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Keynote Sessions

IDD Business & Service Models: Reimagine, Refocus, Rebuild

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, community providers rose to the occasion in a range of different ways. Along the way, an array of new practices emerged. While many of these practices have become industry standard in some places, they haven’t been universally embraced in all places or for all providers. With that in mind, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council set out on a 17-month comprehensive service delivery models project designed to transform service delivery models, revolutionize business practices and promote best practices to help providers recover, rebuild and reimagine their service models.

Participants in this session will glean a comprehensive overview of the approaches used, tools implemented, processes enhanced and funding streams utilized by providers in this project to envision approaches they might adopt to ensure people with I/DD receive services in a seamless, individualized and sustainable way, regardless of where they live or whether they receive services at home, on-site or in the community.


  • Michael Shriver, Penn-Mar Human Services
  • Kevin Walker, Penn-Mar Human Services

GoodLife Delivered: Solutions to Stabilize Your Workforce

Join Dr. Mike Strouse and the team from GoodLife University as we share tangible and meaningful solutions that will stabilize your workforce while improving the lives of the direct support caregivers( DSPs) who make your mission possible.

This session will deliver a fast-paced, high level overview of GoodLife U’s evidence-based initiatives for improving the capacity and consistency of your DSP workforce. We will highlight GoodLife U’s 1)recruiting and hiring strategies, 2) training approach and early on-the-job support for new DSPs, 3)five-faucet approach for staffing schedules, 4) pay and paid time-off strategies, 5) replacement staffing and vacancy management strategies, and 6) unique benefit strategies for DSPs.

We will  present an overview of the metrics we use to assess the quality and stability of our own Kansas workforce of about 350 DSPs, where, since January 2023 we have zero net DSP openings. We will explore the impact GoodLife U’s initiatives have had with providers. We will show performance graphs of GoodLife’s own recruitment/hiring pipeline, post-hire stability, capacity to work extra, early turnover, staff satisfaction, and more. Finally, we will deliver a sneak peek at our newest initiatives and briefly share what’s next for 2023 and 2024, including a national dissemination of GoodLife’s award-winning service models including the Neighborhood Network and iLink Technologies.


  • Michael Strouse, President/CEO of GoodLife Innovations, iLink Technologies, and The Strouse Group, Inc.

Breakout Sessions

Walking Away from Sub-Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2020, the Sandefur Center (now Elevate WKY) walked away from subminimum wage. More than a year before, the the Sandefur Center began planning for the shift from a traditional sheltered workshop to a training center focused on community employment and independence. This session will discuss how the Sandefur Center came to that decision, what steps were taken to minimize the impact, how they communicated the change, and the overall impact of eliminating subminimum wage on the organization.


  • Julie Wischer, Elevate WKY

Tackling Employee Turnover

With demand for direct support professionals expected to far outpace the supply of people to fill those positions, there is increased need to understand methods for strengthening and stabilizing this segment of the health and human service workforce. Not only is hiring difficult, but the field is also plagued with high turnover at a time when demand for additional direct support professionals to support the disability population in the United States is peaking.

In Tackling Turnover, we will evaluate the demand for and stability of the DSP workforce, discuss increasing capacity and quality of services, examine the cost of high turnover rates for providers and learn how to calculate your turnover rate, gain knowledge about methods of reducing turnover, and explore how to evaluate improvement in retention rates.


  • Dana Slucher, Anchor Center
  • Anne Skinner, Anchor Center

Voting Rights: Disenfranchising the Intellectually Disabled

Existing legislation and current judicial practices oppress Kentuckians with intellectual disabilities by restricting their voting rights and creating unnecessary barriers to voting. Advocates for individuals with impairments must change the discourse to reflect critical theories that value the lived experience of the individual. Eliminating oppressive institutions and practices will allow greater participation in the electoral process and foster inclusion in the general society for people with impairments. Justice requires that every vote count and that every voice be heard.


  • William H. Robinson, DSW, Abilities Unlimited

Value Over Volume: Payment Reform Pilots in Community IDD Services

Since 2017, ANCOR has been focused on developing its priorities and principles for payment reform in Medicaid funded intellectual and developmental disabilities long-term services and supports. As managed care continues to expand in the IDD sector, and states continue to look for greater efficiencies, ANCOR believes there is a pathway to ensuring better outcomes and increased flexibility for people served and the providers supporting them. With a focus on value over volume, the association asserts key characteristics and concepts for several pilots to be considered in the movement away from fee-for-service financing toward managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) including value-based payments, shared savings arrangements, and integrated care models.

This presentation will discuss ANCOR’s proposed recommendations for three MLTSS models that are person-centered, ensure maximum flexibility in service delivery, centered on stakeholder partnerships and are predicated on the achievement of quality outcomes.


  • Donna Martin, ANCOR

Additional Breakout Sessions Will Cover the Following Topics:

  • Emerging trends in Kentucky Employment Law
  • Employment First
  • Technology Assisted Supports
  • Person Centered Practices


Elevate Your Advocacy: The Roles of a Disability Services Advocate

Join us for an engaging and dynamic workshop dedicated to empowering advocates for disability services like you. Discover ways to become a more effective advocate and harness the strengths of your fellow advocates.

In the realm of disability service advocacy, understanding your role in the broader social movement is crucial. At this workshop, we’ll delve into the various roles that disability service advocates need to embrace to drive impactful change, from securing funding to shaping policy and sharing innovative solutions that enhance community providers’ support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your advocacy skills and connect with fellow advocates!


  • Noah Block, ANCOR

Additional Sessions

Panel Discussion

Hear from industry leaders as they discuss the challenges, realities, and future outlook for I/DD services in Kentucky.

Direct Support Professional and Case Manager Awards

Join us to honor KAPP’s 2023 DSP of the Year and 2023 Case Manager of the Year.

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