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Sessions

DAY 1 - MONDAY OCTOBER 28
CONCURRENT SESSIONS - MORNING (10:15 AM - 12:15 PM)


1A:  Counterfeit Criminality - Presented David Hingsburger, MEd Director of Clinical and Educational Supports, Vita Community Living, Toronto, Ontario

People with intellectual disabilities can come into contact with the law for a variety of different reasons, not all of them criminal. Yet it is easy for people with disabilities to be caught in situations or circumstances where they find themselves in conflict with the law. This session will look at those reasons and suggest strategies for avoiding the prison pipeline for people with disabilities.

1B:  Overdose Prevention/Pregnancy and Substance Use - Presented by Mat Wong, Jodi Belcourt and Linda Pires, Bissell Centre
In the wake of the overdose crisis in Alberta and around the world, there is a call for greater understanding of substance use and more importantly, the people who use those substances. Through today's session we will explore the context of the overdose crisis and practical overdose prevention strategies. Also, during this session we will discuss the H.E.R. (Healthy, Empowered, Resilient) Pregnancy Program, and how we aim to assist street involved pregnant women who may be using substances to access health care and social resources in a Harm Reduction context.

1C:  A Self-Care Starter Kit: An Essential Survival Tool for Human Services Providers - Presented by Kathleen Gorman, BSc, LLM, MSW, RSW, CTTS, SEP - Consulting, Training and Counselling Services
Working with individuals, families and communities in any capacity is rewarding work for all types of service providers. At the same time, supporting individuals in our various services can also generate depletion of internal resources in staff. There are costs to caring in our work environments, especially when bearing witness to trauma in the populations we serve. There can be physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual impacts to this work, which can put our world out of balance.

With this in mind, participants will have opportunity to explore and share self-care strategies within a trauma-informed framework. The workshop will provide an overview of compassion satisfaction (CS) and compassion fatigue (CF), vicarious traumatization (VT) and burnout (BO) as well as the factors that contribute to these concepts.

1D:  Mindful Hearts, Mindful Hearts: A Winnifred Stewart Approach to Alzheimer's and Other Dementia - Presented by Jenna Lee Ritter, Winnifred Stewart Association
Mindful Hearts is a model of care offered by the Winnifred Stewart Association to train families and caregivers in how to provide “hands-on” care for persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. The training program, Mindful Hearts, is intended for all caregivers caring for family members, seniors in supportive/continuing care, and other agencies providing support to clientele diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or another form of chronic dementia in Alberta.

Mindful Hearts is comprised of a number of techniques and care objectives to help caregivers serve their clientele in a meaningful and positive way. People trained in Mindful Hearts are able to customize the care of the clientele day to day or even hour to hour, depending on the requirements.  This session will provide an introduction to Mindful Hearts and some of the strategies that are used with the program.

DAY 1 - MONDAY OCTOBER 28
CONCURRENT SESSIONS - AFTERNOON (1:00 PM - 4:00 PM)

PLENARY: Dealing with the Tough Stuff - Presented by Joe Roberts
What are the tough conversations for you? Recent research shows feedback discussions are the least enjoyed management task second only to firing someone. (source: Gallup) So how have we got to this point? How has having a direct, real and necessary conversation with staff, clients or suppliers become so hard? In a nutshell, we have been shown processes without considering the human element in the discussion.

In this one-day development program you will learn the science of human behaviour, non-verbal’s and advanced communication techniques designed to:
• de-personalize tough feedback
• uncover some root causes of difficult behaviour
• craft behaviour modification strategies
• avoid the language that causes conflict
• help you get clear with your requests
• show you the best way to be assertive in any situation

Dealing With the Tough Stuff can show you how not only to survive the tough conversations, but to thrive within them, leading to more productive performance discussions and substantially less conflict.

DAY 2 - TUESDAY OCTOBER 29
CONCURRENT SESSIONS - MORNING (9:15 AM - 12:15 PM)


3A:  The Ten Commandments of Reinforcement - Presented David Hingsburger, MEd Director of Clinical and Educational Supports, Vita Community Living, Toronto, Ontario

Reinforcement does not occur naturally, in fact it is a learned skill. This session will look at the 'Rules' of Reinforcement and have the participants learn how and when to provide praise or any kind of motivator. Further the session will look at the questions that need to be asked to ensure that a reinforcement program is doing what it's supposed to be doing.

3B:  The Emerging Roles and Changing Expectations of the Direct Support Workforce - Presented by John Raffaelle, MSW, Director of Educational Services, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Albany, NY
This session offers a chance to reflect on the evolving roles and expectations of Direct Support Professionals. The role of Direct Support Professionals is radically changing from the role we are accustomed and will ultimately create an emphasis on 'personal autonomy', greater access to 'integrated settings' and helping people to make 'informed choices'. The focus of this session addresses one important piece of the new role;  how do we support people with disabilities to make informed decisions? What is the direct support professional's role in this process?

3C:  Supporting Your Muslim Clients - Presented by Ibrahim Long, MA - This session has been generously sponsored by REACH Edmonton
This workshop aims to provide front line workers, counselors, and other care providers with the essential knowledge of Islam and Muslims that will better enable them to provide culturally sensitive care to diverse Muslims. Areas of discussion will include an overview of Islam and Muslims.

Participants will:
• Gain a better understanding of Islamic cultures and values
• Learn about Muslim demographics and current social issues in Edmonton
• Learn about the most highly-recommended approaches for the care of Muslim clients through instructor's first-hand experience and
   published research  
• Develop cultural competencies through guided lessons and cases studies

Although the seminar is specifically focused on the care of Muslim clients, the competencies developed through the course will also better enable the attendee to work within any multi-cultural and multi-faith setting.

3D:  Current Issues in Harm Reduction - Presented by Marliss Taylor
This session will look at the policy and practice of Harm Reduction. This session will also include a quiz on various substances and look at current issues in Harm Reduction.

3E:  Positive Identity Development - Presented by Karyn Harvey, PhD - This session has been generously sponsored by CONNECT
Karyn Harvey has worked as a clinician in the field of intellectual disabilities for over 30 years. She has a master’s degree in Clinical psychology and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland. This presentation will offer a unique look at growth and development in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities from a viewpoint of Eriksonion psychology. It will explore identity development and the key ingredients needed programmatically for the solidification of identity and ego strength.

DAY 2 - TUESDAY OCTOBER 29
CONCURRENT SESSIONS - AFTERNOON (1:00 PM - 4:00 PM)


4A:  Trauma Informed Support - Presented by Karyn Harvey, PhD -
This session has been generously sponsored by CONNECT

Karyn Harvey has worked as a clinician in the field of intellectual disabilities for over 30 years. She has a master’s degree in Clinical psychology and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland. This workshop will provide a view of trauma from the perspective of the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. It will explore the sources of trauma, the effects of that trauma on both a biological and psychological level and the key ingredients for healing.

4B:  Help! My Friend is Grieving and I Don't Know What to Say - Presented by Donna Lynne Erickson
This workshop will offer participants an opportunity to take a look at the differences between bereavement, grief and mourning in order to discuss what happens in our family, our workplace and our community when we are confronted by loss of any type. Learn some simple tools to press into the discomfort of grief and become more effective in helping those who need a safe place to mourn.

 4C:  Introduction to Meditation, the Science of Stress and How Meditation and Balanced Nutrition Creates Resiliency
Presented by Amy Halushka, Harmony Nutrition and Wellness

In this workshop we will learn about the science behind stress, meditation, and how balanced nutrition can help our bodies and brains to become more resilient during periods of acute or prolonged stress. We will also learn how meditation allows us to become more self aware, compassionate and loving to both ourselves and others. We will learn why stress can lead to eating certain foods, which nutrients our bodies, brains and nervous systems need most of, and three styles of meditation to incorporate into our daily lives.

4D:  The Community: What It Is and What It Isn't - Presented David Hingsburger, MEd Director of Clinical and Educational Supports, Vita Community Living, Toronto, Ontario

Recent research has been looking at the experience of people with disabilities as they live in their home communities. The results show a much different picture than we might want to believe. This talk will discuss what we are learning about the community and what DSP’s can do to support people as they access their rightful place in that community.

4E:  An Introduction to Informed Decision Making - Presented by John Raffaelle, MSW, Director of Educational Services, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Albany, NY

Direct support professionals must begin to look at  the skill and process of informed decision making  and how it effects  the “allowance” for people with disabilities to make more decisions and choices in their lives. A facilitated discussion that investigates how direct support professionals can use the ethical practices, professional skills and adept reasoning to assist people in making informed decisions and meeting the demands of what people and families want from direct support. This session will begin a deeper discussion by asking three questions that will identify ways that the spirit of the NADSP's Code of Ethics and Competencies will be incorporated in assessing risk and balancing safety. Part of the discussion will focus on how the organization can create a culture of competence with skilled, ethical and empowered direct support professionals that will lead the way to quality.