Supporting Grassroots Efforts

Grande Ballroom C

Beginning to Solve the Direct Support Professional Crisis

Saturday, November 4
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Location: Grande Ballroom C

Target Audience: Professionals

Grassroots activism is an important component of activating community-wide participation in public policy decision-making. The current challenges facing the developmental disability workforce challenge the ability of organizations to continue providing the supports that families and persons with developmental disabilities need to live fulfilling lives in their communities. Self-advocates, families, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), administrative leaders, and community volunteers can all work together to develop the grassroots capacity that can drive public policy changes needed to address the workforce shortage. This session will examine successful case studies of building statewide grassroots networks that led to successful public policy accomplishments on behalf of the direct support workforce. In Indiana, a successful statewide campaign, #bFair2DirectCare, led to passage of budget legislation that provided for across-the-board pay increases for DSP's. In addition to achieving legislative success, the campaign increased public and policymaker awareness of important issues facing people with disabilities to a new high and helped motivate segments of the developmental disability community to actively engage in advocacy.

Learning Objectives:

Kim Dodson

Executive Director
The Arc of Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana

Kim Dodson was appointed to serve as Executive Director of The Arc of Indiana in July 2015. Kim first joined The Arc of Indiana in 1998 as Director of Government Relations and was moved into the role of Associate Executive Director in 2006.

In 2013, Kim was named Executive Director of Arc Innovations, Inc. She also served as Executive Director of The Arc of Indiana Foundation from 2013 to November 2015. These related entities with The Arc of Indiana focus on employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Kim has over 20 years of work experience in the field of public policy and government affairs. She has worked for a United States Congressman, the Indiana House of Representatives, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and as a contract lobbyist for a local law firm.

Kim received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University in Political Science and Literature.


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Jason Meyer

Passages, Inc.
Columbia City, Indiana

Jason Meyer is the President of Passages, Inc. in Columbia City, IN and has held this position since 2013. Through Meyer's leadership Passages has transitioned to their new Creative Learning Center day program and closed their sheltered workshop. In 2017, the organization began their Bridge 333 Art Studio. Meyer puts a strong focus on servant leadership throughout the organization and is a strong believer that being engaged with your staff and individuals you serve, active listening, follow through and being active in your community are the keys to success. Meyer believes that a strong character is one of the many keys to being a successful leader. Meyer is the Vice-Chair of the Indiana Executives of The Arc (ICEArc) and serves on The Arc of Indiana's Membership Committee. Meyer also serves on the INARF, United Way of Whitley County and the Columbia City Rotary Club Board of directors.


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Tim Brown

State Representative
Indiana State House of Representatives

State Representative Tim Brown serves House District 41, which includes portions of Montgomery, Boone and Tippecanoe counties. He was elected as a state representative in 1994. He has served the Legislature in a variety of ways including being appointed as Chairman of the Public Health Committee and the Statutory Committee on Ethics. He has served on multiple committees: Education, Rules and Legislative Procedures, Family, Children, and Human Affairs and the Statutory Committee on Interstate and International Cooperation. Currently, Rep. Brown serves as the Chairman for Ways and Means.

Throughout his tenure as a representative, Rep. Brown has worked on numerous legislative initiatives, many of which included topics on healthcare.

Rep. Brown received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and his medical degree from the University of Illinois. Prior to serving in the Indiana House of Representatives, Rep. Brown was the treasurer for the State Medical Association for four years. He has also been a board member of the Franklin Methodist Retirement Community since September 2005. Rep. Brown is an Emergency Room Doctor for St. Elizabeth Hospital in Crawfordsville. Rep. Brown is also a member of Indiana State Medical Association.

Rep. Brown has received several awards for his contribution to public health. He has received the following awards:

Indiana Chamber of Small Business Award in 1997 and 2002
Outstanding Legislator for Indiana Medical Association award in 2005
Outstanding Achievement Award for AIDS in 2000
Awarded Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Ophthalmology Association in 2005
Awarded Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Public Health Association in 2006

Rep. Brown resides in Crawfordsville with his wife, Jane, and recently retired as an emergency room physician. In his spare time, Rep. Brown enjoys sailing, riding his motorcycle, water skiing, traveling to visit family and spending time with his four daughters. Rep. Brown is also a member of the Linden United Methodist Church.


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Beginning to Solve the Direct Support Professional Crisis


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