Ben St. John, with Sheli Reynolds, presents at the 2016 NASDDDS Mid-Year Conference

Ben St. John, with Sheli Reynolds, presents at the 2016 NASDDDS Mid-Year Conference

The National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) convened its annual Directors Forum & Mid-Year Conference on June 9 and 10, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. Staff from the UMKC Institute for Human Development (IHD) presented on their work to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The theme of this year’s Mid-Year Conference was Reframing Policies and Practices to Support Families. Michelle (Sheli) Reynolds, Ph.D., Director of Individual Advocacy and Family Support at IHD, was a highlighted speaker at the conference. Reynolds provided an overview of the LifeCourse framework and how it can be used not only at the individual and family level but also to organize programming and policies at the state and federal level. She teamed up with Ben St. John, a self-advocate from Missouri, who shared how he and his family have used LifeCourse tools to help them support him in his vision of a good life.

Reynolds is also the co-director of the National Community of Practice (CoP) for Supporting Families of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), a five-year project to enhance supports to individuals with I/DD and their families in six states, with Missouri being the demonstration state. IHD is a partner with NASDDDS on this project, which is expanding to include ten additional states. To learn more about the National Community of Practice, visit http://supportstofamilies.org.

To view the program from the NASDDDS conference, as well as presentation slides, visit http://nasddds.org/conferences/2016-directors-forum-mid-year-conference/