Mon - Thurs: 9:00am - 5:00pm | Fri: 9:00am - 4:00pm

IDD and Mental Health Conference 2023


Tuesday, November 14th

Welcome, Amie Lulinski, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Arc of Illinois

11:30 am – 2:45 pm“Trauma Informed Supports for People with Intellectual Disabilities and the Path to Healing”

  Presented by Karyn Harvey, Ph.D

This training will explore the unique sources of trauma in the lives with people with intellectual disabilities. It will put a spotlight on the common effects of that trauma and the ways in which symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may manifest. Next it will review the key ingredients for healing and approaches that facilitate posit-traumatic growth. Finally, happiness and its pursuit will be explored.

Wednesday, November 15th

Welcome, Amie Lulinski, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Arc of Illinois

1:00 – 2:00 pm: “Suicidal Behaviors in People with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities: Strategies for Positive Health Outcomes”

    Presented by Mirian Ofonedu, Ph.D., MSW, LCSW-C

People with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) are at increased risk for undetected suicidal thoughts and behaviors and for developing suicidal thoughts and behaviors, which usually creates high anxiety for professionals, parents and caregivers caring and working with them. This training aims to increase participants’ knowledge and skills to recognize risk and protective factors, warning signs, and suicidal behaviors in people with I/DD, and to facilitate early referral of those at risk for suicide.

2:00 – 2:15 pm: BREAK

2:15 – 3:15 pm: “Culture is Medicine: A Protective Factor”

     Presented by Crystal Hernandez, Psy.D., MBA

Understanding Native American perspectives and the power of culture as a protective factor for Intellectual Developmental Disorders, Autism, and mental health populations. Ceremony and tradition serve as core elements for meaningful service engagement, rapport building with providers and stakeholders, and alignment for improved outcomes and relationships. The significance of inclusion, understanding, compassion, and honor are woven throughout the various intersections of the Tribal and disability communities. Join the conversation and knowledge share surrounding the gravity of culturally-rooted design and delivery of care.

3:15 – 4:15 pm: “Providing Trauma-Informed Care with a Disability Lens”

     Presented by Lynn Burdick

The presentation will discuss how the characteristics of disability and the symptoms of trauma overlap. We will also look at ways to plan and provide trauma-informed support for students with disabilities.


Consumer Stipends are available for individuals and family members of individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. (Stipends are not available for professionals receiving CEUs.) Call 815.464.1832 or email to apply.