The Nation's Premier Autism and Disabilities Conference

November 15-17 | Columbus, OH

November 15-17 | Columbus, OH

The Nation's Premier Autism and Disabilities Conference

Charting the LifeCourse

Charting the LifeCourse Banner v.4

Charting the LifeCourse Workshop

8:00 am - 12:45 pm | Friday, November 17

“My son was diagnosed with ASD at the age of 2. Today he is 22. Our family has battled IEPs and been told he will never live on his own, let alone have a job. Over time I began to accept this as his future and I made it my job to make sure he was happy – but never asking him what his interests were. What did he want to do? I was invited to attend Charting the LifeCourse last spring. I walked into the training thinking I knew everything about what made my son happy and what he could do. I walked out seeing my son in a new light – he could live a good life with support from the community and friends – a thought I had never had. It was transformative – I was energized to plan!! I would say to any family: take the training, think about the planning, and ask your loved one what is a good life to you? I only wish someone had given me this when he was 2.”  
--Mother of 22-year-old son with ASD

Three groundbreaking sessions will introduce Charting the LifeCourse – a framework developed BY FAMILIES to help individuals and families of all abilities and all ages:

  • develop a vision for a good life
  • think about what you need to know and do
  • identify how to find or develop supports
  • discover what it takes to live the lives you want to live.

Family members will have opportunities to connect and learn with each other and take home materials to continue Charting the LifeCourse in your community. A good life takes planning. It takes a vision and creativity – it can be done! 

Professionals are also encouraged to attend. Teachers, service providers, case managers, agency directors and community resource providers (child care, employment and housing) can learn to use LifeCourse framework tools to start conversations about what individuals need in order to be successful and self-determined throughout their lives and how today’s choices, decisions, and experiences can impact the future.

You may register for one or two sessions – or all three. There is no cost, but registration is required.

Download Charting the LifeCourse Flyer (PDF)

Hosted by the Ohio Community of Practice (CoP) for Supporting Families with support from OCALI and Ohio’s Interagency Workgroup on Autism


8:00 am - 9:15 am | Session 1: LifeCourse Framework Overview

Celia Schloemer, Melane Barlow, Lisa Meyer

This session provides an introduction to the key ideas and a few practical tools of the Framework that you can use right away.   If you’re new to the LifeCourse Framework, this session will help build the foundation for your participation in Session 2 and Session 3.   

9:45 am - 11:00 am | Session 2: Using the LifeCourse Framework within Person-Centered Supports

Celia Schloemer, Lisa Meyer, Barbara Brent

This session builds on Session 1 and offers hands-on opportunities to use LifeCourse tools to make the most of person-centered supports.

11:30 am - 12:45 pm | Session 3: Identify Possible Innovations for Supporting Families in Ohio

Lisa Meyer, Barbara Brent

This session offers an opportunity to learn more about the accomplishments to date of the Ohio Community of Practice for Supporting families, and contribute to the next phase of CoP work. Participants will identify possible innovations that can build Ohio’s capacity for supporting families. Get engaged with Ohio’s CoP! 


Celia Schloemer has been engaged with the Ohio Supporting Families CoP from the outset. For the past two years, she has offered LifeCourse training and support to many families in Ohio. Schloemer works at the UC UCEDD (University of Cincinnati, University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities). 

Barbara Brent is Director of State PolicyNational Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), co-director of National Community of Practice on Supports to Families, and former state director of developmental disabilities for Arizona and Tennessee. She has more than 34 years of experience in publically funded systems for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Lisa Meyer has worked in the human services field for more than 35 years. She got her grassroots start in the disabilities system by providing direct in-home support to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and people in need of emotional health/behavioral health support. Meyer supports states with the implementation of person centered systems, person centered thinking (PCT) training, coaching, plan facilitation training, and PCT Trainer credentialing.

Melane Barlow received a secondary education degree from The Ohio State University. She is a Family Resource Network LifeCourse trainer. Barlow is the parent of 2 children – Ben 22 and Hannah 19.

About Ohio’s Community of Practice for Supporting Families

Ohio participates in the National Community of Practice (CoP) for Supporting Families – a multi-year effort to develop policies, practices, and systems of support for families throughout the lifespan of their family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The LifeCourse Framework is the foundation for the CoP. This CoP is unique in Ohio because it focuses on ALL families with a member with a disability, not just those who receive formal supports. This Supporting Families CoP will connect with other family-focused efforts across Ohio and work toward an effort to link and connect the dots of support.