TASH’s Creative Solutions to the Community Living Crisis Webinar Series

A photograph of a man and a woman, both in wheelchairs, holding hands and smiling in the living room of their home.

Creative Solutions to the Community Living Crisis

When: This is a six-part webinar series. Episodes are every week (with a one week break on March 6th) on Fridays at 1:00 PM Eastern, starting February 21st, running through April 3rd.

About the series: Supporting people with disabilities to live in the community and live valued lives is a rapidly changing field of work. It is often difficult if not impossible to keep up with all changes.

  • What is the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) rule and why is it important?
  • How is the HCBS rule changing and what could happen to it?
  • How do you find housing for individuals when rents are increasing so much faster than people’s income?
  • How do you provide support to people when you can’t find Direct Support Providers to work?
  • Are there ways to apply technology to supplement DSP support?

These are just some of the questions we will be exploring in this six week series. This series covers some of the hot topics and challenges supporting individuals to live quality lives in the community. We will begin with the revolutionary Home and Community Based Services Settings Rule. What is it and how has it changed? We will explore how to make “the rule” a reality. Next we will examine the current housing crisis. What are the real requirements of accessibility? We will begin looking at creative solutions for finding, keeping and developing accessible housing. And finally, our country is also facing a crisis of direct support professionals who provide the day-to-day support to those who experience disability. What are the implications of a workforce shortage? What changes need to happen to “fix” this problem? How are innovative providers finding and keeping good DSPs and using creativity and technology to extend the capabilities of the ones they have?

Purchase the Complete Series

Series Schedule

The series will cover three major topics – Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waivers, the housing crisis and the Direct Support Provider crisis – in six episodes, with two episodes dedicated to each topic. The series runs from February 21st through April 3rd. For more details on each episode and presenter, click the episode block below:

Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waivers

1:00 PM Eastern, Friday, February 21, 2020

Alison Barkoff, Director of Advocacy, Center for Public Representation

Jennifer Lengyel, Executive Director, Total Living Concept

About this Episode

The HCBS Settings Rule is a landmark Medicaid regulation that defines and describes all settings considered to be home and community based. The Rule ensures people who receive services from Medicaid-funded programs have opportunities to live, work and receive services in integrated, community settings where they can fully engage in community life. Alison Barkoff will share the significance of "the Rule", how it is changing and the current threats to expand the Rule to include more segregated settings.

About the Presenters

A photograph of Alison Barkoff. She has short, dark, curly hair, bright eyes and a crooked smile. She is wearing a dark blazer and a necklace and is against a neutral photographer's background.Alison Barkoff is the Director of Advocacy at the Center for Public Representation in Washington, D.C. She works on policy and litigation related to community integration and inclusion of people with disabilities, including Olmstead enforcement, Medicaid policy, employment, education and housing. She serves as a co-chair of the Long Term Services and Supports Task Force of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities and is the policy advisor to the Collaboration to Promote Self Determination. She leads the HCBS Advocacy Coalition and the Coalition to Advance Competitive Integrated Employment. Ms. Barkoff also served as an appointed member of the federal Advisory Committee for Competitive Integrated Employment of People with Disabilities. From 2010 to 2014, she served as Special Counsel for Olmstead Enforcement in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. In that position, she led the Division’s efforts to enforce the right of individuals with disabilities to live, work and receive services in the community. During her time with the federal government, Ms. Barkoff also worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on finalizing rules governing Medicaid-funded community-based services and with the Department of Labor on implementation of new fair wage rules in Medicaid-funded disability service systems. She has previously worked at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and at a number of other public interest organizations on Olmstead enforcement, disability discrimination, Medicaid, employment, and special education cases. She has an adult brother with an intellectual disability and has been involved in disability advocacy most of her life. She speaks nationally and publishes articles on disability and civil rights issues.

A color portrait of Jennifer Lengyel. She is smiling with pursed lips. She has straight, shoulder-length brown hair, a red shirt with a white undershirt, and a thin golden necklace.The background has large slanted windows with bright light streaming in.Jennifer Lengyel is the Executive Director of Total Living Concept in Kent, Washington, a person centered agency supporting over 70 individuals in different capacities to live, work and become valued community members. She has been working and advocating for individuals with disabilities to live in their own homes for the last 24 years.

1:00 PM Eastern, Friday, February 28, 2020

Hope Dittmeier, Executive Director, Mattingly Edge

LyAnn Grogan, Director of Training & Outreach, KFI

Scott Shepard, Executive Director, Avenues Supported Living Services

About this Episode

Medicaid funded service providers share their success stories and innovative ways to implement the Home and Community-Based Services rule and provide quality services.

About the Presenters

At a young age, Hope Dittmeier worked at an institution for people with disabilities. That experience fueled her PASSION to work the past 35 years to identify and create options for people with disabilities to enjoy a lifestyle and quality of life that matches that of other citizens. In 1986, Hope was introduced to Social Role Valorisation (SRV) and has been a student and teacher of this THEORY of practice since. Her primary focus is on the application of SRV to service design and implementation. Another major influence on Hope’s work has been her sister-in-law Ann, who despite dire predictions at birth, has enjoyed being an employee, homeowner, aunt, neighbor, honored volunteer, friend, and choir member. Ann, along with 21 people supported by Realizations, have given Hope practical EXPERIENCE designing and providing high quality, personalized supports.

Hope holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She has served as family support specialist, regional planner, behavior specialist, Founder/CEO of Realizations, and international trainer/consultant. She is currently the Executive Director at Mattingly Edge in Louisville, Kentucky.

A photograph of LyAnn Grogan. She has long gray-blond hair, slightly caught by the wind, and low-profile glasses. The background is blurry but appears to be patchy snow and winter grass.LyAnn Grogan is the Director of Training & Outreach at KFI. After ten years of working in a segregated Mental Health setting as a Music Therapist at New Hampshire Hospital and serving as a member of the National Music Therapy Association’s Training Committee LyAnn found inspiration. She was inspired by KFI's mission to provide supports for people to lead regular lives in their communities, no matter the barriers. Working in various capacities at KFI has afforded her the opportunity to do just that and to support employee teams to do the same.

Scott Shepard, a silver-haired man with a similarly silver goatee in a salmon open collared shirt standing against a white cinderblock wall.Scott Shepard is the Executive Director of Avenues Supported Living Services, a non-profit agency which provides community living and personalized day supports to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Los Angeles County. With Avenues SLS, we had the opportunity to begin services one person at a time, and it took ten years to reach our goal to support twenty people in their own homes and community. Since that time, we have mentored two other agencies that provide community living services. Scott also teaches part-time at CSU Northridge on courses related to Behavior Assessment and PBS, and Issues Related to Transition for Students with Disabilities. Scott serves on the Santa Clarita Valley Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, and on the Board of Cal-TASH.

The Housing Crisis

1:00 PM Eastern, Friday, March 13, 2020

Cheri Mitchell, Advocate, Georgia Advocacy Office

Scott Shepard, Executive Director, Avenues Supported Living Services

About this Episode

In an increasingly competitive housing market, being prepared is essential. Cheri Mitchell will discuss what you need to know when you are assisting someone with a disability to find appropriate housing when their needs can be both more than the ADA requires, but also served by being creative with housing not specially designated for people with disabilities. Scott Shepard will bring people his agency supports to discuss how they purchased their own homes in the high-priced California market.

About the Presenters

A portrait of Cheri Mitchell. Her shoulders are turned 3/4 and she is looking slightly left of straight-on. She is wearing a black collared shirt and her glasses up on her head. You can see the back of her power chair and a paining in the background.Cheri Mitchell is first and foremost a Self-Advocate. She has spent the last twenty years working on behalf of people with disabilities and people who are elderly, and mentoring and supporting self-advocates across Georgia and the nation. She is dedicated to helping people get out of nursing facilities and back into the community and helping people find housing.

She has worked at the Georgia P&A, the Georgia Advocacy Office, for nearly twelve years. She is a member of the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) Advisory Committee and the TASH Self-Advocacy Committee. She is a successful national grassroots organizer and serves as the National Chair of the Long Road Home campaign – an initiative to celebrate the successes gained through the implementation of the Olmstead decision and to point to work that still remains to be done.

Cheri is a former President of People First of Georgia, a cross-disability organization, a former Chair of the NDRN Self-Advocacy Committee, and served on the NDRN Program Advisory Committee.

She is a seasoned public speaker and social justice poet writing from the disability experience. Cheri loves making a difference and helping people find their voice.

Scott Shepard, a silver-haired man with a similarly silver goatee in a salmon open collared shirt standing against a white cinderblock wall.Scott Shepard is the Executive Director of Avenues Supported Living Services, a non-profit agency which provides community living and personalized day supports to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Los Angeles County. With Avenues SLS, we had the opportunity to begin services one person at a time, and it took ten years to reach our goal to support twenty people in their own homes and community. Since that time, we have mentored two other agencies that provide community living services. Scott also teaches part-time at CSU Northridge on courses related to Behavior Assessment and PBS, and Issues Related to Transition for Students with Disabilities. Scott serves on the Santa Clarita Valley Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities, and on the Board of Cal-TASH.

1:00 PM Eastern, Friday, March 20, 2020

Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Executive Director, TASH

Shay Bernard, Support Coordination Standards Specialist, Progressive Community Services

Hope Dittmeier, Executive Director, Mattingly Edge

Joe Wykowski, Executive Director, Community Vision

About this Episode

Despite the rising cost of housing, increasing numbers of people with disabilities are living in the community. A team of providers of different models of support will share how outside-of-the-box thinking and networking can create new and exciting opportunities for people with disabilities to live in their own homes in the community.

About the Presenters

A close up portrait of Ruthie-Marie Beckwith. Her auburn hair covers part of her forehead, and curls around the sides of her face.Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Ph.D. is the Executive Director at TASH, a non-profit that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities. She is a national consultant who helps people with disabilities develop and implement strategies for greater autonomy in their daily lives. She was the the founder and principal partner of Blue Fire Consulting and provided consulting services across the United States in areas of self-determination, community organizing, leadership development, and self-employment. Committed to grassroots approaches to empowerment and resource mobilization, she has served as the founder and Executive Director of the two statewide non-profit organizations dedicated to helping people with disabilities; The Tennessee Association of Microboards and Cooperatives, Inc. and People First of Tennessee, Inc. She teaches advocacy and disability history at CUNY as Adjunct Faculty and has served as Adjunct Faculty at Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Special Education from George Peabody College and her B.S. degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

A tight-in portrait of Shahariah (Shay) Bernard. Her dark hair curls around her face and blocks the strong light coming from the left of the image. She has bright brown eyes and is wearing a mock-neck shirt.Shay Bernard is currently the Support Coordination Standards Specialist for Progressive Community Services in St. Joseph, Missouri. Progressive Community Services strives to think outside of the box to ensure people they support live their best lives. Shay began her career with the agency in 2002 as direct support staff and then returned in 2013 as a Support Coordinator and then Supervisor. Over the past 7 years, Shay has assisted people with obtaining supports they need to be as independent as possible. More recently, Progressive Community Services has focused on the use of technology to help counter-balance the lack of staffing available in Buchanan County and other statewide budget shortfalls. Shay has been on the forefront of connecting people with technology that has successfully improved their independence and safety. Shay has a personal investment that drives her commitment as well. Her uncle receives funded supports to live an independent life. It is this relationship that sparks her passion to ensure that all people have value and receive the support and care needed to live inclusive lives.

At a young age, Hope Dittmeier worked at an institution for people with disabilities. That experience fueled her PASSION to work the past 35 years to identify and create options for people with disabilities to enjoy a lifestyle and quality of life that matches that of other citizens. In 1986, Hope was introduced to Social Role Valorisation (SRV) and has been a student and teacher of this THEORY of practice since. Her primary focus is on the application of SRV to service design and implementation. Another major influence on Hope’s work has been her sister-in-law Ann, who despite dire predictions at birth, has enjoyed being an employee, homeowner, aunt, neighbor, honored volunteer, friend, and choir member. Ann, along with 21 people supported by Realizations, have given Hope practical EXPERIENCE designing and providing high quality, personalized supports.

Hope holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. She has served as family support specialist, regional planner, behavior specialist, Founder/CEO of Realizations, and international trainer/consultant. She is currently the Executive Director at Mattingly Edge in Louisville, Kentucky.

A portrait of Joe Wykowski. He has gray hair and is bald on top with a gray goatee. He is wearing a bark blue collared shirt and blazer and is in front of a chain-link fence with a bush coming over the top.Joe Wykowski is the Executive Director of Community Vision in Portland Oregon, a person centered organization providing individual supports to over eighty individuals and families. For five consecutive years Community Vision has been recognized as one of the Best 100 Non-Profits to work for in the State of Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine. Joe also founded the Homeownership Independence Program in 1999, which assists 15 individuals or families a year to purchase a home and the Future Assets for Independence Program in 2011, which provides the opportunity for persons with disabilities to create asset-building accounts. Joe consults with various housing coalitions across the country concerning the creation of individual housing opportunities and personal supports for persons with disabilities.

The Direct Support Provider Crisis

1:00 PM Eastern, Friday, March 27, 2020

Shay Bernard, Support Coordination Standards Specialist, Progressive Community Services

Jennifer Lengyel, Executive Director, Total Living Concept

About this Episode

The United States is seeing an overall shortage of Direct Support Professionals. Over time this is impacting the quality of services as well as the ability of people with disabilities to live in the community with supports. Service providers are tasked with ensuring quality services and thus are finding innovative ways to provide those services. We will discuss innovative supports and uses of technology to continue to ensure quality supports.

About the Presenters

A tight-in portrait of Shahariah (Shay) Bernard. Her dark hair curls around her face and blocks the strong light coming from the left of the image. She has bright brown eyes and is wearing a mock-neck shirt.Shay Bernard is currently the Support Coordination Standards Specialist for Progressive Community Services in St. Joseph, Missouri. Progressive Community Services strives to think outside of the box to ensure people they support live their best lives. Shay began her career with the agency in 2002 as direct support staff and then returned in 2013 as a Support Coordinator and then Supervisor. Over the past 7 years, Shay has assisted people with obtaining supports they need to be as independent as possible. More recently, Progressive Community Services has focused on the use of technology to help counter-balance the lack of staffing available in Buchanan County and other statewide budget shortfalls. Shay has been on the forefront of connecting people with technology that has successfully improved their independence and safety. Shay has a personal investment that drives her commitment as well. Her uncle receives funded supports to live an independent life. It is this relationship that sparks her passion to ensure that all people have value and receive the support and care needed to live inclusive lives.

A color portrait of Jennifer Lengyel. She is smiling with pursed lips. She has straight, shoulder-length brown hair, a red shirt with a white undershirt, and a thin golden necklace.The background has large slanted windows with bright light streaming in.Jennifer Lengyel is the Executive Director of Total Living Concept in Kent, Washington, a person centered agency supporting over 70 individuals in different capacities to live, work and become valued community members. She has been working and advocating for individuals with disabilities to live in their own homes for the last 24 years.

1:00 PM Eastern, Friday, April 3, 2020

Whitney Kays, Director of Service Innovation, Mattingly Edge

Jennifer Lengyel, Executive Director, Total Living Concept

About this Episode

In the midst of the Direct Support Professional shortage, finding creative ways to attract new employees and retain current employees is essential. Whitney Kays and Jenny Lengyel will discuss small and large efforts in these areas that are showing success. In addition we will explore how to best work with a diverse workforce.

About the Presenters

A portrait of Whitney Kays. She is brightly illuminated against a dark background of deep green leaves. She is wearing a bright teal shirt and rectangular glasses and has tight-curled shoulder-length hair.Whitney Kays has a Bachelor of Science in Education with a specialization in Moderate/Severe Disabilities. She also has her Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Teacher Leadership. She has been working in the field of disability since 1995 but has been working in Disability Integration since 2006. The many roles she has held in the field have been: teacher, job coach, camp counselor, direct support worker, consultant, support coordinator, and now Director of Service Innovation with Mattingly Edge. When she is not working, she is also a mother of three, a kickball player, a storyteller, and a culinary scientist!

A color portrait of Jennifer Lengyel. She is smiling with pursed lips. She has straight, shoulder-length brown hair, a red shirt with a white undershirt, and a thin golden necklace.The background has large slanted windows with bright light streaming in.Jennifer Lengyel is the Executive Director of Total Living Concept in Kent, Washington, a person centered agency supporting over 70 individuals in different capacities to live, work and become valued community members. She has been working and advocating for individuals with disabilities to live in their own homes for the last 24 years.

How to Participate

This series of live webinars will be streamed over the web via Zoom. Each presentation will be about fifty minutes, with ten minutes for questions and answers. Registered participants will receive an e-mail with instructions and the link to join the webinar on Thursday (the day prior) and a reminder the morning of the event.

Attendees can register for single episodes or for the entire series. Each session costs $50, or there are four great ways to save:

  1. Non-TASH members: When you register for the complete series, you attend for $25 off — that’s $275 instead of $300.
  2. TASH Professional members: You get $10 off for individual episodes, and $20 off the complete series price. Individual episodes are $40 and the complete series is $220.
  3. TASH Self-Advocate, Family, DSP, Retired & Student members: Attend the series at the reduced rate of $20 for individual episodes (60 percent off) and $100 for the complete series (two-thirds off).
  4. Group discount:When you register five people, the fifth person attends free. Click here to register your team at the reduced group rate.
Price Summary
Self-Advocate, Family, DSP,
Retired, Student Members
Professional Members Non-members
Complete series $100 $220 $275
Individual episodes $20 each $40 each $50 each

You need to be logged in to your member account for the system to apply your member discount (if you don’t know your member account login and/or password, you can reset them here.)

All the presentation will be recorded and available for purchase in the TASH Training Resource Library, or available without additional charge to Premium Members.

 

Not presently eligible for the membership discount? Become a member today and save.

If you have any questions or need help, you can contact Donald Taylor at dtaylor@tash.org or 202-878-6959.