Due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak and orders handed down from Governor Baker, ADDP will be rescheduling its LEAD! Conference & Expo, which was originally scheduled for April 29 at the DCU Center. Please visit the ADDP website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for new and updated information about this conference. ADDP thanks its members for their continued support as we continue to monitor and plan over the coming months.


ADDP is pleased to announce that the 2020 LEAD! Conference will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA.



$160 ADDP Member Admission
$145 Group of 10 ADDP Member Discount
$210 Non-Member Admission


$185 ADDP Member Admission
$175 Group of 10 ADDP Member Discount
$235 Non-Member Admission

The fee includes breakfast, lunch, presentations, as well as your participation in professional development workshops!

Deadline to request an interpreter is Wednesday, April 3rd

Deadline to submit dietary restrictions is Wedesday, April 15th

Please note: we will not accept breakout session choices during registration. Attendees can choose which breakout session they would like to attend which gives participants the freedom to change their mind the day of the event if necessary.


ADDP is pleased to present the following workshops at this year's LEAD! Conference. In keeping with our theme of Emerging, Promising and Innovative Collaboration (EPIC!), we have selected workshops that highlight some creative partnerships and collaboration within the human services industry.

Morning Sessions (10:45 am - 12:00 pm)

1.1 (Room A) Title: “Stop, Collaborate and Listen (to each other)- Breaking Down Silos”

Presenters: Jennifer Adams, Director of Community Services and Research – The Arc of Bristol County; Erin Basler, Disability Outreach Coordinator – New Hope

Description: New Hope and The Arc of Bristol County partnered together in 2016 and applied for a grant funded through the Office of Violence Against Women. Through conducting surveys and focus groups with both individuals served and current staff, both agencies have gained valuable information and insights to improve service delivery while also learning how to empower those served in telling their stories and accessing safety. We present our collaboration journey in person centered trauma informed care and empowerment to make a case for collaboration. Workshop includes networking and resources. Please bring your business cards.

1.2 (Room B) Title: “A Box of Spaghetti & a Marshmallow: Fun Team Building Activities on a Budget”

Presenter: Pam Sampson, Chief Program Officer – Venture Community Services

Description: Team building is crucial for staff retention. Fun and affordable team building activities can be one tool in a manager's toolbox to enhance team cohesiveness and collaboration. Attendees will learn about the importance of team building as a managerial philosophy and will participate in some fun teambuilding activities during the session. The slide deck will be available by email and will contain resources for additional teambuilding exercises.

1.3 (Room C) Title: “Supporting Individuals with Neurodiversity to Obtain Meaningful Employment”

Presenters: Robert Putnam, Executive Vice President of PBIS and Consultation – May Institute/National Autism Center; Sharon Smith, Senior Vice President & COO – Work, Inc.; Russell Leete, Vice President of Employment Services – HMEA; Herb Cabral – HMEA

Description: This presentation will review two organizations that will present their collaborative work in obtaining meaningful employment with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The first presentation will review a collaborative effort between the May institute/National Autism Center (MI/NAC) and Work Inc. to bring both MI/NAC’s clinical expertise and Work Inc.’s vocational expertise to support individuals with ASD gain meaningful employment. The second presentation will highlight the Neurodiversity @ Work program which gives skilled individuals (from the autistic community), who are frequently screened out in the conventional interview process, an opportunity to be screened into jobs where their unique abilities allow them to excel.

1.4 (Room D) Title: “Updating the Human Service Approach for a Digital Age”

Presenter: Sara Kyser, Vice President – New Way Services

Description: In 2020, it is important that we use all possible tools at our disposal to support those we serve. This is true now, more than ever. Between the staffing crisis, an increase in co-occurring disorders, and populations that are more difficult to engage, we must remain cutting edge. This includes using technology to solve everyday problems. Learn how you can bring affordable, practical, and individualized technology to your services today.

1.5 (Room E) Title: “Tech and Talk: A Multidisciplinary Partnership to Help Prevent Abuse”

Presenters: Mariah Freark, Assistant General Counsel – Disabled Persons Protection Commission; John Mullaly, Participant/Workshop Worker/Yoga Instructor – HMEA

Description: Educating people with I/DD about abuse and neglect, how to recognize it, and how to report it is an important part of keeping individuals safe. This workshop will highlight how a cross-disciplinary partnership comprised of self-advocates, universities, and state government (DDS and DPPC) is working to use technology to provide information about, and easier reporting of, abuse and neglect. The team is working together to design and develop a tablet-based app for individuals to use.

1.6 (Junior Ballroom) Title: “Commissioner’s Roundtable”

Presenters: TBD

Description: Speakers will provide an overview of this past year’s initiatives and discuss future strategic goals, priorities, and plans at the state level.

AFTERNOON SESSIONS (2:15 pm - 3:30 pm)

2.1 (Room A) Title: “Creating Meaningful University Partnerships”

Presenters: Paula Collins, AVP Fitchburg Employment – WORK, Inc.; Karen DeAngelis, Assistant Professor – Fitchburg State University

Description: In this interactive session, presenters will discuss elements of a successful partnership/collaboration between a nonprofit agency and university. Presenters will share action steps taken to establish a creative, collaborative community partnership between WORK, Inc. and Fitchburg State University. Participants will leave this session prepared to implement effective strategies that will allow them to cultivate their own partnerships in their community.

2.2 (Room B) Title: “Untapped Talent: A Collaborative Effort to Understand and Support the Career Development Needs of Foreign-Born Staff in the Human Service Industry”

Presenters: Emmanuel Owusu, Executive Director - African Bridge Network; Peter Obour-Mensah, Program Manager - Bay Cove Human Services

Description: While the foreign-born workforce is vital to the human service industry, their culture, qualification and aspiration present a unique set of challenges and opportunities as the industry seeks to address the looming labor shortage. Four agencies partnered with the African Bridge Network and Simmons University to engage their foreign-born staff in a study to understand their career development needs, adopt strategies and programs to support their growth and inclusion in all levels of leadership roles. Join us to learn more about the study findings, the experience of the four human service agencies and the next steps of this collaborative.

2.3 (Room C) Title: “Changing the Narrative Around Disability & Support”

Presenters: Ness Bellini, Self-Advocacy Coordinator and Amber Pettell, Self-Advocacy Facilitator - Western Massachusetts Training Consortium

Description: This presentation will share the perspectives of self-advocates on the strengths and shortcomings of our service system and offer suggestions to improve services through collaboration with the people we serve. We believe that effective collaboration can only take place when agencies are transparent, accessible, and accountable, and when people served have agency over meaningful decisions. We will share an in-depth analysis of these elements and their application in our service settings.

2.4 (Room D) Title: “Strengthening Supervision: A Multi-Tiered Approach to Universal Supervision Supports”

Presenters: Boris Fomo, Associate Director of Adult Residential Services and Millie Fanfan, Residential Manager of Adult Residential Services – The Guild for Human Services, Inc.

Description: The Guild for Human Services is targeting supervision as a key modality for overall change and improvement. The presentation will review the Yale Supervision model and implementation of an agency-wide initiative for sustainable supports to supervisors from assistant residential managers to chief officers. Key components to be reviewed include:

  • Supervision agreement
  • Universally supervision form
  • Ongoing supports to supervisors to support sustainability
  • Addressing challenging issues in supervision
  • Meaningful performance evaluations

2.5 (Junior Ballroom) Title: “Beyond the Mat: Yoga and Mindfulness Training”

Presenter: Lisa Irvine, Co-owner and Director of Programming – Brave Yoga for All

Description: The “Beyond the Mat” presentation will show attendees how the emergent practice of yoga and mindfulness can, in collaboration with traditional techniques, provide those with intellectual and developmental disabilities strategies to improve focus and reduce anxiety.

Keynote Speaker: Alice Brouhard, RN

Alice Brouhard RN is a champion of the use of technology, especially tablet technology, to support independence in individuals with memory and cognitive challenges. She has worked tirelessly to set up a system that allows her daughter who sustained a serious TBI to live independently despite significant disabilities.

She has presented nationally and internationally on the use of high tech and low tech options to promote self determination. Alice is a founding member of Colorado based “Families at the Forefront of Technology” and has served on the steering committees for their annual conferences. She has served on the Assistive Technology Coalition through the University of Colorado. Alice is passionate about the rights of people with cognitive disabilities to access technology and the internet.

Alice has been a TEDx speaker and her work and use of tech, has been featured in state and national publications.

She has developed and teaches classes at Colorado Mountain College on the use of iPads and iPhones.

Alice, and her husband and daughter live in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. They have been recipients of the Garfield County Humanitarian Service award -“Inspiring Hope.”

Her favorite title is that of MOM…Master of Modifications

Conference Emcee: Alison Bologna

Alison Bologna is an award-winning news anchor at NBC 10 and the founder of Shri, a yoga outreach organization, which serves more than 8,500 students each year including adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, veterans, children in schools, men and women in shelters and those in recovery. More than half of Shri's programs are fully, self-funded through the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Alison founded in 2012, Shri Service Corps.

Alison graduated on the dean's list from Harvard University in 2015 with a master's degree in English. Before that she graduated with honors from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism outside of Chicago.

In her news role, readers of Rhode Island Monthly magazine have voted Alison the top female reporter in the market for two straight years before voting her the best morning female news anchor every year since 2016. Prior to NBC 10, Alison anchored in Boston at Fox 25 News and produced undercover reports for "Dateline NBC" as one of the network's youngest producers in New York City.

Honors and awards for her journalism work include: an Emmy Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, two Associated Press Awards, a Gracie Allen Award, an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award and two Clarion Awards. The Providence Business News named Alison as one of the "40 Under 40" professionals in the Ocean State, and the National Organization of Italian American Women honored Alison for her work in TV and in her community.

For her community and entrepreneurial work, which includes starting a nut-free snack line in 2014 that is now served in schools statewide and in retail markets under the Shri brand, Alison has received many other recognitions including: the Women of Excellence Community Award on behalf of The Women's Center of Rhode Island, The Rhode Island Small Business Journal's Entrepreneurial Woman to Watch Award 2014, the Volunteer of the Year Award from LIFE, Inc., a community leadership award from ARC of Blackstone Valley, the Person of the Year award from the Pawtucket Foundation in 2015 and recognition this year by the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County.

Alison has also been honored with an advocacy award by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse for her work with men and women in recovery, and the attorney general has presented Alison with a justice award, which is given to individuals in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to justice, consumer protection, law enforcement, community outreach, and senior and environmental protection.

Alison currently serves as a trustee at the Old Slater Mill Museum in Pawtucket and on the board of trustees for the Pawtucket Boys and Girls Club; for several years, Alison also served on the board for The Providence Center too


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