Community Living Morning Workshop

The Future of Well Supported Community Living Environments

Presenters will discuss supports available to protect the rights of people with disabilities both legally and emotionally.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone who is interested in facilitating and supporting self direction as a tool for improved human rights for people with disabilities.  This event is strongly recommended for those in the following professional and personal roles:

  • State agency leaders and senior staff (Education, DD Council, VR Counselors,  Disability Rights and more)
  • Educators, Education Leaders and Resource Professionals
  • Adult Service Professionals
  • Attorneys and Advocates
  • Parents and Family Members
  • Self-Advocates


Tentative Agenda (subject to change):

 A panel of experts will discuss:

  • CMS Final Rule on MEDICAID Home and Community Based Services;
  • The Fair Housing Act;
  • Current crime trends as it relates to people with disabilities and prevention programs; and
  • best practices to prevent exclusion.


8:30- 9:30 Key Aspects of CMS’s Final Rule on Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services- Allison Wohl, Merril Friedman, Lisa Mills

Presenters will focus on key aspects of the CMS Final Rule on Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services and how it impacts families and providers.   Specifically, we’ll discuss how the rule establishes requirements for home and community-based settings in HCBS programs and creates a more outcome-oriented definition of home and community-based settings, rather than one based only on a setting’s location, geography or physical characteristics.

9:30-10:30 Fair Housing Rights and Enforcement- Vard McGuire

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.  People with disabilities are also given additional protections under fair housing law.  Since the passage of the FHA, housing discrimination has become harder to detect. Vard McGuire will give an overview of the FHA, and detail the Disability Law Center’s fair housing program and its enforcement efforts in Utah.

10:30-11:30 Ensuring Safe Communities for Individuals with Disabilities-Andre Gammicchia, Nicholas Gammicchia, Carolyn Gammicchia

The prevalence of crime will be discussed as well as what current trends are within prevention and victim/survivor services for persons with disabilities.  Attendees will receive a guide to ensure local community services are accessible and what can be done to collaborate with agencies if they are not.  Case examples and resources will be provided to support attendees to develop safer communities in the future.

11:30-12:30 Do It Naturally:  Building Connections and Relationships- Darcy Elks, Mary Elks, Martin Elks, Kristen Ludwig, Sarah Elks, Jesse Elks

Relationships are a very crucial part of life.   Research has shown that relationships significantly contribute to a person’s well being and even increase life span. To assist people with disabilities to build relationships with people in community, “programs” are often developed.  Programs may bring some benefits, but there is nothing like using the natural, time tested, and effective ways of connecting, developing and sustaining relationships.