Stephanie Birkdale 
Asperger/Autism Network 
617-393-3824 x32 


Saturday February 4, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM EST

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Crowne Plaza Boston-Newton Hotel 
320 Washington Street
Newton, MA 02458

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Asperger Syndrome and Adult Life
Navigating the Massachusetts Public and Private Supports and Service Systems

Saturday, February 4, 2017
(Snow date, February 5, 2017) 

Crowne Plaza Boston-Newton Hotel
320 Washington Street ~ Newton, MA

This is a full-day conference for adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS) or related profiles and family members of adults and older teens with AS/related profiles. Experts will explain the many public and private supports that may be appropriate for adults who live in Massachusetts.

Conference Schedule
8:30-9:00am  Registration & Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:15am  Opening Remarks
9:15-10:30am  Session 1: ASD and Social Security Benefits (all)
10:30-10:45am  Break
10:45am - 12:15pm  Morning Workshops (choose one)
12:15-1:15pm  Lunch
1:15-2:45pm  Session 2: Person Centered Planning (all)
2:45-3:00pm  Break
3:00-4:30pm  Afternoon Workshops (choose one)
4:30-5:00pm  Information Tables Remain Open 

Conference Workshops
Workshop Session One
Asperger Syndrome Employment and Social Security Benefits (all attend)
Presenter: Kathryn Collins-Wooley
When competitive employment is not an option, most people will turn to Social Security for disability benefits, either SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). This session will summarize these benefits and cover the adult social security application process.

Morning Workshops (select one)

Workshop A: Legal Planning and Alternatives to Guardianship
Presenters: Ken Shulman & Barbara Jackins
This workshop will focus on estate planning, which is important to assure an adult child of long term financial security and also to make sure that financial systems are in place to protect both assets and any benefits an adult may be receiving. The workshop will also discuss alternatives to guardianship that are appropriate for adults with Asperger profiles.

Workshop B: Public Vocational Supports
Presenters: James Fratolillo, Elsa Jimenez, Yvonne Tylinski, & Ann Shor
This workshop will focus on the variety of services and supports that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) can provide to adults with Asperger Syndrome, including Vocational Assessment, Career Counseling, Interviewing Skills, and more. The workshop will also include a discussion of balancing work with benefits.

Workshop C: Healthcare
Presenters: Terri Farrell  & Jo Anne Bayliss
Focusing on health care coverage for adults with AS, this workshop will include information about Medicare, MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, One Care, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance coverage. 

Workshop D: DDS
Presenter: Janet George
This workshop will discuss changes in the Department of Developmental Disability eligibility and services for adults with autism spectrum profiles as a result of the passage of the Omnibus Autism Bill.

Workshop Session Two
Person Centered Planning (all attend)
Presenter: Kerry Mahoney
Person Centered Planning can help create your road-map to have the life that you want to live! This workshop will provide an overview of person centered planning and how this approach can assist someone to plan their life and supports. It is used most often as a life planning model to enable individuals to increase their personal self-determination and improve their own independence. This workshop will offer information on the person centered process, circles of support and developing action plans. 

Afternoon Workshops (select one)

Workshop E: Private Housing Options
Presenters: Michael Caballero, Doreen Cummings, Beth Gutierrez, & Alan White
This panel of experts have developed interesting and creative housing models for adults with Asperger profiles. They will discuss these new models and answer your questions.

Workshop F: Private Vocational Options
Presenters: Barbara Bissonnette, Nataliya Poto, Leslie O’Brien & Micah Fleisig
These experts will review their innovative and successful programs for helping adults with AS obtain and sustain employment. There will be ample time for questions and answers.

Workshop G: Thinking About Housing
Presenters: Catherine Boyle
This presentation is "Housing 101." Thinking About Housing introduces families and individuals to the range of federal and state funds available to pay for housing and supportive services Some examples are given of how these can be combined with private funds to create housing. 

Workshop H: Moving Out
Presenters: Alexandria Nadworny and Susan Nadworny
This mother and sibling duo will help attendees think about “getting ready to move out” in a practical way. How would you assess readiness to move out? How do you learn what you need to know? What can families do?

General Conference Information

Conference Location: Crowne Plaza Boston-Newton Hotel, 320 Washington Street, Newton, MA.

Registration Fees:
Registrant: $85/person
Additional family members (at the same address): $55/person
Registration fees include morning coffee and lunch. There is no discount if you cannot attend the entire day’s program or if you bring your own lunch. You will not be registered for the conference if the correct fees are not enclosed.

Financial Assistance: If you are a parent or an adult with AS/related profile who needs financial assistance to attend this conference, please contact Kerry at 617-393-3824 ext. 28 to discuss financial aid opportunities.

Refund Policy: Refunds, minus a $10 processing fee per person, are available until the end of our business day on January 20, 2017. No refunds/credits after January 20 or for no-shows. 

Lunch and Special DietsLunch includes a variety of sandwiches, wraps, and salads (including vegetarian and gluten-free options), chips, cookies and brownies, and a beverage. We cannot accommodate any other dietary restrictions and there is no discount if you bring your own lunch.

Directions & Parking: Log on to If you are using GPS input the address 317 Washington Street or Buff's Pub to get the most accurate driving directions. Parking is free in the attached garage. If you are taking public transportation the hotel is near several bus routes and a short ride from the Newton Centre (Green Line) MBTA station. 

Lodging: A limited number of Crowne Plaza rooms are available at a preferred group rate on Friday (Februrary 3) and Saturday (February 4) nights. You must book your own reservations directly with the hotel no later than December 18, 2016 by calling 617-969-3010 or online at Asperger Autism Booking Link. Mention the “Asperger/Autism Network” when making your reservation.

Dogs: Only leashed service dogs permitted.

Chemical Sensitivities: Due to chemical sensitivities among those in our community, please refrain from wearing perfume or scented products at the conference.

Inclement Weather on February 4: If we need to reschedule the conference due to snow, an announcement will be made by 6:00 a.m. on February 4—call AANE at 617-393-3824, ext. 28. We will also send an email to the address you used when registering.  We have scheduled a snow date on February 5, 2017. If you are not able to attend on the new date  we will refund your registration fee. 

Accommodations: If you require an ADA and/or a communication access accommodation, please contact Kerry at 617-393-3824 ext. 28 or Requests must be received by December 28, 2016. For those who make requests after this date every effort will be made to provide a reasonable accommodation, however we might not be able to do so given the time constrains.

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