Adult Matters

5th Annual Adult Matters Conference

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The 5th annual Adult Matters Conference was held September 12, 2015 at the Marriott West in St. Louis Park.  The conference was attended by 63 parents, guardians and group home service providers.

Dr. Darlene Zangara, Executive Director of the Minnesota Olmstead Implementation Office, provided a status report of Minnesota’s progress on increasing community integration for its citizens with disabilities pursuant to the Olmstead decision.  Comments on Dr. Zangara’s evaluations included:  “She was excellent!  A lot of good information and she answered all questions thoroughly.  Really enjoyed her talk.”  “Loved that Dr. Zangara had lived the walk—carried real credibility to her presentation.  Thank you.”   “Bring her back! This topic will need constant updates.”

Jerry Mellum, a Senior Planning Analyst in the Hennepin County Children, Family and Adult Services Department, discussed creative options and solutions for Housing and Employment for people with disabilities.  Comments on Mellum’s evaluations included the following:  “His real-life examples are helpful and his experience of putting theory and policy into practice make him a powerful speaker.”  “I now have resources to use in finding housing for my daughter who does not have a waiver.”  “All the answers and a sense of humor to boot.  Excellent resource.”

After lunch, Dr. Dennis McGuire busted the myths surrounding Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s, providing attendees with the real statistical probabilities.  He also provided an overview of the research being done by the Global Down Syndrome Foundation on the relationship between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s. Dr. McGuire’s evaluations included the following:   “Excellent as always.  We always learn something and look forward to hearing him again.”  “Very informative. Since our group home just sent out 2 different mailings saying “All Down Syndrome people get Alzheimer’s.” Now we KNOW better.”  “Very helpful.  Now I know—look for other medical issues for memory, behavior.”

Conference Evaluations included the following comments:

  • This was a very good conference with new & interesting topics.
  • Location Great! Facility Great!  Food Wonderful!  Conference very reasonable.
  • Talks very helpful—got lots of new info I needed.
  • All the presenters were very knowledgeable.

The 2016 Adult Matters Conference will be held in September 2016.  If you have suggestions for speakers or topics, feel free to contact Kathleen Holiday at the DSAM office 651-603-0720 or Kathleen.Holiday@dsamn.org.