NADD: 34th Annual Conference Closing Comments

Over 360 people from the United States and Canada attended the NADD’s 34th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, which was held at the Sheraton Charlotte/Le Meridien Hotel, November 1-3, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference theme was “Reaching Your Potential and Beyond: IDD/MI.” The Conference Chairperson was Christina Dupuch, (formerly Carter), MSW, from Vaya Health, Asheville, NC.



Among the highlights of the conference were:


Keynote Addresses

Robert J. Fletcher, DSW, ACSW, NADD-CC, NADD, Kingston, NY spoke on “From the DSM-5 to the DM-ID-2: A Focus on Modified Diagnostic Criteria”

Lauren Turner-Brown, PhD, UNC TEACCH Autism Program, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC spoke on “Reducing Comorbid Mental Health Symptoms in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.”


Tribute to Dr. Robert Fletcher

After almost 35 years at the helm, Dr. Robert J. Fletcher, Founder and CEO of NADD, is now retiring as Chief Executive Officer. Click here to see the video tribute to Dr. Fletcher.


Highlights Of NADD

Dr. Fletcher offered a presentation on the history/highlights of NADD. He founded NADD in 1983 to share clinical, programmatic, research, as well as policy issues concerning individuals who have an intellectual disability co-occurring with mental illness. He spoke about the highlights, accomplishments and many challenges that remain.


Introduction of NADD’s New CEO

At the conference, Jeanne Farr was announced to be the next NADD CEO. She will start in this position on January 2, 2018. Dr. Fletcher will provide mentorship during a transition period and will then remain a consultant to NADD. Ms. Farr brings over 30 years of experience in the field of disability support, previously serving at Albertina Kerr Center in Oregon, most recently as Chief Program Officer. She brings to NADD an international network of disability and mental health advocates and connections in US policy and legislation.


NADD Awards Recipients

Frank J. Menolascino Award for Excellence: Donna Nagy McNelis, PhD, NADD-CC

Earl L. Loschen Award for Clinical Practice: J. Paul Fedoroff, MD

Member of the Year: Cecelia Kittell, BS, NADD-DDS

NADD DSP Award for Excellence: Ryan Trihey

Steven Reiss Research Award: Yona Lunsky, PhD

Poster Winner : Lorena Racuj, MA with John Porcella, PhD


Conference Photo Highlights


Session Handouts

If presenters supplied a handout it is available at the following conference link:


Conference Sponsorship

The Conference was jointly sponsored by: NADD & Drexel University College of Medicine.


Network Lunch Sponsor – Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

Tote Bag Sponsor- RHA Health Services

Reaching Your Potential Reception Sponsor – NHS Human Services Music was provided by Menelik Cannady a paid peer mentor with I/DD, working for InReach NC in Charlotte.

The Keynote Addresses were sponsored by Anthem Inc.


To all our 34th Annual Conference Co-Sponsoring Agencies, we thank you again for partnering with NADD on this important event. We appreciate all of the support which is crucial for NADD to continue its mission. 


Special Exhibitor & Sponsorship acknowledgements at this year’s conference was:


Premium Partnering Exhibitors: OnceLogix, LLC


We also like to thank the many other exhibitors who displayed the top of the Industries products and services for individuals who have developmental disabilities and mental health needs.

We so appreciate the attendee volunteers. All help is great help and makes the conference such a success!  Thank You!


Continuing Education

If you applied for continuing education credit hours, the certificate process will take approximately 8-10 weeks after the conference.  Certificates will be distributed electronically from Drexel University College of Medicine. Once issued there will not be re-issues at later dates, please watch your email and mark your calendars . Thank-you!




NADD 35th Annual Conference & Exhibit Show 2018

October 31st – November 2nd

at the Motif Seattle Hotel

Seattle, Washington


Development of this conference will begin in early 2018,

updates will be posted accordingly check back @