Ned Andrew Solomon was the director of the Tennessee Partners in Policymaking® Leadership Institute for the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities from 2000 to 2019. He is the father of three, now-adult children with disabilities, and has a Bachelor’s degree in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University.

Ned is an engaging speaker who has been presenting trainings, workshops and conference breakout sessions for 20 years. Because he has been a conference coordinator himself, and has recruited hundreds of presenters, he’s seen first hand  what makes audiences react positively, and negatively, to speakers and their topics. He’s worked hard to incorporate the best aspects of what he’s experienced into his typically interactive “conversations” with audiences.

Trainings and Presentations

Disability Sensitivity & Awareness
This interactive presentation addresses the role language plays in defining our perceptions of individuals with disabilities, and how, with our words, we can positively or negatively impact the perceptions of others. This is a great introduction for people who have not had much familiarity interacting with persons with disabilities, but who may be moving into a personal or work relationship with someone who experiences disability.  

Providing Supports That Truly Support
If you’re a person who provides supports for individuals with disabilities, how do you see your role? How do you define support? Are you contributing to “learned helplessness”, or are you encouraging the people you serve to find and express their own voices, and striving to develop their decision-making skills? Are you helping, or holding back? These questions and others will be explored in this interactive presentation for family members, direct support staff, teachers and other professionals who support persons with disabilities.

Conducting and Participating in Effective Meetings
Ned Andrew hasn’t met too many people who love attending meetings. He is, himself, a veteran and survivor of hundreds of lousy, poorly-run, time-wasting meetings. So, can meetings be better, and even effective experiences? Absolutely. This nuts-and-bolts and highly interactive training will answer these and other important questions: Do we have to have this meeting? Who needs to be at this meeting? What are we hoping to accomplish at this meeting? How can setting meeting ground rules contribute to an effective meeting? Why is the role of participant as vital as the role of facilitator? How do we handle difficult meeting personalities? A presentation for anyone who attends, unenthusiastically, meetings in any setting.

Supported Decision-Making
Supported Decision-Making is about helping people with disabilities make as many decisions about their own lives as possible. Having no supports or having a conservatorship is an unfair and false choice that many people with disabilities face as they turn 18. This presentation will teach attendees about an array of less-restrictive options available for helping people with disabilities make choices and decisions, without taking away their basic human rights. 

Reality Check: an independent living checklist
These two, back-to-back, 45-minute presentations will help transition-aged youth with disabilities think about, and begin to plan for, life after high school. Youth will discover the importance of: speaking up for themselves and for others in their community; letting people know what you want and need, and perhaps more importantly, what you don’t want and don’t need; developing “adulting” skills to ensure a positive trajectory toward independence and self-determination; and adopting the statement, “nothing about me without me.”