Photo Gallery: National Community of Practice for Supporting Families Annual Meeting, Day One

Today, May 28, 2015, representatives from Developmental Disability (DD) state systems, DD Councils, University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), and other family and community organizations in Connecticut, District of Columbia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Washington state gathered together for the third annual meeting of the Community of Practice for Supporting Families of Individuals with I/DD.  The state Community of Practice teams and other came together to recount their accomplishments and spend time collaborating and sharing ideas to push forward systems change that enhance supports to families of individuals with I/DD.

Dr. Carl Calkins, director of the UMKC Institute for Human Development (UMKC IHD), Missouri’s UCEDD, welcomed the group with two motivational stories. Then, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) Commissioner Aaron Bishop provided a welcome that expressed the importance of documentation and data that reflects the outcomes of the project so that strategies and discoveries can be scaled across the country to help families.

The majority of the day was spent with each team sharing reflections of the past year in their home state.  Each state shared the current “state of their states.” States have reviewed information and analyzed data to gather a snapshot of the percentage of people with I/DD in their states that receive services from the state DD agency, those on the waiting lists, and those who are unknown to the service system. Then, states outlined their teams’ visions, major priorities, and key partnerships.  Members then outlined the various actions and events that have transpired to push their communities of practice forward. Audience members then spent time as teams at their tables putting together feedback and ideas for next steps and questions for the presenters. To view the PowerPoints from the state presentations, please visit the Annual Meeting page.

For a more detailed review of the state team presentations and video highlights, stay tuned to  Be sure to sign up for our mailing list ( so you can receive the latest updates from the CoP, including updates to our website, new products and resources, state and federal news, partner announcements and more.

Many organizations were represented at the annual meeting, including project leadership from the UMKC IHD, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), Human Services Research Institute, and AIDD. Staff and leaders of our national partner organizations, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE), the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), Parent to Parent USA, and the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison joined us as well. Also in attendance were invited guests from South Dakota Department of Human Services, who have connected with the National CoP to pilot and incorporate LifeCourse thinking in their state.



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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