suzanne Heckenlaible, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Johnston, Iowa; Karen E. Lewis, Washington Dental Service Foundation, Seattle, Washington


A-12: Disability Rights Florida: Seeking the Treasure of Inclusion, Self-Determination and Equality

Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems provide legal representation and other advocacy services to all people with disabilities. Any I&R program that serves people with disabilities can benefit from gaining a greater understanding of the P&A network. Join this session to learn about the role and purpose of a statewide P&A system through a presentation by Disability Rights Florida. Information will be provided regarding the type of assistance that can or cannot be provided to individuals with disabilities. The specialized nature of the I&R resources that can be provided through Disability Rights will be highlighted.

Laura Balkcom, Disability Rights Florida, Tallahassee, Florida; Wendy Vance, Disability Rights Florida, Tallahassee, Florida


A-13: What Tool to Use? Decision-Making Support for People with Disabilities and Older Adults

Supported Decision-Making (SDM) is a way older adults and people with disabilities can make their own decisions by receiving the help they want. Come learn about this alternative to guardianship, as well as other options along the continuum of decision-making support. You will leave this interactive session knowing how to distinguish between these different tools, SDM, powers of attorney, representative payees, guardianship/conservatorship, so you can guide callers to the right resources while promoting a person’s “Right to Make Choices.”

Tina M. Campanella, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, Washington, District of Columbia; Morgan K. Whitlatch, National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making, Washington, District of Columbia


A-14: So Far Away: Long Distance Caregiving

I&R/A Specialists often hear from long-distance caregivers, usually adult children, who do not know where to begin to find the assistance they need for their older parents. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, there are approximately 5-7 million long-distance caregivers in the U.S. – and this number grows significantly each year. Using reallife examples, this session will focus on providing active listening skills to guide caregivers to appropriate resources. Attendees will leave with an enhanced understanding of the challenges faced by long-distance caregivers. Attendees will also develop strategies to design methods of assessment and assistance that will fit the work environment of their agencies.

Shannon Halvorsen, Mid-America Regional Council Area Agency on Aging, Kansas City, Missouri


A-15: Exploring and Finding a Real Treasure in National Call Center Partnerships
Hear how national call centers and local I&R programs can enhance the provision of their services by developing partnerships. Discuss strategies to expand helpful resources for local databases. Learn about the similarities and unique differences of national support lines and call centers. Participants will gain insight on the internal operations of several national call center programs. This will be an interactive session with the opportunity to explore ideas and discuss best partnership practices.

Patrice Earnest, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), Washington, District of Columbia; Sheila Fitzgibbon, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Short Hills, New Jersey; Jennifer Sladen, The Arc of the United States, Washington, District of Columbia

n4a Presentation
PRC Presentation
PRC Scenario
Other Scenarios
The ARC Presentation
Compiled AIRS Database