MA DDS Prevention Conference

Elin Howe, Commissioner of the MA DDS, Giving Keynote Speech
Elin Howe, Commissioner of the MA DDS welcomed the caregivers to the training

Be Aware – Take Care

Prevention, Risk and Safety at the Front Line of Services to Individuals with Intellectual Disability

On October 24, 2012, over 380 direct support professionals, house managers, provider agency and DDS staff, nurses and other caregivers attended a training titled Be Aware – Take Care Prevention, Risk and Safety at the Front Line of Services to Individuals with Intellectual Disability in Devens, Massachusetts.

Organized by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and UMMS/CDDER, this workshop brought together experienced professionals encouraging a culture of safety in caring for individuals with intellectual disability.

Barbara Pilarcik, RN, Executive Director, Giving Keynote Speech.
Barbara Pilarcik, RN, Executive Director, The Association For Community Living gave the keynote address discussing the importance of the culture of safety and the dignity of risk.

Topics covered included:

  • Using DDS data to improve the care of individuals with intellectual disabilities
  • Recognizing pica behaviors and using the most current techniques and medications to address the behavior
  • Recognizing behavioral challenges and understanding that changes in behavior may be associated with health related or aging issues; voicing concerns; creating a plan of care as a team
  • Fatal Four: learning that common conditions such as dehydration, aspiration, constipation, and seizures in people with intellectual disability may go unnoticed as symptoms are subtle and those with intellectual disability may not be able to communicate discomfort

Additional Speakers included:

Emily Lauer, MPH, Center for Developmental Disability Evaluation and Research, UMMS;Barent (Barry) Walsh, PhD, Executive Director, The Bridge; Chris Fox, PhD, Massachusetts DDS, Springfield-Westfield Area Office Psychologist; Julie Moran, DO, Geriatrician, Director, Aging and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, BIDMC; Lauren Charlot, PhD, Director, ID/MH Clinical Services, UMMC; Robert Baldor, MD, Vice Chairman, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, UMMS; Dafna Krouk Gordon, Founder and President, TILL; Aaron Kaufman, MS, CCC-SLP, TILL; Paige Slein, Training Director, Rehabilitative Resources, Inc.

Attentive Crowd Listening to Speech.

Participant Feedback

“Training exceeded my expectations. Presenters were all very knowledgeable in their fields and presented info in a concise & coherent manner.”

“Made me look at the issue of safety in a new way.”

“This is probably the best training I’ve been to in years!”

“I learned so much!”

Training program and agenda

For more information, or to obtain copies of training presentations, please contact us.