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October, 2019

Convention Report

Charlotte M. Kimmel, Ph.D.
AAIDD Texas Chapter Convention Committee Chair

We have another successful AAIDD Texas Chapter Convention in the books!  A big thank you goes out to all those who attended, presented, sponsored, exhibited, and volunteered at the convention this year.  It is always a pleasure to visit Corpus Christi and this year was no exception!  The view of the water and the bay from the Omni Hotel is always special. There was a total of 201 in attendance for the convention, and 19 attendees at our two Pre-Convention Workshops on Person Centered Plans and Aging, Dementia and IDD.  


We were pleased to have at our convention, Maggie Nygren, CEO of National AAIDD, who gave a brief overview of national developments at the opening session.  Mike Davis, Chief Executive Officer at Nueces Center for Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities in Corpus Christi, introduced our keynote speaker.  We were fortunate to have Karyn Harvey, Ph.D., a nationally recognized speaker and leader, who provided valuable information on trauma informed programming for people with IDD.  She gave examples from her personal experiences working in the IDD field and delivered her address with humor and inspiration. In addition, Dr. Harvey also presented a break-out session about positive identity development.


There were 24 breakout sessions that offered a wide variety of current topics for attendees. Some topics that were covered included behavioral assessment, fitness routines for day habilitation programs, dual diagnosis treatment and assessment, disaster recovery for persons with IDD, legislative impacts, behavior supports, empowerment, adaptive behavior, and psychotherapy. At the closing session on Friday morning, a panel of state leaders discussed current legislative issues and upcoming changes for service providers in the IDD system. It was a pleasure to have some consumers attend the convention through sponsorship by the Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities stipends.  


The Exhibit Hall was a busy place to meet and greet sponsors, exhibitors, and other convention attendees. Not only were refreshments available, but door prizes were announced. The silent auction remained a popular place to pick up a gift for yourself or others. This year was no exception.  We were pleased to have 8 exhibitors and 10 sponsors.


At the Award’s Luncheon, the following people were recognized for their contributions to the IDD field in the following areas:

  • President’s Award – Beth McClary

  • Helen G. FitzSimmons Leadership Award – Carole Smith

  • Knowledge Award for Excellence in Education or Research – Steve Fitzner

  • Support Award for Excellence in the Provision of Direct Supports – Lisa Jones

  • Empowerment Award for Excellence in Promotion of Self-Advocacy – Ginger Mayeaux


A big thank you goes out to the AAIDD Texas Chapter Board of Directors and the Convention Committee for making this convention a success!  The convention could not happen without the hard work and dedication of all these people who are listed below.  Our organization would not function well without the planning and direction provided by our wonderful Convention Manager, Pat Holder, who is a key component to having a successful convention each year.  We also could not be successful without the organizations and people who continue to support AAIDD Texas Chapter by being sponsors, exhibitors, contributors, and attendees. Thank you all so much!


The convention will be in Corpus Christi again next year and it will be a pleasure to see you all again!  I challenge you all to spread the word about the convention and bring a friend or colleague!  See you next year!

2019 AAIDD Texas Chapter Convention Committee

Charlotte Kimmel, Ph.D, Chair 
Program, Awards/Nominations


Justin Botter

Mosaic South Central Texas


Margo Childs

Silent Auction

The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD


Connie Cisneros

Local Arrangements

Tropical Texas Behavioral Health


Pat Craig, Ph.D.

Chair, Consumer Stipends, Awards/Nominations


Ashley Cupples (John Harper)

Silent Auction, Consumer Stipends

Lawrence Davis
Unicorn Centers, Inc.

Steve Fitzner
Spindletop Center

Rachel Medina

Silent Auction
LiveOak Living Community


Cheryl Petty
Chair, Silent Auction
Integral Care

Ollie, Seay, Ph.D.
Texas State University 

Lisa Shelby
Consumer Stipends
Integral Care

Dion White
Chair, Exhibitors/Sponsors
Center for Life Resources 

Melissa Whitworth


Bluebonnet Trails Community Services

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