February 2011

Southeast TACE Region IV

TACE Talks Transition 
Monthly Transition Information from the Southeast TACE


Upcoming TACE Topics

Impact of How VRCs View Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities on their Caseload

February 24, 2011

2:00-3:00 PM EST

This webinar will examine the impact of how vocational rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) view individuals with significant disabilities on their caseload. Additionally, it will provide strategies the supervisor can implement to assist counselors in being successful. 


Approaches to Understanding What an Individual Has to Offer an Employer

March 31, 2011

2:00-3:00 PM EST

This webinar will address different approaches to understanding what an individual has to offer an employer. The expected outcome is that supervisors will understand how to use the discovery process to determine employment possibilities. 


Steps of Customized Job Development Whether Developing Job Yourself or Contracting with a CRP

May 5, 2011

2:00 -3:00 PM EST

The webinar will present the steps of customized job development and what a vocational rehabilitation (VR) supervisor needs to know whether their staff is job developing themselves or contracting with a community rehabilitation provider (CRP). 


Self-Employment as a Viable Option for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities

June 9, 2011

2:00-3:00 PM EST

The webinar will highlight self-employment as a viable option for individuals with the most significant disabilities.  The expected outcome of the webinar is that supervisors will understand when self-employment might be a good match for an individual with the most significant disability.


Transition Specialty Training

Offered in a course format with 50 participants (6 counselors from each state)

Session I: Customizing Employment, the strategy for employing all youth

Starting in January 2011 going every other week

Target Audience: Transition Counselor

Session II: Understanding the unique needs of Youth in Transition

Starting in February 2011 going every other week

Target Audience: Transition Counselor


Transition Webinar Strand: Looking Forward

Target Audience: Leadership & Counselors 

Started in January 2011

Post Secondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities; Get a Job or Building Assets?; And more! 


Transition Webinar Strand: Youth Partnerships that Make a Difference

Target Audience: Transition Counselors & Partners
Starting in March 2011

Secondary Education; Post Secondary; Social Security; Workforce Investment/Department of Labor; Medicaid; Department of Health and Human Services; Juvenile Justice; Community Recreation/Faith-Based Partnerships


Transition Webinar Strand: VR Transition Activities

Target Audience: Transition Counselors & Partners
Starting in May 2011

An overview of transition VR services in the country and best practices from three states.


Archives Available!

TACE Transition webinar recordings, handouts and PowerPoint slideshows are archived and available for you to access at your convenience.



Role of Work Experiences in Guiding Careers



Introduction to Assistive Technology



Understanding the Types of Work Experiences



Selecting the "Right" Work Experiences with Youth



Using Discovery vs. Evaluation to Learn from Work Experiences



Recruitment & Retention of Individuals with Disabilities and Multicultural Backgrounds into the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Profession



Postsecondary Education Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities 



Getting the Most out of Summer Transition Activities

Upcoming Training Events

February 17, 2011

1:30-3:00 PM EST

Cost: None

Workplace flexibility enables workers to meet the often-competing demands of work and personal life and serves as a strategic management tool for employers. This session will explore ways of using flexibility to enhance the workplace for all employees, including persons with disabilities.


Ready by 21 Webinar Series - Setting Bigger Goals: Postsecondary Success

February 22, 2011       
3:00-4:00 PM EST

Cost: None

This webinar will focus on the transition to adulthood and in particular, the importance of postsecondary completion as a critical goal for communities to focus on. 


April 1-2, 2011
Washington, DC
Celebrating its 11th year, this national conference is designed to offer a broad range of information and resources to individuals, families and caregivers, faith-based organizations, educators, and other professionals impacted by disability.

April 21, 2011

1:30-3:00 PM EST

Cost: None

Learn how leading Fortune 1000 companies are working to include disability-owned businesses in their supply chain.
5th Annual Secondary Transition State Planning Institute
May 17-20, 2011
Charlotte, NC
Cost: None
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) will
host its 2011 "Annual Secondary Transition State Planning Institute."

June 16, 2011

1:30-3:00 PM EST

Cost: None



Be sure to check the TACE Events page 

for the most up-to-date training announcements.


Good afternoon - welcome to the monthly electronic Southeast TACE Talks Transition. Here you will find the latest information about transition, employment for people with disabilities, and relevant legislation. We'll also tell you about upcoming training sessions and introduce you to exciting new web sites.


We encourage you to share innovative transition practices happening in your community or state. Send an email to Kim Brown at brown@ruralinstitute.umt.edu and she'll schedule a telephone interview with you at your convenience to learn more about what you are doing. The information will be written up and shared in a future TACE Talks Transition and on the TACE Transition Services web site.


Please forward this TACE Talks Transition to agency staff, teachers, parents, individuals with disabilities, and anyone else you think might find the information useful. Invite them to subscribe by joining the Southeast TACE Transition Listserv. To subscribe, they simply send an email to brown@ruralinstitute.umt.edu and type "subscribe transition" in the subject line. Or they can subscribe by visiting the Southeast TACE Transition Services web site  and following the Transition E-Mail-List link. We'll take it from there!    

And remember to visit the TACE Transition web site regularly to learn about current events in the world of transition.

We hope you find a wealth of useful resources in the February TTT!

Transition Portals Are Live!

The Portals for the TACE Transition Services are open! To start using this exciting resource, visit the TACE Transition Services web site.  In the "Login For" section on the left-hand side of your screen, select "Counselor" or "Coordinator." This will take you to the "Login to MyTACE Account" page. You will use your MyTACE Account to register for available events, seek applicable credit, and access your specialized portal - Transition Services Counselor or Coordinator. 


Attended a TACE Webinar? You may already have created a MyTACE Account. If you have a MyTACE Account, email

tacesoutheast@law.syr.edu and request to join the TACE Transition Network.

If you don't already have a MyTACE account, follow the instructions to "Create a New MyTACE Account" and also apply for Portal access.

Counselor Tips: 
February's tips come to us from Abby Lindman Cooper of Kennedy Douglas Consulting. We are pleased to share with you excerpts from Steps to Asset Building for Individuals with Disabilities: Asset Building and Vocational Rehabilitation [PDF]


Asset building occurs on a wide array of levels, and it is impacted by a host of factors ranging from individual choices, to resources available, to public policy. The same rules apply for individuals with disabilities, but frequently they are more restricted by public policy and have had fewer options due to dependence on public benefits. The steps below are meant to convey a conduit for Vocational Rehabilitation counselors (VRCs) to lay the foundation for economic self-sufficiency through vocational counseling. The role of public rehabilitation is to assist people in "obtaining or maintaining employment", not to assist individuals with economic self-sufficiency. However, every VRC knows employment does not magically address all problems. It does not break down the array of barriers poor and disabled individuals face: poor credit, limited or no assets, falling victim to predatory lending, a lack of rudimentary understanding of how public benefits are connected, inadequate medical insurance and poor money management skills. The above factors impact a person's ability to "obtain and maintain" employment. If economic self-sufficiency is not viewed as a component of public rehabilitation's job, then many consumers will, at best, remain working poor and recidivism will remain high.


Money is a tricky subject in our society and it is one of the last taboos. Often people do not feel comfortable discussing money. There are many judgments connected to money. Respect, power, connections, and having value are all associated with having money. Frequently, the reverse is associated with not having money. There may be a tendency on the part of the customer to be less than forthcoming until trust is established. Trust is established over time by sharing all information in a non-judgmental manner. Our non-judgmental language will be a significant factor.


Step One: Carefully think about the language that is used. It is essential that VRCs think about how to frame the conversation. Consumers must think about their relationship to money. How concerned is the consumer about losing what he or she has in order to gain more in the long run? What strategies can be implemented to make them feel secure? Most people form their emotional perspective to money over time and will change that perspective with new experiences.


Step Two: Help the person understand what he or she needs to know. Money is an abstract concept. To realize this, one need only to look at the collapse of the banking industry. Money becomes concrete when one can secure goods with it, i.e., purchasing or saving for future purchases.


Many individuals with cognitive disabilities have not had enough control over money to embrace this concept. I once worked with an individual who quit his job and next month went to his bank to withdraw some money. The bank teller told him he didn't have any money in his account. He told the teller his Social Security check was always deposited each month for doing nothing, so why wasn't his paycheck? No one had helped this man understand the connection between work and money. Based on his experiences, his perspective made sense. Helping someone understand what he or she wants and needs to know about money is necessary.


Step Three: Integrate financial expectations into the plan. VRCs are good problem solvers. They help consumers figure out employment options that highlight contributions and minimize challenges. The focus of counseling and guidance is stronger in the arena of helping consumers obtain jobs that fit their skills and abilities than meeting consumers' financial aspirations.


There is a common perspective that everyone starts somewhere, so a low wage is acceptable because it is a starting point. When consumers have more complexities in securing employment, then frequently the focus on wage expectation is not even discussed. Because public dollars support the services of public rehabilitation it is reasonable to demand that the employment secured lay the foundation for economic self-sufficiency. VRCs need to connect the planning process with not only the financial information needed but with financial expectations.


Finally, prior to closure, the VRC should meet with consumers to review their financial expectations. Help them think through what systems are vital to continue achieving economic self-sufficiency. Provide the consumer a suggested list of community resources that are available to assist consumers.


Transition Innovation:

Pennsylvania's Education Law Center recently released Transition to Adult Life for Students with Disabilities [PDF]. This seven-page guide gives a brief overview of the Transition process. Although the guide is specific to Pennsylvania, it includes general information that residents of all states may find helpful. 


The Forum for Youth Investment has created a policy brief calling attention to the problem of collaboration overload and suggesting ways to tackle it. Don't Stop Collaborating - Just Stop Creating New Collaboratives [PDF] includes examples of how other communities and states are taking steps to align their collaboratives.


The Autism Speaks Transition Tool Kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. It may be downloaded for free.


Evaluating a GPS-Based Transportation Device to Support Independent Bus Travel by People With Intellectual Disability shares research findings that when using a GPS-based system providing visual and auditory prompts, participants were significantly more successful at completing a bus route than were people using a map and verbal directions.


Pictello is a simple way for people of all ages and skill levels to create talking photo albums and talking books on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Each page in a Pictello Story can contain a picture, up to five lines of text, and a recorded sound or text-to-speech using high-quality voices.


The Institute for Community Inclusion in Boston released the new Research to Practice Brief Vocational Rehabilitation Services Received by Youth with Autism: Are they Associated with an Employment Outcome? This Research to Practice Brief explores the differences in VR services received by youth with autism compared to youth with other disabilities. Researchers identify services that are most closely associated with an employment outcome for youth with autism, and determine what percentage of people from this group are receiving these successful services. As increasing numbers of youth with autism are accessing VR services, it is important to understand how they are using these services and the relationship of these services to outcomes and costs.

On the Job: Stories from Youth with Disabilities-Waisman Center [PDF] features youth with developmental disabilities who began working in competitive-wage, community-based jobs early (between the ages of 16-18) and who used natural supports, as well as some paid supports at first, to be successful. It includes the community, employer, school, and family factors that led to the youths' success on the job.

Georgetown University's Center on Education and Workforce Development released Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018. The report answers critical questions such as: When will the jobs come back? Where will the jobs be? Which states? Which industries? Which occupations? What postsecondary certificates and degrees will be required? Will the education system be able to keep up? How much will it cost to fund the postsecondary education America needs?

Patrick Boyle of The Forum for Youth Investment wrote a blog called Youth Jobs: Can the United States Recover? about a new international study on youth employment conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The study delivers evidence about effective education, training and employment approaches here and abroad - but does the United States have the resources and will to expand what we do well and import effective practices from elsewhere? 
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) recently released their report entitled Segregated and Exploited: The Failure of the Disability Service System to Provide Quality Work [PDF]The report provides a short history of sheltered work policies, highlights problems related to low wages and poor implementation and oversight of Federal laws, and offers recommendations for policies to promote integrated work at higher wages and increase labor protections and enforcement. 
Disability Advocate Dale DiLeo blogs about his resignation from the Alliance for Full Participation because of AFP's and other national disability agencies' commitment to "full participation" while advocating for pre-vocational services and workshops.
The Department of Labor's One Stop Career Centers and a public-private partnership between the Internal Revenue Service and a number of tax software companies have made free, online tax filing available to an estimated 70 percent of all taxpayers.
The Social Security Administration has released What's New in 2011? guidance for 2011 regarding changes to the benefits rates and maximum earnings that apply to Work Incentives provisions.

Legislation/National News: 

According to 2008 and 2009 US Census Data [PDF], about 35% of people with disabilities were employed compared with 72% of people without a disability. North Dakota had the highest employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities, whereas the District of Columbia, Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia had the lowest employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities. In 2009, 19.5 million people, or 9.9 percent of the non-institutionalized population aged 16 to 64, had a disability.  


APSE announces the launch of the first national certification program for employment support professionals, the National APSE Certification Institute (NACI).  NACI will develop and validate a national examination for employment support professionals in 2011.  NACI will seek national accreditation via ICE early in 2012. APSE invites professionals who provide employment services to people with disabilities directly and/or who serve in a managerial, teaching or supporting role to complete a survey that will be used to help develop the examination.  The survey lists an outline of the knowledge and skills that employment specialists use in serving potential and current employees with disabilities and their employers.

Featured Web Sites:

Quality Mall offers a wealth of free information about person-centered supports for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. New Quality Mall products include: Accessibility Comes Standard At First-Of-Its-Kind Dorm; Disability Friendly Colleges; and College Guide for Students with Disabilities 


The Cornell University ILR School Employment and Disability Institute conducts research and provides continuing education and technical assistance on many aspects of disability in the workplace.


Do you have specific topics you would like to see addressed in a future
TACE Talks Transition?  Are you doing something innovative in your state that you would like to share with others in the region? Do you have examples of successful student work experiences that might inspire your colleagues? Let us know - we want to hear from you! Contact Kim Brown at brown@ruralinstitute.umt.edu.

If you have any questions about TACE or would like to request technical assistance, please contact Civa Shumpert at norciva@gmail.com.

For questions about the Southeast TACE Transition Listserv or the monthly Southeast TACE Talks Transition, please contact Kim Brown at brown@ruralinstitute.umt.edu

The Southeast TACE Transition Team
Meet the Southeast TACE Transition Team
(click on the person's name to learn more about him or her):
Chip Kenney, Project Director & Principal Investigator
Jill Houghton, Deputy Director
Steffany Stevens, Training Coordinator & Administrative Specialist
Norciva (Civa) Shumpert, TACE Transition Consultant
About the Southeast TACE Talks Transition:
This free service is being sponsored by Southeast TACE, the Technical Assistance & Continuing Education (TACE) Center for Region IV. TACE is a partnership of academic, governmental, and community expertise that provides technical assistance and continuing education activities to meet the training and organizational development needs of State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and their partners in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Southeast TACE supports VR, Community Rehabilitation Programs, Centers for Independent Living, Client Assistance Programs, and other agencies to enhance employment outcomes, independent functioning, independent living and quality of life for persons with disabilities throughout the eight states in the Southeast Region IV.
To unsubscribe to the Southeast TACE Transition Listserv, use the SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of this message or send an email with "unsubscribe transition" in the "Subject" line to brown@ruralinstitute.umt.edu.

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