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2024 Virtual Family Connect Summit

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AGenda

Welcome (10:00AM - 10:05AM)

Welcome to ADAPT’s 2024 Virtual Family Connect Summit.

Opening Session - Creating the Future (10:05AM - 10:55AM)

Panel discussion on creating the future with a focus on Education, Technology, and Healthcare.

Supporting Individual On The Autism Spectrum In Medical Settings (11:00AM - 11:55AM)

This workshop will provide information and practical skills to optimally support individuals on the autism spectrum, and those with other neurodevelopmental conditions, in medical settings. Participants will be introduced to specific tools that can be used to advocate for oneself, family members or friends, including resources and supports that may be available to improve the medical experience. The workshop will also increase knowledge regarding questions to ask and decision-making steps to ensure necessary medical care is obtained by patients of all abilities.

Speakers: 
Paige Siper – Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Jessica Zweifach – Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment

How to Supplement In Home Support Outside of the OPWDD Waiver & School Services (12:00PM - 12:55PM)

The workshop aims to inform parents, paraprofessionals, parent coordinators, and care managers about the services offered to school-age children who are considered eligible for OPWDD. Given the current changes with children’s waiver enrollment, there is a considerable demand for more solutions to Family Support services. In this session, participants will learn how to get these resources even if a child is not enrolled in a care coordination organization. The differences between OPWDD Waiver Support and Fee for Service Support will also be reviewed. Attendees will have enhanced comprehension of how to obtain supplemental support or in-home assistance through fee-for-service Medicaid, managed care, or private insurance. In home support available (OPWDD/FSS COMMUNITY REHABILITATION, RESPITE, HHA, CD-PAP, and Clinical Support) will be reviewed in detail so families can see what services may fit their needs. The different types of organizations offering these services and the requirements for applying will also be covered.

Speaker:
Rachel Plakstis – Vice President of IDD Services at Extended Homecare and co-chair of the Children’s Committee of the Queen’s DD Council

Break (1:00PM - 1:25PM)

Stay on and chat with project connect. 

The goal of the workshop is to educate parents on their rights and how to effectively deal with the challenges of securing an appropriate education for students with learning disabilities. The discussion will include information on how to secure independent evaluations when the school district’s evaluations are inadequate and how a good iep is developed. The workshop will also Include when a family should seek out an attorney and how families from underserved populations may secure assistance.

Speaker:
Adrienne Arkontaky – Founder and owner of the Arkontaky Law Group University

Benefits 101 (2:30PM - 3:25PM)

This presentation will help dispel some common myths about working while receiving public benefits, discuss the options to continue Medicaid coverage even if the individual earns too much to receive an SSA cash benefit, and offer resources for benefits advisement services available to better understand how working will impact all public benefits. We will cover basic information about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) , Basic Work Incentives that are available by benefit type , Maintaining Medicaid coverage (1619(b), and Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities) , Ways to save money while on benefits (ABLE Accounts, and PASS Plans), Certified Benefits Advisement. We will address the longstanding attitudes about working while on public benefits, dispel the most common myths, and discuss why employment is a good idea. We will provide knowledge about various SSA cash benefits (SSI and SSDI), eligibility criteria, and the work incentives available for each benefit type. We will provide information about ways to save money while on public benefits (ABLE Accounts and PASS Plans) . We will provide information on how you can maintain Medicaid coverage even after you lose your SSI cash benefit.

Speaker:
Lisa Brown – Chair of the Board of Directors for the Sibling Leadership Network

Closing (3:30PM - 4:00PM)

2024 Virtual Family Connect Summit Closing.

Speakers

Paige Siper

Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Supporting Individual On The Autism Spectrum In Medical Settings
(11:00AM - 11:55AM)
Session 1

Jessica Zweifach

Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment
Supporting Individual On The Autism Spectrum In Medical Settings
(11:00AM - 11:55AM)
Session 1

Rachel Plakstis

Vice President of IDD Services at Extended Homecare and co-chair of the Children's Committee of the Queen's DD Council
How to Supplement In Home Support Outside of the OPWDD Waiver & School Services
(12:00PM - 12:55PM)
Session 2

Adrienne Arkontaky

Founder and owner of the Arkontaky Law Group University
Navigating The Special Education System and the Need for Good Evaluations
(1:30PM - 2:30PM)
Session 3

Lisa Brown

Chair of the Board of Directors for the Sibling Leadership Network
Benefits 101
(2:30PM - 3:30PM)
Session 4

Sponsors

The Start Here website was created to offer a one-stop shop of helpful information and resources to support parents of children with disabilities. The content on this website is geared specifically towards parents. Information on how to advocate for your child, questions to ask your child’s pediatrician or simple apps that can help families along their journey are some of the selections you can find at Start Here. Please visit the website www.StartHereParents.org, as well as our social platforms on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

Disclaimer: Workshops are intended for educational and informational purposes only. The views and information expressed by the presenters are their views and does not reflect the position or policy of ADAPT Community Network. Information included in presentations may not be suitable for all families. The content is not to be considered medical, therapeutic, or legal advice and the information provided is not a substitute for a professional opinion. ADAPT strongly suggests that you consult your doctor, social worker, and/or therapist regarding specific questions and for further information. In no event shall ADAPT be liable for any type of loss or damage that could be construed as arising from these presentations.

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Paige Siper

Dr. Paige Siper is a licensed clinical psychologist, Chief Psychologist at the Seaver Autism Center at Mount Sinai, and an Associate Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She has expertise in the diagnosis, neuropsychological assessment, and treatment of children and adults with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs).

Jessica Zweifach

Jessica Zweifach, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment and is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry.  Dr. Zweifach has expertise in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  Her clinical focus is on working with children and families with various presenting challenges, including treating individuals with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, and mood and anxiety disorders. 

Rachel Plakstis

Rachel Plakstis is currently the Vice President of IDD Services at Extended Homecare and co-chair of the Children’s Committee of the Queen’s DD Council. For the past 30 years. Rachel has been involved with OPWDD agencies, the Department of Education, Family Support, the Department of Health, and NYC resources. Rachel’s career has seen many changes in the way services are obtained and delivered. Rachel was involved in many of the changes, such as the implementation of the HCBS waiver, Medicaid service coordination to care coordination, and others. Rachel uses this experience to assist families in getting all the support and services they need.

Adrienne Arkontaky

Adrienne Arkontaky, founder and owner of the Arkontaky Law Group, PC, has been practicing law for over 20 years, focusing on her practice on representing individuals with disabilities in special education matters and assisting families plan for the future and securing eligibility for government benefits such as OPWDD and Medicaid. Adrienne is committed to helping families navigate the challenging landscape of special education, focusing a portion of her practice on servicing students from underserved communities. Adrienne understands both personally and professionally the challenges families face when caring for a loved one with disabilities. Adrienne Arkontaky has traveled the road of navigating the special education/special needs planning world personally. The mother of three incredible daughters, one with significant medical needs and developmental disabilities. The birth of her daughter, Jordan, in 1992, who is now a resident at the Center for Discovery, led Adrienne to pursue a legal career devoted to serving families of loved ones with disabilities. After graduating from law school, Adrienne committed to serving families of loved ones with disabilities, first as a Medicaid Service Coordinator in Westchester NY, after law school as the Pro Bono project coordinator at a major law firm and several long-term positions ultimately as the Vice President and Managing Attorney at a special education and special needs law firm with offices in New York and Pennsylvania.

Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is the NYESS Assistant Director (New York Employment Services System), and provides training and technical assistance, resources and supports for SSA Beneficiaries and service providers. NYESS is a resource for all things related to employment services, and as a team NYESS promotes principles, practices, and polices to improve employment outcomes for individuals of all abilities in New York through collaborations with state agencies, service providers, and advocacy organizations. Lisa has been involved in employment and rehabilitation services for individuals with disabilities and barriers to employment for over 20 years, including 10+ years with Vocational Rehabilitation Services, serving both Indiana and Colorado residents, and she was an Adjunct Professor for nine years, teaching psychology and student success courses.