Association of People Supporting Employment First
Burlington, VT 05405
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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.
Managing Employer Engagement: Dale Verstegan, TransCen, Inc. and Hugh Bradshaw, Creative Workforce Solutions
This session will address the process and strategies for approaching and facilitating long term working relationships with employers in your community. This interactive session will also discuss how Provider Organizations can coordinate employer outreach, provide better support to employment staff and assess the quality of the employment services over time.
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.
Implementing the Rhode Island Consent Decree to Increase Access to Employment in Integrated Settings Charles Mosely, Ed.D.; Federal Court Monitor, Andrew McQuaide; Consent Decree Coordinator, Tony Antosh, Ed.D.; Director, Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities (UCEDD)
This session will provide an overview of the activities that have occurred to implement the consent agreement between the State of Rhode Island and the United States Department of Justice to facilitate increased access to employment in integrated settings. A synopsis of the intent and key provisions of the agreement will be used to illustrate the core issues. Discussion will include (a) roles and responsibilities of the State of Rhode Island and the state agencies named in the agreement – Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, Developmental Disabilities; (b) efforts of the provider organizations and advocates; (c) activities of the Conversion Institute; and (d) data trends that will further illustrate issues and needs. Opportunity for questions and discussion will be provided.
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.
Ohio's Project Transformation: Systems Change from Facility-Based Services to Integrated Employment Michael Beasecker, Superintendent of Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Ohio’s Employment-First initiative is sponsoring “Project Transformation” for selected provider agencies to successfully transform their business model from facility-based services to integrated employment. This presentation will outline the plan and progress of Darke County's work on Project Transformation with collaboration and consulting from the University of Vermont. Presenter will outline the barriers, strategic planning, progress and obstacles encountered so far.
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.
8th National Organizational Change Forum Planning Committee:
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Burlington, VT 05405