Synergy Ohio

2021 Synergy Conference Session Schedule


SYNERGY 2021 Schedule PDF

Wednesday- October 6
9:30 AM – 10:50 AM
Stuart “Twitchy” Ellis-Myers, Keynote
UNSTOPPABLE: More Care! More Providing!! More Fun!!!
Caring for people living with developmental disabilities is as much a calling as it is a career. ‘Twitchy’ is living proof that anyone who overcomes overwhelming circumstance tends to develop extraordinary approaches to every day challenges – often achieving extraordinary results.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
A Community Without Barriers
Morgan Eavers, Emma Harvey, Lora Harvey, Robby Reed
The Academy for Leadership Abilities® is a leadership group focused on integrity, personal growth, and empowering others to live the life they want to live. Pioneering Possibilities® does not use the word advocacy. We are our community and the change we want to see in the world. Participants will learn everything rises and falls on leadership and building relationships. Our biggest secret, “a community without barriers” will empower people to cultivate change in their own communities.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Interacting with Law Enforcement
Diane Dudziak
The presentation focuses on experience interacting with them as law enforcement officers. Due to skyrocketing diagnosis rates and the challenges posed by Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”), people with ASD have up to seven times more contact with law enforcement officers than others. These interactions can pose risk of harm to both the person and the officer given the wide-ranging impact ASD has on the one’s ability to communicate, follow directions, and regulate emotions. This session will focus on the experiences that Officer Dudziak, her brother Jeff, and his non-verbal friend, Nick, have had with law enforcement and other professional persons.
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
Move It or Lose It and Easy Eats!
Sherry Simmons
You will find your feet taping to the beat in this session as you experience burning calories by having fun. Learn about food labels, portion sizes and receive practical solutions to the supersized world we live in. Participants will develop the skills to determine the difference between a doctor’s recommendation and a rights restriction and how to have conversations encouraging healthy choices without restricting rights.
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
Using LifeCourse to Support Person-Centered Day Services
Kelly Schuck, Keith Banner
Supporting facility-based provider organizations to continue the transition to community-based supports is foundational for creating successful futures for people with developmental disabilities. This presentation will be a facilitated panel of people with disabilities focused on how individuals can utilize the LifeCourse Tools to support person-centered day services and the transformation of these services from a facility to a community based model.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Mental Health, Mental Wealth
Stuart “Twitchy” Ellis-Meyers
Actively participate in a live demonstration – based group therapy experience. Leave knowing how to generate a fundamental place of safety that creates the genuine trust required to let you quickly, efficiently and intimately connect and communicate with any of the people you lead.
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Where Everybody Knows Your Name
Talisha Beha, Steve Oster, Andrew Taylor
“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. You want to go where people know, that people are all the same. You want to go where everybody knows your name.” (Gary Portnay- Cheers theme song). Everybody wants to belong– that is the norm (Hey, Norm!). Participants will explore how County Boards, Direct Service Professionals, Community Partners and Self-Advocates can all work together to create, promote and connect to integrated communities.
3:35 PM – 4:45 PM
Virtual Connections
Kraig Walker, Cara Lloyd, Steve Pelton
How has the last 18 months have taught us some cool tricks and technology. In some ways it has even taught us ways to communicate and work together. Join us as we explore new trends in collaboration, fun and learning.
3:45 PM – 4:45 PM
Personal Budgeting, Your Benefits and You!
Darenda Geer
This session will provide important information on personal budgeting, saving, STABLE accounts and how they all work together to affect your life, grocery bill, paying your rent, having spending money and benefits. The speaker will explore how overpayments in benefits will impact the personal budget.
Thursday -October 7
8:45 AM – 9:45 AM
“GAME TIME: 7 Success Principles You Should Know Before Rolling the Dice”
Karim Ellis, Keynote
Karim Ellis specializes in developing leaders and champions through clear leadership solutions. Karim will teach us his 7 success principles.
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Customer Experience
Personality and How it is Perceived in Customer Service
Cindy Nava
As the parent of an individual receiving County Board services, as well as a County Board employee, Cindy has been on both sides of the customer service experience. Her interactive presentation, “An interactive look into our customer experience”, offers an in-depth examination of how our personalities and past experiences influence how we give, receive, and interpret customer service.
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Leading Yourself and Leading Others:
Building Influence to Achieve Your Goals.
David Uhl
This presentation will help you better understand how to lead yourself and how to understand, influence, and lead others. During the session, you will learn how you can accept personal responsibility for your goals, discover your personality profile, and learn how to use this information to lead yourself and others more effectively. This session includes both interactive and team work based activities. It will be fast-paced, fun, and you will come away with tools that will help you continue forward toward your goals.
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
Your Hired!
Bobbi Kirch, Debbie Christmas & Panel
This presentation will demonstrate the awesome power of work. Everyone has the right to work and deserves the opportunity to explore the possibilities. Participants will identify what the path to employment may look like for adults and youth and employment services offered by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and DODD. The panel consists of employed individuals who will share their journey to employment. The presentation will also highlight other employment success stories.
1:15 PM – 2:15 PM
The Mineshaft – How to Uncover Your Personal Gems
Samuel Ploch, Sue Huston
In a moment of inspiration during “The Good Life” training in 2015, Sam created the concept of the Mineshaft – an analogy of the DD system. Participants will develop an understanding of the importance of their own personal support system in creating an environment that allows their gifts, talents and interests to be uncovered. Sue and Sam will provide practical ways to connect to one’s community.
2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Be the Change, Closing Keynote
Christopher Milo
Join us as we close SYNERGY 2021 with a motivational sendoff by none other than Christopher Milo as he encourages everyone to “Be the Change”!


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