2019 Full Lives Conference

18th Annual Full Lives Conference for Direct Service Professionals & Care Coordinators  

Supporting the Future of our Workforce

April 10 – April 12, 2019
Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage, Alaska


About the Conference

The conference is continuing its collaboration between the State of Alaska Senior & Disability Services and the Alaska Training Cooperative.  Our theme for this year, Supporting the Future of our Workforce, is showcased in our keynote presentations and breakout sessions that are focusing on the efforts and trends within the industry to strengthen and enhance the careers of our support professionals.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? 

Full Lives draws a wide range of attendees that provide services in developmental disabilities, behavioral health, traumatic brain injuries, substance related disorders, and senior services. Attendees include case managers, personal care assistance, care coordinators, community advocates, supervisors, administrators, self-advocates, caregivers, and families receiving services.

The Full Lives Conference encourages interaction, problem solving, and sharing among all participants. This atmosphere contributes to a dynamic conference that encourages ongoing networking and collaboration.


Conference Schedule/Agenda

Click here for a Daily Conference Agenda

Click here for detailed session descriptions


Keynote Speakers



Keynote Title: Included. Supported. Empowered! National and State Initiatives to Address the Workforce Crisis

Abstract: Please join Barbara Merrill, CEO of the American Network of Community Options and Resources, for a provocative presentation on the scope of the direct support professional workforce crisis, initiatives underway at the federal and state level to address it, and how we need to think differently to ensure quality supports and services are there for individuals and families.

About Barbara: Barbara has served as ANCOR’s Chief Executive Officer since 2014. The American Network of Community Options and Resources is the nation’s leading association advancing supports and services for people with disabilities, representing 1600 providers and 56 state associations. A disability and association professional, Barbara has worked on disability issues since 1992 as an advocate, state legislator and attorney for people with disabilities and the providers who serve them.

Prior to joining ANCOR, Merrill was the Director of Government Relations for the MENTOR Network, a national network of community health and human services providers. Elected to ANCOR’s Board of Directors in 2010, Barbara co-chaired ANCOR’s Government Relations Committee prior to joining ANCOR’s professional staff as Vice President of Government Relations. A native of the state of Maine, she brings 26 years experience working with associations. She lives and works in the DC metropolitan area and unabashedly cheers for New England sports teams.

Kim Champney

Kim Champney

Principal, Champney Consulting


Keynote Title: Lessons from a Recovering Ableist

Abstract: Ableism has been described as the prejudice no one talks about; yet people with disabilities are the world’s largest majority. And an overwhelming majority of these disabilities are invisible. Professionals in the disability field are often the greatest advocates for inclusion, access and equity, right? Even the most well-intentioned and thoughtful supporters can limit expectations and opportunities for the people they are supporting. Our personal experiences and subsequent mental models creep in quietly, subtly sending messages without our permission. Let’s talk about the difficulty of perspective-taking and its value in being the best partners possible in supporting full and meaningful lives.

About Kim: Kim Champney has 20 years in the field of developmental disabilities in a variety of roles: social worker, care coordinator, frontline supervisor, program director and now consultant. Her most formative experience comes from individuals and families she has had the privilege to serve and support – it is their stories that inform her work with current change efforts. Kim has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is past president of the Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities, graduate of the National Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities, former adjunct instructor with the University of Alaska Anchorage, and past participant on SDS’s Inclusive Community Choices Council and the Center for Human Development’s Community Advisory Council.

Corey Gilmore

Corey Gilmore

Chair, Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education


Keynote Panel Title: My Life within the DD Vision

Abstract: It’s cliché to say “life happens” but for most of us, it does. Day in and day out, life just happens. But what if parts of your life were supported by staff doing services delivered in small billable segments of time? And those segments of time required pre-stated goals and objectives, created by a whole team of people, through lengthy meetings, that sometimes you weren’t even a part of…now, for most of us that would be a monumental and unfathomable change from our present day-to-day life. Our keynote panelist will share the stories and experiences they have encountered throughout childhood, as young adults and now as professionals within the intellectual and developmental disability service system. What does life look like using these supports? How have they excelled, empowering themselves and others? Learn about the changes they have brought about as self-advocates. With their steadfast guidance and determination, Alaskans continue to move towards the ultimate goal of leading meaningful, self-directed lives.

About Corey: Corey is originally from a small town in Maine called Limington (Population 10,000). After attending college in Portland, Maine for several years, Corey moved to Alaska’s State Capitol of, Juneau to be with his partner. Corey greatly enjoys making a difference in his community by volunteering at an integrated preschool and with a local youth group at his church. Corey is immensely passionate about advocacy towards realization of Alaska’s DD Shared Vision and encouraging those who receive supports to advocate for themselves because we all need to actively participate in our own lives. Corey Gilmore joined the Alaska Governor’s Council for Disabilities and Special Education as a Council member in 2017, but has been a lifelong advocate for individuals with disabilities. He’s currently the Chair of the Council’s Developmental Disabilities Committee as well as the Vice Chair of the Council. Corey is also an integral member of the Alaska Developmental Disabilities Collaborative, serving as the Co-Chair of the Community Awareness Project Team as well as serving on the team of advocate advisors. Corey has presented a national plenary session at the National Association of Council’s on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) conference and in 2018 was inducted into the NACDD National Self-Advocacy Leadership Circle.

Maggie Winston

Maggie Winston

Chair, Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education


Keynote Panel Title: My Life within the DD Vision

Abstract: It’s cliché to say “life happens” but for most of us, it does. Day in and day out, life just happens. But what if parts of your life were supported by staff doing services delivered in small billable segments of time? And those segments of time required pre-stated goals and objectives, created by a whole team of people, through lengthy meetings, that sometimes you weren’t even a part of…now, for most of us that would be a monumental and unfathomable change from our present day-to-day life. Our keynote panelist will share the stories and experiences they have encountered throughout childhood, as young adults and now as professionals within the intellectual and developmental disability service system. What does life look like using these supports? How have they excelled, empowering themselves and others? Learn about the changes they have brought about as self-advocates. With their steadfast guidance and determination, Alaskans continue to move towards the ultimate goal of leading meaningful, self-directed lives.

About Maggie: Maggie Winston is a self advocate and lifelong Alaskan that lives in Kenai. She is a Systems Advocate and Transition Specialist at the Independent Living Center in Soldotna, and has a fiery passion for disability policy and advocacy. She has a BA in psychology from UAA and is currently adjunct faculty for the LEND Program. She is involved with several advocacy groups, including: Key Coalition, Peer Power, Shared Vision for the Developmental Disability System in Alaska, and is the current Chair for the Gov.’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education.

Travis Noah

Travis Noah

Peer Advocate, Hope Community Resources


Keynote Panel Title: My Life within the DD Vision

Abstract: It’s cliché to say “life happens” but for most of us, it does. Day in and day out, life just happens. But what if parts of your life were supported by staff doing services delivered in small billable segments of time? And those segments of time required pre-stated goals and objectives, created by a whole team of people, through lengthy meetings, that sometimes you weren’t even a part of…now, for most of us that would be a monumental and unfathomable change from our present day-to-day life. Our keynote panelist will share the stories and experiences they have encountered throughout childhood, as young adults and now as professionals within the intellectual and developmental disability service system. What does life look like using these supports? How have they excelled, empowering themselves and others? Learn about the changes they have brought about as self-advocates. With their steadfast guidance and determination, Alaskans continue to move towards the ultimate goal of leading meaningful, self-directed lives.

About Travis: Travis Noah experiences a physical challenge called cerebral palsy. He has lived in Alaska since 1991 and for the past 15 years has been a strong advocate for individuals who experience all kinds of challenges. For most of his life he has relied on people to help with his physical care needs and has learned to advocate to make sure his needs and wants are properly provided for. Travis uses this valuable experience in his work for Hope Community Resources as a peer advocate. Travis also served on the Governor’s Council for Disabilities and Special Education from 2004 to 2007.

Michael Bork

Michael Bork

M.S. Organizational Psychology, Owner, Laughtership LLC


Keynote Title: Health, Happiness, & World Peace through Laughter

Abstract:This session will leave you thinking (and laughing)! Michael “Mr. Mirth” Bork is an organizational leadership specialist and a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. He travels the world teaching organizations about the many beneficial power of happy employees through non-humor-based laughter, done as a group activity. This “exercise laughter” is combined with deep breathing and mindfulness practices to produce a result that can only be experienced to be believed! Participants will learn about why “laughing for no reason” is important to themselves and their organizations, how this type of laughter benefits the mind, body, AND bottom line, and how to practically incorporate positivity, happiness, and laughter into our daily lives.

About Michael: “Mirth” is expressing happiness as laughter, and Michael “Mr. Mirth” Bork is dedicated to “Spreading Mirth on Earth!” A U.S. Marine Corps veteran with nearly three decades of leadership and management experience, Michael “Mr. Mirth” Bork is dedicated to providing practical solutions to workplace happiness, health, and productivity. Combining his life experiences with a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and a certification as a Laughter Yoga Teacher, Michael shows individuals and organizations how to live with less stress, more energy, and an overall happier lifestyle using non-humor-based Laughter Yoga.

His unique message and approach to organizational leadership uses evidence-based Positive Psychology principles, authentic leadership practices, and non-humor-based laughter applications. His presentation method is interactive, and his classes provide practical skills and tools, not just lecture and theory. His style has been described as “engaging, informative, and unforgettable!” Participants will skip out of the class, filled with positivity and energy that will last for hours!

Michael Bork lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with his wife and nine pets, and he travels the world teaching about laughter and positivity, living out his mission of: “Spreading Mirth on Earth!”

Checkout Michael’s TEDx Talk


Registration – Accommodations – Parking

Registration: Participants – Click Here for More Information and to Register

Registration Rates:

  • Two-day registration = $205
  • Three-day registration = $250

HOTEL. A negotiated rate of $129 per night for single or double occupancy in a standard room is available for conference participants. These rates do not include state, local or local occupancy taxes. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the room block available at the Hotel Captain Cook.

Reservations can be made online at the Hotel Captain Cook website or by calling, 907.276.6000, toll free 1.800.843.1950. Be sure to indicate that you are booking within the Full Lives Conference room block and use the Group Code: FULLLIVES19.

Parking.
Although Parking IS NOT included in the registration fee please refer to this map for more information about the many parking opportunities downtown near the Hotel Captain Cook. You will be responsible for any parking expenses.
DOWNTOWN PARKING MAP


Video Story Booth – Tell Us Your Story!

The Full Lives Conference is excited to be partnering with the ANCOR Foundation’s campaign: Included. Supported. Empowered. to gather stories from Direct Support Professionals, Care Coordinators and Self-Advocates. The Video Story Booth will have a professional videographer collecting video footage from folks just like you who are making significant differences in the lives of Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities! The video footage gathered in the Video Story Booth will be used in the collective efforts to show the world the vital role DSPs, Care Coordinators and Self-Advocates play in strengthening communities. Telling your story is easy and fun and is a great way for you to lend your voice to the state and national advocacy efforts.

You might have some questions about this opportunity. Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Why should I talk on camera? I don’t think I have anything to say.
You see firsthand the impact having support can make to someone with an intellectual or developmental disability. You see their possibilities and you see the barriers they may face in their community. Your perspective is a very important one and one we want more people to hear.

What should I talk about?
Whatever you would like to share with us! Here are some questions that you might be asked:

  • What are some of the goals achieved by those you support?
  • What was your proudest moment as Support Professional?
  • List three words that describe how you feel when you’re helping support individuals with I/DD?
  • What do you want people to understand about how people with I/DD whould be included, supported and empowered?
  • What can other people in the community do to help people with I/DD fee empowered?
  • What is your hope for 2019?
  • What brought you into this field?

What to do if you are interested in telling your story:
There will be a sign-up sheet at the conference check-in table. Story time slots will be 30 minutes each. We encourage you to sign up for a slot through walk-ins will be welcome and accommodated as quickly as possible. The Video Story Booth will be taking place in the Resolution Room (downstairs by the breakout session rooms) and will be open Wednesday from 11:15 AM – 3:45 PM and on Thursday from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM.


Training Access Funds

Application period is now closed. 

Requirements:

  1. Must be a direct service professional or care coordinator working with Alaska Mental Health Trust beneficiaries (beneficiary groups include: mental illness, developmental disabilities, chronic alcoholism and other substance related disorders, Alzheimer’s and related dementia, and traumatic brain injuries).
  2. Will be attending the 2019 Full Lives Conference registering for two days or three days.
  3. Live in a rural community, off-road from Anchorage or live more than 80 miles from Anchorage.
  4. Will be staying at the Hotel Captain Cook.

Training Access Funds (TAF) may be awarded to cover the cost of air travel or gasoline if driving and hotel expenses at the Hotel Captain Cook.

Awards are not transferable and are mailed after the conference to whomever paid your expenses.


Outstanding Direct Service Professionals of the Year Awards – Alaska Alliance for Direct Service Careers

Nominations are now closed.

Winners will receive $1,000 and a paid trip (where applicable) to the 2019 Full Lives Conference to accept this honor. In addition, they will receive free registration to the next Full Lives Conference in 2020.

To be a direct service professional, a person must work at least 75% of their time in direct care activities. Direct Service Professionals provide support in a variety of settings including the individual’s home, workplace, residential center, day center, and community. Positions include, but are not limited to: PCAs, CNAs, home care providers, care coordinators, clinicians, counselors, job coaches, and early intervention associates.

Click here to view award recipients from the previous five years.


Exhibitors – Sponsorship – Advertising

Registration:Sorry, we are sold out!

Any questions about exhibiting at the conference or to be added to a wait list, please contact Megan Moody, meganmoodyak@gmail.com.

Sponsorship & Advertising. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 Full Lives Conference or in advertising in the conference program, please contact Marilyn Weaver, mkweaver@alaska.edu.


General Continuing Education Credits

Due to the varying requirements of different jurisdictions and disciplines, the Full Lives Conference does not seek prior accreditation for CLE/CEUs. A Certificate of Attendance will be issued at the completion of your attendance at the conference that you may submit to your certifying agency or employer as necessary. We encourage attendees to check with their specific state licensing board to determine which sessions at the conference meet their requirements.


Continuing Education Hours for Care Coordinators

Care Coordinators who are currently certified for 24 months or more may receive a certificate of completion of required training for recertification with Senior and Disabilities Services.

To do this:

  1. Register for, attend and participate in the three day conference.
  2. Sign in with SDS training staff at the conference to receive a care coordinator training assignment.
  3. Complete the assignment after the conference and turn it in to SDS Training staff by the identified deadline.
  4. SDS is offering an optional session series with topics of interest to Care Coordinators, which is open to all conference attendees as well.
  5. All currently certified Care Coordinators, including those seeking training completion for recertification, may also receive a certificate of completion of 16 hours of Continuing Education Hours if attending and participating in all three days.

The Care Coordinator will receive a certificate of Continuing Education Hours from SDS Training.

If you have questions about Care Coordination training please email sdstraining@alaska.gov.


Volunteers

If you are interested in volunteering for the conference or have any questions about the conference, please contact Megan Moody, meganmoodyak@gmail.com.


The Full Lives Conference receives funding and support from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, UAA Center for Human Development, The Alaska Training Cooperative, and the State of Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services.