About Amy Hewitt, PhD, FAAIDD:

Amy Hewitt, PhD has an extensive background and work history in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and has worked in various positions over the past 30+ years to improve community inclusion and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities and their families. At the University of Minnesota she is the Director of the MNLEND program, MNADDM and the Research and Training Center on Community Living. She directs several federal and state research, evaluation and demonstration projects in the area of community long term services and supports for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism. She currently has research projects that focus on community living, autism, outcome measurement, direct support workforce development, person centered planning/thinking and positive behavior support. She has authored and co-authored numerous journal articles, curriculum, technical reports, and she co-authored a book entitled, Staff Recruitment, Retention and Training and a soon to be published book called, Community for All: Community Living and Participation for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Hewitt is on the editorial board of Inclusion and an associate editor of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities both journals of the AAIDD. She is a Past President of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) and is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and she is a board member of Arc Minnesota. Dr. Hewitt earned a BS in political science and psychology at Indiana University; a Masters degree in social work at Indiana University; and a PhD in social work at the University of Minnesota.

The Direct Support Workforce: A crisis or serious systems flaw?

For nearly 30 years turnover rates have been about 50% and vacancy rates about 5% in community services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For nearly 30 years we have been calling this a crisis. It’s more than a crisis. It’s a deep and widely ignored systems flaw that is now getting more attention because of the shrinking pool of candidates from which employers can choose. There are solutions. Messages need to change and our policy makers and elected officials need to be held accountable. This session will provide data based observations about the problem, identify solutions and suggest key messages and actions for resolution.