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WGCL Symposium Agenda

Leadership in Research: An Invited Symposium
Experience of Aging for People with Long-Term Disabilities:
Opportunities to Further Research

The University of Kansas Work Group on Community Living hosted an invited Symposium on Nov. 9-10, 2015. Experience of Aging for People with Long-Term Disabilities: Opportunities for Further Research brought together researchers, advocates and thought-leaders in the disability and aging fields to inform and sustain the vision of full participation for people who are aging with a disability.

Agendas for both days follow below. The second day focused on information about grants from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

For more information, see:

Mon., November 9, 2015 - Experience of Aging for People with Long-Term Disabilities

Welcome & Introduction

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Ph.D.

Keynote Address

Kathy Greenlee, J.D.

Bold Aspirations

James Tracy, Ph.D.

Respondent Panel 

John Colombo, Ph.D.
Randy Nudo, Ph.D.
Paul Smokowski, Ph.D.

Health, Function & Employment Panel: This panel will address the relationship of health and employment among people aging with disabilities and how federal disability programs can facilitate or create barriers to employment and income security for this population. The current system often steers people with disabilities into a path of lifelong dependence on federal cash assistance and health care programs, but changes in the availability of health insurance and various employment incentives have the potential to alter this trajectory in the future. The panel will explore ways to build on these changes to assure a healthier and more productive life for people with disabilities as they age.

Jae Kennedy, Ph.D.
Jean P. Hall, Ph.D.
Laura Howard, J.D.

Supported Decision Making: There is a growing trend away from plenary guardianship for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and people who are aging toward models of supported decision making that maximize a person’s involvement in decisions that impact the quality of his or her life. This session will discuss the emergence of supported decision making as an alternative to guardianship, discuss the activities of the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities-funded National Resource Center on Supported Decision Making, and examine the development of assessments with which to conduct research examining the efficacy of interventions to promote decision making skills, opportunities to make decisions, and supports for decision making, as well as mediating and moderating factors that impact decision making.

Tina Campanella, CEO
Michael Wehmeyer, Ph.D.
Karrie Shogren, Ph.D.
Rocky Nichols, M.P.A.

Enhancing Consumer Participation in Rural Communities: This panel will focus on community participation for people with disabilities in rural communities. Panelists will discuss methods and measures to help identify community participation through the adaptation of widely-used internet tools. The panel will discuss practical applications of these “apps” to rural settings, and how they can be used to detect facilitators and barriers to participation.  

Tom Seekins, Ph.D.
Martha Hodgesmith, J.D.
Glen White, Ph.D.
Deone Wilson

Improving Services and Supports for People Aging with Disabilities: A Focus on Transitions: This session will focus on emerging issues and areas in need of further research as the long-term supports and services network is called on to serve the growing number of people aging with long-term disabilities. The speakers’ extensive experience partnering on community-engaged research initiatives will be drawn on to address the following questions: How do community and state aging agencies need to adapt to meet the needs of this growing population? What knowledge gaps can researchers help fill to meet this demand? How can researchers, practitioners, and policymakers work together to ensure community options are available and accessible, especially at key transition points such as at time of hospital discharge or application for nursing facility admission? A state policy perspective on current research gaps in our understanding of people aging with long-term disabilities will provide additional context to help map next steps in addressing current research gaps in this arena.

Annette Graham, LSCSW
Rosemary Chapin, Ph.D.
Kari Bruffett, Secretary

Wrap-up: Bringing It All Together

Jim McLean, Moderator


Tues., November 10, 2015 - Getting to Know PCORI: Linking Researchers to Priorities & Requirements

Welcome & introduction

Jean Hall, Ph.D., KU

PCORI overview -  Information regarding the Addressing Disparities science program, priority populations, projects specifically related to disability and aging, and engagement funding programs

Suzanne Schrandt, J.D., PCORI

PCORI experience at KU and KUMC

Suzanne Schrandt, J.D., PCORI
Edward Ellerbeck, M.D., KUMC
Christie Befort, Ph.D., KUMC
Amy Mendenhall, Ph.D., KU


How to submit an application

How the merit review process works


Kristen Metzger and Iris Giggetts, PCORI

Current funding opportunities, wrap-up and Q&A

Suzanne Schrandt, J.D., PCORI

Are there public wheelchair charging stations in your community? - https://t.co/a25zOB1uH2

Aging with a Disability

A woman in a wheelchair looks at the camera and laughs. She is in a parklike setting.

This Symposium served as the foundation for collaboration leading to innovative research and practice in all aspects of community living.

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