2016 Supporting Families CoP Annual Meeting Overview & Photo Gallery

Since 2013, the National Community of Practice for Supporting Families of Individuals with I/DD has convened an annual meeting in Kansas City, MO to gather the state teams, national partners, and leadership staff and review the accomplishments and progress of the project.

The 2016 Annual CoP meeting took place on June 8, 2016, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, MO. Over 50 individuals convened in Kansas City from across the country to attend the meeting, including state team members from the original six states, as well as representatives of the CoP Expansion states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio, and South Dakota.

To kick off the meeting, AIDD Commissioner Aaron Bishop was invited to provide a welcome. The Commissioner gave his perspectives on the project as it has developed over the past four years. He highlighted some of the accomplishments of the project, but also noted that the work to enhance the lives of and supports to individuals with I/DD and their families is not finished. He called for stronger self-advocacy and more diversity. In addition, he called for visible, measurable outcomes in the face of the impending administration change that will be seen with the upcoming election. You can watch the Commissioner’s address below.

Then, Dr. Michelle “Sheli” Reynolds, from the UMKC Institute for Human Development (UMKC IHD), UCEDD, provided an overview of how the LifeCourse framework has developed as result of the Community of Practice and what has happened within the project over the past four years. Her presentation highlighted how conversations and attitudes are changing across the country as we begin to think differently about where individuals with I/DD live and how they are supported in the context of their families. View Sheli’s slides from the meeting PDF file

Next, Yoshi Kardell, from the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI) reviewed the accomplishments of the project from an evaluation standpoint. View Yoshi’s presentation slides PDF file

Before and after lunch, Innovations Table Discussions were held at the tables among the attendees. The purpose of the discussions was to explore how states have been working to enhance supports to individuals and their families by rolling out the innovations in the CoP Systems Change Framework: Front Door to Supports; Family Networks, Advisory Councils and Peer Support; Information Dissemination and Training; Planning and Support Coordination; Partnerships and Connecting Initiatives; Policy (Medicaid, CMS). A notetaker was at each table to record conversations. Each dialogue included a review of the specific activities that occurred and the transitional changes and transformational changes that took place as a result of the innovation.

Before the meeting came to a close, the attendees convened with their state teams and had discussions about how they could capture and share their outcomes, as well as their next steps as the project moves into its fifth year and expands to include an additional ten states. The group explored workgroups that could potentially form around specific issues or the innovations within the CoP Systems Change Framework.

After the CoP Annual Meeting Concluded, attendees joined NASDDDS members and staff for a Supporting Families Reception, where people attending the events could mingle and share with each other what is taking place across the nation.

Since the theme of Supporting Families was woven throughout the NASDDDS conference, on June 9 and 10, 2016, representatives from the CoP states teamed up with other NASDDDS members to share with conference attendees the great work that is being done in the CoP states around supporting families. Stay tuned for the details and photos from the NASDDDS Mid-Year Conference!

On behalf of the National CoP Project leadership, we can’t wait to see everyone again next year and see what amazing things have happened as we move forward in our efforts to enhance supports to individuals and their families across the United States.



Annual Community of Practice Meeting Photos

Rachel is the Media & Design Specialist on the Family to Family team at the UMKC-Institute for Human Development, UCEDD. She completed her Master's in Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management at UMKC. She is proud to say she is a second generation AmeriCorps member! Her passion is where social justice and technology meet. Her specialty is making projects, programs, and organizations look good.

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