port of portland, maine

September 4 – 6, 2019     Portland, Maine


This year’s conference offers engaging formats: advanced workshops, interactive presentations, roundtable conversations, and relevant poster sessions. In addition, we are pleased to offer a Knowledge Translation for Employment Research State of the Science Conference Track.

Sneak Preview

Our agenda is under construction, but here is a sneak preview of the keynote speakers, presentations, roundtables, and advanced workshops you can look forward to.  Note: The agenda is subject to change as conference planning evolves.

PEQA-TAC Advanced Workshops – September 4
KTER State of the Science Conference – September 5 and 6
Conference Presentations and Roundtables – September 5 and 6

Do you like what you see? Register today!

  • Lean and Six Sigma

    Process improvement using Lean and Six Sigma in government

  • Capstone Project

    Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment for Pre-ETS – an Evaluation (Capstone project)

  • Outcomes

    Post-High School Outcomes for Transition Students in Illinois

  • Quality Improvement

    Turning Customer Satisfaction Into Quality Improvement

  • Data Visualization

    Building a Data Attitude Through Data Visualization

  • Accessibility

    Prioritizing Accessibility in Maine’s Workforce System (presented by Labor/Workforce representatives and VR representatives)

  • Online VR Evaluation

    Examples of VR Program Uses of the online VR Evaluation Coach

  • Learning Experiences

    Work-Based Learning Experiences: Models and Early Lessons

  • Consumer Process

    Keeping Consumer Voice in the Process

  • ROI

    Return On Investment – Virginia and Maryland Results

Agenda At-a-Glance

Wednesday, September 4

10:30 am – 12:00 pm – Board Room
Conference Executive Committee meeting, Board Room

1:00 am – 5:00 pm – Holiday Inn by the Bay
Registration check in/Conference information

PEQA-TAC Advanced Workshops

1:00 – 2:30 pm – Oxford/Somerset Room
PEQA-TAC Advanced Workshop I
Reviewing Low-Cost Methods of Program Evaluation with a Goal of Adoption and Use of Data

Terry Donovan, SVRI; others to be confirmed

Part A: Interactive discussion of low-cost, no-cost approaches to program evaluation and data analysis, including exploration of Microsoft products (Excel, Power BI, pivot tables) and others. Bring your own laptop and/or please be willing to share. Part B: Interactive discussion of methods and approaches to presenting evaluation information in ways that lead to adoption and use of the data. Exercises and templates for participants to develop persuasive arguments will be provided.

2:45 – 4:30 pm – Oxford/Somerset Room
PEQA-TAC Advanced Workshop II
Quality Assurance – Do I Feel Assured?

Terry Donovan, SVRI; others to be confirmed

Learn a model and process for quality assurance in vocational rehabilitation agencies. Attendees will consider examples at each step in the process, including policies and procedures, criteria for selecting cases for review, expected outcomes, evaluation of the process, and quality assurance principles. Discussion will include: How do we qualify the work we do? What are the quality criteria we use? Facilitators will share a brief review of quality assurance definitions and models of quality assurance values and parameters used by selected states.

2:45 – 4:30 pm – Room TBA
AIR/KTER Roundtable Discussion

4:45 – 6:00 pm – Board Room
Summit Conference Planning Committee Meeting

4:45 – 6:00 pm – Oxford/Somerset Room
Return on Investment (ROI) Project Participant Meeting

Poster Sessions

Browse the PEQA-TAC cohort posters and discover how their activity is impacting quality assurance in vocational rehabilitation and view additional posters related to quality assurance and program evaluation. The PEQA-TAC cohort is participating in PEQA-TAC’s one-year certification program on Vocational Rehabilitation Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

7:15 am – 12:00 pm
Registration check-in/Conference Information

8:00 am – Plenary Session
Welcome from the Navigators leadership

Welcome from the State of Maine Department of Labor and Host Committee leaders from the Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Eve Hill has red haired, wears a black blouse and crosses her arms

The Rest of the Iceberg: How the Invisible Work of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals Can Change the World

Keynote/Plenary Speaker: Eve Hill, Partner at Brown, Goldstein, and Levy

This presentation will connect the dots between the often-unheralded work of VR Professionals and the important contributions of people with disabilities to their workplaces, their communities, and the health of the country.

9:45 – 11:00 am
Welcome from the Navigators leadership

11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Roundtable conversations

12:30 – 1:45 pm
Working Luncheon Presentation, sponsored by AIR/KTER

Maureen Dobbins has long dark hair and smiles

Knowledge Brokering as an Evidence-Based Strategy

Keynote Speaker: Maureen Dobbins, Professor, School of Nursing, Mc Master University

This keynote presentation provides an overview of knowledge brokering as a comprehensive strategy to develop capacity for trainees and to support change in the work setting. Dr. Dobbins will share the results of her many years of research in this topic and will examine its application in the VR context in the US.

3:15 – 4:30 pm

2:00 – 3:00 pm

Friday, September 6, 2019

7:00 – 7:15 am – Board Room
Conference Executive Committee

7:15 – 9:00 am
Registration check-in/Conference information

Carol Dobak talks in a panel

8:00 – 9:30 am – Plenary Session
Rehabilitation Services Administration presentation

Acting Commissioner Carol Dobak, Chief of RSA Data Unit Chris Pope

9:45 – 11:00 am

11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Roundtable conversations

12:30 – 1:45 pm
Working Luncheon Presentations: PEQA-TAC cohort member capstone project presentations and remarks; closing remarks by Summit Group Navigators Leadership

2:00 – 3:00 pm

3:15 – 4:30 pm

Tuesday, September 4

10:00 am – 6:00 pm

1:00 – 1:30 pm
Blessing Ceremony by Native American Representative

1:30 – 5:30 pm
WINTAC (Workforce Innovation Training and Technical Assistance Center) Presentations

2:30 – 4:30 pm
PEQA Advanced Workshop

Wednesday, September 5

7:30 – 8:30 am

8:30 – 6:00 pm
Poster Sessions

8:00 – 8:30 am
Welcome to Oklahoma: The Significance of Native American Ceremonial Attire

8:30 -10:00 am
Keynote: Panel Presentation by Oklahoma WIOA Core Partners – Shared Services and Partnerships

10:00 – 10:30 am
Break – Networking

10:30 – 11:45 am
Conference Presentations

11:45 am – 1:00 pm

1:00 – 2:15 pm
Plenary Sessions – Rehabilitation Services Administration Staff Presentations

2:30 – 3:30 pm
Roundtable Conversations

3:45 – 5:00 pm
Conference Presentations

Thursday, September 6

7:30 – 8:30 am
Registration and Information

7:30 am – 1:00 pm
Poster Sessions

8:00 – 9:30 am
Plenary Sessions

  • Portland, Maine: Summit/PEQA Conference 2019
  • Summit Navigators Report
  • Keynote: Elizabeth Jennings, “Hope: A Strategy”

9:30 – 10:00 am

10:30 – 11:30 am
Roundtable Conversations

11:30 am – 1:00 pm
VR Evaluation Coach – Panel Presentation by Mathematica Policy Research and VR programs

1:15 – 2:45 pm
Conference Presentations

3:00 – 4:00 pm
Wrap-up and Goodbye

Agenda at a Glance

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This event is provided with support from the Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance Technical Assistance Center (PEQA-TAC) grant from the Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) award number PR#H263B150004. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.