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September 29-October 1 2021

Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge, Deerwood, MN

Book Hotel Reservations Here: https://bit.ly/MN-Rehab

Update – A virtual track is now being offered September 30-October 1. Please see the Virtual Track schedule to learn more and register.


2021 Minnesota Rehabilitation Association Annual Conference

History in the Making: Honoring our Past, Embracing the Future 2.1.


WEDNESDAY 9/29

Registration: 10am – 4:30pm

Time: 12:15 – 4:30pm – 4 hours

Name: Taylor Fischer and Amy Knopf

Title of Presentation: “Accessibility in the Global Digital Environment”

Biography: Taylor Fischer has a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling and works at the State of MN as a Rehabilitation Counselor. Ms. Fischer has been in the field for 8 years. She is a former SCSU assistive technology lab intern and has experience working with disability advocacy groups and was the technology specialist for virtual events (ability event and ADA 30 and 31st event).

Amy Hebert Knopf has a PH. D in Rehabilitation Counseling and works at St. Cloud State University as a Graduate Director. Dr. Hebert Knopf has been in the field for 17 years. She established the assistive technology lab on the campus of SCSU. She has experience providing training on accessible online environments as the PEPNET South Regional Representative, conducted research on using assistive technology as a research associate with the Research and Training Center for The Deaf and Hard of Hearing through the University of Arkansas.

Abstract of Training: This presentation will provide tools and tricks as we learn to navigate the virtual world and multiple meeting platforms. This past year, Covid 19 pushed many of us to work remotely, and learn new ways of connecting. For some of us, that transition came with ease, for others it was a challenge, and for some inaccessible.

Participants will:

• Have a general understanding of the issues and challenges of working in online platforms, and how to support participation and communication.

• Gain an understanding of the pros and cons of multiple meeting platforms (i.e., Google Meets, Zoom, and Microsoft teams).

• Learn tips for creating and using accessible platforms

Name: Ann Robertson, Dalaine Remes and Madhulika “Mini” Jain

Title of Presentation: “Are We Thriving Yet? Reasonable Accommodations in Hybrid Work Environment”

Biography: Anne M. Robertson is a MDLC staff attorney with 25+ years of experience in civil rights, reasonable accommodation and employment of persons with disabilities. She went to Harvard Law School with President Barack Obama and the former First Lady!

Dalaine Remes is a MDLC advocate with many years’ experience assisting Minnesotans with disabilities with a variety of employment concerns; including vocational rehabilitation, community-based disability services, and Social Security work incentives programs. 

Madhulika “Mini” Jain was a lawyer, however, left the field to become a human resource professional. She has a M.A. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. She currently holds a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

Abstract of Training: The Minnesota Disability Law Center is teaming up with Salo, a private consulting firm providing human resources expertise to businesses and nonprofit organizations, to outline legal precepts governing reasonable accommodation in the new hybrid work environment. Also featured will be concrete advice and tips from a certified human resources professional on best practices that will advance the employment of persons with disabilities in Minnesota. 

President’s Open House Fundraiser and Reunion Celebration 5pm – 7pm

Located at Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge (Room TBD). This is a separate ticketed event open to anyone. It is an opportunity to network and connect with friends and colleagues. We are honoring retirees from agencies, private rehabilitation, VRS and SSB. The ticket cost is $25.00 and includes hot/cold appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages. Cash bar available.

REGISTER FOR MRA CONFERENCE 2021!


THURSDAY 9/30 and 10/1:

Time: 8:15 – 9:45am

Name: Janie Walters

Title of Presentation: Keynote – “Blow a Bubble, Not a Gasket – Stress management techniques that really work”

Length of training: 1.5 hours

Biography: Janie Walters has a M.S. in Communications and is an award-winning professional with dynamic speaking skills. A master trainer with more than 25 years of teaching experience in communications. A leader with humorous presentations that challenge people to strive for the best life has to offer. A speaker who encourages those same people to offer their best back to life. Entertaining! Informative! Motivational! Inspirational!

Abstract of Training: Stress Management Techniques that really work – Learn basic stress factoids, identify 10 personal qualities that control stress and explore 10 stress management techniques that you can use today.

Time: 10:00 – 11:15am

Name: Janie Walters

Title of Presentation: “To boldly go where few have gone before: leadership in the 21st Century!” (Leadership Track)

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Janie Walters has a M.S. in Communications and is an award-winning professional with dynamic speaking skills. A master trainer with more than 25 years of teaching experience in communications. A leader with humorous presentations that challenge people to strive for the best life has to offer. A speaker who encourages those same people to offer their best back to life. Entertaining! Informative! Motivational! Inspirational!

Abstract of Training: In this workshop, leaders are trained. Using humor, group discussion and audience participation, leaders of all ages and experience levels will be introduced to essential ideas, attitudes and tools of great leaders.

Name: Mary DiBiase

Title of Presentation: “Building Employer Relationships to Support Employment for People with Disabilities”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Mary DiBiase has a M.A. in Secondary Education and works at the UMASS, Boston Institute for Community Inclusion as a Training Associate. Ms. DiBiase has been in the field for 21 years. Ms. DiBiase has an extensive background working with educators, parents, youth with disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation staff, and other service providers on ways to support person-centered planning through cooperative efforts and directed assessment techniques. Her primary objective in this work is facilitate an understanding of the business world and how employment services agencies can provide support and services to businesses without overwhelming them with the service provider intricacies, with the ultimate goal of increasing the rates of employment for people with disabilities.

Abstract of Training: A key aspect of the dual customer approach is meeting the businesses’ needs while ensuring a quality match and work environment for your job seekers. This session will review strategies in developing business relationships, while also evaluating for and establishing employment opportunities for clients. Assessing business needs and providing business services with the ultimate goal of increasing the employment rates of people with disabilities is a nuanced, multi-dimensional profession, and this workshop will lay the groundwork with preliminary considerations.

Name: Mike Hill

Title of Presentation: “Ethics: Now More Than Ever”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Mike Hill, M.S. has worked at the MN Department of Labor and Industry since 2008, as a Rehabilitation Policy Specialist engaged in rehabilitation and insurer training, compliance and advising on workers’ compensation rules. Prior to coming to the department, Mr. Hill worked as a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant, vocational expert, medical case manager and director of rehabilitation.

Abstract of Training: This presentation will be a refresher course on the ethical standards in private rehabilitation and how they apply to QRC’s in their daily interactions with clients, insurance adjusters, and employers. Ethics: A1c; A3a; B1a

Time: 12:30 – 1:45pm

Name: Janie Walters

Title of Presentation: “Leading Through Change” (Leadership Track)

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Janie Walters has a M.S. in Communications and is an award-winning professional with dynamic speaking skills. A master trainer with more than 25 years of teaching experience in communications. A leader with humorous presentations that challenge people to strive for the best life has to offer. A speaker who encourages those same people to offer their best back to life. Entertaining! Informative! Motivational! Inspirational!

Abstract of Training: Leadership track continued

Name: Cindy Tarshish

Title of Presentation: “ADA & Substance Abuse Issues: ADA Implications of the Opioid Epidemic and MN Medical Cannabis Law”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Cindy Held Tarshish is the ADA Minnesota Director. Ms. Tarshish has provided services in the disability community for over 30 years. Past employers include; the Minnesota Multiple Sclerosis Society, Opportunity Partners, Minnesota AIDS Project and the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living. Ms. Tarshish also has expertise in marketing for the non-profit organization, foundation grant writing, and freelance writing and editing. Ms. Tarshish is a certified ADA Coordinator.

Abstract of Training: This presentation will cover the ADA implications of the opioid epidemic and the Minnesota medical cannabis law. Topics include; Drug addiction & testing, medication assisted treatment (MAT), reasonable accommodations, direct threat, confidentiality, and performance standards. The relationship between state laws legalizing marijuana & the ADA. MN anti-discrimination laws & medical marijuana, the MN Human Rights Act, national & local resources and more.

Time: 2:00 – 3:15pm

Name: Janie Walters

Title of Presentation: “The Garbage Truck Comes On Tuesdays and Fridays!” (Leadership Track)

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Janie Walters has a M.S. in Communications and is an award-winning professional with dynamic speaking skills. A master trainer with more than 25 years of teaching experience in communications. A leader with humorous presentations that challenge people to strive for the best life has to offer. A speaker who encourages those same people to offer their best back to life. Entertaining! Informative! Motivational! Inspirational!

Abstract of Training: Leadership track continued. Neutralizing negatives – remaining positive while experiencing negatives.

Name: Frank Samlaska

Title of Presentation: “Application for SSI and/or SSDI Benefits”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Frank Samlaska has a M.S., QRC, CRS, CDMS, SS-VE and works for Samlaska Rehabilitation Services as a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant. Mr. Samlaska has experience with MN Work Comp, Medical and Vocational Management, job analysis, testing, counseling and job placement.

Abstract of Training: The process for SSDI/SSI and what it is. Topics addressed: How does SSA define disability? What is substantial gainful activity? How does SSA evaluate your work activity? What if you are self-employed? When will we review your disability? How do employment support help? What is Ticket to Work? What is Trial Work Period? Unsuccessful work attempt? The role of the Vocational Expert.

Name: Allen Mavis

Title of Presentation: “Providing Pre-ETS For Impact!”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Allen Mavis has a Masters in Education and works for Goodwill Easter Seals as an Instructor: Pre-Employment Services. Mr. Mavis has been in the field for 13 years. He has experience providing intensive case management, classroom teaching, placement, and on the job experience to barrier populations ranging from adolescent to older adult, rural/urban and culturally diverse. He has served 2500+clients. Mr. Mavis has led the State of Minnesota in Pre-ETS students served in 2018-2019. 500 hours of in-person pre-ETS teaching. 500 hours virtual pre-ETS teaching.

Abstract of Training: This interactive presentation will provide strategies and perspectives in how to foster powerful student motivation, follow through, and success when providing Pre ETS services to diverse populations of age and culture. Included will be topics of inclusivity, engagement, and providing instruction that connects students with their future. From work readiness to self-advocacy and post-secondary, attendees will learn how to use Pre ETS services to empower students to seek opportunities and build their desire to work.

Time: 3:30 – 4:45pm

Name: Laura Hokeness/Sarah Kacer

Title of Presentation: “Ethical Conundrums in the Rehab Sector”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Laura Hokeness has a M.S. in Vocational Counseling and Evaluation and works for Vocational Consultants of MN as an Owner/Qualified Rehab Consultant. Ms. Hokeness has been in the field for 15 years.

As a QRC, we are often presented with ethical situations that need to be consulted with other QRC professionals. Ms. Hokeness has held and maintained a CRCC/CVE Certification for 15 years.

Sarah Kacer has a M.S. in Vocational Counseling and works for Independent Rehab Consultants as a Qualified Rehabilitation Counselor. Ms. Kacer has been in the field for 16 years. Ms. Kacer has been a QRC in Minnesota for 16 years maintaining her CRC and providing vocational services to clients that uphold the standards set forth in the CRC Code of Ethics.

Abstract of Training: We will have an open dialog on ethical situations regarding; COVID19/ Vaccination and job search, secondary medical issues related to work compensation files and how to navigate complex files.

CRCC: A4; B1A; B2B: E1A__E2C

Name: Janie Walters

Title of Presentation: “The Little Engine Did, And So Can You!”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Janie Walters has a M.S. in Communications and is an award-winning professional with dynamic speaking skills. A master trainer with more than 25 years of teaching experience in communications. A leader with humorous presentations that challenge people to strive for the best life has to offer. A speaker who encourages those same people to offer their best back to life. Entertaining! Informative! Motivational! Inspirational!

Abstract of Training: The incredible power or optimism to energize life and propel an organization forward.

Division Meetings: 5:00-6:00

JPD- Job Placement and Development

TSD- Transition Specialties Division

MRCEA- Minnesota Rehabilitation Counselors and Educators

ARTS – MN Association of Rehabilitation Support Staff

MASPPR – Minnesota Association of Services Providers in Private Rehabilitation- MASPPR President Adam TeBrake will lead an interactive ethics discussion.

Thursday evening: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Dinner and awards. Social gathering and bonfire after dinner. Cash bar available.


Friday: 8:15am – 2:00pm

History in the Making Conference and Training. Registration and breakfast start at 7am. Lunch served at 12:30pm.

Name: Janie Walters

Title of Presentation: “God, Bless ‘Em, Change ‘Em or Take ‘Em”

Length of Training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Janie Walters has a M.S. in Communications and is an award-winning professional with dynamic speaking skills. A master trainer with more than 25 years of teaching experience in communications. A leader with humorous presentations that challenge people to strive for the best life has to offer. A speaker who encourages those same people to offer their best back to life. Entertaining! Informative! Motivational! Inspirational!

Abstract: Strategies for dealing with difficult people

Name: Steve Lochman, MD

Title of Presentation: “Current Concepts in Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries”

Length of Training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Steve Lochman, MD is triple board certified and works for the MN Neurorehabilitation Institute as a CEO/Medical Director. Dr. Lochman has been in the field for 25+ years. His current practice is focused on TBI and the prior Chief of PM&R – HCMC.

Abstract: This presentation will present epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis and clinical treatment of mild traumatic brain injuries. Special attention will be directed towards prolonged post-concussive symptoms.

Name: Erin Braaten

Title of Presentation: “The New Age of Hiring”

Length of Training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Erin Braaten has a Master’s in Human Resources and Industrial Relations, SHRM – Senior Certified Professional Certificate and works for Rise, Inc. as a Vice President of Human Resources. Ms. Braaten has been in the field for 10 years. She currently serves as the Vice President of Human Resources. In this role, she provides human resources leadership as a member of the senior leadership team, and leads an HR department consisting of five staff that supports 300 employees and over 3,500 persons served across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. Before working at Rise, Ms. Braaten worked for Metropolitan Alliance for Connected Communities, which was a third-party nonprofit HR services firm. At MACC, she trained HR team and managers on HR systems and processes, including payroll, reporting, applicant tracking /HRIS, and time management. Ms. Braaten’s expertise is specialized in areas of recruitment, performance management, compensation, people-analytics, and legal/regulatory compliance.

Abstract: Ms. Braaten will discuss the implementation of Rise’s Human Resource Information System (Paylocity): what we learned, what didn’t go as planned, what we would do differently if we had it to do over again and the impact the system has had for Rise. Rise was a Shavlik grant recipient for this project and Ms. Braaten will share what that process was like as well. She will also present some of the changes Rise has implemented and experienced over the past year including implementing a new compensation structure (how it works, what we look at to retain existing staff as well as hire new staff), moving forward to a hybrid work model for many of our teams – challenges and factors to consider including how to address “zoom fatigue”.

Time: 9:45 – 11:00am

Name: Justin King

Title of Presentation: “Vocational Test Instruments and Domains”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Justin King has a Psy.D, Advanced Graduate Certification in Rehabilitation Counseling, Forensic Vocational Evaluation, CRC, F/ABVE and works for Metropolitan Rehabilitation Services as a Rehabilitation Psychologist. Dr. King has been in the field for 7 years. He has experience performing forensic vocational evaluations, conducted psychological evaluations for the Federal Aviation Administration and transition evaluations for children to help shape their IEP’s.

Abstract of Training: This presentation will focus on various test instruments and domains related to vocational evaluations. Areas of focus will include intelligence, mood/personality, academic achievement and work sample measures.

Name: Allen Mavis

Title of Presentation: “Providing Inclusive Person Centered-ness in an Age of Documentation”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Allen Mavis has a Master’s in Education and works for Goodwill Easter Seals as an Instructor: Pre-Employment Services. Mr. Mavis has been in the field for 13 years. He has experience providing intensive case management, classroom teaching, placement, and on the job experience to barrier populations ranging from adolescent to older adult, rural/urban and culturally diverse. He has served 2500+clients. Mr. Mavis has led the State of Minnesota in Pre-ETS students served in 2018-2019. 500 hours of in-person pre-ETS teaching. 500 hours virtual pre-ETS teaching.

Abstract of Training: The ability to provide high-level inclusive person centered-ness with clients while also maneuvering through administration and documentation can be a taxing challenge. This presentation offers strategies to ensure that creativity and passion remain in building client relationships and also to ensure that culturally inclusive specifics can be embedded holistically into services heavily laden with documentation and administrative accountability and deadlines. 

Time: 11:15 – 12:30pm

Name: Mary DiBiase

Title of Presentation: “Transition and Employment Planning through the Lens of Self-determination”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Mary DiBiase has a M.A. in Secondary Education and works for the UMASS, Boston Institute for Community Inclusion as a Training Associate. Ms. DiBiase has been in the field for 21 years. Ms. DiBiase has an extensive background working with educators, parents, youth with disabilities, Vocational Rehabilitation staff, and other service providers on ways to support person-centered planning through cooperative efforts and directed assessment techniques. Her primary objective in this work is facilitate an understanding of the business world and how employment services agencies can provide support and services to businesses without overwhelming them with the service provider intricacies, with the ultimate goal of increasing the rates of employment for people with disabilities.

Abstract of Training: This presentation will look at strategies and partnership building necessary to support individuals with disabilities, particularly transition-age youth, with their planning and implementing employment goals. Self-determination, informed choice and dignity of risk does not happen in a bubble and depends on ongoing opportunities for development and practice, as well as on the support of crucial team members. Planning strategies, partner perspectives, and developing effective communication between partners will also be a focus of this session.

Name: Dr. Mohamed Bydon

Title of Presentation: “Phase 1 Clinical Trial for the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Dr. Mohamed Bydon is a Professor of Health Services Research, Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Orthopedics. Dr. Bydon serves as Principal Investigator of the Mayo Clinic Neuro-Informatics Laboratory, a laboratory focused on the genomics of spinal degeneration as well as the neuro-modulation and neuro-regeneration in the setting of spinal cord injury. Dr. Bydon is also Medical Director for the Mayo Clinic Neurosurgical BioBank and Registry, a prospective registry and tissue bank of neurosurgical cases at Mayo Clinic’s campuses in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona. In the past, Dr. Bydon has held a trainee position in a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator laboratory studying stem cell regeneration. Additionally, he has completed bench research focusing on neural genetics, in particular focusing on the genetic basic of intracranial aneurysms and neural developmental disorders. He was a past recipient of an NIH T32 grant that allowed him to conduct biomechanical and outcomes related research. Currently, Dr. Bydon is a practicing neurosurgeon as well as a full professor in the Departments of Neurologic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, and Health Services Research.

Abstract of Training: Spinal cord injury (SCI) clinical trial outcomes have yet to identify a treatment intervention beyond surgical stabilization and physical rehabilitation. In our phase 1 trial, we evaluated if intrathecal adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells were a safe treatment modality for paralysis due to SCI. This is the first human FDA IND approved trial for the treatment of spinal cord injury. We will discuss the outcomes of our trial and its implications for future clinical practice.

Name: Janie Walters

Title of Presentation: “You Said What?!?!”

Length of training: 1.25 hours

Biography: Janie Walters has a M.S. in Communications and is an award-winning professional with dynamic speaking skills. A master trainer with more than 25 years of teaching experience in communications. A leader with humorous presentations that challenge people to strive for the best life has to offer. A speaker who encourages those same people to offer their best back to life. Entertaining! Informative! Motivational! Inspirational!

Abstract of Training: Communicating effectively: listening and speaking in that order.

Time: 12:45 – 2:15pm

Name: Steve Wooderson

Title of Presentation: Keynote – “The Future of the Public VR Program”

Length of training: 1.50 hours

Biography: Steve Wooderson is the CEO of Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation. Mr. Wooderson has been associated with the public vocational rehabilitation program for nearly 40 years.

Abstract of Training: This presentation will provide a historical look at the founding principles of VR, impact of the pandemic on the VR service delivery system, and his view of the future of the program.

REGISTER FOR MRA CONFERENCE 2021!

LODGING

Hotel Information: Ruttger’ Bay Lake Lodge, 25039 Tame Lake Fish Road, Deerwood, MN 56444

Telephone: (218) 678-2885

Hotel link to make reservations: https://bit.ly/MN-Rehab

Rooms are blocked until September 13th for the MRA Conference and are $95.00/per night ++ for single rooms and $75.00/per night ++ for double rooms.

++ Prices are subject to service charge and tax.

Need an accessible room? Reach out to Renee Larson, with Ruttger’s, directly at 218-678-4626 or renee.larson@ruttgers.com.

REGISTER FOR MRA CONFERENCE 2021!

COST

Student Conference (Wed, Th, Fri): $150

Pre-Conference (Wed) Ticket: $110

One Day (Thurs) Conference Ticket: $185
One Day (Fri) Conference Ticket: $145

Two Day (Thur, Fri) Conference Ticket: $275

Full (Wed, Th, Fri) Conference Ticket: $300

Pre-Conference (Wed) Ticket – Late Registration: $135

Two Day (Thur, Fri) Conference Ticket – Late Registration $300

Full (Wed, Th, Fri) Conference Ticket – Late Registration: $325

President’s Open House Fundraiser and Reunion Celebration: $25.00

**There will be a $25 fee for late registrants, except students. The late fee will be added after Sept. 22nd.

REGISTER FOR MRA CONFERENCE 2021!

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

** To request an accommodation: It is the purchaser’s responsibility to mark this on your ticket and request by SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 by 12:00 pm CST. For inquiries about accommodations, please contact the MRA Program Chair at mraconferences@gmail.com.

** Dietary restrictions: It is the purchaser’s responsibility to mark this on your ticket. Although the caterer does everything they can to make sure foods are Allergy Free (AF) and Gluten Free (GF) MRA (board and members) and caterer (all employees) are not held responsible for any cross contamination.

** Refunds: If an attendee cancels before 12pm on Sept. 24th, they will receive a full refund. If they cancel after 12pm on Sept. 24th, they will get 50% back. Questions? Contact the MRA Program Chair at mraconferences@gmail.com.

** Conference Changes: The 2021 MRA Conference Committee reserves the right to make changes.

** MRA will follow all CDC and MDH health guidelines regarding COVID-19. We will take all necessary measures during the conference and update attendees as guidelines change.

REGISTER FOR MRA CONFERENCE 2021!

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie – it was great to talk with you yesterday. I’ve decided I’m going to attend in person 🙂 Can’t wait to see everyone. If there’s anyone you know that would like to share a room Wed and Thurs night, please let me know
    You’ll notice that I’m registered twice. I’m in the midst of canceling my virtual track with the State paying.

    Like

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