May 2024
An announcement promoting the Reinventing Quality conference in Baltimore in September 2024. The announcement shows the date and place of the conference, and a blurred image of an audience in a lecture hall.

Many of the nation’s leading organizations supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities will gather September 15-17 to share strategies for tackling the field’s most pressing challenges, from the shortage of support workers to new federal reporting rules and the transformation of employment services as sheltered workshops close their doors.

The 2024 Reinventing Quality conference at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel is presented by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the Human Services Research Institute (HSRI), the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDS), the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the Institute on Community Integration, TASH, the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL), and the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities.

“Reinventing Quality brings stakeholders together to explore new ways of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said ICI Director Amy Hewitt. “It’s a time to ask and discuss those hard questions rarely approached.

Sessions will include pre-conference discussions about leading in challenging times, trauma-informed care, and guardianship alternatives for youth with IDD.

Conference sessions will share lessons on multi-level systems change to address workforce challenges in Rhode Island and New York and strategies for measuring person-centered practices. Others will explore how artificial intelligence can be applied in advocating for people who use supports; case studies in positive behavior support and workforce investments; and strategies for ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion across all aspects of supporting people with IDD.

“The conference always shares best practices on individualized, person-centered supports and quality management activities,” said Margaret Nygren, executive director and chief executive of AAIDD. Nygren said the featured speakers included leaders from provider and advocacy organizations nationwide.

“Quality is such a buzzword, but at the RQ conference, you have the opportunity to really dive deep and understand what other states, providers, and research organizations are doing to measure and monitor service quality,” said Dorothy Hiersteiner, co-director of HSRI’s National Core Indicators project, one of the conference speakers.

Hiersteiner said quality is conceptualized and measured differently in home and community-based service (HCBS) and long-term services and supports (LTSS) settings compared to other settings. Hence, the field needs the conference to help create understanding and innovation, particularly given the new HCBS rules on wait lists and quality measures reporting.

“There are a lot of new requirements related to quality measurement, and RQ will be the perfect place for those interested in DD policy to parse through the regulations and make plans,” she said.

Hewitt will moderate the closing plenary session, “Three Decades of Learning About Community Living and Inclusion. Now What?” The panel will share research-informed practices and discuss critical policy directions.

“I’m excited to facilitate this panel because it focuses on much-needed future directions to ensure access, equity, and availability of supports and services that people truly want and need,” Hewitt said.

Julie Bershadsky, Brian C. Begin, Rachel Freeman, and Jerry Smith are other ICI staff members presenting at the conference.