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2019 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together our constituents to share resources and success stories, learn about field-driven best practices, and network within a community engaged in shared values. The Conference is attended by passionate leaders, experts, and advocates from every corner of the disability community. Conference attendees are influential in their fields and communities, and play an important role in the provision of services and supports for the millions of individuals and organizations around the world; and include professors and researchers from leading institutions; those involved in local, state, and federal governments and public policy; special and general educators, and school administrators; self-advocates, adult service providers; students, family members, and many others.  This year’s conference theme, Building Diverse and Inclusive Communities, reminds us that equity, opportunity, and inclusion relies on the input of broad perspectives and experiences.

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Thursday Workshops - Employment Track [clear filter]
Thursday, December 5
 

8:00am

The Business of Human Dignity: How Work is Critical to Life, Happiness and Well-Being
The American job market has never been as dynamic and innovative as it is today. Yet, for too many Americans with disabilities, we remain on the sidelines of our nation’s great workforce.
Commissioner Julie Hocker will use her own career path as a backdrop to examine the never-before- seen opportunities for people with disabilities in the labor force.  As we look to advance economic mobility and healthier outcomes for all Americans, she will examine the barriers that remain for people with disabilities and the life-changing outcomes for people who are engaged in meaningful, integrative and competitive employment.

Presenters
avatar for Julie Hocker

Julie Hocker

Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities, Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Julie Hocker joined ACL as the Commissioner of the Administration on Disabilities on October 1, 2018. Hocker brings to the role extensive experience in operational process improvement, risk management, and effectiveness assessment. Ms. Hocker joins ACL from the Charles Koch Foundation... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 8:00am - 8:30am
Akimel Ballroom 4 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

8:45am

Making Collaboration Work: Creating Systems Change through Community Stakeholder Engagement
Limited Capacity full

Creating state systems that support employment, community inclusion and community participation for youth and adults with disabilities requires change at every level. From the very first conversation staff have with people and their families, to the services that are available, to how state systems work with each other and with community partners, resources, policies, and practices must align. In the District of Columbia, stakeholders are engaged in a multi-year effort to reframe our entire system to advance employment and support ongoing opportunities for community inclusion. This interactive panel, representing state staff, family advocates, self-advocates, community service providers, and subject matter experts, will share successful systems change efforts in the District of Columbia and across the country, from broad perspectives and experiences. Panelists will discuss their experience and strategies for getting key stakeholders to the table, supporting them to ensure that broad voices are heard, creating feedback loops using ongoing stakeholder feedback, and leveraging multiple systems change initiative to support common goals. Partners have worked to align multiple initiatives, including Employment First, a well-established Supporting Families Community of Practice, support for statewide self-advocacy, Supported Decision-Making, a Partnerships in Employment Systems Change Grant, workgroups that ensure meaningful input into HCBS Waiver design, a cross-agency Cultural and Linguistic Competence Community of Practice, and more. The work of our partnership is based on Implementation Science. Implementation Science is the study of the factors that influence the successful and effective implementation of innovations and change processes. Effective change is better ensured when implementers focus on Competency, Leadership and Organizational Drivers, which improve and sustain organizational change efforts (National Implementation Research Network). Throughout the session, presenters will outline the core components of implementation science to promote systems change. Panelists will discuss how Implementation Science has supported their successful introduction of innovations and their ability to bring positive changes to scale. Throughout this session, participants will have opportunities to use implementation science resources to assess their organization's readiness to implement system changes, and possible next steps. Through interactive dialogue, participants and presenters will share their experiences, successes, challenges strategies and resources to promote approaches that have been proven to work.

Presenters
avatar for Rebecca Salon

Rebecca Salon

DC Department on Disability Services
avatar for Erin Leveton

Erin Leveton

Director, Alvarez & Marsal
avatar for Phyllis Holton

Phyllis Holton

Deputy Director, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
avatar for Maya Cox

Maya Cox

Consultant, Public Consulting Group
I'm passionate about employment and supporting individuals living their good life. My passion is both professional and personal. My career is committed to making systems and services better for individuals with disabilities and their families. I also have a sister with developmental... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 8:45am - 10:15am
Meeting Room: Scorpion 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

8:45am

The Long and Winding Policy Road to Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE)
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation will highlight disability history with a particular focus on employment policy through the decades.

Presenters
avatar for Christopher Button, PhD

Christopher Button, PhD

Supervisory Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
Christopher Button is a Supervisory Policy Advisor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor where she leads the Workforce Systems Policy Team and serves as one of ODEP’s Senior Management staff. The Workforce Systems Policy Team focuses... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 8:45am - 10:15am
Meeting Room: Akimel Ballroom 4 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

10:30am

Competitive Integrated Employment: What Progress Have We Made and Where Do We Need To Go
Limited Capacity filling up

Diverse and inclusive communities demand systems change that guarantee Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) as the expectation and accessible to all. The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has supported state systems change efforts through its Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) and Visionary Opportunities to Increase Competitive Integrated Employment (VOICE) initiatives since 2012. Starting in 2019, ODEP is beginning a new initiative with providers to assist in their transformation from segregated to inclusive business models. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has recently been funded as the RRTC on Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. This Center will partner with University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vanderbilt University, and Kent State University and include many themes to include a focus on employment of minorities in STEM careers; 2) business relationships designed to expand employment opportunities; and 3) the importance of parents and employment specialists. Three of the six studies will be clinical interventions which directly impact the employment outcomes of individuals with IDD. We will empirically study 1) how parent interventions promote employment outcomes; 2) how minorities with IDD can acquire high technology skills in programming and coding; 3) effects of employment specialist competencies on the practices and policies that contribute to improved CIE and 4) college as an employment pathway for youth with autism.

This session will examine what we have learned from past initiatives as well as what is known about promoting CIE through a host of different pathways. Together the group will develop recommendations for future research and policy change. Recommendations for the future will provide direction toward positive change for CIE into the 21st century.

Presenters
avatar for Valerie A.  Brooke

Valerie A. Brooke

Principal Investigator -- RRTC on Employment for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University
Valerie Brooke, M.Ed has been a faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and working in the field of employment for individuals with disabilities for over thirty five years. Ms. Brooke is the Principal Investigator -- Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Button, PhD

Christopher Button, PhD

Supervisory Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
Christopher Button is a Supervisory Policy Advisor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the U.S. Department of Labor where she leads the Workforce Systems Policy Team and serves as one of ODEP’s Senior Management staff. The Workforce Systems Policy Team focuses... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Meeting Room: Akimel Ballroom 4 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

10:30am

Workforce "Win-Wins" - Piloting a DSP Academy for Transitional Youth
Limited Capacity filling up

In Spring 2019, RCM of Washington, a District of Columbia-based provider agency, rolled out a pilot program aimed at training various target groups to become employed as Direct Support Professionals. Coined "The DSP Academy", this eight-week experiential learning course provided an inclusive group of transitional youth soft skill training, project-based field work, and all the essential Direct Support Professional curriculum required by the District of Columbia Department on Disability Services. This included life-saving skills such as CPR, First Aid and Crisis Prevention Intervention. All courses were taught by a variety of content area experts. RCM of Washington received funding, referrals, and support from DC's Rehabilitation Services Administration. In addition, the District of Columbia Public School's Career Bridge program provided participant referrals to ensure an inclusive cohort of learners. The program trained eleven transitional youth nearing graduation, including eight participants enrolled in special education courses in their schools and three receiving general education. RCM of Washington adapted the typical DSP training curriculum to meet the needs of the learners, and learned many useful lessons along the way. The academy included aspects of peer-to-peer mentoring. Upon completion of the eight-week program, nine of the eleven participants graduated from the program and had passed all required exams. If interested, participants were assisted in finding employment within the community as a Direct Support Professional, and provided follow-up support. This session aims to provide an illustrated case study that promotes two main priorities in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities: promoting Employment First and addressing the apparent DSP workforce crisis.

Presenters
avatar for Erin Leveton

Erin Leveton

Director, Alvarez & Marsal
SB

Susan Brooks

RCM of Washington
avatar for Montrel Tennessee

Montrel Tennessee

Project Manager, DC Department on Disability Services
avatar for Amy Brooks

Amy Brooks

CEO, RCM of Washington
A disability rights activist dedicated to creating inclusive opportunities for all people to actively participate in their communities.


Thursday December 5, 2019 10:30am - 12:00pm
Meeting Room: Scorpion 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

1:00pm

How to Develop Employment Programs that Economically Benefit Employers
Limited Capacity seats available

This session will provide methodology, strategies and tools for Employment Specialists to manage the employer engagement process to achieve stronger employer relationships. This session is intended to assist employment staff who work with local employers to offer consistent, quality employment services that benefit a business' operation. The information provided is based on the U.S. Dept. of Labor Office on Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP) Employer Economic Impact Study. This national study provided an employer's perspective on the benefits and economic impact of employment services including customized employment when hiring job candidates with a disability. These employers describe how customized employment has had a direct economic impact on their overall operation. Specific, measurable benefits that other Employment Specialists can use to describe their services will be presented.

Presenters
avatar for Dale Verstegen

Dale Verstegen

Senior Research Associate, TransCen, Inc.


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Meeting Room: Akimel Ballroom 4 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

1:00pm

Key Elements to Supporting Students with Significant Disabilities to be Successfully Employed Before Leaving School
Limited Capacity full

Utah's School to Work Initiative is designed to improve employment outcomes for students with the most significant disabilities. To achieve this, we work with education teams in their local communities to coordinate services and supports and supports. The goal of the the school to work initiative is to ensure that students with disabilities access the full range of supports necessary to live, work and be active in their communities before they leave school.

Presenters
avatar for Benjamin Tillotson

Benjamin Tillotson

Transition Specialist, Salt Lake City School District


Thursday December 5, 2019 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Meeting Room: Scorpion 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

2:45pm

The Conversation of Our Time: Employment, Diversity, Equity, Race, & Disability
Limited Capacity filling up

For decades, we have valued the role of employment in transforming the lives of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The passage of civil rights legislation has ensured the protection of rights, and more and more people are enjoying full, meaningful lives in the community. At the same time, we have struggled to provide culturally relevant services - services that effectively bridge the gap between the intersectionality of employment, diversity, equity, race, and disability. Join us in this conversation as we explore this critical path before us in the field of supported employment. We will reflect on our collective values around equity, race, and culture and challenge the status quo; we believe this conversation is the key to Employment for All.

Presenters
avatar for Chisa O'Quinn

Chisa O'Quinn

Program Manager, Wise
Chisa O’Quinn is a Social Worker who has traveled with individuals through the worlds of Corrections, Counseling, Disability Services, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse. What sets her apart as a leader and advocate in the field is her ability to creatively seek solutions in difficult... Read More →
avatar for Karla Lynch

Karla Lynch

Program Manager, King County Developmental Disabilities Division
Karla Lynch is a Program Manager with the King County Department of Community and Human Services, in Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports (DDECS) Division. Karla has served as a member of the Department’s Equity and Social Justice Community Partnerships Workgroup... Read More →
avatar for Cesilee Coulson

Cesilee Coulson

Executive Director, WISE


Thursday December 5, 2019 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Meeting Room: Akimel Ballroom 4 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

2:45pm

Transforming Workforce Development through Customized Employment and Employer Engagement
Limited Capacity full

In the 80s, we encouraged employers to hire the handicapped. In the 90s, we suggested they take advantage of an untapped labor pool. Regardless of our efforts, the unemployment, underemployment and participation rates for individuals with disabilities have not changed much. Still, well into the 21st century, 70% of individuals with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed. Hiring an employee is a business decision, not a charity decision. Employers hire people who can contribute to their business - increasing awareness or subsidizing wages is not enough. Employment is a relationship between two parties (the employer and job seeker) and our job is to effectively create a win-win for both the business and job seeker with disability. As Employment Consultants, we must develop and implement a flexible process designed to individualize employment relationships between a job seeker and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. This presentation will look at ways to re-frame how we approach and partner with employers, and provide examples of how employment professionals can utilize those strategies in developing employer relationships and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Presenters
avatar for Laura Owens

Laura Owens

President, TransCen Inc.
Laura A. Owens, Ph.D., CESP, has over 30 years of experience as a national leader in the transition and disability employment field. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) and the President of TransCen... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 2:45pm - 5:00pm
Meeting Room: Scorpion 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

3:15pm

Pre-Employment Transition Services, a Launchpad to Success for CIE
Limited Capacity filling up

The Workforce Opportunity and Innovation Act (WIOA) has opened up endless opportunities for students and individuals with disabilities to learn skills to help facilitate post-secondary vocational success. However, time has proven that the unexpected benefits of Pre-Employment Transition Services lies in the relationships that are built that strengthen the discovery process, facilitate identification of individual needs, and develop trust that ultimately leads to enhanced job development and Competitive, Integrated, Employment (CIE). Learn how one Kentucky Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP) implemented and delivered the required activities through unique curriculum to reach individuals with the most significant impact of disabilities, those who often fall between the cracks without opportunities in adulthood. During this interactive session, providers, agencies, employers, parents and educational consultants learn how to work together to use WIOA guidelines to maximize the benefit of the student and/or job seeker. The speakers, who believe that collaboration is the key to success, will offer perspectives from a parent, provider, employer, educational consultant, and recreational therapeutic viewpoint. In addition proprietary curriculum techniques will be introduced that can help your agency or school also become a leader in the Pre-ETS field. Learn how the skills taught in Pre-Employment Transition can be used across disciplines in the areas of education, independent living and employment.

Presenters
avatar for Annette Jett

Annette Jett

Executive Director, Build Inclusion
Let’s talk about Competitive, Integrated Employment! I am ED of a Kentucky non-profit which specializes in Traditional and Customized Employment for young adults including those transitioning from high school. We use Pre-Employment Transition Services as a way to build relationships... Read More →
avatar for Haley Andes

Haley Andes

Associate Director, Build Inclusion


Thursday December 5, 2019 3:15pm - 5:00pm
Meeting Room: Deer 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226

3:50pm

Promoting Employment through Model Demonstration Programs in Diverse Communities
Limited Capacity filling up

Many youth and young adults with disabilities experience barriers to gaining competitive integrated employment due to insufficient employment preparation and supports (Department of Labor, 2016). This presentation will share how several Partnership in Employment grantees are designing and implementing model demonstration programs to increase employment in diverse and inclusive communities. Participants will hear from the national evaluator and grantees from the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Utah. These grantees have implemented school-based model demonstration programs, which have resulted in youth and young adults with disabilities gaining paid work experiences. Presenters will share their diverse approaches to increasing employment among youth and young adults with disabilities. Presentation topics will include implementing model demonstration programs to serve different communities, increasing collaboration within model demonstration sites, creating career pathways, establishing program sustainability, mitigating challenges, and sharing lessons learned. Participants and presenters will also engage in a discussion on promoting positive employment outcomes.

Presenters
avatar for Montrel Tennessee

Montrel Tennessee

Project Manager, DC Department on Disability Services
avatar for Sandy Jordan

Sandy Jordan

Director of Employment Programs, Able South Carolina
avatar for Kristin Corcoran

Kristin Corcoran

Consultant, The Lewin Group
I am a Consultant for the Lewin Group. We are the national evaluator for the Partnerships in Employment Systems Change Grant, which provides funding for state grantees to promote competitive, integrated employment for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental dis... Read More →


Thursday December 5, 2019 3:50pm - 5:00pm
Meeting Room: Akimel Ballroom 4 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226