Dr. Al Condeluci Presenting at QIDP Conference

This month, on January 29, the ARC of Illinois is hosting their 17th annual QIDP Conference for service professionals and self-advocates. Held at the ARC of Illinois office in Frankfort, Illinois, the conference begins at 8:30 am and ends at 4:30 pm. Don’t miss out on this chance to learn about how to build community and teach self-advocacy, plus four unique breakout sessions in the afternoon!

Al Condeluci: Building Community Through Social Capital

Dr. Al Condelucci, who will be presenting at the QIDP ConferenceThe ARC’s keynote speaker this year is Al Condeluci, an advocate and leader in the field of disability study. Dr. Condeluci’s work focuses on using social capital and interdependency within communities.

In his keynote presentation, Dr. Condeluci will discuss how to build community using the social capital that exists around you. Throughout his presentation, attendees will learn major elements of social capital, 4 key steps to developing new friendships, and how interdependent paradigms interact.

Al Condeluci is no stranger to Illinois. In fact, he was also the keynote speaker at the first Center for Independent Futures housing symposium! If you missed his presentation on social inclusion 3 years ago, view the video here.

Breakout Sessions: From Self-Advocacy to Government Benefits

Each attendee at the QIDP Conference will attend two out of four breakout sessions. Bruce Handler & Nora Fox will present on the safety and the dignity of risk, while Tara Ahern will be speaking about empowering survivors of sexual assault.

ARC Illinois logo, ARC Conference Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from Sherri Schneider about government benefits and what has or hasn’t changed. Last but not least, the final option for breakout sessions will be Krescene Beck on why self-advocacy matters.

How to Register for Annual QIDP Conference

Are you interested in attending the QIDP Conference? Check out the brochure for this event and fill out the registration information! Several of Center for Independent Futures’ direct service staff will be there – go ahead and say hello!

Are You Ready to Unite, Empower, Act?

ARC Illinois logo, ARC Conference theme is "Unite, Empower, Act"What does it mean to “unite, empower, act?” At this year’s ARC of Illinois Annual Conference, from April 25-26, leaders in the field of disability inclusion and advocacy will consider what actions unite our community, empower us, and inspire us to act.

Center for Independent Futures staff are delivering two unique presentations at the conference. Make sure to catch both of these sessions for an inside look at how we are building community living options and fully inclusive communities.

First, on the 26th, Executive Director Ann Sickon is hosting a panel on our New Futures Initiative. In this discussion, you will have the opportunity to learn about our housing solution planning process from our agency partners, family group representatives, technology support providers, and developers. Discover what you can do as you look toward the need for alternative housing solutions. Ann and our panelists will tell you what individuals, families, and agencies are doing to support new community housing solutions.

When communities are fully inclusive, the entire community benefits — and that means we all need to work to include individuals with disabilities. In the afternoon of the 26th, Change Champions Program Director Kathy Lyons will present a panel featuring several Community Connectors. In this panel, titled “Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Need to Include Us,” attendees will hear from our partners in the Chicagoland community. During this presentation, you will learn about how organizations from four diverse communities are creating more inclusive cultures.

If you are attending the ARC of Illinois Conference, be sure to make time to learn about these creative initiatives. At Center for Independent Futures, we envision a future where all individuals can have an independent, full life. We are committed to innovative solutions toward that goal.

Still need to sign up for the conference? Register here to reserve your seat today.

Attend 68th ARC Conference

The Arc of Illinois is hosting its 68TH Annual Convention on April 25-26 at the Hilton Hotel, 3003 Corporate West Drive, in Lisle, IL. This ARC Conference is a special one at Center for Independent Futures – continue reading to find out why!

Keynote speakers at ARC Conference, Emily Colson & Matt Cohen. Keynote presentations at this year’s convention include “Lessons from the Lion’s Den” presented by Matt Cohen, J.D. and “Living a Big Life, and the Power of Community” presented by Emily Colson, Author of Dancing with Max.

Matt Cohen combines over 30 years of experience advocating for children and adults with disabilities and parenting. Matt will share insights into transition planning, services, and the real world challenges of parenting a young adult with a disability.

Emily Colson, popular speaker and author of the award-winning book Dancing with Max, will share her journey with her son Max, who is 25 years old and diagnosed with autism. After years of isolation, held hostage by autism, Emily made a decision that would change the direction of Max’s life, her own life, and those in the community. Be inspired by the creative ways Emily has engaged both Max, and the greater community.

Additional presentations at the ARC Conference will feature the Division of Developmental Disabilities Director, Greg Fenton, and benefits experts Sherri Schneider and Kristin Hartwaw. There are several breakout sessions scheduled over the two days that focus on a variety of topics including Self-Advocacy, Self-Determination, Community Inclusion, Customized Employment, Housing, Government Benefits, ABLE Accounts, Guardianship, Transition Planning, and Person-centered Planning.

Center for Independent Futures staff will host two breakout sessions on Thursday focused on our New Futures Initiative to create community-based housing and the Change Champions Project to foster true community inclusion. We hope to see you at the convention!

Future Planning with ARC of Illinois

ARC Illinois logo, ARC Conference theme is "Unite, Empower, Act"For parents of children and adults with disabilities, planning a full, independent life can be a difficult task. ARC of Illinois wants to make sure you have all the information you need when you start making plans.

Join ARC on March 16 from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm at the Schaumburg Township Activity Center to learn from Brian & Benjamin Rubin and Sherri Schneider about tools you need to make your way through this maze.

This event, hosted by Schaumburg Township, is your chance to learn about government benefits, guardianship, and Special Needs Trusts. The conversation will also include information about new ABLE accounts, which can help you save for a better life. As government programs change, it is important to change with them. With this presentation, you can be on top of those changes, armed with the best information possible.

If you are worried about the future, know you are not alone. Come to this presentation, meet others encountering the same issues, and work with the community to navigate these important questions.

You can register here for this event.

The Arc of IL Seeking Ligas Family Advocates

ARC Illinois logo, ARC Conference theme is "Unite, Empower, Act"The Arc of Illinois is looking for individuals who are interested in working in the field of disability advocacy, supports, and services. There are openings for one full-time person to cover the north part of the state and one full-time person for downstate. Individuals must be flexible, able to travel, and available to start right away! These full-time Ligas Family Advocates will work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and families to support their access to home and community-based services.

Interested and qualified individuals should submit a cover letter and resume, including salary requirements, to Shirley@thearcofil.org. Closing date for applications will be Friday, March 9, 2018.

Click here for the full job description.

ARC of IL 16th Annual QIDP Conference

ARC Illinois logo, ARC Conference theme is "Unite, Empower, Act"The Arc of Illinois will be holding the 16th Annual Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP) Leadership Conference on January 23 in Alsip, IL. This year’s conference will feature John Dickerson, a leader in the field whose key career milestones included the transformation of services in Indiana – the closure of all state hospitals by creating community supports for the people who lived in five state institutions; lowering the waiting list from 12 years to less than 1 year. As a lobbyist and community organizer, he has seen the power of both the individual and those who come together to create change – make incredible progress.

John’s presentation will focus on “Making a Difference” by providing John Dickerson, presenter at ARC QIDP Conferencespecific tools to bring people closer to the people they support, more engaged with the organization, and feeling more supported and better about themselves. Participants will leave with specific, easy to use ideas that they can begin implementing tomorrow. John is the founder and CEO of Quillo, a unique new approach to the workforce crisis facing organizations serving people with disabilities.

Break out sessions later in the afternoon feature topics around Government Benefits, Healthy Relationships and Healthy Sexuality for People with Developmental Disabilities, and Creating Trauma Informed Organizations. Speakers include Sherri Schneider, President of Family Benefit Solutions, Inc., Susan Kahan, a member of the clinical staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago Developmental Disability Family Clinics and Krescene Beck, program coordinator for the Illinois Self Advocacy Alliance.

Arc of Illinois Belief & Mission

The Arc of Illinois truly believes that we are all people first and because of that, regardless of any developmental or intellectual differences, everyone deserves the same rights and opportunities. The Arc regularly hosts events to gather family members, self advocates, and professionals in the field and educate them on the latest and best practices.

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