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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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Wednesday Workshops - Employment Track [clear filter]
Wednesday, December 13
 

8:00am

Employment Track: Opening Remarks
Limited Capacity seats available

Please join us for the Employment Track to learn more about employment for individuals with disabilities! There will be concurrent sessions open to all conference attendees running throughout the day focusing on Employment Policy and Practice. 

Speakers
avatar for Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

Executive Director, TASH
Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Ph.D. is the Executive Director at TASH, a non-profit that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities. She is a national consultant who helps people with disabilities develop and implement strategies for greater autonomy... Read More →
avatar for Robin Blount

Robin Blount

Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency


Wednesday December 13, 2017 8:00am - 8:30am
Imperial Ballroom, Salon B 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

8:30am

EFSLMP and PIE: Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for People with Disabilities
Limited Capacity seats available

One of the most important aspects that allow individuals to live the lives they desire is employment. Employment not only gives individuals purpose, but employment also provides them the means to live independent lives. Through the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) and the Partnerships in Employment (PIE) programs, the federal government is supporting states as they work to change their policies in order to make competitive integrated employment (CIE) more accessible to more people with disabilities. Learn about the similarities and differences between EFSLMP and PIE, the technical assistance each provides, and the successful strategies states have used to change policy to increase CIE.

Speakers
avatar for Alison DeYoung

Alison DeYoung

Project Manager, YES! Center / TASH
Alison DeYoung is the Project Manager for the Youth Employment Solutions (YES!) Center, the national training and technical assistance center for the Partnerships in Employment (PIE) states. She began working in the field of education in 2008 while completing her undergraduate and... Read More →
avatar for Dale Verstegen

Dale Verstegen

Senior Research Associate, TransCen, Inc.



Wednesday December 13, 2017 8:30am - 10:00am
Imperial Ballroom, Salon B 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

8:30am

Guided Group Discovery: Successful Employment through Partnerships
Limited Capacity seats available

Guided Group Discovery (GGD) is a set of strategies that can benefit any job seeker who faces barriers to employment. GGD is a universal design approach that is very effective for people with disabilities. It is used in partnership with a number of systems, so that people can receive support through multiple agencies at the same time, as needed. Youth and adults with disabilities, for example, can engage in Guided Group Discovery that is supported by any combination of agencies, including vocational rehabilitation, developmental disabilities, behavioral health, the public workforce system, Centers for Independent Living, community rehabilitation agencies, foster care agencies, homeless services providers, and others. This provides more support for job seekers and enables agencies to leverage each other's resources. LEAD Center staff will discuss the pilot projects it has supported that used Guided Group Discovery in American Job Centers (also known as One-Stop Career Centers) in collaboration with a variety of partners. These strategies are similar to more traditional facilitated Discovery, in that they serve as an alternative assessment tool that identifies the strengths and ideal conditions of employment for job seekers with and without disabilities. GGD assists people in securing and maintaining employment by supporting them in small groups to create their own individual blueprint to guide their job search process. GDD, like other forms of Discovery, serves as the cornerstone for customized employment, which increasingly is being used as a universal design approach by workforce development professionals.

Speakers
avatar for Nancy Boutot

Nancy Boutot

National Disability Institute
Customized Employment, Discovery, Social Security Work Incentives, living with depression
avatar for Rebecca Salon

Rebecca Salon

LEAD Center and DC Department on Disability Services


Wednesday December 13, 2017 8:30am - 10:00am
M301 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

10:15am

Seamless Transition: The Potential of WIOA
Limited Capacity seats available

Wouldn't it be ideal if the culmination of K-12 education for youth with disabilities was a job and a clear career path? As youth make the transition from being students to young adults, the ideal would be that they move seamlessly from being a student to an employee, leading to a meaningful job and career. This is indeed the gold standard of transition outcomes. With what we now know, there is no reason not to expect this to be the desired outcome for every student who receives special education services in today's high schools. What really works so that students with disabilities seamlessly transition to adult employment? How can we organize education and vocational rehabilitation services for youth so they leave school with a job? This presentation will discuss findings from research done through TransCens Disability Rehabilitation Research Project and experience in implementing Pre-employment transition services for youth with disabilities.

Speakers
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 →


Wednesday December 13, 2017 10:15am - 11:45am
Imperial Ballroom, Salon B 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

10:15am

The Rural Routes to Employment Project - Lessons Learned
Limited Capacity seats available

In rural areas across the country a lack of employment opportunity is a shared concern. This is not a disability specific issue but is a shared concern for all citizens. Rural areas, however, often offer unique opportunities to expand employment because of the greater sense of community, the inventiveness that comes from a lack of resources and the fact that for most small communities, the concerns of economic development, jobs, and post-school success are shared by all. This presentation will tell the stories of adult providers and transition staff over the course of this five-year Rural Routes to Employment Project: Barriers identified, Practices developed, Economic Development approaches utilized. All which can be easily adopted and become in many instances solutions to the increasing employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Speakers
avatar for Beth Keeton

Beth Keeton

Executive Director, Griffin-Hammis Associates
For the last 20 years, Beth has provided extensive training and technical assistance to individuals and agencies on systems change, customized employment, self-employment, systematic instruction, and benefits analysis. Her work includes the development and implementation of statewide... Read More →


Wednesday December 13, 2017 10:15am - 11:45am
M301 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

12:45pm

Project FOCUS: From College to Competitive Employment for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Limited Capacity seats available

While typical students graduate high school after four years and transition to work and or higher education, these options are historically not available to students with intellectual disabilities. This presentation will describe Project FOCUS (Focusing Opportunities with Community and University Support). The University of Arizona's College of Education in collaboration with local school districts supports this fully inclusive postsecondary transition option for young adults, age 18-22 who have significant intellectual disabilities. Project FOCUS facilitates access and inclusion to the University of Arizona's academic courses, internship experiences, and college life events in order to increase each student's independence, employability, and quality of life. Prior to starting their college experience, each student has a person-centered plan, then receive individualized academic, employment, social, and emotional instruction throughout the two year program. Students are supported by same-aged undergraduate peer mentors who are trained to implement best practices. Project FOCUS is committed to support students and their families build a bridge to gainful employment through partnerships with local businesses and state service agencies, and develop meaningful friendships, greater self-determination, and self-confidence. These experiences, skills, and collaborations gained positively influence and reshape community perceptions of individuals who have significant intellectual disabilities for greater equity for all.

Speakers
avatar for Kirsten Lansey

Kirsten Lansey

Doctoral Student, University of Arizona
avatar for Colleen Middleton

Colleen Middleton

Coordinator, Project FOCUS


Wednesday December 13, 2017 12:45pm - 1:45pm
M301 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

12:45pm

The ABLE Act and Employment
Limited Capacity seats available

The ABLE Act now allows certain individuals with disabilities the opportunity to save money without jeopardizing their federally funded means tested benefits (such as Medicaid and SSI). Additionally, these funds are to be used for qualified disability related expenses that help the person with a disability increase and/or maintain their health, independence and quality of life (including employment related expenses). This presentation will help the audience better understand the basics components of being an ABLE account owner, as well as how having an ABLE account could help the beneficiary obtain and maintain competitive integrated employment.


Wednesday December 13, 2017 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Imperial Ballroom, Salon B 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

1:45pm

Promoting Transition-to-Employment Through Effective Partnerships Between Health Care and Supported Employment Providers
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation focuses on the important connections between health transition and school-to-work transition efforts. With the increased emphasis on ensuring that high school students with disabilities have opportunities to prepare for the world of work, it is equally important to ensure that students are exposed to basic This presentation focuses on the important connections between health transition and school-to-work transition efforts both of which are vital to achieving full equity, opportunity and inclusion in all aspects of community life for young people with disabilities. With the increased emphasis on ensuring that high school students with disabilities have opportunities to prepare for the world of work, it is equally important to ensure that students are exposed to basic principles of healthy living and are supported in the process of transition from pediatric to adult health care. Transition-to-work programs, operating in partnership with schools, are one avenue that can be used to deliver these concepts. Additionally, there is a growing trend within University-based medical centers to incorporate transition-to-work concepts into the medical clinical setting. Through combined and collaborative efforts such as these, youth with disabilities will enter the adult world with the skills they need to be healthy and productive employees and community members. This presentation will highlight two different approaches currently underway in South Dakota and Iowa to connect healthy living principles with transition-to-work interventions, and to bridge the worlds of health care and special education services in support of successful transition for youth with disabilities.

Speakers
JW

Judy Warth

Iowa's University Center for Excellence on Disabilities, Presenter
Employment, education, self-advocacy, behavior, the weather, dogs!


Wednesday December 13, 2017 1:45pm - 3:15pm
M301 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

1:45pm

Tennessee's Transformation to Employment and Community First Services
Limited Capacity seats available

This presentation will describe the new service model initiated in the State of Tennessee as of July 1, 2016. Employment and Community First (ECF) was developed to eventually replaced the 1915c Waiver and bring in additional 2400 people with disabilities into services by the end of fiscal year 2018. The presentation gives specific details regarding the state's largest disability provider as it transitions from the previous model to the new ECF model. ECF was specifically designed for those who wish to gain employment and realize full community integration and inclusion. The details of this presentation should prove beneficial to the provider community, families, advocates, and people receiving services. It is expected that this model will be replicated in other states in coming years.

Speakers
avatar for Troy Allen

Troy Allen

Director of Community Employment Services, SRVS
Troy Allen’s career in the disability services field spans a twenty-nine year period. Prior to being appointed as SRVS Director of Community Employment Services, he collaborated in the development of a new community services model to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving... Read More →
avatar for Alyson Edwards

Alyson Edwards

Director of Care Management, SRVS
Alyson has been involved in the disability field for fourteen years. She is the mother of a 14 year old daughter with Down syndrome that launched her into the disability world. Prior to her time at SRVS, Alyson spent nine years at the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid-South... Read More →
avatar for Ginny Oceguera

Ginny Oceguera

Quality Outcomes Manager, SRVS
Ginny Oceguera has been in the field since 2013. Her first venture was to expand services to the rural counties of Tennessee. She introduced the use of Montessori techniques to enhance the educational curriculum available to adults with intellectual disabilities. The State of Tennessee’s... Read More →
avatar for Angelica Woods-Smith

Angelica Woods-Smith

Vocational Rehabilitation Service Manager, SRVS
Angelica Woods-Smith has been in the field of rehabilitation counseling since 2012 and served as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the State of Tennessee Department of Rehabilitation Services. She has a sincere passion for helping people with disabilities become gainfully... Read More →



Wednesday December 13, 2017 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Imperial Ballroom, Salon B 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

3:30pm

Collaborating for Change: Improving Policies, Relationships and Competitive Integrated Employment Outcomes
Limited Capacity seats available

Historically, state agencies, community organizations, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have worked independently to improve competitive integrated employment outcomes. This presentation will focus on lessons learned from 14 Partnerships in Employment state consortiums, which support stakeholder collaboration to change state and local employment policies and practices. Each state consortium brings together unique, but important partners that work together to overcome barriers to employment. Participants will hear from the national evaluator and a panel of Partnerships in Employment state consortium members from the District of Columbia, Hawaii and Utah. Topics include lessons learned about convening a consortium and improving relationships, strategies for introducing and implementing employment policies and legislation, and other project findings related to improving collaboration at the state, community, and individual level.

Speakers

Wednesday December 13, 2017 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Imperial Ballroom, Salon B 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

3:30pm

College and Career Readiness: What Are the Critical Dimensions for Youth with Severe Disabilities?
Limited Capacity seats available

Focused attention to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and college and career readiness (CCR) has been attributed to increased secondary school reform directed at ensuring all students graduate high school prepared for adulthood. In order to successfully experience college and careers, students must have the knowledge, skills, and experiences related to both core academics as well as non-academic competencies such as growth mindsets, problem-solving, and interpersonal engagement. This study sought out insights and perspectives from national experts to understand the skills, opportunities, and supports needed to ensure students with severe disabilities are college and career ready. The results of this Delphi Study offer insights of how to best prepare youth with severe disabilities in inclusive school and workplace communities.

Speakers
avatar for Mary Morningstar

Mary Morningstar

Professor, Portland State University
Dr. Mary E. Morningstar is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at Portland State University and Director of the Transition Coalition, which offers online, hybrid and in-person professional development and resources for secondary special educators and transition... Read More →
avatar for Alison Zagona

Alison Zagona

Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico
I am an Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. As a former special education teacher, I am passionate about including students with significant disabilities in all aspects of the educational experience. My research is focused on instructional, social... Read More →


Wednesday December 13, 2017 3:30pm - 4:30pm
M301 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303