ELIJA Virtual Conference- Parachute off the Services Cliff


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On March 25th, 2021 ELIJA will virtually bring the Autism Community together!

The transition from school age into adulthood for people with Autism, when support and services are severely limited, often feels like falling off a cliff. ELIJA is here to help you navigate through this “new world.” Join us at our inaugural “Parachute Off the Services Cliff” conference and learn from the experts about Navigating Transition and Adult Services.
This conference is great for Advocates/Attorneys, Educators, Agencies, School Professionals, Parents, Grandparents and Siblings, with discussion topics including information on Transition Processes, Self-Direction, Housing (self directed and certified group homes), Special Needs Trusts, Guardianship and more!

Note: This information applies to those affected by autism and any other developmental disability.

Self -Direction / IDGS funding May be applicable email deb@elija.org

For Need Based Scholarships to the Conference Please Fill out this form


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Thursday March 25, 2021


IEP & Your Transition Rights

Christina D. Thivierge Esq. Parnter from Thivierge & Rothberg P.C. and…

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Guardianship and Special Needs Trusts

Cona Elder Law will disucss the imporance of Guardianship , Special Needs…

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Re-Calibrating Priorities and Becoming Informed: Preparing for Transition into Adult Life and Services

Jason Watson, Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism will discuss the OPWDD…

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James Traylor discusses setting the stage for transition, benefits 101-…

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Housing Solutions Self Direction

"Where are we today with housing?" Patricia Calandra Region 5 Master…

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Creative Housing Solutions Self Direction

James Traylor discusses Creative Housing Solutions Accumulating reserves…

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Housing Forum Discussion

Presented by G2D and Lisa Libratore /Luv Michael



Parachute Co-Sponsor - $2,500
Premier Signage for Conference, Full Page Ad in Digital Journal, Logo on ELIJA Website, Listing in ELIJA Newsletter

Agency Sponsor- $1,500

Signage for Conference, Half Page Ad in Digital Journal, Logo on ELIJA Website, Listing in ELIJA Newsletter

Friend of ELIJA Sponsor - $1,000
Signage for Conference, Quarter Page Ad in Digital Journal, Logo on ELIJA Website and Listing in ELIJA Newsletter

Conference Sponsor - $500
Signage for Conference, Business Card Ad in Digital Journal, Logo on ELIJA Website and Listing in ELIJA Newsletter

Special Invited Presenter: James Traylor, CLU,ChFC, ChSNC

Founder of Upstate Special Needs Planning

James is a sibling, advocate and professional who has focused his entire professional career in becoming the organization of choice for families planning for a family member with a disability. James regularly provides continuing education for legal, financial and tax professionals on planning for an individual with a disability and also speaks at several national disability conferences. He currently serves as Chair for the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, a member of the board of directors for the ARC of Monroe, a graduate of Partners in Policymaking and is a 2009 Rochester Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient. He has also been honored as one of our nation's top advisors under 40 by Investment News magazine. James has also earned the professional designation of a Chartered Special Needs Consultant (ChSNC) in addition to his other financial credentials.

Invited Presenters

Christina Thivierge Esq. Thivierge & Rothberg, P.C. 

Special Education Law and the Transition Process

Christina Thivierge is a co-founding partner and principal in the law firm of Thivierge & Rothberg, P.C., a private law firm in New York City that concentrates on special education cases. Christina Thivierge is an award-winning member of the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis, Inc. She also belongs to the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and the New York County Lawyers Association. Additionally, she has presented on IDEA/IDEIA and other special education law topics for a number of organizations in the Tri-State area. Prior to attending law school, Christina spent nine years working with adults diagnosed with autism and other disabilities through the Central Connecticut ARC.


Patricia Calandra

Region 5 Master Housing Navigator, Start up & Support Broker

Patricia Calandra works with the The New York Housing Resource Center (HRC) for People with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities. The HRC acts as a clearinghouse for information and resources for the housing professional across the state and helps to foster collaboration between and among the housing industry and related professions, service provider agencies and people with I/DD. The HRC provides all housing stakeholders with technical assistance on housing matters and community training for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families.

Jason Watson, BCaBA, CBAA NSSA

Re-calibrating Priorities and Becoming Informed: Preparing for Transition into Adult Life and Services

Jason has been working with children and adults with autism since his graduation from Quinnipiac College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in May of 2000. In July of 2000, he began his employment with Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism at the Martin C. Barell School as an instructor and was then promoted to Lead Instructor. After several years as a Lead Instructor, Jason was promoted to the position of Coordinator of Adult, Vocational, and Family Support Services in 2004.

Jason successfully completed his BACB course work through the University of North Texas and became a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, BCaBA, in September of 2010. He is a member of NSSA’s Human Rights and Peer Review Committees and a participant in the Long Island Task Force for Aging Out and the LI Quality Assurance Task Force. He is also a member of the Long Island Informed Consent Committee.

He has presented at autism conferences and agency/school workshops on issues related to transition, vocational skill development, adult services program development, and community integration for students and adults with autism.

In February of 2014, Jason was promoted to his current position as NSSA’s Director of OPWDD Services.


Cona Elder Law

Cona Elder Law is an award winning law firm based in Melville, Long Island. Our practice concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration and litigation, special needs planning and health care law.



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