Past Webinars:

Date:  October 15, 2020 from 1PM - 3PM Central Time

Title:  Inclusive Tech: Apps for Life

Session Description:  During this session, the participants will learn how mobile technology can enhance and simplify everyday life for people with disabilities. A variety of skills will be addressed including cognitive and social development, daily living, and more. The apps highlighted will range from free to paid versions with subscription fees and will address a range of needs of those with cognitive disabilities. Information will be briefly shared on the use of our app search tool to help participants explore more helpful apps for their unique situation.

Speaker Bio: Amy Fuchs is the Program Coordinator for BridgingApps, a program of Easter Seals Greater Houston. She holds a BA in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education from Auburn University; as well as a Texas teaching certificate. She taught in public elementary schools for 13 years in a variety of classrooms including resource, co-teach, inclusion, and adaptive behavior settings. During her tenure, she had the privilege of working with students of varying abilities, including autism, behavior disorders, learning and developmental disabilities, and physical differences. She co-founded an advocacy group with a speech pathologist in 2016, serving families in the Houston area, with the primary focus on educating and empowering parents to be their own advocates. As Program Coordinator, she writes blogs for educators, magazine articles for parents, and app reviews on behalf of BridgingApps. She also works to educate the community by sharing mobile technology tips to improve the lives of people with disabilities of all ages, from children being served through early intervention to seniors as they age in place and work to maintain independent lifestyles.

CEUs:  We are pleased to inform you that 2 continuing education hour(s) (CEs) are approved for the above training event for the following licensed professionals: • Licensed Clinical Social Worker • Licensed Nursing Home Administrator • Licensed Occupational Therapist & Occupational Therapy Assistant • Licensed Physical Therapist & Physical Therapy Assistant • Licensed Social Worker • Registered Nurse, and Licensed Practical Nurse & Advanced Practice Nurse.  Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals (QIDPs) may apply the same hours of continuing education units earned from this conference toward their twelve hour annual continuing education requirement.

Funding provided in whole or in part by The Autism Program of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Human Services in collaboration with the Technology Enhancing Capabilities (TEC) Lab.  

Date: September 23, 2020 from 1PM - 3PM Central Time

Title: What’s Next for I/DD Service Delivery and Payment Models

Session Description: This session will provide an overview of efforts to prepare I/DD agencies to understand and adapt to a landscape that includes non-state payers and is outside of the traditional fee for service (FFS) reimbursement model. States are increasingly looking to alternate payment and management structures for HCBS services, including I/DD services. I/DD service providers are often unfamiliar with the culture, values, language and expectations of non-state payers. Even while state systems remain in a FFS structure for I/DD services, agencies need to be actively engaged in learning about essential competencies that will be necessary to continue to provide their mission-based services in a new landscape and taking steps to prepare their organizations to continue to grow and thrive. This session will share strategies for shifting I/DD agency attitudes from resistance to new payer models to seeking to become informed and educated about them so that they can be as impactful and influential as possible in shaping the future of their state’s I/DD system.  We’ll discuss how recent societal trends have impacted I/DD service delivery and what possible long term effects may shape the future for I/DD organizations.

Key Themes

  • Emerging payer, service and business models in the I/DD system
  • Readying I/DD provider organizations to survive and thrive in alternate payer systems
  • The impact of COVID19 on I/DD organizations, service delivery and plans for the future

Speaker Bio:  Kathy Carmody is the CEO of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities, Illinois’ largest association exclusively devoted to I/DD community provider organizations. (Institute)

Kathy has over 35 years of experience in the Illinois and national I/DD arena, including leading research, demonstration and training projects which substantially improved the nature and quality of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kathy has also held direct support, clinical and executive management roles within community agencies. At the Institute, Kathy is involved in a wide array of policy and practice issues affecting people with I/DD and serves on and leads multiple committees and task forces impacting the I/DD service system.

Kathy co-chairs the ANCOR Alternate Payment Model (APM) workgroup (ANCOR Report), co-chairs the CQL/Mosaic/Institute national SME team that authored Building the Framework for I/DD Quality Measurement (Building the Framework) and led the Illinois state team in the Business Development Learning Collaborative (BDLC) as part of the NASUAD Business Acumen Center (HCBS Business Acumen Center).

Kathy is a frequent presenter at the state and national level on an array of topics impacting the I/DD service system, including quality metrics, alternate payer models, preparing community agencies for success in a changing landscape, national trends in I/DD services and person centered planning and practices.

Kathy has a graduate degree in Social Service Administration and Policy from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware.

Date:  September 17, 2020 from 1PM - 3PM Central Time

Title:  The History of Remote Supports & Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in a “Social Distancing Support” Era

Session Description:  What an amazing time to be providing services and supports to people with disabilities! The technological age we live in is enabling more and more possibilities for everyone and helping us navigate through this crazy social distancing support era. This crash course in Remote Supports will highlight the 18-year history of the services and give you the cliff notes version of “everything you need to know” to start implementing Remote Supports the right way today.

Speaker Bio:  Dustin Wright has been supporting people with disabilities for 20+ years.  He is proud to state he began this career track as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) while pursuing his education at Purdue University.  After graduation, he worked through the ranks and ultimately served as a Director of Program Services for the same organization – overseeing and ensuring services for approximately 300 individuals.

In 2006, Dustin co-founded a remote supports company, Rest Assured, and served as the Executive Director until 2019.  In this role he has overseen the provision of remote supports to thousands of people with varying abilities in 24 states.  

He is a 2018 Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities and Technology DIGS Grant recipient.  Dustin has also assisted the States of Tennessee, Ohio, Maine, the District of Columbia, and other states in developing and modifying Medicaid Waiver regulation and funding structures to include more options for technology enabled supports. 

Dustin founded Disability Cocoon in May 2018.  He describes it as a disability technology catalyst organization that helps the disability community discover, learn, and implement enabling technology solutions that foster opportunities for increased independence. 

Funding provided in whole or in part by The Autism Program of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Human Services in collaboration with the Technology Enhancing Capabilities (TEC) Lab.  

Date:  August 20, 2020 from 1PM - 3PM Central Time 

Title:  But What if They Can? - Practical Strategies for Success

Session Description:  “But What if They Can?” is not just about creating opportunities, it's about changing perspectives. Join Robin Pegg in a conversation that will challenge how you think about "people with disabilities" as well as provide you with ideas that you can begin implementing tomorrow. Robin will share examples of people who are using technology to conquer not only the barriers the world presents but those monstrous barriers of perception. Their stories will serve as an inspiration as you ask yourself “But what if they can?”. 

Learning Objectives:
• Participants will be able to discuss the relationship between perception and opportunity 
• Participants will be able to identify at least 2 accommodations for reading and/or writing
• Participants will be able to identify at least 2 home accommodation strategies
• Participants will be able to identify at least 2 work accommodation strategies

Speaker Bio:  Robin is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional who has dedicated her 20+ year career to promoting the full and equal access of individuals with disabilities. She is an Assistant Professor & Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at Grand Rapids Community College as well as an Educational Consultant for the Williams Syndrome Association. 

Robin prides herself on staying on the cutting edge of available tools, strategies and supporting research in the fields of assistive technology, differentiating instruction and Universal Design for Learning. Her unique perspective is due to her background in occupational therapy and her specialization in assistive technology and curriculum differentiation.

Robin holds Bachelor Degree in Administration from Baker College and graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a Masters in Special Education - Assistive Technology. She has published numerous articles and publications on assistive technology implementation and the fruits of her work were showcased in Chapter 10 of “”From Possibility to Success” by Patrick Schwarz, Ph.D.

Funding provided in whole or in part by The Autism Program of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Human Services in collaboration with the Technology Enhancing Capabilities (TEC) Lab.  

Date:  This is a two part webinar that will be held on July 29, 2020 from 1PM – 3PM Central Time & August 5, 2020 from 1PM - 3PM Central Time. 

Title:  Promoting Healthy Relationships among People with ID/DD

Session Description:  As social creatures, it is natural for us to seek connections with others and to develop many different types of relationships including sexual and romantic relationships. This is true for all people - including the people you support who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.  As a disability professional, one of your roles is to help the people you support develop the skills needed to establish healthy relationships - those that foster health and well-being. In this two part webinar, participants will:

  • Define sexuality and sexual self-advocacy.
  • Gain knowledge about sexuality and specific issues for people with developmental disabilities including human sexual development, healthy v. unhealthy relationships, and consent.
  • Explore our own values and attitudes regarding sexuality and strategies for managing our values.
  • Explore ways to communicate about sexuality with people with developmental disabilities and their parents/guardians.

Speaker Bio:  Katherine McLaughlin, M.Ed., AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator, is the Founder, CEO and Lead Trainer for Elevatus Training. As a national expert on sexuality and ID/DD she trains professionals, and parents as well as individuals to become sexual self-advocates, and peer sexuality educators.  She is the author of Sexuality Education for People with Developmental Disabilities curriculum. She has developed two online courses: Developmental Disability and Sexuality 101 for professionals and Talking to Your Kids: Developmental Disabilities and Sexuality for parents, and a 3-Day certificate training: Becoming a Sexuality Educator and Trainer. She has spent her 25+ year career committed to elevating the status of all people, which is why the name of her growing company is Elevatus Training.


Date:  July 16, 2020 from 1PM - 3PM 

Title:  Tools & Tips from a Techie!

Session Description:  Learn how to utilize cool mainstream iPad apps and a virtual assistant (Amazon Alexa) to enable an independent life for individuals with “differing abilities”. These tips and tools can be readily utilized by families, care providers and individuals!  Alice will also discuss and demonstrate two of her favorite low tech tools to promote independence especially in the home!

Speaker Bio:  Alice Brouhard RN is a champion of the use of technology, especially tablet technology, to support independence in individuals with memory and cognitive challenges. She has worked tirelessly to set up a system that allows her daughter who sustained a serious TBI to live independently despite significant disabilities. 

She has presented nationally and internationally on the use of high tech and low tech options to promote self determination. Alice is a founding member of Colorado based “Families at the Forefront of Technology” and has served on the steering committees for their annual conferences. She has served on the Assistive Technology Coalition through the University of Colorado. Alice is passionate about the rights of people with cognitive disabilities to access technology and the internet.

Alice has been a TEDx speaker and her work and use of tech, has been featured in state and national publications.  She is a self-described “appaholic” and loves to find new and innovative mainstream tech products to enable independence for those with “differing abilities.”  Alice, and her husband and daughter live in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. They have been recipients of the Garfield County Humanitarian Service award -“Inspiring Hope.”  Her favorite title is that of MOM…Master of Modifications.

Funding provided in whole or in part by The Autism Program of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Human Services in collaboration with the Technology Enhancing Capabilities (TEC) Lab.  


Date:  July 14, 2020 from 2PM - 3PM

Title:  Person Centered Planning in Difficult Times

Session Description:  NAQ is pleased to host Art Dykstra, a long-time leader in the field of developmental disabilities and recent co-author of the book A New Plan: Using Positive Psychology to Renew the Promise of Person-Centered Planning.  Connie Melvin, Executive Director of NAQ, will be interviewing and discussing with Art such issues as controlling the negativity instinct in times of difficulty, the importance of a positive culture, as well as the latest in developments in planning with persons who have disabilities—including the five essential components of person-centered planning.  Join us in thinking more about how we can help those we support build and live their best life possible.

Speaker Bio:  Art Dykstra currently serves as the Director of the Trinity Foundation and also as the CEO of Cherry Hill Consulting Group. The consulting group assists organizations in leadership development, cultural improvement, and person-centered planning. Art is the author of Outcome Management, You Won’t Believe This: Understanding Gossip, Creating a Positive Organizational Culture. and, most recently, A New Plan: Using Positive Psychology to Renew the Promise of Person-Centered Planning.  He is a frequent conference speaker and a fellow in AAIDD.

Date:  June 3, 2020 from 1PM - 3PM CST

Title:  The Internet of Things – New Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Session Description:  The latest trend in technology is the Internet of Things (IoT). This includes a wide variety of technology including personal in-home voice assistants, mobile tech, and so much more. With these devices come new opportunities to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. This session will focus on how these devices can be used to assist individuals with organization, productivity, independence, and communication at work and home.

Speaker Bio:  Brian Norton currently serves as the Director of Assistive Technology and is responsible for the day-to-day operations the INDATA Project and Clinical Assistive Technology. He utilizes his many years of experience to provide direction, leadership and training to a diverse and highly skilled team of AT specialists. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Anderson University and is a RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist (CEAS). He hosts a popular podcast and radio show called “ATFAQ – Assistive Technology Frequently Asked Questions” and is well known for his creative application of technology in the areas of job- and education-related accommodations.

Funding provided in whole or in part by The Autism Program of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Human Services in collaboration with the Technology Enhancing Capabilities (TEC) Lab.  


In January/February 2020, ANCOR and NAQ joined forces to offer a 3-part webinar series titled Relationships: The Key for Establishing Exceptional Supports.  We all know that it is critical to establish strong positive relationships with the people we support. It’s also essential for us to develop positive working relationships with the people who comprise their core circle of support. In this webinar series, we explored best practices for developing relationships with guardians, siblings, and staff in order to help the people we serve to live full and meaningful lives.