Keynote: "Independence, Productivity, Integration, & Inclusion of Individuals with Disabilities into Mainstream American Society as Aligned in All Federal Laws: Advocacy Needed to Make the Words Real and Not Hollow Promises"
Presenter: Allan Bergman
Mental Health - Center Staff & Self-care during Isolation
Presenter: Heather Everson
Outreach to Unserved/Underserved Communities
Presenters: Jessie Bethke-Gomez (E.D. MCIL) and Jacob Schuller (E.D. SEMCIL)
Networking Strategies Open Forum - SILC, CILs, Community Partners
Presenters: Deborah Gleason and Jacob Knaffla
High Expectations: Outcomes for IDEA Transition from School to Adult Life – Postsecondary Education, Integrated Employment and Independent Living"
Presenter: Allan Bergman
"Leadership Development for Systems Advocacy and Systems Change"
Presenter: Allan Bergman
"The ADA & Substance Abuse issues; ADA implications of the opioid epidemic & MN medical cannabis laws."
Presenter: Cindy Tarshish
Parenting While Disabled
Presenter: Nikki Villavincencio
Voting - Presentation and/or Panel Discussion
Presenters: Gene Martinez, Justin Page, Steve Simon
Diversity & Disability
Presenter: Mai Thor
Open Forum: Ideas for Creating the 2024-2026 SPIL
Presenter: Holly Johnson
Final Comments and Conference Wrap-up
Presenter: MNSILC Chair
The conference will be held via a Zoom webinar.
When: Nov 1, 2022, 9:30 a.m. Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: MNSILC 2022 Fall Virtual Conference: Equality and Inclusion
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Allan I. Bergman is the CEO of HIGH IMPACT Mission-based Consulting & Training, a company that he created in 2010. A nationally recognized policy analyst, change agent and thought leader in cross- disability policy, social justice and "best practices", he brings over 45 years of experience at the local, state and federal levels. He has been a service provider, legislative advocate, policy analyst and systems change facilitator. He has provided insight on the ADA, health care disparities and equity, Medicaid, HCBS waivers, IDEA and transition from school to adult life, the Tech Act, Rehabilitation Act Amendments, and integrated employment. He is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion/belonging-integrated community living/supported living, affordable/accessible housing, person-centered thinking/planning, supporting families, social determinants of health, intersectionality, interagency collaboration, capacity building, infrastructure design, rate reimbursement methodology and braided funding.
Allan has worked inter-nationally and in 44 states as systems change facilitator, strategic planner, culture change/organizational/provider transformation designer, board governance consultant, group facilitator and trainer, including 35 continuous years in Partners in Policymaking. He is an inspirational trainer and has provided training to over 82,000 individuals working with over four hundred organizations and government agencies.
He possesses an extraordinary ability to understand and analyze complex issues and to present them and proposed solutions in an articulate-understandable manner to diverse audiences.
He has served as the CEO of six non-profit agencies. He spent 18 years (1986-2004) in Washington, D.C. as the Director of Government Relations & Director of State-Federal Relations for United Cerebral Palsy Assocs. (UCP) and as the CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America. He began his career as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the TX. Commission for the Blind on a joint project with the TX. Dept. of MH-MR.
Allan has testified on numerous occasions before Congress and at least twenty State legislatures on many subjects. His "fingerprints" are on at least ten federal disability policies.
Allan was honored to be one of fifty persons invited to attend a "Supporting Families Summit" in May 2022 in D.C., hosted by ACL, NASDDDS and the UCEDD at U. of MO, K.C.
He has served as an "expert witness" for life planning costs in individual cases of "wrongful birth" and in cases of negligence/violation of regulations, resulting in "death;" most recent case settled in Dec. 2021, in Montana. He works with families and their financial advisors to develop life plans and costs for their sons/daughters with disabilities.
The MN. Governor's Council on DD engaged Allan to write a policy paper, "Expanding Employment and Career Options for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum in 21st Century Digital Media and Communications Technology", published in September 2010.
In April 2022, Allan was hired to facilitate the engagement of all stakeholders in the transformation of a center-based "day habilitation" program for 12 adults with intellectual/multiple disabilities and medical issues into an Agency Without Walls for the Independent Living Center of Mobile, Alabama.
Allan brings a strong personal perspective to his work. He is the father of Dina, a charming young lady who lives in her own condominium in Evanston, IL with self-directed supports, drives and owns a car and has multiple achievements beyond special education predictions. Dina lives with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues and is currently delayed in seeking new employment due to Covid employer issues in her chosen areas of work.
He also is Mindy's stepfather. Mindy is a lovely young lady who lives in a group home with three other women in Chicago and participates in integrated community day supports. Mindy, who lives with multiple disabilities secondary to Rett Syndrome, began the Discovery process for Customized Employment in April 2015. She began competitive integrated employment in December 2015 at the age of forty-four, having been determined, earlier in her life, not to be capable of sheltered employment. Mindy continued in her customized employment with new duties and tasks and more hours for over four years –interrupted by Covid. Mindy began to have a "voice" at 47 years of age, using augmentative communication with eye gaze technology, dispelling the negative diagnoses and labels she was given for most of her life. Each day is a new opportunity for Mindy to show others that the low expectations that were applied to her for more than 40 years of her life have no validity. Mindy clearly demonstrates the application of the quote, "It's never too early and it's never too late."
Heather Everson is the Advocate/Trainer at Options Resource Center for Independent Living. She started out at Options as an IL Specialist back in 2014. Heather has a BS degree in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona. She has a background of being a Special Education Teacher since 2004. Heather and her family moved from Arizona in 2011 to North Dakota to her husband's home state. She enjoys working at Options and the rewarding feeling of helping individuals with disabilities remain independent.
Despite obstacles that others saw as overwhelming, I have worked to develop a flourishing career and creating actionable reports, developing systems and processes, streamlining high-level analyses, and documenting it to the hilt so my clients knew what to do after I was gone. I am passionate about creating efficient processes and making information more accessible. And it doesn't mean a thing if it doesn't make decision making easier and my clients more profitable.
Holly Johnson is founder and President of Lanterna Consulting, Inc., a management consulting company focused on lighting the path for leaders and teams who want to develop vibrant, effective organizations.
Holly consults and advises leaders in strategy, leadership, and organizational development. She has more than 25 years of experience in private, non-profit, and public sector organizations. She assisted Minnesota's Statewide Independent Living Council (MNSILC) in the development of their last two Strategic Plans for Independent Living (SPIL) and is assisting the Council with the current planning cycle. Holly has also assisted in planning efforts at several state agencies and with the new Minnesota Disability Partnership (MNDAP) hosted by the Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD).
A highly effective facilitator and management consultant, she collaborates with individuals, teams and organizations to identify and design desired change as well as create and manage major initiatives to successfully transform plans into results. Holly holds BA degrees in Business Administration and Economics from Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
Hi, Jacob Knaffla here. Independent Living Coordinator at Access North CIL in Hibbing. My passion is working to improve systems for people with disabilities and working one on one with families and individuals to achieve their goals and aspirations. I have been in the field for 18 years, beginning at 18 years old. My dogs will be missing me, but I am glad to be able to join you all at this conference.
Steve Simon is Minnesota's 22nd Secretary of State. He was sworn into office on January 5, 2015, and as Minnesota's chief elections administrator pledged in his inaugural address to "work with anyone, of any political affiliation, from any part of our state" to protect, defend, and strengthen the right to vote in Minnesota.
As Secretary of State, he partners with township, city, and county officials to organize elections on behalf of Minnesota's nearly four million eligible voters, and to ensure that the election system is fair.
Simon also oversees a wide range of services for Minnesota businesses and administers the "Safe at Home" address confidentiality program for people whose personal safety is at risk, often due to physical abuse or threats.
His goals as Minnesota's Secretary of State are straightforward: expand access to voting, remove barriers to voting, make business services as streamlined as possible, strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence and, most importantly, be a Secretary of State for all Minnesotans.
Before being elected Minnesota's Secretary of State, Simon served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for ten years representing the communities of St. Louis Park and Hopkins.
Cindy Tarshish has been the Director of ADA Minnesota since March 2002. In this capacity, Ms. Tarshish is responsible for all trainings, presentations, conferences, information and referral, technical assistance, and day to day operations. Ms. Tarshish presents on all titles of the ADA, with specific expertise in the area of employment. Popular training topics include, but are not limited to, the following: Reasonable Accommodations, Disability Disclosure, Essential Job Functions, The Interview Process, Public Accommodations, Service/Companion Animals, Opioids and Medical Cannabis, Long-COVID and the ADA, and local community resources. Ms. Tarshish has over 30 years of work-related experience in the disability community and is a certified ADA Coordinator and licensed Accessibility Specialist.
ADA Minnesota is a program within the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living. It is affiliated with the Great Lakes ADA Center, located at the University of Illinois at Chicago. This is one of ten regional centers funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, Rehabilitation and Research.
As a 2021 Bush Fellow, Mai seeks to develop a community informed disability justice framework to incorporate into social justice work and systems throughout Minnesota. As a person living with a disability and as a leader who has helped design more accessible and inclusive systems for people with disabilities, she sees that social justice movements often leave disability out of their efforts. Mai recognizes that to achieve true justice, the intersectionality of all oppressions must be addressed, and ableism must be eliminated. Mai has a Master's in Nonprofit and Public Administration from Metropolitan State University and a Bachelor of Arts from Augsburg University. She lives in the Twin Cities east metro and has two boys and a cat.