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Illinois Life Span Program Monthly Webinars

After each monthly webinar, a copy of the presentation as well as any additional resources will be posted here. Please note that the information presented was accurate and up to date at the time it was presented. We have archived past webinars for informational purposes but cannot guarantee accuracy of webinar information after the presentation date.
Please take a moment to complete the very brief follow up survey under each webinar if you participated in a webinar or listened to the recorded webinar. Thank you!

October 20, 2020 – Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Special Education Updates

Presented by Barbara Moore, Director of Department of Special Education for ISBE. Participants will receive an overview of ISBE’s Department of Special Education’s responsibilities for the general supervision of local educational agencies in their implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Key projects and services of the Department will be highlighted.  Participants will learn about resources available to parents, including those associated with the recent COVID19 pandemic.

Click here for webinar recording: ISBE Special Education Update Webinar
Use the following passcode to view recording: %QZuU5!Z
Click here for presentation slides: ISBE Update Webinar Slides
Click here to complete Follow Up Survey: Survey Link

October 13, 2020 – The HCBS Final Rule: Countdown to Implementation Webinar

Our presenters for this webinar are Leanne Mull, Blue Tower Solutions, Inc. and Tavarus Wesley, Arc Board member ICDD member, Alliance Board Chair. Tavarus and Leanne will provide an overview of the HCBS setting rule and give examples of how families, people receiving services, ISC’s and provider agencies can work together to implement the new rule. There will also be an update on the Illinois Transition Plan.

Click here for webinar recording: HCBS Rule Final Countdown to Implementation Recording
Use the following Passcode to view recording: jHHWn0!X
Click here for presentation slides: HCBS Final Rule – Countdown to Implementation Presentation
Click here for Follow-Up Survey: Oct. 13 Webinar Survey

September 15, 2020 – The Role & Mission of the Great Lakes ADA Center In Spanish

Seminario ofrecido en español por medio social del Internet sobre el Papel y la Misión del Centro ADA Great Lakes con Claudia Díaz, directora asociada del esta agencia.  

Este seminario proporcionará a los participantes información sobre los servicios y recursos disponibles del Centro ADA Great Lakes, miembro de la Red Nacional ADA. Después de la sesión, los participantes:

• Comprenderán la misión del Centro ADA Great Lakes
• Conocerán los servicios principales provistos por el Centro ADA
• Tendrán una comprensión básica sobre la Ley Estadounidense de Personas con Discapacidades (ADA) que se inició hace 30 años

Click here for webinar recording: Spanish – Role & Mission of the Great Lakes ADA Center
Use this Passcode to view recording: 0iE&5.AF
Click here for webinar presentation: Presentation in Spanish

September 8, 2020 – The Role & Mission of the Great Lakes ADA Center

Presented by Claudia Diaz, Associate Director, Great Lakes ADA Center and Peter Berg, Project Coordinator of Technical Assistance, Great Lakes ADA Center

This session will provide participants with information about the services and resources available from the Great Lakes ADA Center, a member of the ADA National Network. Following the session participants will:

Understand the mission of the Great Lakes Center

Know the core services provided by the ADA Center

Gain a basic understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Click here for webinar recording: The Role & Mission of the Great Lakes ADA Center Webinar
Use the following passcode: 9*e!S0!y
Click here for Presentation: The Role & Mission of the Great Lakes ADA Center Presentation
Click here for Follow-Up Survey: September 8 Webinar Survey

August 11, 2020 – Successful Collaboration Between Disability Advocates and Police in Western Suburbs

Speakers include Jennifer Hillgoth of the Aurora Police Department, Special Needs Aurora Police Program (SNAPP) and Jim Pacetti of the Naperville Police Department Caring Hands Emergency Response Program.

Officers Hillgoth and Pacetti will describe the programs created at both suburban police departments aimed at helping keep people with disabilities safe, and enlightening police officers.
-How the idea for SNAPP and Caring Hands came to the police departments
-The goals of SNAPP and Caring Hands
-How the programs work
-The responsibility of the consumer
-The geographical limits, department sharing, and more!

Click here for webinar recording: Successful Collaboration Webinar
Click here for Presentation Handout: Contact Information
Click here for Webinar Follow-Up Survey: August 11 Webinar Survey

July 21, 2020 – La Administración del Seguro Social – Entendiendo sus Beneficios

Presentado por: La Srta Josephine Mueller Especialista en Asuntos Públicos con La Administracion del Seguridad Social (SSA).

Los programas del Seguro Social como parte de su camino de la vida. Esta presentación proporcionará información sobre los beneficios y programas del Seguro Social que incluyen:

• ¿Qué significa FICA?

• ¿Qué es el programa de incapacidad – SSDI?

• ¿Qué es el programa de incapacidad – SSI? • Qué hay de nuevo en 2020

Click here for webinar recording: July 21, 2020 SSA Webinar Spanish
Click here for webinar presentation: July 2020 SSA Webinar

July 14, 2020 – Social Security – Understanding the Benefits, Presented by Josephine Mueller, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration.

Social Security is with you through life’s journey. This presentation will provide information on Social Security benefits and programs including:

What is FICA
What is SSDI
What is SSI
What’s New in 2020

Josephine Mueller is a Spanish Bilingual Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the Chicagoland area. Josephine has embraced her critical role for informing the public about Social Security programs and benefits. Her passion for sharing information has provided her a platform on Chicago Access Live Television Network for several years and you can find her on you tube. This platform has given her the opportunity to promote Social Security Programs throughout Chicagoland and Nationwide.

Her many interests include community engagement, education, and motivating younger generations to exceed in their educational and professional careers. She has a passion for diversity and public speaking. Josephine Mueller earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in International Business from Governors State University. She has a passion for diversity and public speaking.

Click here for webinar recording: Social Security – Understanding the Benefits
Click here for presentation slides: July 14 Presentation
Click here for additional resources: Additional Resources

June 9, 2020 – Let’s Learn About The Alliance and Self-Advocacy! Presented by Adam Cooper and Krescene Beck, IL Self Advocacy Alliance, Inc.

The Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance, Inc. (The Alliance) is a statewide network of self-advocates and self-advocacy groups who work together to make life better in our communities and work to make services better for people with disabilities in our state.

Let’s learn together about

  • The Alliance as a resource
  • What Self-Advocacy is and why it matters
  • The pieces of the Self-Advocacy puzzle
  • Advocacy at school or at an agency, at home, and in the community

Presenters for this webinar are Adam Cooper and Krescene Beck.  Adam is a long-time self-advocate from Edwardsville, Illinois.  He is a graduate of The Alliance’s Ambassador Leadership Training Program as well as the Illinois Partners in Policymaking program.  Adam has served in many leadership capacities including Alliance Board of Directors, ICDD Board of Directors, and the Edwardsville Community Unit #7 School District Equity Task Force.

Krescene Beck is an ally from Glen Carbon, Illinois, and a co-director with Blue Tower Solutions, Inc. She has supported self-advocates for more than 30 years. As the Organizational Director for The Alliance as well as working on two statewide grants focused on supporting people with disabilities and Deaf people who experience violence, Krescene enjoys learning from self-advocates and creating opportunities for them to speak up and speak out.

Click here for webinar recording:  The Alliance and Self-Advocacy
Click here for webinar presentation slides:  Let’s Learn About The Alliance and Self-Advocacy – 6.9.2020 – Final (3)
Click here for handouts:
Pieces of the Self-Advocacy Puzzle
Culture of Self-Advocacy – An Illinois Voices Environmental Checklist – January 2020

May 12, 2020 – An Overview of Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP), Presented by Lynette Strode, Special Programs Coordinator for IATP

Learn about the services IATP offers and how to use them!

This webinar was presented by Lynette Strode. Lynette is the Special Program Coordinator for IATP and has worked for 16 years in various programs including Device Loan, Demonstration Center, trainings, information and referral, as well as outreach to support groups, other agencies and educational organizations. Lynette has presented on topics including “What is AT?”, “Intro to AT” “AT and Autism. Lynette is married with 2 children and has lived all over the world. She enjoys her job and putting people in touch with assistive technologies that can help them maintain their independence.

Click here for webinar recording: IATP Webinar Recording
Click here for webinar presentation: IATP Webinar Presentation
Click here to complete webinar survey: IATP Webinar Survey

April 14, 2020 – TAP: An Overview of Illinois Autism Services, Presented by Shannon Dyson, Quality Coordinator and Mary Kelly, Statewide Coordinator for TAP.

Attendees will learn about The Autism Program of Illinois, (TAP) and about the various autism services offered by the 15 TAP service centers throughout the state of Illinois.  Attendees will also learn about autism research being conducted by TAP university partners.  Participants will get a sneak peek into our newly redesigned website and we’ll introduce you to our new service referral portal coming soon!  Finally, we will have time for questions from webinar attendees.

Shannon Dyson is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in psychology. She obtained her doctorate degree in School Psychology from the University of Iowa. Over her career, Shannon has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient, outpatient, home, school, residential facility and detention centers. During her graduate training she worked primarily with children and adolescents with autism who engaged in severe problem behavior. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, Georgia where she provided services in skill acquisition, intensive feeding, intensive toilet training and problem behavior reduction. Most recently, she managed day treatment services for the Complex Behavior Program at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to overseeing clinical services, she collaborated with professionals and other community members in order to coordinate funding and community supports for clients.

Mary Kelly is the Statewide Coordinator for The Autism Program (TAP) of Illinois.  In that role, she works with TAP’s partner agencies throughout the state to ensure the very best in evidence-based autism services are provided to Illinois’ children per the state grant.

Her professional career includes work for various grant-funded projects, including the IMLS-funded Targeting Autism grant project at the Illinois State Library.  In that role, Mary developed and conducted autism sensitivity training for librarians, presented at statewide and regional conferences, planned and facilitated annual national forums and provided consultation statewide to Illinois librarians and staff.  Working with grant partners, Dominican University and Syracuse University, she also facilitated two-day Train-the-Trainer autism workshops and provided subject content for autism training modules through the Project E.N.A.B.L.E online training platform.

Also active in state and local community engagement, Mary serves as Secretary on the board of directors for The Arc of Illinois, the state’s largest advocacy organization for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, and serves on the Board of Directors of Autism Support of Central Illinois, a local non-profit that provides resources, support and monthly sensory-friendly programming for families in central Illinois.

Mary holds a B.A. in Psychology and a M.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University.  She is the mother of four children, one diagnosed with autism.  She resides in Springfield with her husband, children and her dog, Sweetie.

Click here for webinar recording: An Overview of TAP in IL
Click here for webinar presentation: TAP PPT for Arc Webinar
Click here to complete webinar follow up survey: April 2020 Survey

March 10, 2020 – Fundamentals of Respite, Presented by Tina Yurik, Director, Illinois Respite Coalition

The Illinois Respite Coalition (IRC) provides statewide information and referral to individuals across the lifespan. The IRC also has a DHS-funded in-home respite grant that serves 16 counties. When funded, the IRC also has a statewide emergency respite program. The IRC is built upon statewide partnerships.

This webinar covered the following related to Respite Care:

  • What is respite care?
  • Why use respite care services?
  • What are the different kinds of respite?
  • How to choose/ select the respite that is right for you
  • Overcoming concerns
  • Preparing the care recipient for respite
  • Evaluating your respite care
  • Things to consider
  • Quick Tips

About the Presenter: Before becoming the Director of the IRC, Tina volunteered with for ten years, six of which she served as board president. Previously, Tina worked as the Director of Clearbrook’s Take a Break programs for 18 years. Through her position, she supported children with special needs from birth to five years of age in Cook, Lake, DuPage and McHenry counties by working with trained volunteers, an idea which this program was the first to utilize in the Midwest. She has taught trainings on special education issues related to IDEA and ADA both regionally and nationally through the Family Resource Center on Disabilities, as the Assistant Director. Prior to working in the nonprofit industry, she worked 15 years in Advertising, Retail & Catalog industry as a Human Resources Manager. In addition, Tina is an active committee member for the Special Recreation Services of Northern Lake County, Head Start Health Advisory Committee member, and for over eight years she has been an Illinois educational surrogate parent through ISBE. She regularly attends the National Respite Coalition Conferences each year.

Click here for webinar recording: Fundamentals of Respite Recording
Click here for presentation slides: The Fundamentals of Respite Care Final -yurik
Click the title below for handouts from the webinar:
IRC Respite Guide Handout
Caregiver Self-Assessment
Respite Providers FY2020 Jan2020 Update (002)

February 11th, 2020 -The PATH to Real Person-Centered Solutions, presented by Kish Pisani, IAMC

This webinar provided information on the PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) process for individuals with IDD and why person-centered planning is at the heart of a self-directed quality of life. PATH is a visual, supportive process that provides individuals with disabilities and their circle of support, a rich, future-based plan based on the individuals’ gifts and talents, preferences, and needs. This session not only helps you understand the steps of the process but how it has impacted lives and organizations. If you’re already familiar with PATH and MAPS, this session will include updates and new tools.

This webinar includes:

  • *Start with Circles of Support
  • *What is a PATH and the different steps of the process
  • *How a PATH is used for authentic person-centered, self-directed solutions including Microboards, Cooperatives, Customized Employment, Creative Housing, Supported Decision Making, Sibling Support, and the importance for long-term and estate planning.
  • *What is the IAMC and what we do
  • *How you can become a PATH facilitator

About the Presenter:  Kish Pisani is Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Microboards and Cooperatives (IAMC), a position she’s held since April 2019. Kish brings over 30 years of marketing, public relations, grant writing, advocacy, and non-profit management experience to this position. Kish is also a graduate of the Partners in Policymaking program. Her most important job remains a mom to her 22-year old son who lives with IDD and says Live Streaming what other families are going through in Illinois makes this job all the more authentic. Kish and her family have established a micro-enterprise, Logs by Lou, for their son to achieve long-term financial independence, created an organization for athletes with disabilities in suburban Chicago, and are active with Special Olympics Illinois. They are passionate about Unified Sports and authentic community inclusion opportunities for individuals with IDD — and just as important — their families and support circles.

Click here for webinar recording: Real Person Centered Planning Webinar
Click here for webinar presentation slides: Arc PATH to Real Person Centered Solutions
Click HERE for webinar follow up survey: Survey
Click documents linked below for handouts:
PUNS Flowchart
PATH Training-Schaumburg Township info 2-6

January 14th, 2020 – Parent Training and Information Centers – Helping Families of Children and Youth with Disabilities, presented by Nancy Mader, Family Matters Parent Training & Information Center 

The webinar covered:

  • Why do Parent Centers exist?
  • What types of services are offered?
  • What do services look like in Illinois?
  • How do parents access services?

Nancy Mader was the presenter for this webinar. Nancy is the Project Coordinator for Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center.  She has been with Family Matters for 30 years and her educational background is in Business Management.  She works on finances and coordinates the activities of the staff, including the Information Specialists who work directly with parents whose children receive, or are in need of, special education instruction and supports.  She works with organizations to collaborate on providing workshops for parents in their communities and in setting up online parent training opportunities.

Please click here for webinar recording:  PTICs, Helping Families of Children and Youth with Disabilities 
Please click here for webinar presentation: PTICs – Helping Families
Please click here for webinar follow-up survey: FMPTIC Webinar Follow-up Survey
Additional Handouts:
Family Matters Brochure 2018
Parent Centers in Action
Programs of The Arc of IL Flyer 9.6.19

December 10th, 2019 – Speak Up and Speak Out in Springfield – Disability Advocacy and the FY2020 Illinois Legislative Session

Presented by Phil Milsk, The Arc of Illinois Government Relations Consultant, and Meg Cooch, Executive Director, The Arc of Illinois

Webinar Topics:

  • FY2020 Legislative Process
  • Key Issues for FY2020 Legislative Session (budget, possible bills/issues)
  • The Arc Legislative Priorities – Engaging people on their priorities
  • What you can do to make your voice heard?
  • Coalition involvement – Going Home Coalition, They Deserve More

Phil Milsk is an attorney in private practice who serves as a governmental relations consultant to several Illinois organizations, including the Arc of Illinois.  He specializes in disability services, education, human services and health care access.  Phil is a graduate of DePaul Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

For more than 20 years, Meg Cooch, Executive Director of The Arc of Illinois, has worked on disability, aging and health policy, utilizing advocacy and organizing tools to expand community living at the local, state and national levels.  With knowledge of health policy and systems in Illinois including Medicaid, Meg has worked for almost six years leading state public policy efforts and programmatic initiatives.  Prior to moving to Chicago, Meg worked at the federal level on Medicaid and disability policy and advocacy in Washington, DC.  Meg also has local experience working directly with people with disabilities, seniors, families and service providers at Planning for Elders, a grassroots San Francisco-based advocacy organization, where she served in many capacities including as Executive Director.

Click here for webinar recording: Speak Up in Springfield Webinar Recording
Click here for webinar presentation: 2020 Legislative Session R
Click here for webinar follow-up survey: Survey

November 19th, 2019 – IL DHS DDD Update and Q and A, Presented by Allison Stark, Ronnie Cohn, Donna Frownfelter, Shirley Perez

The following describes the content shared by each of the webinar presenters.

Allison Stark, Director, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Illinois Department of Human Services. Update on ISC transition

  • DHS DDD plans/changes in 2019-2020
  • DD Hub Pilot Project
  • Access to information through:

Ronnie Cohn, Ligas Court Monitor (Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to provide connection to the webinar for Ronnie Cohn and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. You can reach Ronnie Cohn with any questions at

  • State of Ligas Case
  • “Reasonable Pace” for PUNS selection
  • Compliance Monitoring
  • Implementation Plan
  • Seeking input from families regarding concerns and barriers

Donna Frownfelter, PT, MA, DPT, CCS, FCCP, FAPTA, Chair, Ligas Advisory Committee & Parent

  • Development and purpose of Ligas Advisory Committee
  • Current summary of feedback from families that has been shared with LAC
  • Plans/goals for Townhall Meetings/Presentation
  • How to connect with LAC to share experiences and barriers or to participate

Shirley Perez, Director, Ligas Family Advocate Program & Parent

  • Role of Ligas Family Advocate Program
  • Services offered by LFA program
  • Know Your Options events
  • One-to-one support and consultation regarding HCBW services and navigation
  • Informational webinars and call-in series
  • Providing parent-to-parent connection
  • How to connect with regional LFA’s

Click here for webinar recording: IL DHS DDD Update Webinar
Click here for webinar presentation: ILS DHS DDD Update Webinar Presentation
Click here for webinar follow-up survey: Nov 19 2019 Follow Up Survey
Meg Cooch – 2019-11-10 Testimony – Subminimum Wage (002)

Please contact with any questions regarding the webinar.

November 5th, 2019 – Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts, Presented by Benjamin Rubin, J.D., L.L.M., Rubin Law

Among the topics covered:

  • Difference between first party and third party special needs trusts
  • How able accounts work with first party and third party special needs trusts.
  • Common mistakes in special needs trusts

This webinar features Benjamin Rubin, J.D., L.L.M.  Attorney Benjamin (Benji) Rubin is the youngest son of Brian Rubin, Rubin Law, and is also Mitchell’s “little/big” brother, and has been a member of the Rubin Law Firm since 2010. Benji graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law, Magna Cum Laude, received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, and his Graduate Law Degree, an LLM (Tax), from Northwestern University. Benji is a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, a member, by invitation, of the Special Needs Alliance (the national not for profit association of special needs planning attorneys with membership by invitation only), is Chairman of the American Bar Association Special Needs Planning Committee, serves as the President of SIBS (Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters), the Illinois chapter of the national Sibling Leadership Network, an organization of adult siblings of individuals with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. Benji is a member of the Board of Directors of The Arc of Illinois.

Click here for the webinar recording:  November 5th Webinar Recording
Click here for the webinar presentation:  Rubin Webinar Presentation
Click here to complete follow-up survey:  Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Webinar Survey

October 8th, 2019 – Building Bridges with the Criminal Justice Professionals and the Disability Community, Presented by Amy Newell, Executive Director, The Arc of Winnebago, Boone, & Ogle Counties

This webinar covers the importance of building relationships, training and cross disability communication. The presenter described what a disability response team is and how to create one. Amy also provided information on partnering with The Arc of the United States to provide pathways to justice training as well as other trainings that have been done because of the Disabilities Response Team and why they are impactful.

Presented by Amy Newell. Amy has been the Executive Director of The Arc of Winnebago, Boone, and Ogle Counties for six years. She has a diverse background ranging from banking to local government with a BA in Education and English from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Amy has two teenagers, Alana and Jackson, who are the joys of her life. Amy’s husband, Jason, is a sergeant with the Winnebago County Sherriff’s department. Soon after joining the organization she identified the need for additional services for families and individuals with a diagnosis involved with the criminal justice system. Criminal justice professionals, families and individuals who have a diagnosis now look at the agency with questions and concerns.

Click here for webinar recording: Oct 8, 2019 Webinar Recording
Click here for webinar presentation slides: Oct 8 2019 Webinar Arc WBO on Criminal Justice and Community
Click here for webinar follow up survey: Survey
Click here for Programs of The Arc of IL document:  Programs of The of IL

September 10th, 2019 – Aging and Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Presented by Lieke van Heumen, a Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This presentation includes a brief introduction to aging of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and provides an overview of challenges experienced by this population to age well and supports that can be provided.

Introduction to aging with I/DD
Challenges and supports

  • Health
  • Dementia
  • Social Relations
  • Death and Dying

Click here for webinar recording:  Aging and Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Click here for webinar presentation slides: Aging and I DD Webinar Slides 9.10.19 final
Click here for webinar follow up survey: Aging Webinar Survey

July 9th, 2019 – The ABC’s of Self-Directing Services, presented by Eileen Morrissey, Director of Family Support Services, from Envision Unlimited, Tasha Whiteside, Director of Illinois Operations, ACES$, and Shirley Perez, Director, Ligas Family Advocate Program and Family Support Network

This webinar provided an overview of the HBS program and key components and examples of how HBS resources can be used. An introduction to the Illinois Fiscal Agent, ACES$, and the services they provide, as well as Self-Directed Assistance (SDA) and the role and responsibilities of a Self-Directed Assistant were discussed.

Participants in this webinar learned about:

  • The key components of the Home and Community-Based Medicaid Waiver
  • The differences between Home-Based and CILA Services
  • The responsibilities of those directing Home-Based Services
  • The roles and responsibilities of Developmental Disability Service Providers, Independent Service Coordination Agencies, Self-Direction Assistants, Employers of Record, and the role of the Illinois Fiscal Agent, ACES$
  • How to explore strategies to maximize the available benefits of the Home-Based Services Program
  • How to identify resources and programs that can provide guidance and assistance

Click here for webinar recording:  ABC’s of Self-Directed Services Webinar
Click here for webinar presentation slides: The ABC’s of Self Directed Services 7 8 2019 COMPLETE
Click here to complete webinar follow up survey:  ABC’s of Self Directed Services Webinar Follow-Up Survey
Click here for Electronic Visit Verification Info: EVV Info