DIDD Enabling Technology Summit

Wednesday, November 8th from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Central

Optional Reception/Happy Hour from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Central        

Thursday., November 9th from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Central

Register for the event here

Embassy Suites Murfreesboro
1200 Conference Center Blvd
Murfreesboro, TN 37219
Google Map Directions

To book a hotel room at the special rate follow this link: Embassy Suites Murfreesboro


Advancing Independence and Employment with Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence Technologies

Dr. Keivan Stassun, Founding Director |  Vanderbilt University Frist Center for Autism & Innovation

Vijay Ravindran, Founder & CEO | Floreo

For autistic and other neurodivergent individuals seeking independence and employment, there is very often the significant challenge of how to provide meaningful learning opportunities in a safe manner that does not expose individuals to the risk of physical or psychological harm. For any number of real-world tasks involved in living independently and having a job -- whether learning how to safely walk across the street, or to board the public bus, or to drive a car, or to perform tasks at work -- learning to do these tasks in the real world can be extremely challenging and even dangerous, at least at first. The arrival of advanced technologies based on virtual reality and artificial intelligence are now making it possible to design realistic and immersive environments for realistic learning, in a way that is safe and that can be guided by teachers, coaches, therapists, families, and individuals themselves. This presentation will offer a view of some of these exciting technologies and how they are being made accessible to individuals here in Tennessee.

Tools that Help People Get Real Jobs with Real Wages

Steve Sutter, Founder, President | CreateAbility Concepts

This presentation will highlight why it is so important that new enabling tech comes
from evidence-based research. In addition to emphasizing the results and impact from data collected from 132 employees with IDD and their Job Coaches, we will:

    • Show live demonstrations that will illustrate the key features and functions that helped staff save both time and        resources.

    • Include live demos of the employee experience.

Partnering for New Pathways: The State of Enabling Technology and Innovation in Tennessee

Milton Neunschwander, Director of Enabling Technology | DIDD

Jeremy Norden-Paul, Director of Program Innovation | DIDD

For over five years, Tennessee has been a national leader in the technology and innovation space and has continuously set the bar higher for what is possible. When there have been obstacles, we have overcome them; when there has been no path, we have created one. Throughout it all, one consistent theme has made our success possible: partnership. Today's opening presentation is an opportunity to highlight and express gratitude for our many partners who have helped us blaze new trails and create life-changing opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Tennessee Tech Connect

Megan Hart, Program Director | Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

Mimi Sanders, Education and Resources Coordinator | Tennessee Disability Pathfinder

Tennessee Tech Connect (TN Tech Connect), a collaborative program between Pathfinder and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD), provides resource information on assistive and enabling technology. The website portal connects individuals with disabilities to tools available to increase their capabilities. Join us for this informative session to learn more about the program and how to access these resources.

Vocational Rehab and the Tennessee Technology Access Program 

Kim Lilley, Executive Director of the Tennessee Technology Access Program | Department of Human Services

A'ndrea Leavy, Assistant Vocational Rehab Director| Department of Human Services 

A’ndrea Leavy and Kim Lilley will provide an overview of the Division of Rehabilitation Services, specifically discussing the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR/Voc. Rehab) and Tennessee Technology Access Program (TTAP). During this session, participants will learn about the ways to access these programs, the incorporation of assistive technology, and the individualized nature of services available to help meet each person’s specific needs in living their best life.

Tech-Leveraged Service Models: GoodLife's Neighborhood Network with iLink

Dr. Mike Strouse, President & CEO| Goodlife Innovations

By the end of this session attendees will be able to:

• Assess the value of tech-leveraged service-models and describe its benefits;

• Identify technologies that can see, hear, feel, and act to solve common barriers of independence, while ensuring accountable care;

• Recognize the importance of keeping human care and self-direction at the core of next-generation services approaches where iCoaches remotely monitor, coach, virtually support, and deploy and supervise in-home help;

• Consider the advantages of technologies that have been infused also into professional supports (including case Management, behavioral services, and health care), quality assurance, in-home training, and staff support to create the next generation of care;

• Evaluate how self-direction, privacy, deep relationships, and independence are effectively balanced by technologies to offer the least restrictive care;

• Understand how client need assessments, program design, and pivot plans are necessary to ensure that technology is appropriately used to deliver services; and• Discuss future directions for redefining what’s possible.