Monday, May 22, 2017 at 9:00 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 12:15 PM EDT

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The Clarion Resort & Hotel 
10100 Coastal Highway
Ocean City, MD 21842

Driving Directions 


Vanessa Antrum 
410-740-5125 x6 

2017 MACS Direct Support & Supervision Conference

Join MACS for what's been called the best conference for direct support professionals in the country.  Attendees from last year commented:

  • "This conference met my expectations to the fullest and motivated me a lot on how to do my job"; 
  • "This conference energized me and gave me tools to use to make my job easier!"; 
  • "Very inspiring - will help me support people"; 
  • "Surpassed my expections!"

Our Theme is: "Respect For All!"

All of our sessions 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 your staff!

Dave Hingsburger is a well-known speaker and a consultant who addresses issues of sexuality, relationships, challenges and opportunities, as well as other issues regarding people with developmental disabilities.  He is the Director of Clinical and Educational Services for Vita Community Living Services and a primary consultant for the Sexuality Clinic at York Simcoe Behaviour Management Services.  In addition to giving keynote presentations nationally and internationally, Dave has published over 30 books.

 Because of his years of working with people with disabilities, Dave has a special way of helping direct support professionals better understand the “why”.  Most people leave his sessions saying – "WOW!  I understand now."

We are so happy that Dave is able to join MACS for our conference!

Karyn Harvey has worked as a clinician in the field of intellectual disabilities for over 25 years. She has a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland.  She has published articles about therapeutic interventions with individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), workbooks for individuals with ID and two books. Her first book, Positive Identity Development was published in 2009 and presents both theory and guidance for clinicians doing therapy with individuals with ID.  Karyn’s second book, Trauma –Informed Behavioral Interventions was published in 2011 and presents a trauma- informed care approach to working with individuals with ID both programmatically and clinically. She is currently the Assistant Executive Director of Quality Supports for The Arc Baltimore.  In addition, she is an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore, graduate psychology program. Karyn has consulted and trained on trauma-informed care for individuals with ID throughout the country and in Canada as well.

Karyn's interactive style and humor make her presentations well received by direct support staff.  She has given many their "aha" moment when she discusses trauma informed care.  We are excited that Karyn will be joining us for the conference this year!

In addition to our National and International Speakers - we are happy to announce our other presenters for this conference.  Our list of confirmed presenters include:

  • Mat Rice
  • Gail Godwin
  • Jane Conrad
  • Tasha Manigo-Bizzell
  • Brent Toleman
  • Donna Retzlaff
  • Kori Wilson
  • Clarissa Mitchell
  • Kay Jones
  • Dawn Davis-Brodeur and 
  • Mary Anne Kane Breschi and more!


Monday, May 22, 2017 - There will be two sessions available in our Pre-Conference Workshops - Supervision 101 and Advanced Supervision Sessions (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

NEW Advanced SupervisionThis advanced supervision session is an opportunity to develop and strengthen key supervisory skills as we introduce the model of coaching in a fun, engaging, practical full day session!

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them”. Whimore, 2002.

Join Alex Greenland MSOD and Monica McCall, CEO of Creative Options (working with Greenland & Associates) as they share the transformation of Creative Options – Supervising Direct Support Professionals and supporting people effectively through coaching.

The Final Rule requires us to engage the people we support with opportunities for choice, problem solving and decision making. Coaching offers a great method that will not only improve the quality of life of the people you support, but will also build necessary problem-solving skills that are essential for developing independence with direct support workers.

Join us for a day of  interactive conversations about coaching and support to enhance the development of our direct support professionals and the people we support to be thoughtful and feel better about themselves and their choices!

In this session, we will see real examples of effective coaching in action – and talk about how coaching supports people we supervise and people with disabilities; how to build a coaching culture, and the essential coaching skills.  We will also practice coaching in pairs!

 Participants  will better understand ‘coaching mindsets’ and expand leadershp skills used to effectively coach DSPs and the people we support . Managers and  supervisors will greatly increase their capacity to assist direct support professionals to solve problems and make decisions independently. Also, managers, as supervisors of DSPs will understand better the need  for a shift to a ‘coaching culture’  that promotes ongoing demonstration and modeling coaching skills from leadership and management. The ‘coaching culture”  supports efforts from “The Final Rule “that leads people we support to opportunities for building relationships,  problem solving, and making decisions with dignity and respect

Tuesday, May 23 - Wednesday May 24, 2017 - The Direct Support and Supervision Conference will begin with the opening plenary from Dave Hingsburger.  Mat Rice from People on the Go and Karyn Harvey from The Arc Baltimore will close this awesome conference out with our closing plenary.

Conference Tracks & Workshop Topics: (Many of these workshops will be offered twice to give participants the greatest opportunity to see the session they are interested in).


  • People with significant disabilities can work
  • Reframing failure: a look at expectations
  • Discovery
  • How to approach employers (soft skills)

Community Inclusion

  • Relationships
  • Abuse prevention
  • Supporting people with intense needs in the community
Professional Development
  • Communicating with difficult people
  • Community: coaching and the final rule
  • Stress and burnout
  • Meal planning made EZ
  • The burden of mediocrity

NEW Front Line Supervision (This track will expand on the training from the pre-conference sessions)

  • Communication styles
  • Transitioning to a front line supervisor
  • How to be a motivator

Register Now!

The conference will be held at the Clarion Resort & Hotel, 10100 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842. Check-in time at the Clarion is 4 pm.   

To make reservations please call the Clarion Hotel at