XCEL Training

XCEL is designed to give quick tips in an entertaining way to reception/support staff who interact with people with developmental disabilities in healthcare settings. It comprises of a 7 minute animated video, a fact sheet, and highlights other resources that are helpful.


Source: Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC)

XCEL Training

2017 Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week is September 10-16!

Plan Your DSP Recognition Week Celebration

Source: American Network of Community Options and Resources

DSP Image

Celebrate DSP Recognition Week!

Join ANCOR in recognizing the dedication and accomplishments of outstanding Direct Support Professionals and expressing our appreciation for their vital contribution to communities across the country. We’re already preparing for a big week of celebration for these amazing individuals. More is definitely on the way, but in the meantime check out our DSP Toolkit and the newly captioned ‘Cost of Compassion’ video.

Plan Your DSP Recognition Week Celebration

We’ve gathered a list from past celebrations across the country. Look here for ideas to plan a celebration of DSPs in your organization and community.

Introducing our *NEW* DSP Recognition Week logo! Click here for a version you can use for your social media profiles!

You can also order from one of ANCOR’s DSP Week stores to help kit out your staff as you show appreciation to your DSPs! One store will be for purchasing individual items and the other for bulk orders, so whether you have a host of DSPs to thank or just a few, we can accommodate your need!

DSP Recognition Week Media Resources

Share your appreciation for DSPs with your community. Here are some resources to help you get media attention for your celebration.

*NEW* Media Release TemplateCreate a press release highlighting your organization’s events/celebrations.

Media Tips. Ideas and advice for securing media coverage of your event.

Media Training Resources

Insights into what reporters want from veteran journalist Fred Bever and examples of media coverage from YAI and the MENTOR Network.

State Proclamations



DSP Crisis is Profound: New Report on the Impact of Quality Services for People with IDD

ANCOR Announces the Release of Its Workforce Paper

Source: ANCOR Announces the Release of Its Workforce Paper | ANCOR | American Network of Community Options and Resources

Community-based services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are facing one of the most major and growing workforce crises in the United States labor market.  Which is why, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) brought together national disability organizations and workforce experts last week to preview its new report entitled, Addressing the Disability Services Workforce Crisis of the 21st Century. Participants of ANCOR’s March 23rd Workforce Summit also discussed potential policy solutions moving forward.

ANCOR’s report compiles the latest data on the direct support professional (DSP) workforce, offers a historical overview of the workforce crisis, and offers solutions on how it can be addressed.

“For almost fifty years, ANCOR has represented providers of disability services in Washington, DC and watched the workforce crisis grow into a public health crisis,” said ANCOR CEO Barbara Merrill, “We are proud of the strides we have made in Congress and with previous Administrations, but this report marks the beginning of an even stronger movement to take measurable steps toward addressing the workforce crisis.”

ANCOR members and leaders of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, Daryn Demeritt and Chris Sparks, led ANCOR membership in ensuring the report was comprehensive and offered concrete solutions.

“The DSP crisis is profound and we see it in our daily operations across the country,” said Demeritt of ResCare based in Kentucky, “ANCOR’s report comes at a pivotal moment when we need to take action and cannot risk ignoring the impact it has on the quality of services provided to Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.“

“This is an instance where failure is not an option,” added Sparks of Exceptional Person, Inc. (EPI) in Iowa, “Millions of people with disabilities rely on DSPs so that they can access their communities, engage with their families and friends, and participate in the workforce themselves.  There are not enough DSPs to meet the need, and the waiting lists for these services are only growing. ANCOR’s report offers the solutions that need to be harnessed now to avoid decline of this successful program.”

Click here to read the Executive Summary of the ANCOR Workforce Report

Click here to access the full ANCOR Workforce Report

Click here to visit ANCOR’s Workforce Website


The American Network of Community Options and Resources is a national trade association representing more than 1,200 private providers of community living and employment supports and services to more than 800,000 individuals with disabilities with a workforce that’s over half a million strong. ANCOR advocates for the crucial role private providers play in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with disabilities and their families.

Through its National Advocacy Campaign, ANCOR seeks to obtain the resources to recruit, train and retain a sustainable direct support workforce. ANCOR provides organization, professional, leadership development and networking opportunities and services and is continually working toward partnerships and collaborations that support our mission, which is to advance the ability of our members in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities.www.ancor.org

Outcomes of “Partnering to Transform Healthcare with People with Disabilities” (PATH-PWD) conference

Research Team Sarah H. Ailey Principal Investigator Rush CON Molly Bathje Co-Investigator Rush CHS Tamar Heller Co-Investigator University of Illinois Award Period 6/1/16 – 5/31/17 Funding Source Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) R13 Conference grant

Source: Partnering to Transform Healthcare with People with Disabllities (PATH-PWD) – Improving Acute, Primary and Transitional Health care with People with Disabilities | | Rush University

On March 23 and 24, 2017, leaders on disability rights and disability health care from around the country gathered at Rush University for the Partnering to Transform Healthcare with People with Disabilities (PATH-PWD) conference sponsored by Rush University and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health, University of Illinois at Chicago. The conference was funded by grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Special Hope Foundation.

IASSIDD PowerPoint presentation of the “Tackling Health Disparities and Implementing a Best Practices Healthcare Model: Report from (PATH-PWD) Conference” presented at the American Academy on Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (June 5, 2017).
Sarah H Ailey PhD RN APHN-BC CDDN, Tamar Heller, PhD, & Molly Bathje, PhD, OTR/L

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Social Support Networks of Aging Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

2pm – 3pm CST


Presented by: Lieke van Heumen, PhD

This webinar will discuss emerging research and practice in supporting social networks of adults aging with intellectual disabilities. After a brief introduction on aging in this population, the webinar will discuss the role of social relations in later life and address the state of knowledge regarding the social support networks of older adults with intellectual disabilities. The webinar will provide a discussion of the role of support services in promoting informal networks and conclude with an exploration of the use of social network mapping and life story work in person-centered planning.

Lieke van Heumen is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago. Lieke’s primary research interest is the intersection of aging and disability with a focus on supports that contribute to aging well. She believes retrieving the lived experiences of older adults with disabilities by means of inclusive and accessible research methods is key to assuring the meaningful engagement of adults with disabilities in the research process.

The impact of support services teams: Community-based behavioral health support interventions

Owen, R., Bowers, A., Heller, T., Hsieh, K. and Gould, R. (2016).  The impact of support services teams: Community-based behavioral health support interventions. Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities. doi:10.1111/jppi.12186.


Background: Community capacity to serve people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavioral health challenges is often limited. Using interdisciplinary teams to work with stakeholders, including people with IDD, their families, providers, and agencies may help increase this capacity. One example in the United States is the Support Services Teams (SST) program of a midwestern state. Specific Aims: This research aimed to identify changes before to after referral to SST in the proportion of people who used and the total number of admissions/visits, and prescriptions; and the Medicaid liability associated with emergency room (ER), hospital, and pharmacy services for SST participants. Second, the research described the SST participants and services provided. Method: The authors used Wilcoxon and McNemar’s tests to compare hospital, ER, and pharmacy outcome measures for 109 people who were referred to SST and had 12 months of data before and after referral. Separate analyses were also conducted for the 88 people who remained in the community after referral and the 21 people who had short institutional stays. Findings: For the full population of SST participants, the proportion of people with a hospital admission, the total number of hospital admissions, and Medicaid liability for hospitalizations significantly decreased from before to after referral to SST. Medicaid liability for prescriptions significantly decreased for people with an institutional stay. Changes in the other outcomes trended downwards, although not significantly. Discussion: This study shows that the use of interdisciplinary teams for people with IDD and behavioral health challenges can be effective in reducing the use of services. These teams can help to build community capacity to work with these individuals and avoid more costly ER and hospital services and reduce the number of medications prescribed.

Aging and Developmental Disability: Current Research, Programming, and Practice Implications

Aging and Developmental Disability: Current Research, Programming, and Practice Implications (2001). Hammel, J. & Nochajski, S. Binghamton: The Haworth Press

This book explores the research findings and practice implications pertaining to normative and disability-related aging. It discusses the effectiveness of specific interventions for aging adults with intellectual and related developmental disabilities, including assistive technology and environmental intervention. The book provides web site resources to disability organizations, databases, and other sites.

ISBN: 0-7890-1040-2 
COST PER UNIT: $22.95 (soft cover); $39.95 (hardcover)
Order directly from The Haworth Press at
www.haworthpress.com or 1-800-429-6784

Outcomes of Assistive Technology Services and Use by Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Outcomes of Assistive Technology Services and Use by Adults with Developmental Disabilities (1998). Hammel, J., Heller, T., & Ying, G.,  RESNA 1998 Annual Conference Proceedings, pp.14-16.

A report of an outcome study of AT service delivery, use, and relationship to functional status changes over time. The study was conducted among adults specifically with cerebral palsy and mental retardation living in the community.