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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.

originally aired on 10/6/22

Our 7th Annual Family Connect Summit highlights important updates and resources available to children and adults with disabilities. Experts from across NY discuss various topics that can benefit the IDD community. The ADAPT Family Summit is for families, self-advocates, professionals, and anyone interested in the latest information regarding intellectual and development disability services and supports for children and adults. Explore all the topics and speakers for this year’s Summit below.

(A) Plenary Session

<span translate="no">Edward R. Matthews</span>

Edward R. Matthews

Edward R. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of ADAPT Community Network (formerly UCP of NYC), has worked in the developmental disabilities field since 1974.

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<span translate="no">Patricia Hernandez</span>

Patricia Hernandez

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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<span translate="no">Roger Bearden</span>

Roger Bearden

Executive Deputy Commissioner Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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<span translate="no">Tracy Pickar</span>

Tracy Pickar

Vice President of Family Services at ADAPT Community Network

Read Bio

(B) Advocating at the IEP Meeting- Strategies for Success What Every Parent Needs to Know

<span translate="no">Christopher Treiber</span>

Christopher Treiber

Christopher Treiber, MSW has been the Associate Executive Director for Children’s Services for the InterAgency Council for Developmental Disability Agencies for the past 10 years. He provides high level technical expertise on program management and strategic planning for early intervention and special education providers. Chris prepares and presents public testimony and written analyses of proposed regulations and legislation. He meets with legislators and senior government officials regarding policy matters impacting the IDD field.

Read Bio

(C) Introduction To: Medicaid Waiver, Self-Direction, and Independent Housing

<span translate="no">Donna Maxon<span>

Donna Maxon

NYS Certified Self Direction Broker, Certified Housing Navigator, NYS, Certified PLAN Network Facilitator

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(D) Parent Panel: How to Be an Effective Advocate for Your Child With a Disability

<span translate="no">Rima Izquierdo </span>

Rima Izquierdo

District 75 Leadership Team Bronx Parent Representative and Chairperson; Consumer Advisory Council for the Rose F. Kennedy Center CERC (Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center); Bronx Developmental Disability Council Parent Council member.

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<span translate="no">Wini Schiff</span>

Wini Schiff

Wini has been the Associate Executive Director for Legislative Affairs at the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies since 2008. Prior to that she worked at AHRC NYC for twenty-one years as Director of Marketing and Special Projects and was instrumental in developing the largest Supported Employment program for people with developmental disabilities in New York City.

Read Bio
<span translate="no">Diane Peruggia</span>

Diane Peruggia

Parent, Chair of Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council. Diane Peruggia’s career of advocacy, leadership, and charity started at a young age. As a teen she was appointed liturgical leader for her local parish, volunteered at nursing homes, taught CCD, and participated in many charity events within her community.

Read Bio
<span translate="no">Michael Bolton</span>

Michael Bolton

Michael received a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Hartford in 1974, and entered the IDD field in 1978 working for UCP of NYS providing recreation opportunities in residences throughout NYC. He went back to school and got a Masters in Therapeutic Recreation & Developmental Disabilities from LIU in 1981, doing his clinical internship working at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island.

Read Bio
<span translate="no">Edie Weber</span>

Edie Weber

As the mother of an adult child with Autism, Edie became involved in disability advocacy as the result of challenges faced with access to appropriate services trying to meet the needs of her son.

Read Bio

(E) Positive Approaches to Behavior in Children and Adults

<span translate="no">Avi Avigdor</span>

Avi Avigdor

A Licensed Psychologist and Director of Psychology of Adult Programs for ADAPT Community Network

Read Bio
<span translate="no">Michael Boardman</span>

Michael Boardman

A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) with ADAPT Community Network Education Services

Read Bio

(F) Mental Health in Children & Adolescents: How to Support Your Child

<span translate="no">Dr. Erin Rivelis</span>

Dr. Erin Rivelis

Assistant Professor at The Rose F. Kennedy Children's Evaluation & Rehabilitation Center at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore

Read Bio

By: Sharlita Wilkins

“One of the first things you need to know about me is that I’m a believer in Jesus Christ. I was born in Brooklyn, New York but I moved to Staten Island, and in 1978 I moved back to Brooklyn again. When I was eight years old, I started to read, and once I realized I could read- I read everyday. I don’t think about my disability, even though I’m not perfect. I don’t consider it a disability. I don’t want to put anybody down, we are all beautiful in God’s eyes. I love to create from my heart. Art can be anything that you can think of. It could be anything ! You can create anything. When I first started, I couldn’t draw good but I figured out what I wanted to make and then I started to stick to a theme. I’ve always watched Bob Ross when he comes on TV, and I always wanted to learn to paint like him. I try to copy his technique with my brush, but in my own style. That’s why I draw a lot of waterfalls and nature. I am inspired by anything that is beautiful, like a lake for example. Maybe you want to go to Hawaii and you wish you could go but you can’t, you can go there by painting. You can travel through painting to anywhere you want to go.”

Sponsors

CoPilot Services are the core of what Pilot|RB brings to its clients. From helping employees navigate the healthcare system to working with employers to keep them in compliance, CoPilot aims to meet the needs of clients and their employees with all their risk and benefits needed.

The Weeks Lerman Group (TWLG) is New York’s largest independently held dealer of office products and services. Family owned and operated for over 100 years, TWLG is proud of our superior services, personalized care and attention to detail. TWLG is the 2nd largest independent dealer in the nation. 

Partners Health Plan (PHP) is the first-in-the-nation, provider-led managed care organization that fully integrates Medicare and Medicaid for individuals 21 years and older with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), so they have the most complete care package. The plan operates in 4 New York State regions (nine downstate counties): New York City, Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties), Rockland County, and Westchester County. For more information, visit www.phpcares.org.

Care Design NY is a leading Care Coordination Organization and Health Home serving approximately 28,000 individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) in 30 NYS counties.  Our mission is to assist individuals with IDD get the supports and services they need to live quality lives.  Individuals and families are at the center of everything we do. For more information, please visit caredesignny.org  

Since 1972, NYSARC Trust Services has helped thousands of families plan for the future of loved ones with disabilities, preserve their eligibility for Medicaid and/or SSI benefits, and protect unexpected windfalls of money. Establishing a first- or third-party pooled supplemental needs trust through NYSARC Trust Services helps provide financial security to those with disabilities and peace of mind to their families and loved ones. Call (518) 439-8323 or visit https://www.nysarctrustservices.org/
nysarc-trusts
 for more information.

The Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center are dedicated to improving the lives of people with Cerebral Palsy of all ages through comprehensive care, basic and clinical research, and education of medical professional, patients, and caregivers.

Goodwill day services mission is to empower people with disabilities and other barriers to get employment and to gain independence through the power of work. 

Goodwill Advance Program is an employment program for people who do not have OPWDD waivered services with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Advance uses Discovery to assess strengths, skills and assist in job development and placement. Can also assist in gaining OPWDD eligibility.

Goodwill Day habilitation without walls program supports people in increasing social and communication skills and developing their independence. In some instances, focusing on employment curriculum and internships. This prepares people for job interviews while working on soft skills such as professional communication on appropriate workplace behaviors.

NY Connects is OPEN and operating remotely! CIDNY’s NY Connects program is a free, trusted place to go for information about benefits, resources, and services that support people with disabilities. We work with New Yorkers of all ages and with any type of disability. (Visible and Invisible) NY Connects can help people with disabilities:
• Remain independent
• Understand paths to care
• Discover transportation options
• Get answers about Medicaid, Medicare, and health insurance
• Apply for benefits including Guardianship,Homecare SSI, SSDI, and CDPAP
• Learn housing options
• Get help with food resources

Get in touch today to let us know how we can help 1-844-862-7930. Find NY connects online at https://www.cindy.org/nyconnects

INCLUDEnyc (www.includenyc.org) is the leading provider of training and information for young people with any disability from 0-26, their families, and the professionals who support them in New York City. Last year, INCLUDEnyc assisted more than 14,000 people and reached over 500,000 individuals through digital communications and community outreach. Founded in 1983, INCLUDEnyc believes every young person should be fully included in school, in the workforce, in the community and should have access to resources, services, and supports to succeed.

The NYC Poison Control Center is an emergency telephone hotline. Poison Control Centers are staffed by registered pharmacists and nurses who are certified in poison information. Our specialists respond to both intentional and unintentional exposures by providing callers information on patient treatment, poison prevention and educational programs. Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls are free of charge and confidential. In addition, translation services are provided in more than 150 languages. Call 212-764-7667 or 1800-222-1222 with any questions about medicines, cleaners and disinfectants. Help is a call away!

NYC FAIR (Family Advocacy & Information Resource)
A RESOURCE NETWORK FOR FAMILIES
Dedicated to creating a network of informed and empowered family members and friends to be effective advocates for the ID/DD community. For more information, please visit http://www.nycfamily
advocacyinformationresource.org/
.

2021 FAMILY CONNECT SUMMIT WEBINARS

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Edward R. Matthews

Edward R. Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of ADAPT Community Network (formerly UCP of NYC), has worked in the developmental disabilities field since 1974. He was appointed CEO of UCP of NYC in 1989, and it is now the largest UCP affiliate in the United Sates providing services to more than 20,000 children, adults and their families throughout New York City.  He spent 10 years in State Government where he directed the team responsible for the acquisition of all residential and day program sites to implement the deinstitutionalization of Willowbrook. In February 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Mr. Matthews, along with a select group of individual leaders, to be a member of the Medicaid Redesign Team, a special taskforce responsible for the overhaul of New York State’s massive Medicaid system.  In addition, he was appointed by OPWDD to serve on the Steering Committee to implement the People First Waiver, a partnership between New York State and the federal government to reconstruct the Medicaid funding system for New York’s citizens with developmental disabilities, to provide them greater choice and access and reduce costs.  He was also appointed to be a member of the OPWDD Provider Association and the OPWDD workgroup tasked with modernizing the fiscal financial platform.  He is the past Chair of the Board of Managers of Care Design NY, one of the designated Care Coordination Organizations in New York State and is a Board Member of Partnerships for Healthcare Solutions, Inc., the parent company of Partners Health Plan.

Patricia Hernandez

Patricia Hernandez is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with over ten years in the social work profession and is passionate about advancing strategies to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Patricia has experience providing clinical services to clients in inpatient, outpatient, and supportive housing settings as well as developing population health programming in healthcare. Patricia is the Director of the Metro Team for the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). She oversees strategy, program implementation, training, and project management across New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to align the health, justice, aging, child welfare, and housing sectors.

Roger Bearden

Roger Bearden is the Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). Mr. Bearden was Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel at OPWDD from 2014-2017. He has also served as the Chair of the New York State Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities from 2011-13, as Special Counsel for Olmstead from 2013-14, and as Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Human Services and Mental Hygiene from 2017-18.

Prior to entering public service, Mr. Bearden was Director of the Disability Law Center of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest in New York City. Mr. Bearden graduated from Brown University and Harvard Law School before clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He is married to Erin Tobin and the couple have three children.

Tracy Pickar

Tracy Pickar is the Vice President of Family Services at ADAPT Community Network. She was the Associate Executive Director at the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Tracy also served as the Administrative Manager of the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She received her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.

Christopher Treiber

Christopher Treiber, MSW has been the Associate Executive Director for Children’s Services for the Inter Agency Council for Developmental Disability Agencies for the past 10 years. He provides high level technical expertise on program management and strategic planning for early intervention and special education providers. Chris prepares and presents public testimony and written analyses of proposed regulations and legislation. He meets with legislators and senior government officials regarding policy matters impacting the IDD field. Chris is possessed with knowledge of disability law and special education regulations. Chris has been appointed to various city and state-wide taskforces including the NYS Board of Regents School Reopening and the Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Taskforces. He was most recently appointed to the NYC Commissioner’s Daycare Advisory Council. Prior to his position with the IAC, Chris worked for AHRC New York City for almost 22 years. During that time, he worked as a school social worker at the Brooklyn Blue Feather Early Learning Center for 5 years and as the Director of Advocacy Services for 17 years. Chris is a certified social worker and has a master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work. 

Donna Maxon

Donna Maxon, NYS Certified Self Direction Broker, Certified Housing Navigator, NYS, Certified PLAN Network Facilitator.

Donna Maxon is the parent of a nonspeaking adult son who has autism. In 1994 when her son, Donald, was diagnosed with autism, she, and her husband, along with seven other families, co-founded the New York Child Learning Institute, a school for children with autism, located in College Point, Queens. Donna has been the parent supervisor of Donald’s Self-Direction program since 2012.

Professionally, Donna’s background is in corporate training and development. But for the past eight years, Donna works primarily as an Independent Self-Direction Broker, and has worked with over 100 people in this role. Within this work, she assists people design, develop, and implement programming using the Self Direction funding stream. She has also developed and presented a curriculum for Broker Training and is very proud of the Brokers she has mentored to do this important work. Donna is also a Certified Housing Navigator, which allows her to work with people and their Circle of Supports, to develop and implement Housing Action Plans, which support independent living in the community. Additionally, Donna works with ArchCare, as the Independent Housing Managing Agent. This project aims to convert unused convents into apartment buildings that offers affordable housing to the public, with some apartments set aside for adults diagnosed with autism. ArchCare currently has one apartment building successfully operating in Staten Island, with a second project in development in Westchester County. Donna describes this work as, “a highlight of my life.

Rima Izquierdo

District 75 Leadership Team Bronx Parent Representative and Chairperson; Consumer Advisory Council for the Rose F. Kennedy Center CERC (Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center); Bronx Developmental Disability Council Parent Council member

Rima Izquierdo Is a parent leader in the Bronx who has four children and three New York City schools. She has three children with disabilities and is a proud advocate for all. Rima works with families and Community stakeholders to ensure the voice of the disability community is heard. #NothingAboutUsWithiutUs

Wini Schiff

Wini has been the Associate Executive Director for Legislative Affairs at the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies since 2008. Prior to that she worked at AHRC NYC for twenty-one years as Director of Marketing and Special Projects and was instrumental in developing the largest Supported Employment program for people with developmental disabilities in New York City.

In her role at IAC, Wini advocates at the state level regarding funding, legislation and policies that affect people with developmental disabilities and their families and the service providers that support them. Collaborating with other associations in the developmental disabilities field and beyond, Wini has been a key player, spotlighting issues and achieving results. Wini leads a state-wide employment group, bringing issues and ideas to state agencies for action and a transition group that brings together the various people, programs and services which participate in ensuring that special education graduates transition smoothly into adult services.

Diane Peruggia

Parent, Chair of Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council. Diane Peruggia’s career of advocacy, leadership, and charity started at a young age. As a teen she was appointed liturgical leader for her local parish, volunteered at nursing homes, taught CCD, and participated in many charity events within her community.

While pregnant with her second child, Michael, her two-year-old daughter, Alexa, was diagnosed with Autism. In August of 2000, Diane and a group of others came together to form The Grace Foundation to support and offer services for families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Diane spearheaded the creation of the Grace Foundation’s social skills classes and Applied Behavior Analysis training for college students, who could aid parents with at-home services. She has chaired National Autism Conferences featuring various speakers and experts in the field, and has advocated in Albany and Washington D.C. to secure necessary funding for the disabled. Diane served as Vice Chairman for the Grace Foundation for 7 years and is currently the Chairman of their Strategic Planning Committee.

In 2010 Diane was appointed by former Borough President James P Molinaro to the NYC Department of Education’s Panel for Education Policy. During her four-year term, she participated and voted on policy issues and resolutions for the DOE. She was also assigned to the Contracts Committee and served as a trustee for the DOE retirement system.

Diane also holds leadership positions with the Staten Island Disability Council, the Family Support Services Advisory Council, the Seton Foundation for Learning, The James Cancer Fund, HealthCare Associates in Medicine, and Staten Island Community Board Three.

Diane, her husband, and their two children currently reside in Huguenot and are owners of Great Escapes Travel.

Michael Bolton

Michael received a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Hartford in 1974, and entered the IDD field in 1978 working for UCP of NYS providing recreation opportunities in residences throughout NYC. He went back to school and got a Masters in Therapeutic Recreation & Developmental Disabilities from LIU in 1981, doing his clinical internship working at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island.

In 1986, Michael began working at UCP of NYC, now ADAPT Community Network, and became the Director of Recreation Services in 1989, a position he held until retiring in 2013. In 1987, almost 10 years into his career, Michael became the parent of Justin, now a 34 yr. old young man with several disabilities including intellectual impairment, Epilepsy and other Developmental Disabilities. While Michael was already dedicated to the IDD community, once Justin was born he became even more determined to make a difference in the lives of those who needed assistance. His son now lives in a residence run by Heartshare Human Services.

After retiring, he became a member of NYC FAIR’s Executive Committee to continue his commitment assisting individuals and families of the IDD community in their quest to provide the care and services necessary for their loved ones to live a full and meaningful life.

Edie Weber

As the mother of an adult child with Autism, Edie became involved in disability advocacy as the result of challenges faced with access to appropriate services trying to meet the needs of her son.  She believes one of the most important skills parents of children with special needs must learn is advocacy.  Parents and guardians need to be the voice for our children.  As the next generation of parent advocates, families must continue to work together to protect the services and programs that have been developed to help people with IDD. Edie currently serves as the Family Vice President of the Bronx Developmental Disabilities Council and the Parent Co-Chair of the Children’s/Family Support Committee.

Avi Avigdor

Dr. Avi Avigdor is a Licensed Psychologist and Director of Psychology of Adult Programs for Adapt Community Network. He has over 10 years of experience working in agencies that serve individuals with developmental disabilities. He provides support to Article 16 clinic, residential, and day hab programs throughout the agency.

Michael Boardman

Michael Boardman is a BoardCertified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) with ADAPT Community Network. Michael has over 23 years of experience working with children (birth to 5) with developmental disabilities. Michael started his career working as a special education teacher in a 6:1:2 center-based classroom for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His interest in working with the ASD population led him to the field of Behavior Analysis – a science focused on the application of behavioral principles to the needs of individuals and their families to promote behavior change and improve quality of life. Nowadays, Michael provides behavioral support to ADAPT’s Preschool Programs both in the classroom and remotely with their students’ families.

Dr. Erin Rivelis

Dr. Erin Rivelis holds the position of Assistant Professor at the Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC) at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore.  She serves as co-director of the Child and Adolescent Unit and Externship Coordinator and specializes in work with children/adolescents with neurodevelopmental disabilities.  She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where she teaches a course in psychoeducational assessment. Dr. Rivelis obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan.  She then went on to receive her Ph.D. in the School Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University.

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