Session Descriptions

Welcome Remarks.

Speaker:

Benjamin Shrader, BA, Political/Disability Activist and Communications Writer.

Speaker Bio:

Benjamin Shrader, BA, is a political activist, specializing in disability issues, social media, and communications. He was born with cerebral palsy which helped him realize that no one gets anywhere on their own. In 2019, he graduated from Belhaven University with a degree in Theatre (concentration in Dramatic Writing), and a minor in Political Science. He then moved to Delaware and worked as a disability policy advisor on Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign. More recently, Benjamin worked as a member of the social media team for the Jess Scarane for Senate campaign. He is also a member of the State Council for Persons with Disabilities and an occasional public speaker. Benjamin hopes his example can get more people with and without disabilities engaged in politics. He lives in Greenville, Delaware with his family.

Keynote Presentation.

Disability Policy: How Your Advocacy Can Make a Difference.

Speakers:

Serena Lowe, Ph.D., Founder & Principal, AnereS Strategies LLC.

Evan Nodvin, Board Chair, Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Session Description:

Presenters will discuss federal disability policies that advance disability rights and inclusion and how your advocacy can make a difference. Hear about important legislation passed by the last Congress and priorities for the new Congress around healthcare and Medicaid, competitive integrated employment, and inclusive education. Learn about federal policies that advance inclusion, such the Medicaid Home and Community Based Settings Rule and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and how you can make a difference in implementation of these policies in Delaware. Hear about how COVID-19 has impacted people with disabilities and influenced priorities with Congress and federal agencies. Presenters will share their personal experiences doing disability advocacy on the federal and state levels.

Speakers Bios:

Serena Lowe, Ph.D., has spent the past 25 years furthering public policies that promote the socioeconomic advancement of low-income working families, individuals with disabilities, seniors, children, immigrants, refugees, women of color and other at-risk populations. Currently, Serena is the Founder & Principal of AnereS Strategies LLC, a dynamic government relations consulting enterprise that works with private industry, national non-profit entities, and state/federal government agencies to improve through public policy the social determinants of health, quality of life outcomes, and overall advancement of populations with multiple barriers to the economic mainstream. Dr. Lowe has also served in a variety of leadership roles in the field of federal government relations, working for a Fortune 100 global biopharmaceutical company, a top 20 national lobbying firm, two foreign governments, two national nonprofit organizations, Congress, and the federal executive branch.

Evan Nodvin is the Board Chair of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, as one of 7 Georgia self-advocates on the Council. Evan has worked for the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta for 20 years in different departments. He loves his job as a Courtesy Assistant at the Health Club at the MJCCA. Evan is a graduate of Partners in Policy Making, a past Buddy of the Year for the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta, a co-chair of the Special Friends Sabbath Inclusion Program at his synagogue and a gold medal Special Olympian in Power Lifting and Bocce Ball. He graduated Chamblee High School in the class of 2000. Evan belongs to several social groups and enjoys bowling, yoga, cooking classes, dances, acting through Habima Theater and biking. He lives in an apartment with a roommate of his choice and gets supports through his Medicaid Waiver. He takes pride in speaking to small and large audiences about employment and self-advocacy.


LEGISLATION TRACK, Wednesday, September 15, 2021.


Legislation Session 1: A Seat at the Table: A Conversation with Legislators.

Speakers:

Senator Laura Sturgeon, M.A.

Senator Sarah McBride, BA.

Representative Larry Lambert.

Representative Lyndon Yearick, M.B.A.

Benjamin Shrader, BA, Political/Disability Activist and Communications Writer.

Session Description:

This session consists of an active discussion with the audience in a moderated question and answer format. Audience members will be able to ask Legislators questions about disability issues that matter to families in Delaware. Legislators will respond to questions and share how they plan to support the disability community in Delaware.

Speakers Bios:

Senator Sarah McBride, BA, represents the First State Senate District. She has worked for former Governor Jack Markell, the late Attorney General Beau Biden, and as a White House intern. She served as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ equal rights organization. Prior to her service in the State Senate, McBride led the successful effort to pass a landmark non-discrimination law in Delaware, worked with state leaders to expand health care covered by Medicaid, and championed legislation protecting vulnerable youth from child abuse.

McBride has taught public policy at the University of Delaware and is the author of the 2018 memoir, “Tomorrow Will Be Different.” Former Gov. Markell awarded McBride the Order of the First State, the state’s highest civilian honor. When McBride was elected she became the first openly transgender state senator in American history. Sarah married her late husband Andrew Cray in 2014.

Senator Laura Sturgeon, M.A., is the first Latina to serve in the Delaware General Assembly, Senator Sturgeon was born in Florida and raised in Delaware. Her parents were immigrants from Argentina. She graduated from Brandywine High School in Wilmington and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Delaware. Senator Sturgeon taught High School English and Spanish in Delaware public schools for 25 years before retiring in 2020 and has served as a leader in the Delaware State Education Association, as well as two affiliated local unions. Senator Sturgeon is Chair of the Senate Education Committee and serves on the following additional committees: Energy and Environment, Banking Business and Insurance, Senate Finance, and Joint Finance.

Representative Larry Lambert, is a community leader and a proud lifelong resident of House District 7. He represents House District 7, which includes Brandywine Hundred, Claymont and the Ardens. His decades of service have been recognized by then Senator Joe Biden in front of the US Congress, on the Oprah Winfrey show, in a proclamation by State Treasurer Colleen Davis, and in numerous News Journal features detailing his volunteer work across the state. After earning his degree from Temple University, Larry served as a Director of Arts Programming for the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware while substituting at Brandywine High School. He then worked in corporate banking for 9 years before being elected to office in 2020. Larry has actively worked to build bridges between Delaware’s corporate and nonprofit sectors to bring resources into his 7th District such as road repairs, jobs, workforce development programs, mentors, homeownership seminars, air quality monitors, murals, air conditioners, free COVID-19 testing sites and boxes of fresh food for thousands of our families impacted by the economic shutdown.

Lyndon Yearick, M.B.A., began his fourth term in 2021 as the 34th Representative District in the Delaware General Assembly. He serves the Agriculture, Economic Development/Banking/Insurance & Commerce, Manufactured Housing, Revenue & Finance, and Sunset (Policy Analysis & Government Accountability) committees. He is employed as an Admissions Advisor with HackerU, the world’s premier provider of Digital Skill and Cybersecurity Education, Partnering With Top-Tier Academic Institutions, Enterprises, and Governments to Train the Digital Workforce. He earned a B.S. from Bloomsburg University and a M.B.A. from Penn State University. He currently serves as a board member for Meals On Wheels Delaware, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and the Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing. He is married to Janice Yearick and they have three children Daniel, Lynzi, and Brandon.

Benjamin Shrader, BA, is a political activist, specializing in disability issues, social media, and communications. He was born with cerebral palsy which helped him realize that no one gets anywhere on their own. In 2019, he graduated from Belhaven University with a degree in Theater (concentration in Dramatic Writing), and a minor in Political Science. He then moved to Delaware and worked as a disability policy advisor on Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign. More recently, Benjamin worked as a member of the social media team for the Jess Scarane for Senate campaign. He is also a member of the State Council for Persons with Disabilities and an occasional public speaker. Benjamin hopes his example can get more people with and without disabilities engaged in politics. He lives in Greenville, Delaware with his family.

Legislation Session 2: Healthcare and Civil Rights Policy: What It Means to You.

Speakers:

Evan Nodvin, Board Chair, Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Serena Lowe, Ph.D., Founder & Principal, AnereS Strategies LLC.

Session Description:

Presenters will discuss significant healthcare policies that impact people with disabilities. Topics will include recent changes to Medicaid policies like block grants and work requirements, updates on civil rights protections in accessing healthcare including around rationing medical care and hospital visitor policies, and other policies related to COVID-19. Speakers will also cover policies around Medicaid Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) and how critical HCBS are to help people with disabilities live, work and participate in their communities.

Speakers Bios:

Evan Nodvin is the Board Chair of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, as one of 7 Georgia self-advocates on the Council. Evan has worked for the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta for 20 years in different departments. He loves his job as a Courtesy Assistant at the Health Club at the MJCCA. Evan is a graduate of Partners in Policy Making, a past Buddy of the Year for the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta, a co-chair of the Special Friends Sabbath Inclusion Program at his synagogue and a gold medal Special Olympian in Power Lifting and Bocce Ball. He graduated Chamblee High School in the class of 2000. Evan belongs to several social groups and enjoys bowling, yoga, cooking classes, dances, acting through Habima Theater and biking. He lives in an apartment with a roommate of his choice and gets supports through his Medicaid Waiver. He takes pride in speaking to small and large audiences about employment and self-advocacy.

Serena Lowe, Ph.D., has spent the past 25 years furthering public policies that promote the socioeconomic advancement of low-income working families, individuals with disabilities, seniors, children, immigrants, refugees, women of color and other at-risk populations. Currently, Serena is the Founder & Principal of AnereS Strategies LLC, a dynamic government relations consulting enterprise that works with private industry, national non-profit entities, and state/federal government agencies to improve through public policy the social determinants of health, quality of life outcomes, and overall advancement of populations with multiple barriers to the economic mainstream. Dr. Lowe has also served in a variety of leadership roles in the field of federal government relations, working for a Fortune 100 global biopharmaceutical company, a top 20 national lobbying firm, two foreign governments, two national nonprofit organizations, Congress, and the federal executive branch.

Legislation Session 3: The Lifespan Waiver vs. Long Term Support Services: Understanding Your Options.

Speakers:

Brigitte Hancharick, Self-Advocate.

Colleen Jones, Director of Lifespan Supports to Families, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS).

Shenika Kirby, Executive State Director, The Columbus Organization (DE).

Staci Marvel, Social Service Chief Administrator, Division of Medicaid & Medical Assistance.

Session Description:

Waivers are confusing and having to choose which one is best for you or your loved one is daunting. Learn about what a waiver is and what you are waiving your right to (it is not what you think!) This session will introduce the two most common options in Delaware for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities: the 1915(c) Lifespan waiver and the Diamond State Health Plan Plus, frequently referred to as Long Term Support Services (LTSS). Representatives from the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS), The Columbus Organization and Delaware Medicaid will walk you through the services available under the waiver, as well as offer guidance about eligibility, applying, and timelines. This session will allow ample time for questions and answers. The Columbus Organization will be presenting on what to expect from your Community Navigator and what the organization has done with their quality improvement services.

Speakers Bios:

Brigitte Hancharick is a self-advocate in the State of Delaware. Brigitte is a member of the Community Advisory Council at the Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS), University of Delaware. In 2018 Brigitte won the David Lynch award for her stellar commitment and engagement in the disability community and CDS. Brigitte has volunteered for many local political campaigns. She has also attended the Disability Policy Seminar in Washington DC, along with other conferences and meetings. Brigitte represents a group of people who do not communicate typically or with technology but communicate with facial expressions and want a seat at the table.

Brigitte is an asset to the community and stays firm in her commitment to ensure everyone has a place in the community when we support each other. Without those supports people are vulnerable to be warehoused and disenfranchised.

Colleen Jones is the Director of Lifespan Supports to Families in New Castle County with the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS). Colleen oversees the DDDS Home and Community Based Lifespan Waiver services and Targeted Case Management for individuals living in their own home or family home. She also manages Lifespan Waiver Eligibility/Client Benefits Unit, Family Resource Coordination, Family Engagement, and Targeted Case Management for Shared Living. Colleen serves as the DDDS Liaison for the SRAP/811 housing program. Colleen has over 24 years’ experience in the disability field. In 1995, she began her career as an independent contractor (Family Support Specialist) for DDDS and transitioned to the DDDS Liaison to the Targeted Case Management vendor before being promoted to her current position.

Shenika Kirby has 7 years’ professional experience providing services and supports to individuals with mental, developmental, and intellectual disabilities in a variety of positions. Shenika started her career as a Direct Support Professional. After being promoted she assisted in the oversight of daily operations, services and supports and was responsible for assisting individuals obtain their goals. She joined The Columbus Organization in 2017 as a Community Navigator. She contributed to the implementation of Delaware’s Lifespan Waiver and the development of the Person-Centered Plan. She soon became a Supervisor and during the transitions taking place as it relates to TCM in Delaware, she assisted as the Interim Director. As the Director, she oversees the Care Coordination of Delaware’s service recipients. She enjoys spending time with her 4 children, 2 dogs and husband.

Staci Marvel is the Social Service Chief Administrator at the Division of Medicaid & Medical Assistance. As the Chief of Operations, she oversees the eligibility units for Long Term Care Medicaid programs where they determine if someone is both medically and financially eligible for clients seeking Medicaid for members living in a Nursing Home as well as living in the community. Staci earned her Associate Degree in Human Services from Delaware Technical Community College and has worked for the State of Delaware for 30 years, all in the Department of Health & Social Services.


INDEPENDENCE TRACK, Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

Independence through AT Session 1: Adapted Driving.

Speakers:

Craig Harlow, Regional Marketing Manager, MobilityWorks.

Stacy Krubsack, Certified Mobility Consultant, MobilityWorks.

Session Description:

Mobility comes in many different shapes and sizes and there is no “one size fits all” solution for everyone living with disabilities. This also holds true for automotive mobility solutions. This session will introduce you to many different solutions and applications that are available for vehicles. From hand controls to high tech driving equipment, there is a solution available to everyone who wants personal automotive mobility freedom.

This session will give attendees the questions they should be asking when beginning research into an automotive mobility solution. It will go into detail of the different vehicle modifications available and which one is right for you. There will also be information on additional products such as scooter and wheelchair lifts, hand controls, valet style seating, high tech driving systems and much more.

Finally, there will be information on special programs, rebates, and grants that are available throughout the country as well as in the State of Delaware.

Speakers Bios:

Craig Harlow has taught Assistive Technology classes around the Philadelphia area since 2010. Craig teaches a guest course at Temple University and The University of the Sciences on wheelchair-accessible equipment. He demonstrates both rear entry and side entry accessible minivans and how each different conversion operates. He also travels around the country educating people on mobility solutions through support groups, conferences, symposiums, and expositions. Craig holds his automotive mobility credentials from BraunAbility, VMI and Bruno.

Stacy Krubsack, an 11-year veteran Certified Mobility Consultant with MobilityWorks, has been helping people achieve their best quality of life since she began her career in the corporate wellness industry over four decades ago. Her ability to develop relationships with clients, dealers, non-profits, and support groups; conduct a thorough needs analysis; think outside the box to provide a solution and obtain 3rd party funding have all led to her success. A diagnosis with an auto immune disease 20+ years ago also enables her to better understand her client’s challenges and needs. To keep up to date and share her knowledge she regularly attends community events, symposiums, trade shows, and equipment manufacturers trainings. The best part about her role as a CMC is helping others maintain their independence and quality of life. No two clients or days are alike!

Independence through AT Session 2: Are You Prepared for an Emergency or Disaster?

Speakers:

Pat Heineman, M.S.

Daniese McMullin-Powell.

Session Description:

Emergencies and disasters can occur without warning. Do you have plans in place to know how you and your family members will be able to respond? Unexpected emergencies can affect your daily routines and interrupt services that you are accustomed to getting, both at home, and within service provider agencies. Planning for unexpected emergencies will help you recover from them faster and will help you meet your needs following disasters. Some situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have required people to stay-at-home, while other emergencies, such as weather- related events, may cause individuals and families to seek temporary shelter. Creating a personal Emergency Readiness Plan will help you and your family be prepared before emergencies or disasters strike, and is your best protection and personal responsibility, to assist in your response and recovery of the unknown or unexpected. This session will review important readiness planning steps individuals and families should take to help create a personal Emergency Readiness Plan.

Speakers Bios:

Pat Heineman, M.S. has over 18 yrs. experience in designing and developing emergency preparedness initiatives for state and national government agencies, local community organizations, special needs populations and their families, as well as service provider agencies in Washington DC, Maryland, and Delaware. She has fostered professional relationships and partnerships among stakeholder organizations that serve at-risk populations to actively engage them in training programs that support emergency preparedness planning and readiness. Pat is employed by the University of DE, Center for Disabilities Studies (CDS) and manages the DEMA Citizen Corps grant. Pat has conducted Emergency Preparedness trainings for the Delaware Medical Reserve Corps and Public Health Nurses, and community-based outreach programs, through the Center for Disabilities Studies. Pat holds a B.A. degree in School and Community Health Education and M.S. degree in Health Administration.

Daniese McMullin-Powell is a grass Roots Disability Rights Activist and formed the Delaware Chapter of ADAPT and Not Dead Yet (NDY). She continues the fight for Civil Rights, to include full Community Integration for people with disabilities. Daniese is a 1996 graduate of Partners in Policy Making, former Chair of the State Council for Persons with Disabilities and has sat on the Boards of Directors of Center for Independent Living Inc., Independent Resources, Inc and Freedom Center for Independent Living. She worked for DE Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person Program for several years and received the 2008 Regional Award for Advocacy from the National Council on Independent Living and the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for Advocacy from SCPD.

Independence through AT Session 3: The Changing Landscape of Smart Home Technology.

Speakers:

Tony Gentry, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA.

Christopher Goodloe, Self-Advocate.

Session Description:

Smart home technology is becoming more affordable each year. Learn about the applications of smart home technologies for individuals with disabilities for independence, mobility, security, and social activities.

Speaker Bios:

Tony Gentry, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA is an Associate Professor of occupational therapy, School of Health Professions, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia. A specialist in neurorehabilitation and assistive technology, he founded and directs the Assistive Technology for Cognition Laboratory at VCU, which has conducted groundbreaking community-based research on assistive technology for cognition and smart home technology. Tony holds a BA in History and Literature from Harvard College, an MA in occupational therapy from New York University, and a PhD in Instructional Technology from the University of Virginia.

Christopher Goodloe, is a self-advocate, who has an Intellectual Disability. He is married to Jaime and they share a home in Ashland, VA with their dog Yogi. He is a member of The Arc of Hanover and serves on their Board. He also served on the Special Education Committee for Hanover County to advocate for inclusive education. Chris goes to the Virginia General Assembly with The Arc of Virginia to advocate for community funding for people with Developmental Disabilities. He goes to DC to advocate with The Arc of the US to fight for Medicaid/Medicare and disability rights. He believes everyone has a right to the supports they need to live in their own home and make decisions for themselves regardless of their disability! Chris supports The Arc of Virginia’s, ALLY movement, which stands for A Life Like Yours!


FAMILY TRACK, Tuesday, September 21, 2021.


Family Session 1: Trauma and Healing.

Speakers:

Karyn Harvey, Ph.D., Director, Training and Program Development, The Park Avenue Group, LLC.

Amelia Parsons, Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor.

Trigger warning (TW): This session will discuss different types of traumatic experiences that people with disabilities may experience/have experienced. For someone with a history of trauma, being around anything that reminds them of a traumatic experience (also known as a “trigger”) can make them feel like they are experiencing the trauma all over again. Participants with a history of past traumatic experiences or who have PTSD or CPTSD should be aware that this content may trigger a trauma response, and choose to participate (or not) accordingly.

Session Description:

This session will explore the effects of dealing with trauma in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), it will also touch on the losses incurred by COVID-19 and the life changes experienced as a result. It will look at the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that may be manifested in the lives of people with IDD. It will then explore key approaches to healing and recovery. These approaches will be discussed both programmatically and therapeutically. Different approaches to therapy will be touched upon. Finally, the path to moving forward, healing, rebuilding, and finding strength from difficulty will be explored.

Speakers Bios:

Karyn Harvey, Ph.D. has been working in the field of developmental disabilities for over 30 years. She has published three books, and numerous articles about trauma and disabilities as well. Dr. Harvey’s book topics have presented both theory and guidance for clinicians doing therapy with individuals with IDD and a trauma-informed care approach to working with individuals with IDD both programmatically and clinically. Up until COVID she spoke throughout North America and now she conducts numerous webinars. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland. Dr. Harvey lives in Lutherville, Maryland with her husband and her cat.

Amelia Parsons is the Concierge & Medical Records Assistant at Atlantic Shores Rehab and Health Center. In February 2018 Amelia made a life-threatening mistake returning to work after lunch, using her cell phone while driving, running a red light, driving directly into the path of an unloaded tractor trailer. The impact crushed her door leaving about 8” between the door jam and center console and pushed her spinning car across the median into opposing traffic knocking Amelia unconscious and causing severe damage: a punctured left lung, multiple broken bones, crushed her sacrum, and gashed the top right side of her head requiring 13 stitches. EMT’s thought she was dead until a trooper noticed her trying to breathe and called for helicopter transport to he hospital. Too unstable to fly, she was taken by ambulance to Beebe Hospital, stabilized, and flown to Christiana Hospital. Her doctors later diagnosed her with a Diffuse Axonal Brain Injury.

Family Session 2: Navigating the Social Security Administration’s Disability Programs.

Speakers:

Geoffrey Steggell – Self-Advocate.

Sandra Steggell, BS – Parent Advocate.

John Whitelaw, Esquire, Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. Advocacy Director.

Session Description:

Understanding the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Disability programs can be confusing for individuals and their families. This session is designed to provide basic program information for those who want a better understanding of SSA Benefits and the various factors that affect these benefits. The session will focus on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Disabled Adult Child/Childhood Disability benefits. Providing crucial and fundamental tools to understanding and navigating these programs is the first step in protecting your financial entitlements.

Topics covered: (a) The basics of the SSI program, the factors that affect eligibility, payment amounts and the effect of resources while identifying common resource exclusions; (b) Overview of SSDI Benefits, work incentives and how paid employment affects these benefits; (c) Participants will walk through Continuing Disability Reviews and how they differ from the transitional Age 18 Re-determinations; (d) Understand Social Security Over-payments and, answering the fundamental question “Social Security says I’m overpaid, what should I do?” and (e) information on fundamental Delaware community agencies that provide services to Social Security beneficiaries.

Speakers Bios:

Geoffrey Steggell was born in Southern California with Down Syndrome and moved back to Delaware when he was 5. Geoffrey is a Newark High School graduate. His work experience includes the University of Delaware (UD) Creamery, and also UD Dining Services. In 2013 he was part of the first graduating class of UDs Career and Life Studies Certificate program. Geoffrey loves public speaking and graduated from Partners in Policymaking in 2018. He has spoken to over 100 self-advocates at the Down Syndrome Convention in 2014 and 2019. He is an active participant in Special Olympics, boxes at Down to Box, acts with the Totally Awesome Players with the Delaware Theater Company, and is a greeter, worship leader with his church. Geoffrey has a great sense of humor, loves playing music, dancing, and participating in the above mentioned programs.

Sandra Steggell, BS, graduated from the Nursing School of Wilmington and has a BS from Wilmington College and also attended the University of Delaware. She worked for Medical Center of Delaware for 12 years before moving to Southern California and working at Henry May Newhall Hospital for 13 years. She returned to Delaware and worked at Visiting Nurse Association before retirement. Sandra has 2 children, Susan and Geoffrey, and 1 grandchild Jenna, who is 15. Sandy is a member of the Down Syndrome Association of Delaware Ebenezer United Methodist Church and part of their Wellness Committee and Steven Ministry, YMCA Member and founder of the Santa Clarita Infant and Pregnancy Loss Support Group.

John Whitelaw, Esquire, is the Advocacy Director at Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) in Wilmington, Delaware. CLASI is Delaware’s designated Protection and Advocacy agency for individuals with disabilities. For much of his career John has represented clients in matters involving the Social Security Administration, and presently mentors and co-counsels junior advocates across CLASI’s programs. Previously John was Co-Director of the Aging and Disabilities North Philadelphia office of Community Legal Services, Inc. John has represented claimants at all administrative levels and in federal and state court. John has presented at many national and regional trainings. His accomplishments include being named a Philadelphia Super Lawyer in 2009. John received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1986. With more than 30 years of experience, John is recognized as one of the nation’s foremost SSI experts.

Family Session 3: The Birds, the Bees, and Beyond: Let’s Talk About Sex.

Speakers:

Sarah Curtiss, PhD., Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Delaware.

Emmanuel Jenkins, Administrative Specialist I, Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC).

Izzy Kaufman, M.Ed., Program Coordinator, Planned Parenthood of Delaware.

Session Description:

Like people of any ability, people with disabilities are represented on every area of the sexuality spectrum from straight to gay, cisgender to transgender, sexual to asexual, and more. People with disabilities may want to become parents but are met with doubt and negative comments from those closest to them when they share these plans. So, why is the topic of people with disabilities as sexual beings and as parents such taboo? Join this session to learn how to promote sex positivity and parents and prospective parents with disabilities.

Speakers Bios:

Sarah Curtiss, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Delaware. As principal investigator of the Autism in Context research lab, Dr. Curtiss explores how to develop programs for autistic youth that foster resilience, facilitate positive development, and are grounded in lived experience. Throughout her research, Dr. Curtiss situates autistic youth in context—in families, communities, schools, service systems, and cultures. Her research is applied and informed by stakeholders which have led to work in the areas of sex education and sexual safety as well as the creation of The Birds and the Bees. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Dr. Curtiss managed a day program for adults with developmental disabilities where she taught sex education.

Emmanuel Jenkins  is employed by the DE Developmental Disabilities Council where his work focuses on Community Engagement. He also serves at the pleasure of Governor Carney, on the State Council of People with Disabilities (SCPD), the Employment First Oversight Commission & State Rehabilitation Council. Emmanuel is the funder of We Stand 4 Something, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities pursue their goals as they should live their lives without limits. He is also a motivational speaker and certified trainer who leads trainings such as recognizing and reporting abuse.

Emmanuel was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. He is a self-motivator who doesn’t let anything get in his way. He stands out not because of his wheelchair, but for what he has accomplished despite his disability.

On May 16, 2009, he married his beautiful wife Sharliena and they have a son named Kailyin. In November 2020, he graduated from Service Dog training with his first service dog, Hogan IV.

Izzy Kaufman, M.Ed., is a proud multiply disabled person living in Philadelphia. Izzy works for Planned Parenthood of Delaware as the Program Coordinator for the disabilities program working with people with disabilities to reach their relationship/sexual goals with workshops and individual education. Izzy is the Vice President of Disability Pride Philadelphia providing engaging and empowering programming including a series called Let’s Talk About Disabled Sex. Izzy also does freelance work as a sexuality educator teaching about disability and sexuality. She has spoken at Columbia University, Widener University, The College of New Jersey, Disability Pride Philadelphia, Chongqing University of Technology in China, Disability Intersectionality Summit and more.


EDUCATION TRACK, Wednesday, September 22, 2021.


Education Session 1: Navigating the New Delaware Disability Hub.

Speakers:

Robin Coventry, MBA, Delaware Disability Hub Content Manager – Contracted.

Amy Haughey, BS, Transition Coordinator/504 Coordinator, Smyrna High School.

Matthew Love, Smyrna High School Senior.

Session Description:

Do you need guidance on moving into adulthood? The Delaware Disability Hub (www.deldhub.com), created in 2013 by the Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC), is for young adults with disabilities, parents and teachers. The website has a NEW look and covers crucial topics in Education, Employment, Health, Housing, Legal issues, Transportation, “It’s My Life” and “Understanding My Disability”.

Accessibility features include an updated reader with built in navigation instructions; a new search engine to easily find information and the ability to increase type size. A Parent Section has been added, including a section for Military families. An age specific timeline with guidance for every stage of the transition process is also new. New videos and links to agencies and nonprofit organizations provide resources for students transitioning into adulthood. A History of Disability timeline with downloadable PDF files shows events in throughout history. Stories about people with disabilities who have already transitioned highlight successes and barriers encountered in the process of transitioning from school to work or higher education.

The panel will discuss the DelDhub website features, show the ease of access, and hear from a teacher and student who have used the website for transition.

Speakers Bios:

Robin Coventry, MBA is the contracted Content Manager and the creative force behind the website (www.deldhub.com). As a leader of the website team, she has spent thousands of hours on the site since its inception doing research, writing, communicating with experts across the country, design work, marketing and more. Robin is a researcher, writer, author, marketing manager, instructor, photographer, and graphic designer. She has an MBA in Marketing Management and a second MBA in Healthcare Administration.

Amy Haughey, BS, has worked for the Smyrna School District for 20 years, working as both a Special Education English teacher as well as Transition Coordinator and 504 Compliance Officer for Smyrna High School. She is an active member of the Delaware Community of Practice, the Delaware Transition cadre, and serves as a member of the steering committee for the Kent County Transition Fair.

Matthew Love is a senior at Smyrna High School. He is involved in the school’s football team and Educators Rising Program. Since Matthew has a visual impairment, he is also involved with the blind community in the state. Matthew has had many great opportunities to present before, including having presented at the Delaware Transition Conference and the Kent County Transition Fair. All these events have prepared him for the next step of his life.

Education Session 2: Early Childhood Education and the Transition from Part C to Part B.

Speakers:

Alison May, M.P.A., Public Information Officer, Delaware Department of Educaton.

Jeri Turner, M.S. Ed., Field Agent, Early Childhood Transition Coordinator, Delaware Department of Education Office of Early Learning.

Fiona KL Vivar, M.S. Ed., Field Agent, Early Childhood Transition Coordinator, NCC, Delaware Department of Education Office of Early Learning.

Session Description:

This session will discuss the state’s efforts to improve the transition for toddlers who will soon turn three years old from Early Intervention under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part C to Early Childhood Special Education under IDEA Part B, Section 619. Information will include new efforts to support both families and professionals to make sure there is a smooth and timely transition for these young children.

Speaker Bios:

Alison May, M.P.A., is the mother of a 6-year-old son on the autism spectrum and a 4-year-old daughter. Her son began receiving services through Child Development Watch at 20 months. When he was two and a half years old he transitioned to services through the Delaware Autism Program at Kent County Community School. Alison earned her undergraduate degree from Penn State University and a Master of Public Administration with a focus on nonprofit management from the University of Delaware. She is the Public Information Officer for the Delaware Department of Education and serves as a parent member of the Inter-agency Coordinating Council (ICC). She also is a board member of Embrace Delaware, a local nonprofit that supports the families of children with disabilities.

Jeri Turner, M.S. Ed., is a Field Agent/Early Childhood Transition Coordinator at the Delaware Department of Education/Office of Early Learning. She provides technical assistance to ensure that children transition from the Birth to Three program into the public schools’ preschool programs in a timely manner should children be eligible for special education services. Jeri provides training and monitoring to ensure that state and federal guidelines are adhered to as they apply to timely transition conferences, timely eligibility process and IEP development. Jeri has worked in childcare as an early childhood educator and director and in school districts as a kindergarten teacher, Special Education Coordinator and Child Find Coordinator. She received her BS in Education and her MS Ed in Special Education and Early Childhood Special Education at Wilmington University in Delaware.

Fiona KL Vivar, M.S. Ed., is a Field Agent for the Delaware Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning as an Early Childhood Transition Coordinator. She provides technical assistance to ensure children transition from the Birth to Three program into the public schools’ preschool programs in a timely manner should children be determined eligible for special education services. Fiona provides training and monitoring to ensure compliance with state and federal requirements as they apply to timely transition conferences, timely eligibility process and IEP development. She received her BS in Education, majoring in Special Education from the City College of New York City and MS Ed in Early Childhood Special Education from Adelphi University, Long Island. Fiona was a Special Education teacher for 18 years teaching in NYC and most recently Appoquinimink School District.

Education Session 3: Education & Continuing Education Post High School.

Speakers:

Shana Payne, M.A., Director, Delaware Higher Education Office, Delaware Department of Education.

Lisa Stoner-Torbert, M.A., Policy Advisor, Career & Technical Education and STEM Initiatives, Delaware Department of Education.

Jonathan Wickert, Ed.D., Education Associate, Postsecondary Programs, Work-Based Learning, and the Information Technology Career Cluster, Delaware Department of Education.

Session Description:

The session will focus on the state’s efforts to provide a variety of options for all individuals to transition to positive post school outcomes. Representatives from Exceptional Children Resources, Career and Technical Education – STEM, and Higher Education will discuss their work on increasing opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the areas of postsecondary education, employment, and community living. Discussion will center on efforts to ensure all students know all options available and have an opportunity at higher education, work-based learning opportunities, and involvement within their communities upon exiting secondary education.

Speakers Bios:

Shana Payne, M.A., a native of Delaware, graduated from Yale University with B.A. in American Studies and Teacher Preparation. After college, Shana taught Global Studies and African American Studies in the Coatesville Area School District. She then went on to complete her M.A. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Delaware. Shana spent 10 years at College Summit, a national nonprofit organization focused on building college-going culture in high schools. As Higher Education Director, Shana serves as a liaison between the K-12 system and the higher education institutions to increase access for all students to college, reduce college remediation rates, strengthen college persistence and increase college affordability.

Lisa Stoner-Torbert, M. A., has been with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) since December 1999 as the Education Associate for Business, Finance and Marketing Education, and the Policy Advisor for Career and Technical Education. She has an undergraduate degree in business administration and computer information systems and a master’s degree in economics and entrepreneurship. Prior to her position with the DDOE, Lisa was a computer programmer and a high school business education teacher.

Jonathan Wickert, Ed.D., is an Education Associate in the Career & Technical Education (CTE) and STEM Initiatives workgroup at the Delaware Department of Education. He manages both state and federal programs that support short- and long-term credential attainment, Registered Apprenticeship, and two-year degree programs. Dr. Wickert also oversees the Department’s work-based learning portfolio and other youth transition programs, which include early college enrollment and youth apprenticeship. He serves on the Leadership Council at Junior Achievement of Delaware. Dr. Wickert is a former social studies teacher, instructional advisor, and recovering entrepreneur. Dr. Wickert holds multiple degrees which include a Doctorate in Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University.


CLOSING REMARKS.


GETTING INVOLVED: JOIN YOUR PEERS AND ALLIES.

Speakers:

Kristin Harvey, BA, Executive Director, Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC).

Emmanuel Jenkins, Administrative Specialist I, Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC).

Davon Rollins, Student, University of Delaware

Session Description:

You’ve learned a lot today- now what are you going to do with all your newfound knowledge? Hear from experienced advocates about ways that you can use your own experiences combined with what you’ve learned today to create positive, effective, lasting change in Delaware’s disability community.

Speakers Bios:

Kristin Harvey, BA, currently serves as the Executive Director of the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC). She is a dedicated advocate who is proud to work alongside people with disabilities and their families to promote civil rights, systems change, and capacity-building. Kristin is especially passionate about Delawareans with disabilities’ right to affordable accessible housing, access to qualified and readily-available mental health services, physical and online accessibility, voting rights, and increasing the number of plain language materials available for individuals with cognitive disabilities. Kristin lives with multiple invisible disabilities, which give her a unique perspective and help her to better serve her fellow Delawareans with disabilities. She lives in Dover with her husband, two daughters, and two ornery cats.

Emmanuel Jenkins  is employed by the DE Developmental Disabilities Council where his work focuses on Community Engagement. He also serves at the pleasure of Governor Carney, on the State Council for People with Disabilities (SCPD), the Employment First Oversight Commission & State Rehabilitation Council. Emmanuel is the founder of We Stand 4 Something, a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities pursue their goals as they should live their lives without limits. He is also a motivational speaker and certified trainer who leads trainings such as recognizing and reporting abuse.

Emmanuel was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. He is a self-motivator who does not let anything get in his way. He stands out not because of his wheelchair, but for what he has accomplished despite his disability.

On May 16, 2009, he married his beautiful wife Sharliena and they have a son named Kailyin. In November 2020, he graduated from Service Dog training with his first service dog, Hogan IV.

Davon Rollins, a student at the University of Delaware, was born with a cognitive disability, but he never let that stop him from pursuing his dreams. He is currently attending the University of Delaware, where he is a 2nd year student in the Career and Life Science Certificate (CLSC) program. As a student in high school, Davon started to learn the importance of self-advocacy when he was told he would never be able to attend college. It helped him realize he had to use his voice and speak up for not only himself but others as well. Davon also participated in Jr. Partners in Policymaking where he wrote and started a petition for unfair transportation cost for people with disabilities that rely on public transportation. He was able to get over 1,000 signatures. Davon currently lives in Wilmington, DE with his family.

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