How Stories Can Influence Change: Making an Impact by Sharing Your Personal Journey with Self-Direction

May 6, 2021

Self-Direction Virtual Conference Series


How Stories Can Influence Change: Making an Impact by Sharing Your Personal Journey with Self-Direction

The future has never been brighter for self-direction as more and more stakeholders have begun to recognize the value of this model in the wake of the pandemic. It is a pivotal moment for more people to share their personal experiences with self-direction - whether you are a participant, family member, FMS provider, or a supporter of the model. But, how can you ensure your voice is heard? This panel seeks to answer that question. Andy Burness, President at Burness, will facilitate this discussion panel and present his theory of change for public interest communications. He will be joined by panelists with varying experiences as a parent, FMS provider, and community provider. Each panelist will share their own experiences putting this theory of change into action.



Thursday, May 6th from 3-4 PM (EST). 



Registration is free but limited to the first 500 registrants. You can register here



For the past three years, Andy Burness has taught a course on strategic communications at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He has adapted his course curriculum to focus specifically on strategic communications to support self-direction. 

Andy is the founder and president of Burness, a mission-driven global communications firm supporting organizations with a social mission and the people they serve. He is a long-time advisor to the self-direction movement, starting with the Cash & Counseling Demonstration and Evaluation. He has collaborated for over 20 years with movement leaders such as Kevin Mahoney and Pam Doty regarding communications strategy and tactics to further self-direction.


Maggie Hoffman

Maggie Hoffman is a co-founder of New York Self-Determination Coalition and co-writer of Practical Guide to Self-Direction (website, NYSELFD.ORG). While residing in NYS Maggie’s son lived his best life using self-directed and consumer-directed services. Now a Mainer, Maggie’s advocacy centers on launching robust self-directed services for Jake and other people with I/DD/ASD living in Maine.



June Mallon

June Peoples Mallon is the Director of Communications and Development at 3LPlace. June has developed, produced and/or advised research, outreach, and social marketing projects on a wide range of human rights and health issues. She has senior management level experience in non-profit governance and fundraising as well as the development of non-profit boards. An award-winning communications professional with broad experience in traditional media strategies as well as interactive and emerging media, June has worked in newspapers as well as in public broadcasting, and was executive producer of the public radio program "The Infinite Mind”. She's also mom to a very cool young woman with autism.



Valerie PatinoValerie Patino, MSW, LGSW is the Director of Financial Management Services for Accra Consumer Choice. She is a licensed graduate social worker with thirteen years of experience working with participants in self-directed services, including CDCS, CSG, PCA, and 245D basic services.




This session is part of our free Self-Direction Conference Virtual Series. Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest information on conference sessions