Synergy Ohio

2017 Synergy Conference Session Schedule


8:45 AM                 1 hour Keynote

Dreams, Goals and Aspirations (127)
Anthony Ianni will use personal experiences and anecdotes to provide a motivational session with a message that focuses on autism awareness and bullying prevention. Anthony will share how he overcame challenges and incidents of bullying and was able to surpass the expectations that had been given at the time of his diagnosis. He will also talk about the support from his family, teachers and others and how this impacted his ability to succeed.
Anthony Ianni, Autism and Bullying Awareness Advocate, Michigan Department of Civil Rights

 10:00 AM                2 hours

 A Limited Budget Doesn’t Mean a Limited Life (104)
What is the secret to happiness? Money is important, but it is not the secret! During this session, participants will explore the true secret of happiness. Participants will have the opportunity to generate ideas about what it means to live a happy life and work on strategies on how to get there. Everyone will walk away with some fresh ideas and the motivation to create a good life for themselves.
William Jones, Professional Development/Culture Specialist, Ohio Association of County Boards of DD
Peter Moore, Chief of Staff, Ohio Association of County Boards of DD

Charting the LifeCourse (119)
Do you want some hands on tools that can help you plan for your future? Do you want to grow your role and support in your community? Do you feel supported by formal DD services? Do you feel overwhelmed by trying to determine what resources are available? During this workshop, you will learn how to identify your “good life” and utilize comprehensive and integrated supports across all areas of life to get there. Our presenters will show you tools that help identify experiences, problem solve and map out desired experiences to reach “the good life” as you see it. This workshop is appropriate for family members, self-advocates and professionals who want to enhance or integrate supports to fill in the gaps of the service system.
Melane Barlow, FNRO Coordinator, Ohio State University
Barbara Sapharas, Independent Consultant – Volunteer, Self Employed
Celia Schloemer, Family Support Coordinator, University of Cincinnati

 1:45 PM                         1 hour

 Support thru Technology (102)
The presenter will explore the option of using technology such as Assistive Technology Tools to Remote Support to increase independence. This session will explore the use of remote camera systems, audio systems, passive and active supports, window and door sensors, as well as medication reminders.
Jarrod Hunt, CEO, Wynn-Reeth, Inc.

Breaking Barriers to Communication and Tackling Behaviors (103)
The presenters will demonstrate how to open up communication and help individuals to be accountable for their own behavior. The presenter’s technique will use setting expectations, setting boundaries and a no excuse approach. These techniques will help individuals be successful.
Michelle Cahoon,     Resource Specialist, IDEA House Educational Services, LLC
Ann Kagarise, Assistant Director, IDEA House Educational Services, LLC
Angela Shumate, Owner, IDEA House Educational Services, LLC

Good Life Networks – Personal Social Networks (112)
This session will provide a brief summary of the critical importance of personal relationships/connections with other citizens toward building the “good life” by people with disabilities. They will share stories of those connections that the Good Life Networks has helped to foster.
Kim McKinney, President, Good Life Networks
Jack Pealer, Senior Consultant, Good Life Networks
Lynda White, Good Life Networks

Ohio National Core Indicators Project: Hiring Individuals with Disabilities as NCI Interviewers (133)
The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities chose the Nisonger center to train and hire NCI interviewers and administer at least 400 NCI in-person interviews throughout Ohio. The purpose of NCI is to improve services for individuals with disabilities by using the data we collect. One of the major issues for individuals with disabilities is finding a paid job in the community and the Nisonger center has made hiring self-advocates as interviewers a priority before other people interested in interviewing. Not only is the data collected being used for improving services, the Nisonger Center is improving services by giving self-advocates a job which we hope will empower other people with disabilities looking for a paid job. This session will focus on the successes of hiring, training, and working with individuals with disabilities. One self-advocate interviewer will talk about his or her experience as an NCI interviewer and to spread the word that Nisonger is looking to hire more self-advocates. The presenters will also talk about the importance and purpose of the NCI project and different ways the data is used.
Tina Evans, Regional Liaison Team Lead, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
Annee Martin, NCI Interviewer, OSU Nisonger Center
Annamarie Sigman, NCI Coordinator, OSU Nisonger Center

3:00 PM                        2 hours

 Employment Stories (110)
Tammi (Elder) Black is a proud business owner of Treeder’s, a snack bar at the Richland County Courthouse in Mansfield, Ohio. Tammi’s vision to start her own business grew from her continuing frustration with the job market. Tammi will share the resources and discuss the people who have helped her to get her business started. She will also share positive outcomes and successes in her professional and personal life.

In this informative and inspiring session, employees with disabilities along with their employers and coworkers will share their stories of working and thriving in competitive community jobs. Employees will share how they got their job, how they succeed in their work and the way their jobs have impacted their lives and the lives of those around them. Scott Marks of OACB and Stacy Collins of DODD-Employment First will moderate the discussion with Ohio employees.
Ana Beil, The Spot
Tammi Black, Treeders
Stacy Collins, Project Manager, Employment First, DODD
Keith Jackson, Union County Board of DD
Michael Jannides, The Spot
Allyson Lindquist, Irelands Regional Medical Center
Scott Marks, Community Opportunities Director, OACBDD
Cole Oates, Union County Board of DD
Robert Stapp, Union County Board of DD
Logan Wicker, Union County Board of DD

What’s New in Medicaid: Updates from ODM and DODD (114)
Medicaid is ever evolving, and at times it is hard to keep up with the current information. Join two of the State experts who will share the latest program and policy developments within the Medicaid program.
Icilda Dickerson, Section Chief, Interagency Policy, Ohio Department of Medicaid
Lori Horvath, Deputy Director, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

Community Support and Transitions (120)
This session will be a discussion of ways local community leaders can effectively build support within a community for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We will explore public policy, private/public partnerships and inclusion. You will learn about a great way to increase integration and help people form professional relationships.
Sara Kline, Mayor, City of Stow

Apps, Safety, Social Media (123)
People today are regularly utilizing smart devices without proper education into the dangers lurking behind these devices. The smart device has brought predators out from the shadows and into the homes. This presentation will cover cyber-bullying, and some of today’s most popular apps being used. It will also include safety tips and warning signs for parents, staff and others.
Rick Steller, Detective, Grove City Ohio Police Department

 7:00 PM                        2 hours

Movie – The Accountant (129)
Christian Wolff, (Ben Affleck,) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King, starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise. (Rated R for strong violence and language throughout.)
Mindy Garverick, Director of Project Management, Dynamic Pathways, Inc.


8:30 AM                        1 hour Keynote

The Person in the Mirror – Your Special Word (131)
This session will focus on the importance and power of words. Do you ever wonder what you see when you look in the mirror? Do you sometimes wonder who that person is? This session will explore what inspires you to achieve your potential and what you can do to inspire others. Dwight will be sharing about the importance of words, delving into what your special word might be, and how we can change the world if we stand together. Don’t miss this session – your special word awaits!
Dwight Smith, Servant Leader, Sophisticated Systems, Inc.

9:45 AM                        2 hours

Innovative Care for Individuals with Dementia (106)
During this session, individuals will learn how aging and Alzheimer’s affect individuals with Down syndrome. Participants will understand behaviors, physiological needs, warning signs, aggression, agitation, sleep issues and finally getting creative with how to address all the issues and concerns of Alzheimer’s. As people grow older, this session will help you prepare for the potential future and be proactive with treatment and care.
Diane Ramey, Chief of Long Term Care, Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging

The Puzzle is Not Complete Until You Play Your Piece (113)
This presentation will teach individuals how to discover their purpose, embrace their gifts, contribute to a cause, and celebrate life. Participants will be challenged to change the world through their own unique personal mission and, they will be encouraged to “play their piece.”
Scott Osterfeld, Chaplain, Echoing Hills

Facilitating Resilience and Hope (118)
We live in a toxically stressful world, where trauma is now recognized as a near universal experience of individuals at some point in their lifespan. While the legacy of trauma creates a complex array of social, emotional, and behavioral survival skills that are passed on inter-generationally, resilience is present in those skills as well. This lively and interactive presentation brings to life the neuroscience of trauma and the healing power of relationships. Learn the top five resilience factors. Explore your role in helping those whose lives you touch develop resiliency and how to use the same skills to support yourself. We will look at what you already are doing that creates resilience, and build on those gifts, so you have more to share with others and yourself. Mary Vicario, Certified Trauma Specialist, Finding Hope Consulting, LLC

Speak Up 1 – Stay Safe: Community Health and Safety (126)
The community is a wonderful place! It is made up of new and interesting people, neighborhoods, jobs, homes, places to have fun and learn and many ways to experience a good life! As people with disabilities become more included in their communities, they have access to greater resources and opportunities. Increased opportunities can also bring additional risks and challenges. The material that will be discussed during this session was developed by people with disabilities, advocates, family members, direct support professionals and lawyers. This is the 1st session in a track for the rest of the day. All sessions help inform people with disabilities and those who support them about learning to be safe and healthy. Topics covered in this 1st session include Healthy Relationships and Boundaries. Presenters include people with disabilities, their allies and Olivia Caldeira, Ph. D., The Center for Disability Empowerment. Self-advocates presenting in sessions throughout the track are Ty Ferguson, Logan County, Sarah Mohrman, Sandusky County, Jessi Russell, Delaware County, Carolina Ann Thomas, Knox County and Chad Wogan, Morrow County.
(This is the 1st of three sessions in an all-day track.)
Olivia Caldeira, Ph.D, Center for Disability Empowerment

1:30 PM                         1 hour

 I Have a Mom…You Don’t Need to Know Everything About Me! (107)
A mom and son will share their stories of living under a microscope within state systems and other life challenges. They will talk about what it takes from the ISP team and providers to help him be successful without crossing the snake-pit boundary line of “I Already have a Mom – You don’t need to know everything about me!” This session will talk about independence, how to help a parent and their child find appropriate voices while still maintaining a positive relationship with all those involved.
Joshua Chappell, Knox County Board of DD
Pennie Chappell, Provider Network Coordinator, MEORC

Many Faces of Autism: An Online Video Training Series for Your Community (109)
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are integral members of our community. But not everyone in our community understands ASD. This session focuses on ASD Strategies In Action – an online video-based series that provides communities information about the common characteristics, challenges and simple strategies that can be used to support people with ASD in everyday interactions. The series offers first responders, direct service providers, educators, and families both introductory and more advanced instruction in evidence-based practices through videos that have been filmed in real-life settings of home, school, community and workplace. You will learn more about this training series and how it can be used with first responders and other professionals in your community.
Carly McVey, Program Director, OCALI

Speak Up 2 – Stay Safe: Community Health and Safety (116)
The community is a wonderful place! This is the 2nd session in a track for the rest of the day. All sessions help inform people with disabilities and those who support them about learning to be safe and healthy. Some of the material is blunt, graphic and honest. Topics covered in this 2nd session include Sexuality and Dating. Presenters include people with disabilities, their allies and Olivia Caldeira, Ph.D. The Center for Disability Empowerment. Self-advocates presenting in sessions throughout the track are Ty Ferguson, Logan County, Sarah Mohrman, Sandusky County, Jessi Russell, Delaware County, Carolina Ann Thomas, Knox County and Chad Wogan, Morrow County. (This is the 2nd of three sessions in an all-day track.)
Olivia Caldeira, Ph.D, Center for Disability Empowerment

Boot the Bed Bugs (124)
Bed bugs are tiny parasitic insects that mostly feed on human blood. They are hitchhikers and can be easily carried from one place to another. The speaker will address how to prevent bed bugs, how to identify them, and finally give insight on bed bug behavior. This has become more prevalent in all communities, so stay one step ahead of the bed bugs.
Kelly Robbins, Chair, Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force Steering Committee

 2:45 PM                        2 hours

Interactions with First Responders (Police – Firefighters – EMS) Working Together for Better Outcomes (115)
This session will look at the interaction from two perspectives. Perspective #1 is from First Responders (Police- Firefighters- EMS) and Perspective # 2 is from people with developmental disabilities. First Responders will share their concerns and fears for every encounter they have with any call. They will share specific concerns when a call includes a person with a developmental disability. People with developmental disabilities will share their concerns and fears when encountering a First Responder. During this session, participants will identify and share what they would like First Responders to know about interacting with a person with DD, and session participants will share ideas on how to ease First Responders specific concerns. The session will wrap up with participants sharing ideas on how to establish collaborative relationships with First Responders in their home towns.
William Jones, Professional Development/Culture Specialist, Ohio Association of County Boards of DD
Bambi Zinkon, MUI Coordinator, Coshocton County Board of DD

Speak Up 3 – Stay Safe: Community Health and Safety (117)
The community is a wonderful place! This is the 3rd session in a track from earlier in the day. All sessions help inform people with disabilities and those who support them about learning to be safe and healthy. People who are uninformed, silent or powerless are more likely to be abused. The more people know, the more they are empowered to be safe and healthy. Topics covered in this session include Abuse, Bullying and Harassment, Human Trafficking, Alcohol, Drugs, Weapons and On-Line Safety. Presenters include people with disabilities, their allies and Olivia Caldeira, Ph. D., The Center for Disability Empowerment. Self-advocates presenting in sessions throughout the track are Ty Ferguson, Logan County, Sarah Mohrman, Sandusky County, Jessi Russell, Delaware County, Carolina Ann Thomas, Knox County and Chad Wogan, Morrow County. (This is the 3rd of three sessions in an all-day track.)
Olivia Caldeira, Ph.D, Center for Disability Empowerment

From Segregation to Inclusion: Best Practices and Stories (121)
Friends, Allies, and Neighbors of Athens County help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities make friends, join clubs and groups, and find volunteer opportunities. Co-Founder David McNelly and other co-founders and participants in the program will present how to obtain community buy-in for full community inclusion, share success stories, and show a step-by-step way that other county boards and concerned citizens can ramp up community inclusion in a relatively short time period.
Asa Bentley
Dawn Deisher
David McNelly, SSA, Co-Founder of FANs-Athens County, Athens County Board of DD

Insightful Self-Care, and Antibiotic Overuse and Resistance (128)
This presentation looks at the value of self-care for all ages and will include practical strategies for implementing self-care into daily life. It will include an exploration of the origins of antibiotic use and progression to the development of super-bugs. A healthy life is what we all strive for, but we must be careful about antibiotic overuse.
Lindi McGaughy, Family Nurse Practitioner, The Ohio State University College of Nursing

7:00 PM                        1.5 hours

 Movie – Life Animated (130)
Owen Suskind was a boy of considerable promise, until he developed autism at the age of 3. As Owen withdrew into his silent state, his parents almost lost hope that he would find some way to interact with his world in some meaningful way. However, that way was found through animated films, especially those of the Walt Disney Company, which provided Owen a way to understand the world through its stories, to the point of creating his own. This film covers the life of Owen and how he manages to become as functional as possible with the help of Disney and his family, to the point of having his own life. However, Owen soon learns as well there is more to real life than what Disney can illustrate in animation, even as his family prepares itself for an uncertain future with him. PG,
Documentary, Animation, Drama.
Mindy Garverick, Director of Project Management, Dynamic Pathways, Inc.


   9:00 AM                        2 hours

Managing Life/Work Stress (101)
Life and work, especially in our chosen profession, are by their very nature stressful. There is much a person can do, however, not only to cope more effectively with stress, but also to prevent much of it. Participants will be given opportunities to assess their levels of stress, identify its sources, and practice strategies to minimize it utilizing a variety of physical, psychological, and spiritual approaches.
Paul Robinson, Psychologist/Professor, Self – Employed

Guardianship 101 (122)
This session is an overview of the roles, rights and responsibilities of guardians of persons with developmental disabilities. It will include information about working with local county boards of DD, individual service plans, respecting individuals’ rights and working with provider agencies. It will also focus on supported decision making and other less-restrictive alternatives to guardianship.
Linda Fisher, Executive Director, Union County Guardianship Services
Jeanne Sydenstricker, Consultant, River Path, LLC
Pam Walters, Medicaid Services Manager, Union County Board of DD

Living with Technology for Support (125)
Adam will talk about his current living situation, and how he has incorporated technology to live independently. He will give a photo tour of the Universal Design Living Laboratory in Columbus, which features unique ideas that can be incorporated into accessible housing. He will also address new legislation to help make housing more inclusive for people with physical disabilities. Bill will talk about ways to incorporate assistive technologies into the provision of services to Ohioans with disabilities. He will discuss the latest additions to the assistive technology library at OSU, as well as new emerging technologies for people with disabilities.
William T. Darling, Director, Assistive Technology of Ohio
Adam Helbling, Motivational Speaker/Author, Adam Helbling

Interactions with Law Enforcement/Court Systems (132)
Experienced professionals will discuss what to do when confronted by Law Enforcement in the community, how to navigate within the court system, who to call for assistance, and what to expect when involved with the legal system. Important issues to be discussed: advocating for consumers and educating Law Enforcement and court personnel about DD/ID. Several case scenarios, both successes and failures, will be shared with the audience in an open dialog session.
Phil Florian, Forensic Liaison, Cuyahoga County Board of DD
Michael Kontura, Forensic Liaison, Cuyahoga County Board of DD

 11:15 AM                          1 hour

Hospice and Pharmacogenetics – Specialized Need of DD Population (105)
As healthcare continues to advance with technology, individuals with developmental disabilities are living longer and have specialized needs for care and support. In addition, current trends show the parents and caregivers of individuals with disabilities are not outliving their loved ones. In order to provide exceptional care to exceptional people, we need to work together to educate families and individuals who live with developmental disabilities on specialized services available to make informed decisions. In this presentation, participants will learn about specialized service needs for end of life care for both individuals with developmental disabilities and their aging loved ones and caregivers. In addition, participants will be introduced to Pharmacogenetics and how it is being used successfully within the DD population. Pharmacogenetics eliminates the guesswork of prescribing medications and utilizes a non-invasive test to determine which medication, in which dosage will be most effective for an individual. Participants will be provided data and real life examples of how this testing has benefited individuals in pain management and behavioral health.
Kathy Richard, Chief Clinical Officer, ViaQuest, Inc.

Real Retirement – What Does it Really Mean? (108)
Retirement is often described as the “end of employment”.  It may be the end of working for a specific employer, but it is not the end of using your time and talents to make a difference personally and in the field.  We all have gifts of our time, talents, and treasure.  How do you use your gifts now, and how can you use them in the next phase of your life?  Come hear how “retirees” have found ways to contribute, follow their passions and make a difference.
Dana Charlton, Executive Director, Ohio Self Determination Association
Linda Kunick, Resident Home Corporation
Barbara Sapharas, Independent Consultant – Volunteer, Self Employed
Debbie Schmieding

Consumer Scams (111)
Scammers use a variety of tactics to make their offers seem legitimate. Learn to recognize the signs of a scam to protect yourself and those you care about. Find out some of the common types of scams faced by consumers, as well as how to reduce your risk of identity theft. The presenter will explain the common scams targeting people with disabilities, explore the warning signs and red flags of a scam, and discuss how to recognize victims of a scam as professionals working with people with disabilities. It also touches upon Identity Theft and the importance of protecting our identity through such measures as checking credit reports, shredding personal information, and staying safe while online. This presentation also has visual aids through video examples of these scams.
Danielle Murphy, Consumer Educator, Ohio Attorney General’s Office
Jennifer Mildren, Assistant Attorney General, Ohio Attorney General’s Office




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