2017 TASH Conference has ended

Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Still We Rise for Equity, Opportunity, and Inclusion,” shows the resilience of individuals with disabilities and their families across the lifespan. Conference attendees will celebrate their passion for disability rights, civil rights, and human rights while exploring inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs. Return to TASH website.

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Thursday, December 14 • 9:45am - 10:35am
Creating Pathways to Employment for Young People with IDD FILLING

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Compared to youth without disabilities, integrated employment is lower for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In DC, too many young people with disabilities still graduate from high school into a Day Program rather than college or a job. The DC Department on Disabilities Services in 2016 received a five year Partners in Employment grant from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities to establish cross-agency relationships, implement policy and program improvements, and transform systems to increase integrated employment. Through this grant initiative, called DC Learners and Earners, we are working with self-advocates, families, the UCEDD and DD Council, and other community and government partners to raise expectations, transform our service system, and improve employment outcomes for young people with disabilities. DC is one of the initial 6 states to participate in the Community of Practice (CoP) for Supporting Families of Individuals with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, which involves collaborations at all levels to develop systems of support for families throughout the lifespan of their family member with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The overall goal of supporting families, with all of their complexity, strengths and unique abilities is so they can best support, nurture, love and facilitate opportunities for the achievement of self-determination, interdependence, productivity, integration, and inclusion in all facets of community life for their family members. The DC Learners and Earners Initiative builds on the successful work of the DC Supporting Families CoP. Person-Centered Thinking, the LifeCourse Framework, and Cultural and Linguistic Competency are the lenses through which we view all of our efforts to transform our system, and they are the foundation of our efforts to improve employment outcomes for people with IDD, as well as for our system change efforts more broadly. Families can be our greatest cheerleaders for person-centered and employment first systems change and our strongest advocates, or they can be barriers to systems change. In DC, we wanted to make sure that as we reformed our IDD system, we were working closely with the people we support and their families and were guided by their experiences. We used the LifeCourse & PCT to reframe vision of what success looks like at the individual and systems level and build a shared responsibility for systems change. Panelists from the DC Supporting Families Community of Practice will describe how we have used Person-Centered Thinking and LifeCourse tools and skills to identify areas for systemic advocacy and build shared responsibility for the levels of change that must occur to advance our system of supports for people with and their families, throughout a person's life. With support from the National Center for Cultural Competency at the DC UCEDD, the DC CoP has explored cultural and linguistic diversity so that we are attempting to reach all families. Panelists will share an example of training tools we use with self-advocates, families, partners, and professionals to explore culture and discuss some of our successes and lessons learned. Hear from parents, self-advocates and professionals who use Person-Centered Thinking and the LifeCourse framework skills and tools to promote self-determination, inclusion, and competitive integrated employment. Panelists will share successes in engaging families to not only help the family envision and plan a good life for themselves and their children, but also to better inform state systems change through deep engagement with families. This session will conclude with an interactive question and answer panel discussing how to apply lessons learned in their own state to engage families of all cultures and improve employment outcomes for young people with disabilities.

avatar for Joan Christopher

Joan Christopher

research instructor, Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Activities and programs to support people with disabilities and their families
avatar for Erin Leveton

Erin Leveton

Deputy Director, Quality Assurance & Performance Management Administration, DC Department on Disability Services
Erin Leveton is the Program Manager of the State Office of Disability Administration at the District of Columbia Department on Disability Services, supporting the agency in policy and legislative affairs, program development, stakeholder relations, and helping DDS to accelerate gains... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Salon

Rebecca Salon

DC Department on Disability Services
avatar for Kevin Wright

Kevin Wright

RSA/Self Advocate, Department on Disability Services (DDS)
I'm 25 years old who was born and raised in Washington, DC. I attended college at Mitchell College in New London, CT for four years. My major was Communications with a minor in Graphic Design. Now working at DDS where I first started out as an intern. Doing my time at DDS, I been... Read More →

Thursday December 14, 2017 9:45am - 10:35am EST
L508 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303