2020 Mississippi disAbility Virtual MegaConference

June 18, 2020

The Mississippi disAbility MegaConference, Mississippi's largest cross-disability conference for people with disabilities, families, students, and professionals is going virtual this year!

We are unable to have an in person conference this year due to Covid-19 but still want to provide you with information relevant to current issues.




Once you have registered for a session you will be redirected to this page to register for other sessions.

You should receive a confirmation e-mail for each session for which you register.


8:30 – 9:30 a.m. 

Emergency Preparedness in the Disability Community



Amber Hall

Disability Integration Advisor

Mississippi Emergency Management Agency



Amanda Aldridge

Division Director, Office of Emergency Planning and Response

Mississippi State Department of Health

This presentation will cover a spectrum of issues relating to the disability community in emergency management. Topics will rand from planning and implementation of COVID-19 disability plans to cascading events such as the tornado on Easter Sunday 2020.

10 – 11 a.m.

Promoting a Continuum of Behavioral Health Care in Mississippi using PCIT-related Services for Children with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities


Dustin E. Sarver, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Mississippi Medical Center

This presentation will provide a 5-year retrospective on the history, implementation and growth of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in Mississippi. The presentation will also discuss current PCIT-related services offer along the continuum of care (prevention-based and school-based) that promote positive development of children. The history of the PCIT-program at UMMC will be presented and also describe the services and initial data outcomes from PCIT, Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) Trainings and Teacher Child Interaction Therapy (TCIT) that have been built up. Future directions on how PCIT/CARE/TCIT can be expanded and supported across the state to serve to advocate and advance the behavioral development of children will be discussed.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Medicaid and Managed Care Appeals - How to Win


Micah Dutro, JD, Legal Director, Disability Rights Mississippi

Medicaid and Managed Care appeals are complicated, and the letters these companies and agencies send are often confusing and unclear. This presentation will walk beneficiaries and their family members through the appeals process, give information about what to expect at each step, and go over the key strategies that can make the difference between winning an appeal and losing benefits and services.

1 – 2 p.m.

An Update on the ADA, Olmstead and Mental Health Reform in Mississippi



Joy Hogge, PhD

Executive Director

Families as Allies Mississippi



Polly Tribble

Executive Director

Disability Rights Mississippi


This presentation reviews how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Olmstead Supreme Court ruling support adults and children affected by mental illness to be able to live in the community. Relevant civil rights issues in Mississippi, including progress on the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Mississippi regarding its mental health system, will be discussed. Opportunities for people receiving services and their families to work together with providers and policy makers to bring about person-centered system reform will be shared. Additional supports available to children receiving Medicaid will be discussed as well.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Mississippi ABLE Accounts: Saving Without Losing Benefits


Billy Taylor, Chief of Staff, Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services

This presentation will provide an overview of the Mississippi ABLE accounts, including an explanation of eligibility for the accounts and a summary of the accounts various benefits to individuals with disabilities. ABLE accounts are savings accounts for individuals with disabilities which will not affect their public benefits.  These accounts can be used for daily transactions and/or long-term savings. Income earned in the accounts is not taxed if spent on qualified disability-related expenses. Contributions can be made to an account by anyone and may qualify for a state tax deduction.

4 – 5 p.m.

Your Right to Vote: Why it Counts!



Shirley Walker-McKinnis

PAVA Coordinator/Civil Rights Advocate

Disability Rights Mississippi 


Greta Martin

Litigation Director

Disability Rights Mississippi


This session will provide information to equip people with disabilities to feel more confident in their voting activities; providing some history about the fight for their right to vote with some back story on ways in which their vote has been blocked. Voter ID Law, curb side voting, the voting rights act, and the registration process will be a part of the presentation, as well as how a vote is your voice. The session will also include some Census 2020 information about participation.

for more information contact:

Mickey Alford
Mississippi Disability MegaConference