Aging and Disability Summit in Anchorage, Sept. 25-26

The Alaska Disability and Aging Coalition will host the 5th Annual Disability and Aging Summit, Sept. 25 and 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Special Olympics Alaska Jim Balamaci Training Center in Anchorage.

The two-day summit will include presentations on aging, caregiving, aging persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), wellness and self-care, mental health, disaster preparedness and more. National Association of Social Workers Alaska Chapter Continuing Education Credits (CEs) are available.

The goal of the summit is to further discuss national and state trends regarding the aging population to include individuals with intellectual and development disabilities and how it relates to Alaska.

This year the coalition welcomes keynote speaker Tamar Heller, Ph.D. with “Aging Caregivers and Aging Persons with IDD.” Dr. Heller is the head of the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on policies and practices to support individuals with disabilities and their families. Specific research projects focus on self-directed and family supports, managed care, and health promotion interventions for individuals with disabilities. She is a founding member of the national Sibling Leadership Network and Bridging Aging and Disability International.

Other presentations on aging include “Mental Health First Aid for Older Adults,” by Betsy Chivers of the Alaska Training Cooperative, and “Wellness and Self-Care for Aging Caregivers,” by Rick Benjamin, Director of Organizational and Spiritual Wellness at Hope Community Resources. Alaska-specific presentations encompass “Alaska Native Older Adults with Disabilities: Populations and Future Trends,” by Jordan Lewis, Ph.D. of College of Health, UAA, “Disaster Preparedness: Earthquake Lessons Learned,” by Lanny Momsen and Teresa Holt, State Long Term Care Ombudsman, and “Alaska’s Shared Vision Update,” by Travis Noah, peer advocate at Hope Community Resources.

This year the coalition will be including a Family Forum the evening before the Disability and Aging Summit on Sept. 24. This is an opportunity for families to learn and discuss aging caregiving and aging persons with IDD.

The cost of attendance is $25 and includes two-day registration, CEs, light breakfasts both days and lunch on Thursday. To register, visit Make sure to register for both training days even if only attending one day of the summit. CEs are available for two-day attendance only.

For more information, questions on how to register or to confirm the details of the Family Forum, contact Sarah Haynes at