• Registration
  • 2019-02-23   9:30am - 5:00pm
  • 700 Brooks Avenue, Raleigh

The Power of the Dream is proud to announce ImaginAbility, a one-day event on adult transition and community living for teens and adults with autism, I/DD, and/or special needs

Self-advocates, families, community members, and professionals are invited to learn, connect, and engage with our speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors. Learn more about our wonderful speakers and breakout sessions by exploring our conference website. We hope to encourage your ability to imagine your future, provide info / resources that will help you access your dreams for your future, and utilize tools and contacts so you can bring your dreams to life!


We are pleased to be able to provide a wide array of topics thanks to our speakers who are lending…

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Why Exhibit? Exhibiting provides an opportunity to showcase your services and products and gives you a powerful platform for meeting…

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Looking to volunteer with us? Please check out our signupgenius page for available volunteer slots. Breakfast will be provided at…

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Our Speakers

Chris Egan

Executive Director, NC Council on Developmental Disabilities

Keynote Speaker - The State of I/DD in NC Transition Age/Adults with Autism &/or I/DD

Jeff Payne

Director of I/DD Care Coordination, Alliance BHC

Keynote Speaker - The State of I/DD in NC and Alliance Area for Transition Age/Adults with Autism &/or I/DD

Walter Linney

Asst Director of I/DD Care Coordination, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare

Keynote Speaker - The State of I/DD in NC and Alliance Area for Transition Age/Adults with Autism &/or I/DD

Mary Buonfiglio

Deputy Director, North Carolina Supplemental Retirement Plans and North Carolina ABLE Program

General Session Q&A Speaker - NC ABLE Accounts


February 23, 2019 Agenda

  • Schedule





    8:00 – 9:00

    Setup and Volunteer Check-In

    8:30 – 9:00

    Exhibitors Check-In

    9:00 – 9:30


    9:30 – 9:45


    Morning in the Auditorium

    Anna Cunningham, President, The Power of the Dream

    9:45 – 10:45


    Transitioning to Independent Living for Adults with Autism &/or I/DD

    NC Council on Developmental Disabilities


    Alliance Health

    Chris Egan, Exec Director, NCDD

    Jeff Payne, Interim Senior Director of Care Coordination, Alliance Health

    Walter Linney, Asst. Director of I/DD Care Coordination, Alliance Health

    10:45 – 12:00

    GENERAL SESSION with Q&A Segment

    NC ABLE Accounts

    Mary Buonfiglio, Deputy Director, North Carolina Supplemental Retirement Plans and North Carolina ABLE Program

    12:00 – 1:00


    Complimentary On-Site

    1:00 – 2:00


    See Breakout Session Sheet


    2:00 – 2:30

    Visit Exhibitors/Break

    2:30 – 3:30


    See Breakout Session Sheet


    3:30 – 4:00

    Visit Exhibitors/Break

    (Exhibitors Breakdown at 4:00)

    4:00 – 5:00


    See Breakout Session Sheet


    5:00 – 5:15

    CLOSING & Prize Drawings

    (Clean-up at 5:15)

  • Sessions


    Room #202

    Room #203

    Room #205


    1:00 - 2:00 pm

    Assistive Technology: Making Life Easier at Home, School, Work, & Community

    Lynne Deese, NCATP

    This session provides an overview of Assistive Technology - what it is and how it is used to improve your life in your daily living and community… added bonus is to check out all the GREAT assistive technology on site!

    Lifestyle for ME! Micro-Enterprise Roundtable


    Hear from individuals who have their own businesses as well as those who support them to find out the latest info on this non-traditional employment option in our community!

    Disaster Preparedness: Tips and Info to Know & Use

    Sheri Badger, Human Services Disability Integration Specialist, NC Emergency Mgmt

    This session provides an overview of how to prepare for and find critical info that pertains specifically to you so you can know what to do when disaster strikes. There will be added tools given out to help communicate needs to first responders and others in the community, too!

    Innovative Employment Options – Be a Part of the Movement!

    Pat Keul, I/DD Employment Specialist

    David Ingram, Systems Change, NCCDD

    This session will go into several exciting employment models sharing the latest updates and news in the I/DD employment field in NC, including paid apprenticeships and how you can get involved, too!

    2:30 - 3:30 pm 

    Creating and Living Your Dream Life…in the REAL World

    Betsy MacMichael, FIFNC

    Jane Desmond, Self-Advocate Leader

    This session features an amazing view into the REAL World through Jane’s eyes and how her shared living lifestyle encourages self-determination principles. This includes supported decision-making examples, too!

    Financial Empowerment for Individuals and Families

    Travis Williams, Upward to Financial Stability Master Trainer, NCCDD

    Gerri Smith, Arc Futures Planning

    Bridget Tate, Financial Coach with The Financial Clinic

    This session shares insights and options for using existing tools and services that can help you meet your financial life goals without affecting your benefits!

    Know Your Benefits!

    Ava Bennett, Area Work Incentives Counselor

    This session is rich with information you can use to put more money in your pocket while also being able to keep your needed benefits to have a REAL life in your community!

    Rethinking Guardianship

    Linda Kendall Fields, M.Ed, Clinical Assistant Professor, Jordan Institute for Families, UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work

    This session will open your eyes to new alternatives to guardianship that promote self-determination and can include supported decision-making!

    4:00 - 5:00 pm

    Letting Go to Live My Own Life! 

    Kenneth Kelty, Self-Advocate

    This session offers an up close and personal look into one person’s lived experience as he shares his transition journey from high school to college experience and into the community… this will show you how and inspire you to create your own life, too!

    Your Rights as a Job Seeker with a Disability

    Karen Hamilton, Coordinator, NC ADA Network

    During this session you will learn about your employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We will talk about your rights when you apply for a job and when you start your new job. You will also learn about resources you can contact when you have questions about your rights.

    What the Client Assistance Program Can Do For YOU

    Karen Martin, Advocacy Specialist, CAP, DHHS

    This session will share information and highlights on how this resource team can advocate for you and assist in creating better outcomes when using Vocational Rehabilitation services! They help needed services work so YOU can get work!

    Intentional Communities and Supported Living

    Dr. Peggy Terhune, Chief Executive Officer, Monarch NC

    Come to this session to learn about Supported Living and hear from families about how the service can be effective.  Also learn about intentional communities, what they are, and what efforts are happening in NC to make this type of residential option a reality.