Association of People Supporting Employment First
Burlington, VT 05405
Speaker: Laura Owens, Ph.D. President of TransCen Inc. is as a national leader in the disability employment field. She is also the founder and director of Creative Employment Opportunities, Inc., an employment agency for individuals with disabilities. Laura is an Associate Professor of special education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has published widely as a researcher on transition and employment topics. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an internationally known speaker having presented to business organizations, schools and conferences in Ireland, Croatia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Chile, Portugal and other countries. Fundamental to her work is helping businesses (and society at large) see beyond the “current reality” to what can be, and to not set limits on themselves or individuals with diverse abilities.
Speaker: Allison Wohl, MBA, Executive Director of APSE: Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst. Allison received her MBA from the College of William and Mary. After sixteen years in corporate America, working at a big four consulting firm in their federal practices and also at GE, she decided that she wanted to take her experience to the nonprofit sector. Allison was the Executive Director of the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination (CPSD) in Washington DC, a coalition of twenty-two national organizations that advocates for the kind of comprehensive, innovative public policy reform that presumes the competence of all citizens with disabilities. She is a prolific writer and is passionate about Employment First. She is the mom of three boys, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome.
Speaker: Serena Lowe, Ph.D. Senior Policy Adviser, Office of Disability Employment Policy at U.S. Department of Labor. Dr. Lowe advises the Assistant Secretary of ODEP on public policy issues aimed at improving the socioeconomic advancement of citizens with disabilities and other at-risk populations. Also responsible for managing the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program, working with over 30 state government teams to effectuate cross-systems change efforts that lead to prioritization of public funds toward helping people with disabilities attain integrated employment and achieve optimal socioeconomic independence. Policy areas include managed care Medicaid structures, home and community based service waivers, school-to-work transition, and workforce development.
Speaker: Bryan Dague, Ed.D. is a Research Associate at the University of Vermont-Center on Disability & Community Inclusion. In 2006, Bryan earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont. His dissertation entitled “Sheltered Employment, Sheltered Lives: Navigating the New Realities of Community Employment” focused on the last sheltered workshop in Vermont and the impact the conversion had on the families and participants. An article in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation summarizes the study. Bryan has been involved in the conversion of sheltered workshops to community-based employment in Syracuse, New York as well as Vermont.
Facilitator: Mike Reilly has more than 25 years leadership experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, with a specialty in the start-up of new projects and the coordination of collaborative public and community-based initiatives. He coordinated the first Community Justice Center in Vermont, and previously directed multiple-partner projects in the fields of transportation, housing, and experiential education. Mike is a certified trainer of balanced and restorative justice processes, family/community group conferencing, and circle dialogues. He favors storytelling and open dialogue models for collaborative learning.
We'll have general sessions & breakout sessions with small group work for an interactive and productive conference.
Sessions to Include:
Getting Started-How to Develop Effective Community-Based Employment. Macey Chovaz, APSE Director of Programs
Supported and customized employment strategies can be used to assist individuals with disabilities become part of the community-based workforce. This session will review the basics to start an effective integrated employment program.
Changing Focus: State Experiences with Systems Change. John Butterworth, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass-Boston
A panel of state leaders will discuss the challenges and elements that define higher performing states. Discussion will include changes in policy, accountability, strategy and training, and technical assistant investments. A question/answer period will follow.
From 300 to Zero, Our 10-Year Story- “What a difference a decade makes." Tibisay A. Guzmán & Avery Valins, Arc of Westchester, New York
Arc of Westchester opened its first workshop in 1966 in the suburbs outside of NYC. At it’s peak it employed over 350 people. Over the course of 10 years the management employed various strategies, development of an integrated business model and techniques to decrease and ultimately close its shelter workshops. The process was completed in December 2014. While this session will tell one provider’s story of how it transitioned people to competitive employment and community experiences, it will also be an opportunity for attendees to engage in discussion with the presenters about the real challenges and opportunities involved in transitioning from a segregated to a more inclusive environment.
Shifting Away from Sheltered Workshops: Building Peer-to-Peer Supports. Ryley Newport, Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities & Ross Ryan, Oregon Self-Advocacy Coalition
Under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice, Oregon has taken proactive steps to change employment services and move away from sheltered workshop placements. However, many people who receive these services and their families are confused about these changes and do not have the information to make decisions for themselves. To improve the delivery of information, we developed a peer education project based on the principle that people are the experts in their own lives. These trained peer educators are tasked with educating, inspiring and encouraging people with developmental disabilities to succeed in their employment goals. Come join us to hear more about the peer education approach and how we were able to develop training content to help people find and keep “Real Jobs at Real Pay!”
Looking Back: Family & Participant Perspectives on Sheltered Work.
Parents and participants who experienced sheltered employment reflect on how they navigated the systems change to community employment and how they feel today.
Partnerships in Employment: A Model for Transition Systems Change. Karen Flippo, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass, Boston
The movement for real jobs is growing. States are implementing employment first policy and strategy. Updated federal Medicaid and workforce development policy clearly emphasize individual competitive employment outcomes, the importance of interagency collaboration, and early engagement in pre-employment transition services for youth. Join us to talk about where we are, the role of changing policy, and state and local approaches to supporting a employment as the first priority for working age adults.
World Café: To ensure plenty of opportunity for dialogue, we'll incorporate World Café sessions (the World Café is an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter) as well as the Dinner Cruise on Lake Champlain aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III. We recognize that each state and system is different and we can all learn from each other. We welcome this opportunity to host this event as we create a culture of inclusion for all.
More to come soon....
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Copyright Vermont APSE, 2007. All rights reserved.
Burlington, VT 05405