March 2011

Southeast TACE Region IV

TACE Talks Transition 
Monthly Transition Information from the Southeast TACE


Upcoming TACE Topics

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 Webinar Strand: Looking Forward - Innovations in Transition

Target Audience: Leadership & Counselors 

Started in February 2011

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


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.


Autism & Employment Learning Community Series

Target Audience: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Area Directors

Starting in April 2011

Information, tools, and tips to communicate, interact, and support individuals with autism to reach integrated, competitive employment goals. 


Archives Available!

TACE 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



How Can You Establish a Climate that is Excited about Serving Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities



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



Flexible Workplaces Benefit Everyone, Especially Persons with Disabilities



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

Upcoming Training Events

TASH Webinar Series: Building Inclusive High School Communities [PDF]
March 2, 9, 23, 30 and April 6, 13th, 2011

3:00-4:30 PM ET

This webinar series provides an interactive and engaging look at today's pressing issues, including: supports and opportunities that enhance self-advocacy, differentiated instruction and universal design for learning, youth engagement, relationship building and many more.


NDCPD Webinar: Social Competence for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders [PDF]

March 16, 2011

2:30-4:30 PM ET

Cost: $30 per site

This session will begin with an overview the importance of social competence for individuals on the spectrum. Strategies to teach social competence to individuals on the spectrum as well as means of assessing skills acquisition will also be provided. The emphasis will be on practical information that can be applied across settings.


What Would "Better" Diagnosis of ASDs Look Like? DSM-5 and Beyond Webinar
Hosted by AUCD's Autism Special Interest Group

March 18, 2011

4:00-5:00 PM ET

Cost: None

Due to the variability in ASDs, inexperienced or ill-informed clinicians can make incorrect diagnoses, which can cause hardship for families and significant cost to children and adults with and without ASD. This presentation will address how research in ASD has attempted to address this and other issues by moving in several different directions, using the newly-proposed DSM-5 criteria as a framework.


Lights, Camera, Action! Using Video-Based Instruction to Increase Independence of Individuals with Disabilities in Employment Settings Webinar

April 1, 2011

1:00-2:30 PM ET

Cost: $50 APSE Members/$100 Non-members

The purpose of this webinar is to provide an overview of how to use video technology to support individuals with disabilities in employment settings. This presentation offers practitioners the "nuts and bolts" tools necessary for creating and implementing video-based prompting systems in supported employment settings.


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 4, 11, 18, 25 and May 2, 9, 2011

3:00-4:30 PM ET

Cost: Members $75/session, $405/series; Nonmembers $115/session, $621/series

This six-session series on Discovery will provide educators, adult service personnel and family members with the critical information necessary to facilitate discovery for persons with significant disabilities.  

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 9-11, 2011

Atlanta, GA

Conference presenters and panelists include experts in the field of communication intervention research and related fields with diverse perspectives and methodologies.

June 14-16, 2011

Seattle, WA


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.

Other Training Opportunities
The Social Security Administration maintains a Webinar Archives, which even allows users to sign up and receive information when new webinars are available.

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 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 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 enjoy the information-packed March for summertime transition tips in April!

Are you accessing the Portals?

The Portals for the TACE Transition Services are an exciting resource - are you using them? If not, 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 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: 
Thanks to Kirk G. Hall, VR Transition Administrator in Tallahassee, Florida for this month's tips on preparing individuals to transition into post-secondary education (PSE) and to develop their support network for employment in their chosen field. According to Kirk, this information is provided to VR Counselors in the STW Guidelines and Best Practices, New Counselor Training and their Annual Transition Training.


(1)  Obtain waivers for professionals.  Have a waiver in place so that you (counselor) can discuss issues or needs with the PSE site's disability services office, provide assistance, and get ongoing feedback for all your students. (This is one of the easiest things a counselor can do to make their life easier.  Engaging in shared support of a person reinforces those services that will enable them to be successful.  Professionals can keep each other informed about progress and alert the others when a problem arises.)


(2)  Apply for financial aid and comparable services early (beyond FAFSA).


(3)  Counseling staff should obtain evaluations that not only determine eligibility, but provide information needed by PSE sites to provide accommodations (avoid the retest request).


(4)  Tour the campus to become familiar with the layout, identify needs and address concerns.


(5)  Structure class schedules to take advantage of resources (labs, instructor office hours, peer supports, etc.).


(6)  Assess Independent Living and Transportation needs so training can be provided or resources are in place prior to referral (Centers for Independent Living, etc.).


Some of the preparation or services that should occur in high school include:

(1)  Develop work and social skills:

ˇ        Paid work experience for summer or evening hours (indicator of employment and independent living success post-high school)

ˇ        Community-based work experiences (evaluate for accommodations and rehab technology)

ˇ        Referral to volunteer agency for community service matched to vocational goal (résumé, reference, technology, etc.)

ˇ        Encourage participation in clubs/activities for social skill development (one good friend significantly lowers the chance of teen suicide)

ˇ        Youth leadership opportunities

ˇ        Career connections through the local Career and Service Center (One-Stop)


(2)  Access professional mentors or coaches.


(3)  Provide guidance for education matching strengths that offers different employment options, is in demand, and pays a living wage. 


(4)  Counsel regarding social media (used by employers to hire and as a network to obtain employment).


(5)  Educate on how choices regarding one's body (piercing, tattoos, personal safety, etc.) impact options for employment.


(6)  Endorse activities that help the person to be involved and make connections in the community.  Networking remains the most common way that employment is obtained.


Thanks for the great tips, Kirk! 


Transition Innovation:

The Social Security Administration's Youth Transition Demonstration Projects [PDF]  

This article, authored by Thomas Fraker and Anu Rangarajan and published in the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, provides an overview of the YTD projects, evaluation design, potential barriers that youth with disabilities face in transitioning to adulthood, and the framework underlying the YTD projects' efforts to reduce these barriers.


Barriers identified include:

ˇ        Low expectations about working

ˇ        Lack of access to employment services and work experiences

ˇ        Gaps in services

ˇ        Uncoordinated transition to adult services

ˇ        Concerns about access to health and social services

ˇ        Social Security-related disincentives to work

ˇ        Lack of knowledge about the impact of wages on benefits 


The high costs of unsuccessful transitions to adulthood include:

ˇ        Long-term dependency and lifelong poverty for individuals with disabilities

ˇ        Financial constrictions for families as they struggle to provide long-term support to their adult child with a disability

ˇ        Strain on community organizations whose caseloads continue to grow

ˇ        Reduced production of goods and services when a large segment of the population is not productively employed

ˇ        Lower tax revenues

ˇ        Greater criminal activity

ˇ        Higher rates of incarceration


According to the authors, the adolescent years are a key time to intervene "before youth become fully entrenched in dependency" (pg. 3).


YTD Intervention Components include:

ˇ        Work-based experiences

ˇ        Family supports

ˇ        Youth empowerment

ˇ        System linkages

ˇ        Social and health services

ˇ        SSA waivers to reduce disincentives to employment

ˇ        Benefits counseling


(Source: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)


The Social Security Administration's Youth Transition Demonstration Projects: Evaluation Design Report [PDF]

Anu Rangarajan, Thomas Fraker, Todd Honeycutt, Arif Mamun, John Martinez, Bonnie O'Day, and David Wittenburg describe the evaluation design for the YTD projects.

(Source: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.) 


The Social Security Administration's Youth Transition Demonstration Projects: Profiles of the Random Assignment Projects [PDF]

This 2008 report authored by John Martinez, Michelle S. Manno, Peter Baird, Thomas Fraker, Todd Honeycutt, Arif Mamun, Bonnie O'Day, and Anu Rangarajan, profiles six YTD projects (Bronx, New York; four counties in Colorado; Erie County, New York; Miami-Dade County, Florida; Montgomery County, Maryland; and 19 counties in West Virginia).

(Source: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)

Customized Employment Example: 
Written by Ellen Condon, Director of the Rural Institute Transition and Employment Projects 
Patrick shovelling manure into wheelbarrow

"Patrick moved to a large home in the spring of 2009. He lives with another young man who also has a label of autism, and is supported by a staff managed by a contracted Developmental Disabilities provider agency.  I got the opportunity to get to know Patrick and his support team when they asked for my assistance to create employment for him."


"Patrick wasn't someone I could ask, 'What would you like to do for work?' and get an informative answer.  A question that abstract, if asked, probably wouldn't have gotten any response at all.  Patrick's team members, including his family, didn't have a clear picture of what kind of job would work for him, either. Patrick had a few work experiences while he was in high school, performing cleaning and recycling.  And at home he had enjoyed crushing soda cans and turning them in at the recycling center for money."


"Patrick wasn't going to be 'competitive' in employment, meaning that he wouldn't do well applying for job openings and being screened against other applicants and the demands of the position.  However, we knew he could make a contribution to an employer if we could negotiate a position in a job site that was well-matched to his needs."


"Our first step was to determine what a 'well-matched job site' was for Patrick.  I spent time with Patrick at his new home, getting familiar with his typical routine, observing him working on chores and academics.  I talked to his parents and other people who knew him well.  I learned the strategies that his support staff used to help him be successful during the day and I went on outings in the community with him and his staff.  I was observing how he did things and what environments and activities were motivating to him and allowed him to be successful."


"All of these activities were for the purpose of getting a clear picture of what the characteristics of a good job environment would look like for him.  What type of interaction on the job site would be best? How would the tasks flow? What time of day would work best?  What type of tasks would he be most successful at? Where would he be most motivated to work?  What supports would need to be in place? I was not assessing or judging his performance to determine if he was 'ready to work'.  I began with the assumption that everyone is ready to make a contribution and to work.  What I needed to know was: under what conditions would he be at his best, most productive, motivated and engaged, and what contributions could he make to a prospective employer."


"As I gathered stories and information and added my own observations I summarized what I had learned in a document called the Vocational Profile. Patrick's team (his family, contracted DD provider staff, his DD case manager, and his Quality Improvement Specialist from DD) reviewed it and helped add or edit the information until it was an accurate representation of who Patrick was at his best."


"Our next step was to meet as a team and consolidate the information from the Profile into a blueprint for the job that would be developed and negotiated on his behalf." Read more.
This toolkit from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy guides users through five key steps toward a federal agency becoming a model employer of people with disabilities: Training, Creating a Welcoming Environment, Recruitment, Hiring and Retention.  
Rising Expectations: The Developmental Disabilities Act Revisited was recently released by the National Council on Disabilities in preparation for the reauthorization of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. According to the report, people with DD continue to wait for services in the community, services vary from state to state, the DD system is fragmented, and perceptions about people with DD are outdated in our country.
A Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) Report: The Status of the Medicaid Infrastructure Grants Program as of 12/31/09 [PDF] describes the key activities and program outputs of Medicaid Infrastructure Grants made by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to states with the goal of improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
Changing the Odds for Students: Spotlight on Kingsborough College [PDF] describes how Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn has improved student success. Perhaps colleges in your area can implement the strategies, which include increasing student supports and improving student persistence and graduation rates by raising expectations, improving the use of institutional data to inform decisions, creating a high-level coordination body and shifting to more flexible practices to allocate resources.
Developing and Evaluating Educational Programs for Students with Autism by Caroline Magyar, Ph.D., associate professor of Pediatrics at URMC's Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, guides educators in creating, evaluating and modifying programs to fit the needs of their students and the skills of their staff. Dr. Magyar believes the best programs for children with autism are those that are always evolving to meet their needs.
Growing and Sustaining Parent Engagement: A Toolkit for Parents and Community Partners [PDF], developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy, in partnership with First 5LA, helps support and sustain families' involvement in decisions about themselves, their children, services, and their communities. It provides how to's for implementing three powerful strategies communities can use to maintain and grow parent engagement work that is already underway.  

Legislation/National News: 

Three "Transitioning towards Excellence & Achievement in Mobility (TEAM)" bills have been introduced in Congress by Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS):


The TEAM Education Act (H.R. 602) seeks to amend the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to facilitate the transition of children with disabilities to adulthood.  The bill would require Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to begin including transition planning at age 14, allows the State Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) Agency to participate in the IEP and transition planning team for students expected to be eligible for adult I/DD services, and provides funding to Local Educational Agencies to pilot the hiring of transition services coordinators.


The TEAM Empowerment Act (H.R. 603) seeks to amend the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 to provide assistance to States for development and implementation of an individual transition plan for each transition-age individual with a developmental disability, with the goal of successfully transitioning youth with significant disabilities from high school into meaningful employment and post-secondary education opportunities.


The TEAM-Employment Act (H.R. 604) would amend the Rehabilitation Act to realign preferred outcomes for individuals with significant disabilities. The preferred outcomes are the attainment of integrated employment (at minimum or competitive wages, whichever is greater, with commensurate benefits) or post-secondary education for all individuals, including those with significant disabilities.  The bill also removes VR authority to determine an adult with significant disabilities ineligible to receive supported employment services.


Full Committee Hearing - Improving Employment Opportunities for People with Intellectual Disabilities [Video]

Watch or download the statements given by panelists before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on March 2, 2011. 


The White House Disability Budget Fact Sheet [PDF] outlines the President's disability budget priorities for fiscal year 2012.


The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that the Hillsboro, Oregon School District will allow a student to bring his trained autism service dog into his classroom. The highly trained service dog provides critical assistance to the student by recognizing when he is about to engage in behavior that might endanger him. 


Featured Web Sites:

Social Security Online offers a free, on-demand webinar that describes how to apply for Social Security disability benefits online. The presentation includes information about who can apply online, the Adult Disability Checklist, the Adult Disability Report and other documentation that must be submitted along with the application for benefits.


Griffin-Hammis Associates and their non-profit branch, the Center for Social Capital, just launched a new blog site for PodCasts 

showcasing original thinkers, practitioners, folks with disabilities, family members, advocates, policy makers, and others discussing topics of interest relating to the expansion and improvement of customized employment. In the coming months they plan to feature folks from diverse backgrounds speaking on related topics including organizational development, staff training, economic and social capital leveraging, community building, business ownership, amalgamated funding, Social Security, Veterans, autism, and policy.'s Other Resources Web page has information about other federal government websites that offer information about benefits, student loan programs, grants, staying healthy and many other subjects. For example, has comprehensive information about campus life and preparing and paying for college.


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

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

For questions about the Southeast TACE Transition Listserv or the monthly Southeast TACE Talks Transition, please contact Kim Brown at

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

Southeast TACE Logo