2016 Employment First Summit  Trailblazing:  Charting Our Employment Path

A Job You Want Equals the Life You Want

Julie Petty

This class is for people with disabilities. It will be interactive. We will be using tools to help identify your goals, preparing for a job, then create an action plan on how to make it happen!

Assistive Technology Solutions for Employment

Sheila Simmons- Assistive Technology of Kansas

Assistive technology (AT) can help people get, keep, and advance in employment. AT solutions can be simple modifications in a work setting, use of inexpensive products, or specialized adaptations. This presentation will review different types of AT, review people’s successful use of AT in several work settings, and explain how to get help finding the AT you need to get or keep a job.

Business Advisory Committees:  How to Engage Businesses

Erin Riehle- Project SEARCH co-founder

Community involvement and networking are key strategies to develop relationships with employers that lead to job opportunities for people with disabilities.  Erin will explain how to create and structure a business advisory committee to help develop jobs in your community.

Certified Employment Support Specialist: How to join the rapidly growing community of CESP™ Credential-holders

Cassy Davis, CESP™ Manager- APSE National

Do you have new or creative ideas regarding enhancing and expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities? Do you sometimes feel isolated and like no one else struggles the way you do in helping a job-seeker find or maintain employment? Do you have a desire to speak a common language regarding employment with colleagues from around the country? Do you want to be taken seriously as a professional in your field? Do you have the following? • A high school diploma (or more) plus • One year of experience (or more) as an Employment Support Professional, or • 9 months of experience with a training component If so, you may be eligible to take the first step toward obtaining the Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP™) credential! This workshop will cover: • Process for obtaining the certification • Difference between earning a certificate and a credential • Benefits of gaining the CESP™ Credential • Long-term vision for the CESP™

College:  Pathway to Employment
Lisa Joliff- Hutchinson Community College

Whether earning a degree, training certificate or taking classes for fun, the skills that a person learns on a college campus can be very beneficial in the job search. This workshop will discuss the opportunities on college campuses for students with disabilities including:

*Open admission
*Study groups
*Clubs and Organizations
*Residential Life

*Credit vs. audit classes
*Financial Assistance

We will discuss how the college experience can have a positive impact on a person's employability. Real-life examples of college students with disabilities will be shared and open discussion with Q/A will be encouraged.

The Employment Systems Change Coalition of Kansas

Stephanie Breaker and members of the Employment Systems Change Coalition of Kansas

The Employment Systems Change Coalition of Kansas represents multiple agencies throughout Kansas who work together across fields of disability to support employment systems change. The primary goal is to not only see more people employed, but to address systematic barriers to employment for persons with disabilities. Presenters will discuss the project and provide updates regarding the groups efforts and plans for recommendations to support change.

Engaging Culturally-diverse Families to Ensure Access to Employment Supports and Services

Judith Gross, Ph.D.

For this presentation, we will discuss the findings from bilingual interviews with 12 Hispanic families with young adults with mild to severe disabilities ranging in age from 14-28 years. Eight of the families had attended our training, Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT), and four had not. Since the training is designed to increase expectations and knowledge, we conducted interviews with both families who had attended FEAT and those who had not. We interviewed families at three points in time – six months apart. Findings indicated that most families believed in the value of employment for their young adults with disabilities and desired for their son or daughter to find the right fit for their skills and interests. Many parents expressed the desire that their children have better jobs than they did. However, families also shared that they face numerous barriers to their son or daughter attaining employment (e.g., communication, lack of school support, citizenship status, lack of knowledge of and access to services). For this presentation, we will describe the FEAT training, discuss the barriers identified by the families we interviewed, and share strategies professionals can use to ensure all families have equal access to needed supports and services.

How Employment Benefits People with Disabilities.

Sheri Marney, Nancy Johnson, Ian Kuenzie, Kathy Lobb, Dylan Eagan

Many people with disabilities want to work but worry that doing so could jeopardize their vital health and long term care coverage. Programs like Working Healthy offer people with disabilities who are working or interested in working the opportunity to keep their KanCare coverage while on the job. Through Working Healthy people can earn more, save more, achieve their career goals, and still maintain their health coverage. WORK can provide waiver like supports to Working Healthy members to assist with personal needs and supported employment. Side effects of employment are not only improved financial status but improved mental health and increased level of independence. Not only do people with disabilities benefit from employment but the employer benefits from a more diversified staff and the local community benefits from having more inclusive businesses. Our panel of speakers will share their personal experiences with becoming employed and how they have benefited from the employment.

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model of Supported Employment an Evidence-Based Practice for Individuals with Serious Mental Illness

Galen Smith, MSW

This presentation will focus on why it is important to encourage individuals with serious mental illness to consider gaining competitive employment. This presentation will provide an overview of the principals of the IPS model and will assist participants to gain an understanding of the the importance of helping and encouraging consumers to engage in achieving competitive employment.

Innovating with the Wichita Nexus/BLN

Bob Hull and Peter Daniels
Using a small grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, Robert Hull of the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation is working to adapt the innovations of the Greater Kansas City Employment Nexus to conditions in Kansas. The “Nexus idea” brings together disability employment agencies and employers in a closer cooperation to assist more people to find work. Collaborating in this effort is the Sedgwick County Business Leadership Network.

It's All About the Network: Coordinating Assets in Real Time with Technology Data Based Decision Making

Jeremy Gooch, Tom Szambecki, Forrest Austin- Project SEARCH instructors

Project Search (PS) is an essential step toward Employment First outcomes. Data suggests national employment rates among PS graduates with moderate disabilities are currently 73% rather than the 13% rate for high school graduates with moderate disabilities.  Success is measured by a single metric:  a good job at the end of the Project SEARCH experience.  This session will examine and explore some of the exciting ways that technology and data are transforming the Project SEARCH experience and leading to high employment outcomes.

Kansas AgrAbility
Sheila Simmons & Nancy Stork- Assistive Technology of Kansas

Have you considered selling veggies at a farmers' market? Do you want to raise bees, have bottle calves, or sell eggs? Kansas AgrAbility helps beginning growers, farmers, ranchers, and family members pursue their employment goals in the area of agriculture and agribusiness. Come hear about our services and successful solutions that helped others achieve their employment goals.

KANSASWORKS - Your Workforce Development System

Dale Tower, Kristin Doze, Mickayla Fink

An overview of the current Workforce Development System in Kansas and the impact of the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) activities related to WIOA Customer Flow.

Mentoring Matters

Julia Connellis, Executive Director, KYEA

This workshop will share the needs, benefits and most of all impact that mentoring can have on youth with disabilities. Presenters will review various mentoring opportunities available for youth with disabilities through KYEA, as well as opportunities for potential mentors. Youth with disabilities who have or currently being mentored will share their story of how mentoring helped them on their life journey.

Project SEARCH 101

Erin Riehle- Project SEARCH Co-founder

An overview of the Project SEARCH model including history, core model components, partnerships, funding, and staff roles and responsibilities.

Promoting Positive Employment Outcomes Through Self-Determination

Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D.

There is clear research evidence that promoting the self-determination of youth and young adults with developmental disabilities has positive impact on adult outcomes, including employment-related outcomes. This session will overview what is meant by promoting self-determination, examine the evidence related to promoting self-determination, and present information about interventions incorporating self-determination that have been shown to positively influence employment outcomes for youth and adults with developmental disabilities.

Reaching Postschool Goals: What Kansas Students are Saying

Wendy Coates and Beth Clavenna-Deane, PhD

Kansas is required to do one year follow up surveys with students who have exited special education. This session will describe what Kansas students have to say about what is helping them reach their goals after they leave high school.

Services that make a difference:  How to provide more impactful services
Stephen Hall PhD Disability Policy Advisor Griffin Hammis Associates

Too often providers of services and supports are caught in a funding trap where a stable amount of dollars and people to be served results in a diminishing ability to:

1      Serve additional citizens
2      Hire and retain qualified personnel
3      Pay direct support professionals adequately
4      Meet ever-increasing costs without reducing services or quality
5      Improve and expand the organization’s capacity to provide services

This presentation is about how to provide modern impactful services, such as Supported Employment, Customized Employment, and Discovery to the extent that more people can receive services that reduce his or her need for services and save taxpayer money, while increasing the provider’s financial well-being.  New Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Guidance on how employment services funding must be calculated will be discussed.   

Smart Decision Making Through Technology

Cindy Fisher, Ed.D.

Getting and keeping a job requires a range of skills such as using public transportation, break room etiquette, asking and answering questions, making effective decisions, and more. Many persons have great work skills, but they need occasional support with problem solving and social skills. Smart Steps Mobile is a smartphone app that supports decision making for these types of everyday situations, with practical tips and social skill prompts built in. New features include the ability to create customized content for an individual or situation, a read aloud button, and the ability to text message for help. Come to hear more about Smart Steps Mobile and see a demo. www.SmartSteps4me.com

Social Capital and Employment
Janet M. Williams, Ph.D.

Social capital refers to the many social relationships people and the significance of those relationships in daily life. It is often “who we know” and the reciprocity of relationships that impact where we live, work and play. There has been some ground breaking research that shows social capital also has a profound impact on health and quality of life.  This presentation will give an overview of social capital and the vital role it plays in employment for every person, with and without a disability.

Ticket to Work - A Safe Way Forward Using Work Incentives.

Madeleine Bowens Benefits Specialist, KDHE South Central District Office, Wichita

We will summarize the Ticket To Work Legislation in relation to how Work Incentives can be used to promote a return to work and maintain health insurance. Using Work Incentives can create the opportunity to 'plan a way forward', reducing the reliance on public supports but also Knowledge of the safety nets in place. The safety nets can ease the anxiety caused by the uncertainty of sustaing employment.

Vocational Rehabilitation 101

Michael Donnelly- Kansas Rehabilitation Services Director

Mike Donnelly will provide an overview of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Kansas, and talk about it’s effectiveness in getting people with disabilities competitive, integrated jobs.

Work and Disability Stigma

Erin Riehle- Project SEARCH Co-founder

Erin will discuss a study that explored workplace stigma, as assessed through co-worker perceptions over time, toward transition aged youth (i.e. 18-22 years of age) with ID who entered a mainstream workforce following the completion of Project SEARCH.  Study findings  supported the framework that youth with ID face challenges as they seek employment in fully immersed work settings, including stigma- initial negative perceptions related to their capabilities and behaviors.  In this study, Project SEARCH played a key role in shifting coworker perceptions of youth with ID from initially stigmatic reactions toward workplace acceptance.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act: The Kansas State Plan

Susan Weidenbach

Ms. Weidenbach will provide a brief overview of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and will detail changes in the service delivery of workforce services as described in the WIOA State Plan.