Banner: Association of Professional Developmental Disabilities Administrators (APDDA)
Banner: Association of Professional Developmental Disabilities Administrators (APDDA)

2009 APDDA Conference Review

PDF 2009 Conference Highlights

APDDA held another successful conference in 2009. Participants learned valuable information from both the formal presentations and the many opportunities to talk with colleagues and share experiences. The Summer edition of The Digest includes information from each of the presentations; you can view extensive summaries of the presentations in the 2009 Summer edition of The Digest.

Presentations on administration and current trends included the following:

Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of NASDDDS, brought us up to date on current realities and the trends to expect over the near future, including economic realities and trends, the trend toward serving people in family homes, new service trends, and long-term care reform. Click on the link below to view slides from this presentation.
Trends in National and State Practice

Julie Huso, Director of Resource Development, VOR spoke of the economic and political trends having an impact on ICF/MR services. She spoke from the point of view of an advocate for a complete range of services.

The State Directors Panel included presentations by Kathy Kliebert, Assistant Secretary Louisiana Office of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities and William Lowry, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Ms. Kliebert spoke of the planning in Louisiana for change in the long-term care system, the growth in waiver services, individualized budgeting and fair resource allocation, and direct support professional (DSP) salaries in addition to other critical issues. Dr. Lowry discussed issues of ensuring safe environments, recruitment of qualified staff, and Department of Justice initiatives.
Louisiana changes in long-term care system

Sheryl Larson, University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration discussed findings from the Residential Information Systems Project. She described the growth in number of people receiving services, especially among those with challenging behaviors and psychiatric labels. She noted ways for facilities to remain viable and to use their resources to build community infrastructure. She gave information on DSP recruitment and retention. She discussed the kinds of information the Project will seek to gather in the future.
Staffing Challenges

A Panel Discussion on The Changing Role of ICFs/MR in Providing Active Treatment included presentations by Gus Wall of Hunterdon (NJ) Developmental Center, Mark Diorio of Northern Virginia Training Center, Mike Davis of M J Davis Consulting and the Iowa Road to Community Project, and John Finn of NY OMRDD. These presentations discussed how the roles and services of ICFs/MR are changing. ICFs/MR now provide respite care, train community staff, share medical, dental, and behavioral services, and serve people with extreme behaviors that put themselves and others at risk of harm (including sex offenses, arson, and severe aggression). Even for people with those severely challenging behaviors, the roles of the ICF/MR continue to be to help people move to and succeed in community living, while still providing residential services that protect those individuals and others.
APDDA 2009 RtC & Respite

Ralph Henry, Superintendent of the San Antonio State School discussed innovations in continuous active treatment and the development of a culture and processes to support high expectations for outstanding services.

There were also presentations on clinical issues:

Dr. Alan Childs of the North Texas State Hospital described Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation, the research behind it, and its use aggression and violence.
Allen Child’s 48 cases here

Ken Lassman of Kansas Neurological Institute described how his facility develops positioning and seating technology to serve the needs of people who reside in the facility and to support people living in community settings. Not only did he provide information on cutting-edge processes, but he also discussed how to make this available to people receiving community services, so that facilities can help ensure all people get high quality services to help them remain safe and healthy, and to increase independence.
Ken Lassman of Kansas Neurological Institute

As always, there was a focus on CMS and the expectations and survey processes we can expect to face.

Peggye Wilkerson and Kelley Tinsley of CMS participated via a conference call to present an update on CMS ICF/MR activities. They discussed changes in surveyor training, revisions to interpretive guidelines, and recent Survey and Certification Letters. A question and answer period allowed participants to raise issues they have faced and seek clarification.

Deb Burgess, Director of Quality Assurance, Mexia State School, Texas represented APDDA at Basic Surveyor Training and presented information on what was emphasized and what ICFs/MR need to focus on.

Participants in the conference had the opportunity to visit San Antonio State School to experience ICF/MR services in a different setting and get new ideas.

Each evening provided opportunities to network and learn from each other at the hospitality room. During the day, participants could speak with representatives of companies that provide equipment, supplies, training, consultation, and other services.

Read The Digest, and you will see how much value you will find in participating at the APDDA Annual Conference.


The Association of Professional Developmental Disabilities Administrators is a not-for-profit professional organization founded in 1970 in the State of Washington.


© 2023 APDDA
Website design and development by RHB Technology Solutions, Inc.