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Training & Professional Development


Our members rely on training to prepare people for work, as do many others. But it is not merely a matter of competence or compliance for them. Instead, it is a vital means of enabling cultures of excellence and nurturing a new generation of leaders with opportunities for professional development.

We rely on new approaches, new habits of mind and new skills to move our field forward, all of which make training vital. The compassion and understanding that supporting neurodiverse people demands cannot always be taught, but they are the foundation that our trainings build upon.



IAC Conference Schedule

Day 1: Wednesday May 15, 2024

TIME: 8:30A-9:00A

Check In and Breakfast/Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 9:00a – 10:15A

Welcome and Keynote Conversation with Futurist Ari Wallach


TIME: 10:15A-10:45A

OPWDD Update with Commissioner Kerri Neifeld


TIME: 10:45A-11:00A

Break and Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 11:00A-12:00P

It’s The Start That Stops Most People with Dr. Alonzo Kelly, Kelly Leadership Group

If you change the question, you will change the conversation.  This interactive session will assist participants with starting crucial conversations in a way that ensure ongoing dialogue and understanding, even when opposing opinions are present.


TIME: 11:00A-12:00P

A New Tuition Methodology : Hope for the Future but Immediate Fiscal Challenges Remain – How should our schools prepare?

A panel discussion with David Rottkamp (Grassi), Patrick Yu (Baker Tilly) and Koren Chen (Forvis). Moderated by Chris Treiber


TIME: 11:00A-12:00P

Retaining Your Best Employees: Legal Strategies with “Staying” Power  with Jennie Woltz Esq. and Benjamin Folkinshteyn – Woltz & Folkinshteyn P.C.

This seminar will discuss such strategies as recognizing and responding to requests for reasonable accommodations/leaves, recognizing and responding to allegations of discrimination/harassment/retaliation, and documenting steps to discipline/fire employees. We will also address case law involving when it’s appropriate or permissible to separate an employee due to off-duty conduct, including “controversial” social media posts.


TIME: 12:00P-12:45P

Lunch and Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 12:45P-1:45P

Weather Effects on People with Disabilities with Margaret J. Gould, The Visions Center for Creative Management

Have you noticed the weather has been crazy recently? One day it’s 20 degrees and the next it’s in the mid-50s. Did this summer feel hotter? It was the warmest on record for NYC. Do you remember flooding like we’ve seen recently in NYC before?

Significant weather events have an incredible impact on people with disabilities. People with disabilities are 4x more likely to die or be injured in climate emergencies.

This session will highlight why it is important to be aware of how we are supporting people with disabilities in the community. As programs become less center-based and more independent, we need to ensure that safety measures are in place, many of which will be different from what we are currently doing. Face it, we don’t just run group homes anymore! And, in making these changes, we have to look at our structure and infrastructure differently.


TIME: 12:45P-1:45P

DEIAB Initiatives- A Legal Perspective with Woltz & Folkinshteyn P.C. with Jennie Woltz Esq. and Benjamin Folkinshteyn

This seminar will discuss the “rules of the road” when it comes to DEIAB initiatives, including when well-intentioned initiatives “go too far.” This seminar will be guided by legislative initiatives and guidance around diversity in NY, and the Supreme Court case involving Harvard’s affirmative action program.


TIME: 12:45P-1:45P

Panel Discussion: Transitioning to Adult Services with Alex Elegudin (Advocates for Children), Michele Shapiro & Steve Towler (AHRC-NYC)

Education Professionals play a crucial role in preparing students and their families in identifying and reaching their personal and professional goals once they leave the school setting. Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities have a variety of choices available to them once they leave school to assist them in achieving these goals.

This presentation will provide attendees with a better understanding of opportunities available to students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities post-graduation and how professionals can use the transition process to identify and creatively implement educational goals to serve as a catalyst for students in achieving their vocational, higher educational and personal goals and objectives.


TIME: 1:45P-2:00P

Break and Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 2:00P-3:15P

Supporting Workplace Well-being: A W.I.D.E. Path to Fuel Flourishing with Anniedi Essien and Christina  Farinacci-Roberts

On the heels of a global pandemic, economic downturn and ongoing social justice issues, workplace stress is at an all-time high. More holistic, human-centered and intersectional approaches are required to equip organizational leaders in the fields of intellectual and developmental disabilities to create environments where everyone can thrive. To shift from crisis mode to catalyst, organizational leaders must develop skills to advance workforce well-being and build a culture of wellness.

Applying a W.I.D.E. lens that advances wellness, inclusion, diversity and equity is mission critical to cultivate both individual and organizational flourishing.

Following this session, participants will be able to: ● Apply a holistic framework to Wellness and DEI to prioritize growth opportunities that advance workforce well-being ● Define the Nine Essentials of Total Health to understand the intersections between well-being and workforce development ● Explore industry trends and case studies highlighting promising practices in creating a culture of wellness to empower leadership in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities ● Identify your personal risk factors for burnout and develop strategies to mitigate workplace stress


TIME: 3:15P-3:30P

Break and Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 3:30P-4:30P

Ethical Use of AI In Service Provision with Kristi Boyd

This presentation offers an introduction into the world of AI, outlining both the advantages and the potential risks associated with its adoption in service delivery. We will explore the crucial factors that agencies should consider when implementing AI, highlighting the balance between innovation and ethical responsibility. Attendees will learn about the power of AI to customize and improve care, while also being made aware of the importance of preventing biases and preserving the quality of services for individuals with disabilities.


TIME: 4:30P-6P

Cocktail Hour Sponsored by Vincent J. Dicalogero, CPAs LLC & BDO


Day 2: Thursday May 16, 2024

TIME: 8:30A-9:00A

Check In and Breakfast/Exhibitor Viewing


TIME:  9:00A -9:30A

Welcome and Awards

The Maggy Ames Legislative Champion Award

The IAC Family Advocacy Award

The IAC Leadership Award


TIME: 9:30A-9:45A

Break and Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 9:45A-11:00A

Aging and Autism: Understanding and Planning for the Needs of Older Adults with ASD with Dr. Robin Fenley, Donna Corrado, and Randy Horowitz (Eden 2)

The longevity of the ID/DD population has created many challenges for the service network and families who care for this population. This workshop will elucidate many of these challenges and highlight some promising program designs and opportunities to better meet the unique needs of older adults with ID/DD. The workshop will describe the need for strategic partnerships with the general and robust Aging Service network in NYC and plans for creating an inclusive and age friendly New York, where all can achieve their best quality of life as they age.


TIME: 9:45A-11:00A

Neurodiversity: The Opportunity to Lead with Danny Abelson

The word itself is so young and the science on which its based is still emergent, but one thing feels clear: ‘neurodiversity’ has the rare resonance of a word that suggests new worlds of possibilities. It betokens a paradigm shift, a new perspective that changes the way we order reality.

We know better than most that devaluing people with different brains is not only cruel but impractical. We have the right to applaud any shift toward acceptance and inclusion. What we don’t have is time: before we celebrate, we need to focus on the opportunity and obligation this represents to us, the organizations best positioned to realize the promise of this powerful idea. This wonderfully simple, revolutionary word undermines dichotomies like normal/disabled and advanced/delayed by re-framing varied intelligences as natural.
We have the passion and hard-won expertise to shape a different future: the possibilities for new relevance, new partnerships, new funding, and new approaches await.


TIME: 9:45A-11:00A

Breakout Session with Suzanne Bolling and Nell Brady

SED Update


TIME: 11:00A-11:15A

Break and Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 11:15A-12:30P

Finding a Functional Pathway to Move to the Vision of CMS’s HCBS Final Settings Rule with Dr. Michael Strouse

Most everyone agrees with the vision of CMS’s final settings rule, but what’s the best way to get there from where we are now? This presentation will outline the functions of group care that keep us stuck, explore the significance of cultivating next-generation care models, and provide a practical and affordable how-to guide for advancing current services towards the final rule. GoodLife and its University of Kansas partners have extensive experience in developing and delivering technology-leveraged services models (since 1999). We will share valuable insights into the effectiveness and necessity of integrating remote and in-home support technologies into HUMAN service models. We will also discuss why traditional service approaches can’t deliver what our customers want and need to live a good life. We will address the challenge of balancing rights and requirements with support emphasizing choice, self-direction, dignity, safety, inclusion, privacy, and independence in the least intrusive care setting. Attendees will better understand how organically combining remote and in-home support can advance these expectations for semi-independent and vulnerable populations. Finally, we will discuss how we can improve the stability and capacity of our direct support workforce to more effectively deliver this vision in increasingly smaller settings. Through case studies and evidence-based strategies, the presentation will also give you a peek into our award-winning, next-generation community service models that make a meaningful difference in the quality of life of those who need support to live with greater independence and also support the DSPs that make this mission possible
TIME: 12:30P-1:15P

Lunch and Exhibitor Viewing


TIME: 1:15P-3:15P

The Times They Are A’Changing Part 2: Time for Providers to Lead the Way with Stephen Freeman (Stephen Freeman Group) , Nicholas A. Cappoletti (ACA NY/LIFEPlan CCO) Brett Friedman (Ropes & Gray), Mike Alvaro (CP of NYS) and Courtney Burke (Sachs Policy Group)

A panel discussion on provider-led integrated care.


TIME: 3:15P

Raffle and Wrap Up