2017 Annual Conference - Speakers

SPEAKERS

Opening Session

About Jim Gibbons

Jim Gibbons is the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. Prior to Goodwill®, Gibbons served as the president and CEO of National Industries for the Blind as well as Campus Wide Access Solutions, a division of AT&T. 

Gibbons earned his B.S. in industrial engineering from Purdue University, and a MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where he was the first blind person to graduate with a Harvard MBA.

Gibbons has received several awards and recognitions for his work, including being recognized by The Non Profit Times among their 2014 Power & Influence Top 50, the 2014 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from Purdue University, the 2010 National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged and the 2010 SmartCEO EcoCEO award for organizational commitment to the environment. Gibbons recently served a two-year term on the White House Council for Community Solutions as appointed by President Obama. Gibbons writes for the Huffington Post and tweets from: @jdgibbons

Lunch Session

If It’s To Be – It’s Up To Me: From Direct Care Staff to Direct Support Professional

The role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP) is where the rubber meets the road, the pen is put to paper. Everything else is secondary and only exists to enhance the critical moment of the staff interaction with those they support. This keynote will focus on the role of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) acting as teachers, mentors, allies, coaches, assistants and trainers in empowering people with disabilities in realizing their preferred futures. Professionalism is not a degree, it’s an attitude! Their interaction with those supported is the defining moment in supporting people with disabilities to experience meaningful lives through employment, volunteering, education, spiritual and leisure pursuits and relationships: the same things that all of us desire. 

The promise of opportunity is a reality for all persons supported when the mantra of the DSP is “if it’s to be - it’s up to me!” The worst thing we can do for the people we support is to “do for” the people we support. 

About Thomas E. Pomeranz

Dr. Tom Pomeranz is a nationally recognized authority, trainer, clinician and consultant in the field of services for people with disabilities, and is the President and CEO of Universal LifeStiles with offices located in Indianapolis, IN.

Over the last fifty years, Tom has conducted thousands of seminars and programs throughout the United States and Canada. His audiences praise his ability to combine information, humor, passion and storytelling into an informative whole that does not just present the information, but really communicates it in a memorable fashion.

He is the highly acclaimed creator of Universal Enhancement, which teaches strategies promoting community participation and supporting people to have a quality life, and has authored numerous articles in various professional publications and The Principles and Practices of Universal Enhancement. Published by High Tide Press, this book details with humor and compassion the autocratic and clinical restraints of supporting people with developmental disabilities and the alternative “Universal Enhancement” way. Tom has also created a seven part staff training DVD series The Principles and Practices of Building Community. Co-produced with Tierra Del Sol it covers seven critical topics that provide staff with best practice tools to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

Tom received his Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Special Education and a Doctorate in Mental Health Administration from Indiana University, Bloomington IN, followed by post-graduate work from the University of Notre Dame in the area of experimental psychology. He has held a variety of top-level administrative posts in community-based service organizations and three large state-operated facilities. Tom is a Policy Fellow and Visiting Lecturer for Minot State University – North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, a University Center of Excellence. Tom is a member of the Advisory Board for Medisked, a human services software company, dedicated to improve quality of life, reduce costs, and increase capacity in Human Service and Home Health Care agencies.


*1.5 continuing education hours will be offered upon completion of this keynote address.

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