Join us for a day of self-care, learning, and community! DDD is hosting a conference for caregivers to help them learn how to care for themselves while caring for others. There is no cost to attend.
The event will have presentations from experts in self-care and mental health. It will also offer workshops, relaxation exercises, yoga, and art therapy, among others.
Register now to save your spot. Take the first step towards a happier, healthier you. We can’t wait to see you there!
Note: Caregivers who need help finding respite care while attending can contact their Support Coordinators at DDD.
|Attendees Arrive||8:00 a.m.|
|Check-In / Breakfast / Vendor Greet||8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.|
|Keynote Address||9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.|
|Break||10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.|
|Breakout Session One||10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.|
|Lunch and Engagement Activity||12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.|
|Breakout Session Two||1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.|
|Break and Snack||2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.|
|Breakout Session Three||2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.|
|Break||3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.|
|Conference Closing and Panel Discussion||3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.|
|Final Vendor Meet and Survey||4:15 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.|
|Conference Close||5:00 p.m.|
Dawn is originally from Detroit, Michigan where she grew up in the inner city and began her work in Behavioral Health. She transitioned from working for a Behavioral Health non-profit organization to founding one in 2000.
She moved to Arizona in 2008 and began her Arizona Career working at the Department of Health Services OIFA Department. In 2010 she was chosen to serve as a SAMHSA National Representative for Behavioral Health agencies of Arizona.
Dawn has worked in the behavioral health advocacy field for over 20 years. Working in the Office of Individual and Family Affairs within Arizona’s State Medicaid Regulator and Regional Behavioral Health Authority’s. Dawn is known as a leader who shares her personal experience as a vehicle to create change and encourage individuals who face hardships.
In 2018 Dawn joined the team at UnitedHealthcare Community Plan as the OIFA Administrator. She collaborated with leadership and established the OIFA within the health plan. She leads the OIFA team in working collaboratively with agencies, members, and family members to gather the voice and experience of our community. Dawn is passionate about harnessing voices and lived experience to enhance, improve and remove barriers to services for all those we serve.
Dawn’s favorite quote: "We are freed from whatever weight is holding us back, when we allow ourselves to accept others as we wish to be accepted.” anonymous.
Trauma Basics for Community Members
Join us for a non-clinical discussion, introducing the basics of Trauma from a community perspective. Topics of this presentation include:
Desiree has a diverse background that spans the fields of public, women's, holistic, and environmental health, nutrition, finance, education, health equity, mindfulness, and public policy. A graduate of Rutgers University (BA) in New Jersey and Sarah Lawrence College (MS/MA) in New York, Desiree also completed her second master’s degree at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, where her concentrations were in health services administration and health equity. She is a certified Yoga (200 hr.), Sound, and Yoga Nidra Meditation Practitioner and is currently studying to become an Ayurvedic Nutritionist. She is also in advanced yoga certification programs focused on yin, individuals with anxiety, and those that are pregnant.
Desiree is a member of the Diversity Leadership Alliance, Sisters in Public Health, Blacks in Government, the Arizona Diabetes Coalition, the Arizona Public Health Association, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) Healthy Living Committee, AHCCCS Doula Workgroup, Help Enrich African American Lives (HEAAL) Coalition, and the Arizona Alliance for Livable Communities. She also helped found the Annual Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Family Planning Nurse Summit and is Mental Health First Aid Certified. Desiree also possesses Project Management, Google Guru, and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Yellow Belt Certificates.
Soothing the Nervous System and Connecting with Your Resilience
This is a soothing guided meditation that will calm your nervous system, reduce stress, and allow you to build resilience. By taking a pause and bringing mindfulness into your life as a caregiver, you can train yourself to recognize your own resilience and strength, ultimately letting your mind and body know that everything is okay.
Hira Ismail is a local theatre artist with a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and a Master's in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. She has spent her career making theatre and teaching youth, largely in performing arts and recently in a Montessori setting. In the theatre, she has performed, written, directed, and taught as well. She believes in the healing effects of community and is very passionate about helping workplaces increase their sensitivity to people of all different identities.
LGBTQ+ Youth Inclusivity
one•n•ten's Training Program teaches organizations and attendees how to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ youth, clients, staff, employees, and family members. We review definitions of various LGBTQ+ identities, including clearly defining gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. This is followed by a presentation of key statistics about the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in the United States. The workshop explores best practices around creating an inclusive and affirming environment. At the culmination of our workshop, there is an opportunity for everyone to reflect upon and write down personalized takeaways and action steps. Each attendee will also receive a training manual and resources for further learning and resources specific to Arizona.
Jim has been a CPA for 30 years and taught at Scottsdale Community College for 20 years. While at SCC, he started a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program with his tax students to help low-to-moderate income, elderly, and disabled folks file tax returns for free. He founded Masters of Coin to expand the VITA services and now operates five VITA sites in the Scottsdale corridor.
Maximize your tax refunds!
Did you know you may be entitled to tax refunds even if you are not required to file a tax return? This session will provide a brief overview of tax credits and who are eligible to receive them.
Arizona Youth Leaders
This panel of Arizona Youth Leaders have graduated from Arizona Youth Leadership Forum and Arizona Youth Engagement Academy, and routinely give back by working as Peer Navigators for other youth who have disabilities in Arizona, through Diverse Ability Incorporated.
Skill Building Leads to Letting Go
Join the Arizona Youth Leaders of Diverse Ability Incorporated for an informative session that recognizes the power in building self-determination and self-advocacy skills for youth, and how this leads to letting go gracefully and with confidence, which supports self-care.
Mr. Cree has over 28 years professional experience in government services in three states (California, Colorado, and Arizona). He began his career in Southern California law enforcement and spent the second half of his career in social services in both CPS and APS investigations and program management. Kirk joined DDD in early 2021 as a Support Coordination Unit Supervisor and has been the DDD Community Engagement Supervisor for the past year.
Permission to Self-Care and Self Care Tips for Caregivers
The importance of self-care for caregivers will be discussed. Permission to allow yourself to self-care, the importance of self-care, and tips for self-care will be covered in this session.
Prior to her current position, Brittaney was the Probate & Mental Health Deputy Court Administrator for the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County and the North Regional Manager for the Division of Child Support Services with Arizona Department of Economic Security. In her spare time, she loves trying new restaurants (big foodie!), spending time with her husband and two young daughters (5 & 7 years old), watching football (Go Commanders!), and overseeing her and her husband’s grant-funded youth football and girls basketball teams in South Phoenix.
AZ ABLE Accounts: Protect Your Benefits and Build Financial Security
Millions of individuals with disabilities and their families depend on a wide variety of public benefits for income, health care, food and housing assistance. Unfortunately, these individuals are ineligible for benefits if they have more than $2,000 cash savings and retirement funds. However, opening an AZ ABLE account will not only protect benefits, but also build savings and financial security!
1. Learn about the ABLE ACT
2. Learn about AZ ABLE Accounts
3. Learn the benefits, who is eligible, and how to open an AZ ABLE Account
Michele is an autistic woman and mother of two autistic children. After her children were diagnosed, she saw that the emotional, physical, and educational needs of the caregiver were never cared for. Caregivers were unseen and unsupported. Care 4 the Caregivers was born to fill that need.
Critical Care for Caregivers
Caregivers often put themselves last and lose themselves within their child's diagnosis. Studies have shown that caregivers have PTSD-like symptoms, yet the needs of caregivers often go overlooked. During this session, we will talk about the importance of caring for yourself on this journey, develop strategies for self-care, and discuss supports you can find in your community. You are not alone on this journey. Come and connect with those who are walking this path with you.
Emily counsels individuals, couples, families, and fiduciaries on legal matters related to long term care planning (Medicaid/ ALTCS planning), special needs planning and trusts, guardianship, conservatorship, trust administration, estate planning, and more. After moving from a small town in Illinois, she earned her Bachelors of Science from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in 2003. In 2007 she earned her law degree at the James E. Rogers College of Law, at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.
Emily is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the Special Needs Alliance, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Academy of Special Needs Planners. Emily has also been included in the Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars list nine times.
Introduction to Guardianship and Its Alternatives
A discussion of the purpose, legal process, and timeline of adult guardianship in Arizona, as well as potential alternatives to guardianship for adults.
Assistant Executive Director, Raising Special Kids
Janna Murrell became a volunteer with Raising Special Kids in 1998, after experiencing firsthand the value of Parent to Parent support when her son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. After working with families in the nonprofit arena for 12 years Janna joined the staff at Raising Special Kids in 2008 and has worn several hats; Family Support Specialist, Director of Family Support and Education and now Assistant Executive Director. Janna is a Credentialed Peer Parent Support Partner; and BHT, Certified Trainer of the ASQ 3 and ASQ se, Accredited Provider of Level 4 Group Stepping Stones Triple P, Certified Trainer for Serving on Groups That Make Decisions and Certified completion of the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support.
Imagining A Great Life
Transition-age youth and young adults who have disabilities and their families learn about strategies and resources available for seeking independent living, employment, education, relationships, recreation, and community connections.
Dr. Susanne Arnold
Susanne Arnold, Ph.D. is a psychologist and the Division of Developmental Disabilities' Behavioral Health Administrator. Her roles at the Division include supervising the Behavioral Health Complex Care Specialists, who are available to support planning teams in each district, and overseeing the Program Review Committee, which reviews behavior plans. Prior to working at the Division, Dr. Arnold spent many years providing behavioral health services to children and adults in both outpatient and inpatient settings.
Burnout, Resilience, and Resources
In this session, Dr. Arnold will speak about noticing signs of burnout, resiliency strategies to help you feel your best, and resources that are available to support you.
With a vast background spanning over 36 years in the world of travel, this speaker has worked in the sky, on land, and at sea. He’s certainly seen our planet first-hand having visited all 7 continents and nearing 100 countries.
For 18 years, he operated a successful travel agency with multiple locations, during which time he garnered various degrees, numerous certifications, and a variety of accolades. Four times he was honored with the U.S. Commerce Assoc. “Best of the Best” Award, and in 2015 was inducted into the “Worldwide Who’s Who” as Executive of the Year. Currently, serving as Field Sales Manager for Celebrity Cruises in AZ and NM, in his 7 years with Celebrity has been awarded four times including Sales Manager of the Year 2019. Most recently, he was presented with Celebrity’s top honor which is the equivalent of a Kennedy Honors Award – the Royal Caribbean Group, Circle of Excellence.
Additionally, he is a published author and noted speaker
Rest & Rejuvenation At Sea - For Everyone
It's important to care for yourself, care for those in your charge, and experience something new in a new environment. Cruising provides so much, and Celebrity Cruises is able to accommodate various needs and exceed expectations.
The OIFA Alliance
The OIFA Alliance is made up of AHCCCS, DDD, DCS CHP, and health plan offices of individual and family affairs. For this presentation specifically, you will hear from Cynthia Burr, Children's Behavioral Health Liaison AHCCCS, Laura Piontkowski, OIFA Administrator Mercy Care, and Mackenzie Tewell, OIFA Liaison Molina Healthcare. The Office of Individual and Family Affairs (OIFA) promotes recovery, resiliency, and wellness for individuals with mental health and substance use challenges. Each OIFA team member has lived experience with behavioral health challenges, either from their own experiences of recovery or from directly supporting someone through their recovery. OIFA strives to educate the community to enhance system navigation and advocacy and empower families to utilize their voice.
Introduction to the Offices of Individual and Family Affairs
In this presentation, you will hear from the Offices of Individual and Family Affairs. You will learn how to work with the OIFA offices, when to reach out if you need assistance, and also develop an understanding of the peer and family movement and how that guides OIFA in enhancing person and family centered services and supports. OIFA works directly with communities, children, youth, families, adults, and providers to advocate and connect to community resources that support living healthy and fulfilling lives.
Rachel Winter is the founder & owner of Happy Home Organizers. She is a Declutter Coach & Professional Organizer. She grew up on Long Island, New York and lived in Connecticut for 15 years prior to moving to Phoenix in 2014- for family and weather. She is a proud member of NAPO and NAPO-ARIZONA. (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) She started her business in 2012 and now has over 15 Organizers on her team. Rachel is the proud mom of a daughter (21) and a son (19), both in college. Her job is to help clients declutter, organize and get their homes looking and feeling great!
Conquer Your Clutter! with Rachel Winter, Declutter Coach & Professional Home Organizer.
Stressed out with Too Much Stuff? Feeling overwhelmed with CLUTTER and the condition of your home?
Learn easy, practical tips and tricks on how to declutter, how to get organized and most importantly, how to STAY organized! Go from CHAOS to CALM.
Dr. Gabrielle Ficchi identified as a disabled woman. She is a licensed therapist as well as a certified rehabilitation counselor. Gabrielle has 10 years of both teaching and counseling experience. She currently works as the CEO & Therapist at her therapy practice, New Perspectives LLC. Working to bring mental health services to the disability community & their families. She also works as a professor in both counseling & disability studies. She currently holds a full-time faculty position at the University of Phoenix. Her specialty and research areas focus on disability pride both for individuals and families, independent living, resilience, and disability identity. She also works as a consultant and advocate for families on disability issues to help raise awareness around bettering the lives of disabled individuals in our community. Her passion is to advocate for equality and justice for the disability community.
Promoting Independence Through Disability Pride and Culture
The goal is to help better understand the experience of parenting a child with a disability, and how to promote disability pride and culture, helping the child to reach their full potential. Disability culture is a social movement that champions “a sense of common identity and interests that unite disabled people” which helps individuals transition from a medicalized, impairment-based self to a disabled identity (Barnes & Mercer, 2001). With support, caregivers may learn to embrace positive change and ensure their children have opportunities to cultivate their skills. Typically PWD are not given the autonomy to make decisions. It is imperative to ensure caregivers give the an opportunity to make an informed choice. A new approach in the disability community could help cultivate that autonomy and self-control: the independent living philosophy. The IL philosophy aims to help individuals acquire and maintain their personal independence. Centers for independent living provide an environment that is consumer controlled and focuses on helping people live a life infused with empowerment, autonomy, The presentation will include recommendations for caregivers and promoting maturity and independence. This presentation will explore this phenomenon from a new vantage point that can provide insight into this otherwise poorly understood process.
Camilla Parker, BS, CPSS, CFSS has a strong passion for helping others. Over the past 20 years she has served her community through multi-faceted roles that including training and development, DCS as a foster parent, and as an advocate and leader in peer/family driven services. Camilla has kept a focus on services that increase the family member/member voice, with special attention to children or adults with behavioral health needs. Camilla was most recently responsible for creating and operating four different peer and family-based programs throughout Maricopa County that increased member outcomes and reduced unneeded hospitalizations by utilizing a peer and family driven workforce.
Camilla is an adoptive parent of three children with special needs and one of whom recently received a diagnosis of Autism. Camilla brings a wealth of knowledge from personal lived experience as a peer and family member learning to navigate the behavioral health system from a multitude of capacities. Camilla is a native to Arizona and is currently servicing as the President of the Mental Health Awareness Coalition and her current role in the Office of Individual and Family Affairs as the Children's Behavioral Health Advocate with Mercy Care.
Care for the Caregiver: Practical Self-Care Strategies for Parents and Caregivers
As a parent or caregiver, it's easy to get caught up in the daily responsibilities of caring for others and neglecting our own needs. In this session, we will explore practical self-care strategies that can help parents and caregivers prioritize their own well-being while still fulfilling their roles.