Walter Suskind will be the Keynote Speaker at this year’s Arc Maryland State Convention!
Life, Animated is a documentary based on the book, “Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism,” written by Ron Suskind, a Pulitzer Prize wining journalist. Mr. Suskind wrote the book to describe how his family used Disney movies and dialogue to communicate with his son, Owen, who is on the Autism Spectrum. Owen’s older brother, Walter, was a big part of this effort, together with their mom, Cornelia.
Click here to watch the trailer for the Oscar nominated Life, Animated
Check out all the exciting sessions that we have planned!
Breakout Session 1: Growing Up with A Sibling with I/DD
Walter Suskind, featured with brother Owen in the movie: Life, Animated, will explore sibling issues in this breakout session. Joining Walter will be a panel of siblings of brothers and sisters with I/DD to share their experiences and wisdom. Walter will lead the discussion on topics ranging from life as a sibling to advocating for your brother or sister. You’ll network, share ideas and resources, and learn how to advocate on behalf of your family.
Breakout Session 2: Living the Life I Want for Myself – How Person Centered Planning Can Be Your Tool
I have dreams and goals for my life. I’d like to figure out what my goals are, with support need to help me dream. How can I help as a family member and brother/sister? What is the role of support staff, friends and others who care? Person-Centered Planning is a tool to help people figure out their goals, help them dream and then create a plan to do just that! Learn from two agencies that have embraced person-centered planning with wonderful impact on the lives of people with disabilities.
Breakout Session 3: Police Training
Ethan Saylor’s death in a Frederick, Maryland, movie theatre spurred mom Patty Saylor to turn tragedy to advocacy. State legislation and funding created the Saylor Alliance, which is working to form the framework needed to support self-advocates as educators for law enforcement and other public service entities. The Saylor Alliance launched in the fall of 2016 with the recruitment and training of the first training cohort. Fifteen individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities completed a five-day workshop in Leadership and Training Skills. The graduates are poised to put their new skills to work with several having already obtained paid opportunities. The training is a collaborative project with People on the GO of Maryland, Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities, Pathfinders for Autism and The Arc Maryland, made possible by funding from the Maryland Department of Disabilities. Learn more!
Breakout Session 4: New DDA Family Support and Community Support Waivers
DDA is creating two new waiver programs to support individuals and families currently waiting for services. The Family Supports Waiver will offer an a variety of services to support the family such as home support, navigation, family training, and counseling. Families would have a budget up to $12,000 annually to design the services and supports to meet their needs for after school and weekends. The Community Support Waiver would offer various meaningful day and community supports with the exception of provider owned residential services. Participants would have a budget up to $25,000 and the option to self-direct. This session will provide information and updates from the Developmental Disabilities Administration on their January 2018 implementation plans.
Breakout Session 5: Maryland ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Makes It Easier Than Ever to Save Money for All of Your Disability-Related Needs: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
More independence, greater financial security and a better quality of life – that’s the future Maryland ABLE wants to help build. MD ABLE accounts are a new way to help individuals with disabilities save money and pay for qualified disability-related expenses without jeopardizing federal means-tested benefits, such as SSI or Medicaid. The Maryland ABLE program will be implemented by Maryland 529. State and local means-tested programs cannot use ABLE funds as part of eligibility considerations and Maryland taxpayers who contribute to a Maryland ABLE account will receive up to a $2,500 income tax deduction. Maryland ABLE is projected to be operational by the end of 2017. Learn about how Maryland’s program is progressing and what the various savings and investment options are, the nuts and bolts of program features and the tax benefits of utilizing ABLE accounts.
Breakout Session 6: Communicate with Charisma & Clarity
The fastest way to become a better public speaker – whether standing in a front of a crowd or with one person in a meeting – is to get rid of filler words (ah, um, like, you know, so….), to purge other weak phrases, and to harness stronger body language. Body language is 65-70% of communication. In this interactive kickoff workshop, TALLsmall Productions will lead your group through a series of entertaining games designed to strengthen wording, to better understand body language and how to deliver an elevator introduction in a concise, memorable way.
Breakout Session 7: Virtually Inclusive Education (Peyton’s Bill): Robots and Adaptive Technology Connecting Homebound/Hospitalized Children to School
PAVS- Also known as Peyton’s Awesome Virtual Self is a virtually driven “avatar” robot. When Peyton Walton could not physically attend school during her cancer treatment – PAVS was Peyton’s eyes, ears and physical presence in her Poolesville Elementary School. Because of PAVS – Peyton was able to virtually attend class from NYC. She was able continue her education un-interrupted, stay connected with her peers and graduate on time with outstanding marks from 5th grade.
The Arc Maryland’s Annual Video Contest
The Arc Maryland’s annual video contest is underway! Since this year’s convention’s theme is Discover! with a focus on sibling relationships, we want to hear about you and your siblings! Grab your camera or smart phone, and start filming about what you love best about your brother and/or sister with I/DD. Maybe look for some inspiration in Life, Animated! Make sure to get the videos in soon!
All videos must be uploaded to YouTube with the hashtag #TheArcSiblings2017 and then a link to the YouTube video posting emailed to email@example.com. All submissions are due May 12 and must be include a release form. Click here for the video release form. All videos become property of The Arc Maryland. Winners will be announced at this year’s 2017 State Convention on Friday, June 2, 2017.
Sponsor, Exhibitor, and Advertising Form
The Arc MD is pleased to share the sponsor, exhibitor and advertising opportunities for our 2017 State Convention. We are expecting over 300 attendees representing self-advocates, family members, professionals, volunteer leaders,and partners from affiliate organizations and government agencies. Please review our sponsorship levels and their complete list of benefits.
The Awards Program
Every organization needs a time to celebrate and honor its mission, accomplishments and those who help make it possible. The Awards Program and Luncheon will be held on June 2, 2017 to recognize outstanding community leaders, legislators, volunteers, advocates and professionals.