MACS Direct Support &
Supervision Conference

Our Theme is: "Community Strong!"
April 23 - 25, 2018
Conference Registration
Now Open!
Join MACS for what's been called the best conference for direct support professionals in the country. Attendees from last year commented:

  • "This conference was more than what I expected. Not only were the seminars focusing on ways to do better within the field, they also relate to my everyday life"; 
  • "This conference was wonderful! It was even better than expected! The speakers were encouraging and uplifting!"; 
  • "Absolutely great speakers and workshops. I received very good information about supporting people and working with staff."; 
  • "I learned a lot of good information that I can bring back to work"
Opening Plenary Speakers
Ricardo & Donna Thornton
Ricardo and Donna Thornton are active and strong self-advocates in the Nation’s Capital, the District of Columbia. They have been married over 31 years. They have one son, Ricky, Jr., who is 31 years old and are proud grandparents. 

Ricardo and Donna are former residents of Forest Haven, the District’s institution for people with developmental disabilities. In 2003, they had a movie of their life made titled, “Profoundly Normal”, and had multiple interviews on 60 Minutes about their life as one of the first couples in the country with developmental disabilities to get married.

Both Ricardo and Donna are active members of the District’s self-advocacy group, Project ACTION!, a coalition of adults with disabilities. Ricardo and Donna have received many awards and were recognized as “Washingtonians of the Year” in 1997. They are passionate advocates and believe that people should be able to make their own decisions and choices, and that people with disabilities can achieve almost anything with support.
Monday April 23, 2018 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Pre-Conference Supervision 101 and Advanced Training
There will be two day long sessions in our Pre-Conference - Supervision 101 and Advanced Supervision (both for Front Line Supervisors).

Supervision 101   will be presented by Bob Ireland from Bello Machre. This session will provide essential information to frontline supervisors of direct support staff on the following topics:
  • Key components of supervision such as leadership, support, training, communication and quality 
  • Motivating staff, knowing when and how to delegate responsibilities
  • Identifying the “blame games” supervisors and staff play
This session is intended for people who have not taken this MACS training previously.

Advanced Supervision will be presented by Lisa Meyer and is an opportunity to develop and strengthen key supervisory skills for those who have already taken Supervision 101 . This interactive session will provide attendees with techniques and resources to effectively develop as a collaborator, and partner with staff by providing an environment in which staff can be open and fully engaged in their work. Information will be given on how to p romote a partnership that creates a respectful and supportive climate enabling everyone to understand and support each other well.
Monday, April 23, 2018
Pre-Conference Schedule at a Glance  
8:00 - 9:30am - Pre-Conference Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30am - 4:30pm - Supervision 101 and Advanced Supervision Sessions
Monday, April 23, 2018
Welcome Reception - 7:30 to 8:30pm
Movie Night - 8:30 to 9:45pm
The welcome reception and movie night activities are open to all conference registrants.

Join us for light hors d'oeuvres and networking. This year we've added a movie night. Join us as we watch a movie together that will definitely impact the rest of the conference.
Conference Schedule at a Glance
Monday, April 23, 2018
7:30 - 8:30pm - Welcome Reception/Conference Registration
8:30 - 9:45pm - Movie Night

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
7:30 - 9:30am - Conference Registration and Breakfast
9:30 - 11:00am - Welcome and Opening Plenary
11:00 - 11:15am - Break
11:15 - 12:30pm - Morning Workshops
12:30 - 1:30pm - Lunch
1:30 - 2:45pm - Mid Day Workshops
2:45 - 3:15pm - Break
3:15 - 4:30pm - Afternoon Workshops
4:30 - 6:45pm - Time on your own
6:45 - 9:00pm - Awards Dinner
9:00 - 11:00pm - Dancing and Karaoke

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
8:00 - 9:00am - Breakfast
9:00 - 10:15am - Morning Workshops
10:15 - 10:45am - Break
10:45 - 12:00pm - Closing Plenary
12:00 - 12:15pm - Closing Remarks and Door Prizes
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - Wednesday April 25, 2018
Conference Sessions
 Conference Tracks & Session Topics: 
All of our workshops are designed to offer Direct Support Professionals and Front Line Supervisors skills and knowledge to move to the next level of awesome! Our presenters and facilitators are excited about sharing best practices with attendees . Many of these workshops will be offered twice to give participants the greatest opportunity to see the session they are interested in.

Employment Track
My Role as a DSP in Successful Employment
DSPs have an integral role in successful employment. DSPs are so close to the person receiving supports that they often know some important facts that can be used to land that perfect job. Participants attending this session will learn ways to positively affect the employment search for the people they support.

Using Technology to Find Employment for the Person I Support
Are you using the latest technology to assist you in the job search for the person you support? There are so many opportunities available to us today to help someone land that perfect job.
Yes - there's an app for that!

Community Inclusion and Empowerment Track
No One Left Behind
Many times people who are given the opportunity to participate in events and activities are those who speak and share their thoughts about their wants/desires. But what about those who don't use words to communicate? No one should be left behind. Everyone communicates. Learn techniques to find out what people really want to be doing.

Community Involvement - Person Centered
In light of the community rule, we see a lot of people going "out" but it's more than a day at the mall. Find out from these DSPs how they've used a person centered approach to make the day meaningful and to realize true person centeredness!

What does "safe" really mean?
DSPs are responsible for supporting individuals in having a full life,
but how can we facilitate this in a meaningful and effective manner.

Assistive Technology and the Community
We have only begun to scratch the surface to look at what's available in technology that can support a person with disabilities. This session will provide different assistive technology that is available and being used successfully.

Personal Development Track
Stretching Your Salary
This session will present simple tips & strategies to help attendees do more with the money they have.

Managing Stress
Back by popular demand! We know life as a DSP can be very stressful. Explore and identify your current stressors and where you are wasting time. Practical solutions and techniques will be shared and popular apps to manage stress, anxiety, sleep, happiness and mood will be discussed.

Coping with Grief
We are always looking for ways to cope with losing someone important to us whether it is a family member, a friend, co-worker or someone we support. This session will discuss ways to cope during this difficult time and to help those you support with coping with their feelings of loss and grief as well.

Professional Development Track
Strategies for Working with Difficult People
This workshop is designed to give you the tools, strategies and skills to work with difficult people. We will examine conversations and situations that have proved to be difficult in the past and strategies for you to be successful when the situation presents itself in the future.

DSPs Navigating Change
Did you realize you are an agent of change? There are so many things that you can do to empower the people you support. This is the time to find ways to go to the next level.

Professional Multi-Tasking
Being a DSP or Frontline Supervisor requires constant multi-tasking. The appointments, the community activities, the support, the paperwork, the activities of daily living, and the emergencies all must be juggled. Help!
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

MACS is seeking nominations for the Annual Direct Support and Supervision Staff Awards. The awards highlight outstanding examples of direct support and supervisory staff supporting people with disabilities in living full lives. Although only one person from an agency can win in each category, all nominees will be acknowledged. This is an awesome event which is followed by dancing and Karaoke.
Nomination Information for
Direct Support and Supervision Awards
Pictures of some of the Winners and Nominees from 2017
Hotel Information

The MACS Conference has moved to a new venue.

The Princess Royale Oceanfront Hotel & Conference Center is located on the white sandy beaches of Ocean City Maryland.

They offer a variety of accommodations from spacious two room suites with fully equipped kitchenettes directly overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, to suites overlooking the indoor heated swimming pool. The hotel also has hot tubs, saunas, on-site parking and a four-story glass oceanfront tropical atrium.

For more hotel information
Online Hotel Reservation Information
Information about booking online:
1) Click on the link below
2) Enter group number 5328 in the box and hit “Book Now” button
3) Click on calendar and choose your arrival and departure dates
4) Click on 1 Room/1 Adult box and select number of adults in room
5) Click on Rate options box and make sure your group number, 5328  is there to receive the group rate
6) Click on the “Check availability”, and choose the room style you would like by clicking on it, the click on the “Book It” button
7) Fill out the information boxes to book and pay for the 1st night’s stay to confirm your stay.
Need more assistance with booking your room:
If you need any assistance at all, please call the Reservations department at 1-800-476-9253,
between 9AM and 9PM daily, and someone will be glad to help you.

Identify yourself as Group #5328 to get the discounted MACS rate, and to allow MACS to get credit for your booked hotel room.
Heated Pool & Atrium
Suite Living Room Area
Suite Bedroom
March 23, 2018
Hotel Room Block Closes
March 23, 2018
Conference Registration Late Fee Begins
April 6, 2018
Last Day to Submit Award Nominations
April 13, 2018
Last Day to Register for the Conference

No refunds can be given after April 13, 2018 .
Substitutions to the person attending can be made at anytime.
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