2019 LEAD! Conference & Expo

Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:45pm
DCU Center
50 Foster Street
Worcester, MA 01608

This year's LEAD! Conference 2019 theme is Innovation and Creativity. Our presentations/workshops will highlight innovative things, ideas or ways of doing something which impacts those working within the intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), autism or brain injury community and the individuals they support. In addition to hearing about these exciting innovations, the goal of the conference is to provide a space for these professionals and advocates to engage in discussions and network. We hope you will feel inspired by what you hear on May 9, 2019.

Speaking of inspiring....we are counting down the days until we get to hear our keynote speakers: Ricardo and Donna Thornton, a married couple living with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The Thorntons will share their story about how they met while in an institutionalized setting in the 1970s, how they became a couple, got married, and eventually had a son and raised a family. Their inspiring story has been told worldwide, from multiple interviews on "60 Minutes" to profiles in the Washington Post to a CBS-TV movie of the week, "Profoundly Normal," starring Kirstie Alley and Delroy Lindo.



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.

Parking information can be found here


8:00 a.m. ​Registration and Continental Breakfast/Expo

8:15 a.m. Photo Booth Opens

9:00 a.m. Program

10:15 a.m. Photo Opportunity with Keynote Speaker/Expo/Photo Booth

10:45 a.m. Morning Workshops

12:00 p.m. Expo

12:30 p.m. Lunch

1:15 p.m. Awards

1:45 p.m. Expo/Photo Booth

2:15 p.m. Afternoon Workshops

3:30 p.m. Conclude/BINGO Winner Announced


We are excited to present our schedule of workshops for this year's LEAD! Conference. All the workshops tie into our theme of innovation and creativity. We are still finalizing the speakers/content for two (noted below) but couldn't wait to share the rest with all of you!


1.1 Shared Living: Driven by the Unique Needs & Desires of Each Individual (Room A)

Presenters: Anita Monestime and Maria Lambert (Advocates)
Moderator: Deirdre Hunter (JRI Developing Abilities & Chair of ADDP Training & Conference Committee)
Intended Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Management/Leadership

Description: Shared Living matches individuals who are different-abled to members of the community who provide supports in their home. This presentation will give examples of innovative and creative ways shared living placement are constructed - focusing on a multidisciplinary team approach between experts: program director/nurse, clinician, transition coordinator and caregiver recruiter - all who collaborate to arrange the best possible match.

1.2 Innovative Best Practices in Diversity (Room B)

Presenters: Pamela Samspon (Venture Community Services); Lynn Bishop (Edinburg Center); Lindsey Dezotell (Venture Community Services); Antonio Fonseca (Venture Community Services); Jule Gomes Noack (HMEA); Emmanuel Owusu (African Bridge Network)
Moderator: Tammy Wunschel (Kennedy-Donovan Center & ADDP Training & Conference Committee)

Intended Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Management/Leadership; Clinical/Nursing, Administration

Description: Diversity isn’t just about race. This interactive workshop will highlight the innovative best practices used by the Edinburg Center, HMEA, and Venture Community Services. Additionally, Emmanuel Owusu from the African Bridge Network will present about the upcoming collaborative study conducted by Simmons University and human services vendor agencies examining ways to assist foreign-born staff to secure employment that matches their educational credentials and professional skills.

1.3 Agencies Partnership and Collaboration Through a Disability Network (Room C)

Presenters: Rob Sponberg (Arc of Cape Cod); David Botting (Community Connections, Inc.); Jonathan Sproul (CapeAbilities, Inc.); Anne McManus (Latham Centers, Inc.)
Moderator: Maureen Costello-Shea (The Guild for Human Services & ADDP Training & Conference Committee)

Intended Audience: Management/Leadership

Description: In this changing time when providers of I/DD, brain injury, and autism services are facing a number of challenges, Cape Cod-area Latham Centers, Inc.; Community Connections, Inc.; CapeAbilities, LIFE, Inc.; and the Arc of Cape Cod have collaborated to creatively use their resources in a cost effective and efficient manner. Come hear what brought these agencies together, how they partnered, the benefits of this group collaboration, and the lessons learned.

1.4 A New Start: A New Approach to Day Services for Adults with Brain Injuries (Room D)

Presenters: Michelle Martin & Stephen Keeler (BAMSI)
Moderator: Ted Horn (NuPath, Inc. and ADDP Training & Conference Committee)

Intended Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Management/Leadership, Clinical/Nursing

Description: This presentation will teach participants the brain injury basics and understand the challenges that providers often see when trying to provide meaningful services. The workshop will offer participants an overview of the Work Ordered Day Model and will explain how New Start, and the Work Ordered Day Model, is motivating survivors of brain injury to get involved.

1.5 #nowalls (Room E)

Presenters: James Sanon (NuPath Inc.) and David Hoff (Institute for Community Inclusion)
Moderator: Joe Donati (Work Community Independence & ADDP Training & Conference Committee)
Intended Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Management/Leadership

Description: Close your eyes and picture your view of the community. Do you see walls? We don’t either. In this session national expert David Hoff will immerse participants in the best practice in CBDS design complemented by a journey into an innovative Without Walls program built upon these best practices. You will experience services designed and delivered free of walls and full of opportunity.

1.6 Commissioners’ Roundtable (Junior Ballroom)

Presenters: Commissioner Jane Ryder (DDS); Commissioner Toni Wolf (MRC); Commissioner Steven Florio (MCDHH); Mitch Sanborn, Director of the Deaf-Blind Extended Support Services Unit (MCB)
Moderator: Ellen Attaliades (ADDP President & CEO)
Intended Audience: Everyone

Description: Speakers will provide an overview of this past year’s initiatives and discuss future strategic goals, priorities and plans at the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH); and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB).


2.1 Dignity of Design (Room A)

Presenter: MaryJo Cooper (Bay Cove Human Services, Inc.)
Moderator: Tammy Wunschel (Kennedy-Donovan Center & ADDP Training & Conference Committee)

Intended Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Management/Leadership, Clinical/Nursing

Description: Participants will learn how simple design elements can be part of a holistic service plan that promotes health and improves the quality of life. Social determinants and chronic conditions of health can influence the way a person is treated and how they see themselves. The built and designed environment can mitigate some of these effects by promoting dignity and having a positive influence on an individual or community.

2.2 Transforming Transportation: Creative Examples for Expanding Mobility (Room B)

Presenters: Sandra Robinson (Needham Community Council); Tim O’Day (Elderbus/Readybus); Dan Strick (SCOOT)
Moderator: Jennifer Henning (EOHHS MassMobility Initiative Coordinator)
Intended Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Management/Leadership

Description: Transportation is essential to meaningful employment and community connections for people with disabilities. This session will highlight creative transportation services that are improving mobility and expanding access. We’ll hear from two Massachusetts-based organizations: a volunteer driver program that partners with Lyft and a rural transportation service that expanded its capacity by commingling populations. SCOOT, an Illinois based initiative and 2019 winner of Arc Tank 2.0, will also share information about its development of a cutting-edge software app that will provide ridesharing transportation for people with disabilities by direct support professionals.

2.3 MassHealth Updates (Room C)

Presenters: Dan Tsai, Assistant Secretary and Director of MassHealth; Whitney Moyer, MassHealth LTSS Acting Director; Samantha Kramer, MassHealth Community Partners Senior Account Manager
Moderator: Ellen Attaliades (ADDP President-CEO)
Intended Audience: Management/Leadership, Administration, Clinical/Nursing

Description: This presentation will provide an overview of the changes in the Massachusetts MassHealth program over the past year, especially as it relates to long-term services and supports (LTSS). Discussion will include a review of the MassHealth program, the Governor’s fiscal year 2020 MassHealth budget, and LTSS initiatives, including the MassHealth Delivery System Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP), ACOs and Community Partners, Day Habilitation, and Adult Foster Care. Future MassHealth strategic plans and goals will also be discussed.

2.4 PBS Through Our Eyes: An Inclusive Approach to Teaching PBS (Room D)

Presenters: Susan O’Shea and Peter Finnegan (The Arc of Greater Plymouth)
Moderator: Ted Horn (NuPath, Inc. & ADDP Training & Conference Committee)
Intended Audience: Management/Leadership, Direct Support Professionals

Description: The PBS Champion Team is a blend of self-advocates and instructors, created to review our agency training and offer feedback to develop meaningful metrics. Their feedback took us in a very different direction. Focusing on environment, choice, and communication, the team has developed innovative tools to supplement Universal Supports training for staff and peers in an effort to further enhance the PBS Culture at The Arc of Greater Plymouth.

2.5 A Totally Unthreatening Conversation About Mergers! (Room E)

Presenters: Jean Phelps (LifeLinks Inc.), Brad Howell (Fidelity House CRC), Al Frugoli (Class, Inc.)
Moderator: Eric Curtis (Curtis Strategy)
Intended Audience: Management/Leadership

Description: Shifts in funding, completion and changes in consumer needs have raised the expectations for provider organizations to save money, increase capacity, diversify revenue and position for competition. This panel “conversation” will offer attendees the opportunity to hear a brief presentation and then engage in a dialogue with the panelists as to how they moved beyond the fear of the words “consolidation” and “merger” in order to achieve sustainability and scale for future security.

2.6 Community African Drum Circle (Junior Ballroom)

Presenters: Tara Murphy and Fugan Dineen (Cape Cod African Dance & Drum)
Moderator: Candace Pronovost (Western Mass Training Consortium)

Intended Audience: Direct Support Professionals, Management/Leadership, Clinical/Nursing

Description: The Community Drum Circle helps people tap into their imaginative, holistic sensibility. The rhythms played within the group allow for individual expression and improvisation. This collective musical activity encourages fun, light-heartedness, intuition and innovation. It is a great way for people to find new ways of sharing, interacting, expressing themselves, and approaching issues.


We have sold out all exhibitor tables for this year's LEAD! Conference.
To review the list of exhibitors for this year's conference, CLICK HERE
Don't forget to check out their websites!
Thank You To All Our Sponsors!
Keynote Sponsor
Silver Business Member Sponsor
Arbor Associates
Annkissam LLC
Capital Lease Group Ltd.
UMASS Amherst University Without Walls
Interior Resources
Team Patti Brainard
iCentrix Corp
CARF International
Fred C. Church
Platinum Business Member Sponsor
DSP Raffle Sponsor
Breakout/AV Sponsor
Lanyards Sponsor
Caffeine Connection Sponsor
Reusable Tote Bag Sponsor
WiFi Sponsor
Registration Table Sponsor
Justice Resource Institute
Reusable Water Bottle Sponsor
Notepad Sponsor
Road To Responsibility
Breakout Session Dessert Sponsor
Sign Language Interpreter Sponsor
Nonotuck Resource Associates, Inc.
Conference App Sponsor
Photobooth and Photographer Sponsor
Music Sponsor
Fidelity House CRC
Awards Sponsor
Registration Support Sponsor
HopeWell, Inc.
Dianne Glennon
Smartphone Charging Station Sponsor
Visa Raffle Sponsor
Lifeworks, Inc. & The Arc of South Norfolk

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