Minnesota Rehabilitation Association

Promoting Ethical and State of The Art Pratice in Rehabilitation


MRA Fall Conference 2018

Located at the Kelly Inn in St. Cloud, MN from October 23rd, 24th, and 25th 2018.

Stay tuned for registration details!





MRA FALL Conference 2017


September 20, 21, and 22 2017


Holiday Inn - Duluth, MN


MRA FALL CONFERENCE 2017 was a major success and registration is now closed, but you're welcome to still see the ticketing page:


or you may also download the electronic file of the registration form by clicking HERE.


Please note, within Eventbrite the Hotel Registration deadline is August 30. If rooms are needed after that date please contact mraconferences@gmail.com



Program & Conference Schedule!

This year's MRA FALL Conference is PACKED with training and professsional development opportunities.

Below you will find the conference's program, but you may also download a copy of the program by clicking HERE. Please note, conference program is NOT final and is subject to change without notice. 

The program was last updated on September 12th 2017.


Navigating the Future Together

MRA Fall Conference 2017 


Wednesday, September 20th—Pre-Conference

11:30am - 3:00pm | Registration | Great Lakes Ballroom

12:00pm - 4:15pm | Pre-Conference Hands-On Assistive Technology | Lake Superior/Huron

Tina Hansen, Assistive Technology Specialist, Pacer Center
Sarah Giffen-Hunter, Assistive Technology Specialist, Pacer Center

Reading, writing and organizational skills are essential not only in school but in the workplace. When a disability creates a
barrier to developing these skills, assistive technology can help. In this session, participants will learn what assistive
technology is and how to consider assistive technology for students. Participants will have the opportunity for hands-on
learning with technology that supports reading, writing and organization.

2:00pm - 2:15pm | Break/Snack

4:30pm - 5:30pm | MRA Board Meeting | Lake Michigan

*UPDATED* 9/11/2017

note: the location for the Dinner with the MRA Board has changed. See below.

5:30pm - 7:30pm | Dinner with the MRA Board | Green Mill, Canal Park 340 S Lake Ave #1 Duluth, MN 55802

** At Your Own Expense

** Shuttle service available for Holiday Inn & Suites guests. Arrangements have been made for the shuttle to begin at 5:15 and continue as needed. Please meet in the hotel lobby.

** Access to Canal Park is available via the skyway and is about a ten minute walk (short walk outside at the end).

ide at the end).

Thursday, September 21st

7:00am - 3:00pm | Registration | Great Lakes Ballroom

7:00am - 8:00am | Breakfast | Great Lakes Ballroom

8:00am - 8:15am | Welcome | Great Lakes Ballroom

8:15am - 9:45am | Keynote Presentation - The Role of Consumer Self-Advocacy in Vocational Rehabilitation | Great Lakes Ballroom

Dr. Richard Pimentel, Sr. Partner Milt Wright & Associates, Inc.

With the advent of the disability civil rights movement it has become both important and expected that persons with disabilities learn and develop the skills to self-advocate for themselves. Richard Pimentel will explain the role of self advocacy in the success of the disability rights movement and the development of the original ADA and the ongoing role of training young persons with disabilities on how to self-advocate. He will explore the emergence of a new and successful generation of young persons with disabilities who use the skills of self advocacy to navigate the waters of reasonable accommodation, making their needs known and assisting other in making changes to accessibility that benefit everyone. Participants will become familiar with the developing importance of self-advocacy in the disability culture. They will be able to identify the key aspects of self advocacy and be able to integrate these concepts into their counseling practices.

9:45am - 10:00am | Break

10:00am - 11:30am | DHS/VRS Employment First Collaboration | Erie/Ontario

Linda Wolford, Interagency Coordinator, Disability Services Division

Bekah Kaufenburg-Satre, Youth in Transition Specialist, DHS

Chris McVey, Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, VRS

Amanda Jensen-Stahl, Rehabilitation Program Specialist, VRS

Objectives: Overview of the new DHS waiver employment services and implementation strategy; Understand the coordinated
efforts between VRS and DHS to connect people to employment; Elements to consider when determining funding options for
employment services between VRS and waiver employment services. Department of Human Services (DHS) Disability
Services Division and DEED Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) are working collaboratively to increase the number of
people with disabilities working in competitive, integrated employment. Join staff from DHS and VRS for a brief overview of
the new DHS employment services. This session will include time for discussion and questions and to increase your
understanding of this collaborative approach.

10:00am - 11:30am | Worker’s Compensation 101 - An Overview of Benefits & Rehabilitation Practice | Lyric II-III

Tom Saby, MS, CRC, QRC Rehabilitation Consultant-self-employed

If you do not know much about worker’s compensation, here is a chance to learn. This presentation will explain the basics of the workers compensation system, the benefits the injured workers receive and rehabilitation practice as a QRC in the workers compensation system. Mr. Saby will also address working relationships with other professionals.

10:00am - 11:30am| Reflections on 2013 Law Changes to Job Development Within Job placement services: An Open Forum Discussion | Lyric I 

Kari Terwey, Palmer Lake Placement and Laura Tykeson, QRC Tykeson Vocational Services - MASPPR Sponsored

An open forum discussion on how the 2013 law changes have reshaped how job placement services are provided. From determining when to start job placement services, to how best to request service extensions. This session is focused on discussing what has worked and what hasn't thus far.

11:30am - 12:30pm | Lunch | Great Lakes Ballroom

12:00pm | Student Poster Board Setup & Preview | Great Lakes Ballroom Hallway

12:30pm - 2:00pm | Self-Advocacy Tool Box | Erie/Ontario

Dr. Richard Pimentel, Sr. Partner Milt Wright & Associates, Inc. Erie/Ontario

Richard Pimentel will introduce key issues for successful self-advocacy to persons with disabilities and introduce training dynamics and techniques being used in the new advocacy training for persons with disabilities “ Without Limits”. Participants will become familiar with best practice self-advocacy training for youth and adult consumers with disabilities. They will be given training tools for self-disclosure than can be incorporated into their consumer interview preparation.

12:30pm - 2:00pm | MN Career Information Systems (MCIS) | Lyric II-III

Dorothy Wolf, MCIS Training Specialist, Minnesota Department of Education

MCIS is dedicated to serving students/clients with a variety of alternative needs and settings. Bring your own device and follow along while we highlight the site to see how it can meet the needs of students and clients in your programs. The site includes straightforward language, easy-to-follow navigation, Minnesota-specific information, and clear choices. The version also includes the capacity to develop individual portfolios and customize checklists to help users map their career and education choices. Also learn how you can better serve transition students from various high school settings with advisory accounts for MCIS.

12:30pm - 2:00pm | Clinical Options for Injured Workers: A multi-modality; multi-disciplinary approach to treating injured workers Evolution & Outcomes of Spinal Rehab - MASPPR Sponsored  | Lyric I

Gina Paseka, Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI)

Todd Ginkel, Physician’s Diagnostic & Rehabilitation (PDR)

When a worker gets injured, what are your best options to get them back on the road to recovery?   We will discuss different high quality, conservative care clinical options that are available for patient’s to get back to work and back to living their life as quickly as possible.

2:00pm - 2:15pm | Break

2:15pm - 3:45pm | The End of Professionalization in the Era of WIOA?! | Erie/Ontario

Dr. John W. Lui, PhD., MBA, CRC, PVE

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is upon us. With the new performance indicators, are credentials like CRC or LPC still needed; is graduate level of education in the rehabilitation-related fields still necessary; and what are the implications to ethical clinical practice in vocational rehabilitation? This interactive session will attempt to create a dialogue amongst rehabilitation administrators, educators and practitioners.

2:15pm - 3:45pm | Injured Workers: Reliable Diagnosis & Spine Surgeries at Work | Lyric I

Dr. Daniel W. Hanson, President & Spine Surgeon at Minnesota Spine Institute - MASPPR Sponsored

Dr. Hansen will talk about how to reliably diagnose pain and the spine surgeries that will get the patients back to work quicker.

2:15pm - 3:45pm | Growing Motivational Interviewing Skills | Lyric II-III

Sonia Vinnes

This workshop will focus on advanced application of Motivational Interviewing skills for the vocational rehabilitation
professional. This includes deepening skills of engagement and evocation, decreasing and managing discord, and eliciting and
strengthening change talk.

4:00pm - 5:00pm DIVISION MEETINGS

JPD | Lyric II-III

MASPPR | Lyric I

MRCEA | Lyric Conference Area

VEWAA | Lyric Conference Area


5:15pm - 10:00pm | Dinner/Awards/Networking | Great Lakes Ballroom

* Following dinner and awards is the Student Poster Board Presentations | Great Lakes Ballroom Hallway

Friday, September 22nd

7:00am - 9:00am | Registration | Great Lakes Ballroom

7:30am - 8:30am | Breakfast

8:30am - 10:00am | The Ethics of Technology Use in Rehabilitation | Erie/Ontario

Dr. John W. Lui, PhD., MBA, CRC, PVE

This interactive presentation will provide the participants with an awareness of the ethical issues that surround the routine use
of technology in rehabilitation practices (private and public sectors), and in identifying applicable ethical guidelines/standards
for ethical practice.

8:30am - 10:00am | Succeeding in College and Life with a TBI | Lyric II-III

Holly Kostrzewski

Despite sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) at age 18, Holly has been successful in college and in life. With her positive
attitude, faith, determination, and hard work, Holly has beaten the odds. Holly is the founder of HUGS: Helmet Use and Grab
your Seatbelt a brain injury education and prevention program for children and Hope Humor and Inspiration a motivational
speaking and brain injury education. She is ready to discuss daily living, the highs and lows of a brain injury, grief and trauma
in daily living, dating with a brain injury, seizures, and feminine issues related to brain injury and trauma. To date, Holly has
reached over 200,000 people with her message of hope, inspiration, and education.

8:30am - 10:00am | What makes Orthology Different? | Lyric I

Johnathan Reynolds, PT, Ph.D. - MASPRR Sponsored

This session will touch on the true cost of workplace injuries along with a general overview of who Orthology is and what
makes them different. Job Site Analysis, FCE’s, Ergonomic Analysis, Work Conditioning, and case studies will also be

10:00am - 10:30am | Break/Snack/Networking | Lyric Conference Area

10:30am - 12:00pm | Growing Motivational Interviewing Skills | Erie/Ontario

Sonia Vinnes

This workshop will focus on advanced application of Motivational Interviewing skills for the vocational rehabilitation
professional. This includes deepening skills of engagement and evocation, decreasing and managing discord, and eliciting and
strengthening change talk.

10:30am - 12:00pm | The Power of Vision | Lyric II-III

Kristina Jensen

Nothing is more powerful as motivation than helping people craft a vision of the life that they would love. When someone
begins to desire the vision of what they want for their life more than the current conditions of their lives, amazing things can
and do happen. Through hands-on exercises asking you to create a vision of the life you would love, you will learn how to
walk your clients through this life-changing process. You will walk away with a toolbox including: two essential keys for
tuning into your purpose, simple thinking-strategies that will guard you (and your clients) from fear, doubt and worry; the
number one factor that causes people to lose steam when going after a dream and how to stay motivated and override it; the one
critical thing you (and your clients) must give up to reach your dream.

10:30am - 12:00pm | MASPPR Sponsored - TBD| Lyric I

National Rehabilitation Association Conference 2017

NRA Bridge to Excellence

The National Rehabilitation Association Annual Conference, Bridge to Excellence, is October 26-29, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas!

Early Bird registration ends on Monday August 28th. Register now for the best rates!

Also… if you register by the early bird deadline, your name will go in a drawing for a chance to win two free nights at the Omni Hotel during your conference stay.  You could extend your stay or pay less for the room you’ve already booked!

Don’t wait – register and tell your friends to hurry too!  Register for the Conference online or mail in your registration form. You do not need to be a member of TRA or NRA to register online. Get more information on the NRA Registration Page.  If you are paying by purchase order, feel free to email the registration form in to Marilyn, mpadgett001@comcast.net

For up to date details on the Conference, sponsorship, exhibitors and travel, visit the NRA Conference Website

Reserve your Room

Book your room today at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel.  NRA Annual Training Conference 2017 Group Code: 14500814213. Call 1-800-843-6664 or book online

For conference questions, contact:

Sara Sundeen sara.sundeen@state.mn.us 


Lori Lawson lori.lawson@twc.state.tx.us.

Have Questions?

Have questions or comments regarding conferences? Please contact MRAConferences@gmail.com and we'll  get back as soon as possible!