November 2011

Southeast TACE Logo 

TACE Talks Transition 
Monthly Transition Information from the Southeast TACE

Upcoming TACE Transition Topics 

Building Employer Networks

December 16, 2011

1:00-3:00 PM ET

This webinar will focus on the connection between networking and increased employment outcomes.


Employer Networks: An Overview of Various Types of Employer Networks

January 11, 2012

2:00-4:00 PM ET

Join this session to learn strategies to tap into or to build employer networks to assist in job development.


An Overview of Asset Development

January 24, 2012

1:00-3:00 PM ET

This session will explain what asset development means, why it is important and what is occurring on a national level within the disability field regarding asset development.


Autism & Employment Learning Community Series 

Target Audience: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Area Directors

Started in May 2011 Information, tools, and tips to communicate, interact, and support individuals with autism to reach integrated, competitive employment goals.



Job Development Exchange

Target Audience: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Community Rehabilitation Providers

Started in July 2011

The Exchange will focus on what a counselor needs to know, whether they are buying job development services or doing it themselves. The Exchange launched with an Online Toolkit for Job Placement and Employment Professionals and a series of webinars, to be followed by an evolving menu of timely resources, tools and interactive learning opportunities.


Improving Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Mental Health Disabilities Learning Community Series

Target Audience: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors and Area Directors

Started in October 2011

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






TACE Training Archives

2010 and 2011 TACE webinar recordings, handouts and PowerPoint slideshows are archived and available for you to access at your convenience.


Upcoming Training Events

Job Coaching Web Course

Nov.30-Dec.13, 2011

Cost: $149

This two-week course covers effective job design, instructional support strategies, and the development of natural and co-worker supports.


Age Appropriate Transition Assessment and Discovery

December 6, 2011

3:00 - 4:45 pm EST

Discovery is a person centered planning approach that tries to reveal the individual at their best, their unique talents and to find out their ideal conditions for employment, the environment that fits best for them and their support needs. There are opportunities for Discovery within the school day and strategies for collecting this information by the transition team and weaving it into the Age Appropriate Transition Assessment.


Youth Work Experiences on Public Land Webinar

December 6, 2011

12:00-1:00 PM ET

The webinar will be hosted by representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of the Interior and will feature a discussion of expanding meaningful work and learning opportunities for low-income youth and young adults on Federally-managed public lands.


Social Competence Webinar Series - Part 3: Play and Friendship

December 12, 2011

3:00-4:00 PM ET

Sponsored by the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), this webinar shares how ASD affects play and the formation of friendships, while giving supports to help develop play and friendship skills.


Social Competence Webinar Series - Part 4: Strategies for Social Competence and Other Relationships

December 14, 2011

3:00-4:00 PM ET

Sponsored by the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), this webinar will share strategies to help build social competence. Also, participants will learn about relationship building keys for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their parents, siblings, and possible romantic relationships.


Wildwood Programs: Increasing Independence by Providing Effective Employment Services to People with ASD Webinar
December 14, 2011

3:00-4:00 PM ET

SEDL and partners on the National Advisory Panel of the Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with ASD project have implemented a rigorous process for identifying programs that help increase competitive, long-term employment for people with ASD. Wildwood Programs was designated as an effective program in the summer of 2011. Located in Latham, New York, this program serves people with ASD needing employment-related supports. Wildwood Programs works collaboratively with individuals, families and businesses to increase individuals' independence and integration into the community.


JAN Webcast: Understanding and Accommodating Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Workplace

December 15, 2011

2:00-3:00 PM ET

Presenters will discuss situations and practical solutions for challenging workplace issues related to autism spectrum disorders.


Effective Public Policy Advocacy for Advancing Employment

December 15, 2011

12:00-1:00 PM ET

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

Participants at this webinar will learn about strategies for effective public policy advocacy - and how to do it on a shoestring.


Autism Works National Conference

March 6-7, 2012

St. Louis, Missouri



Council for Exceptional Children Conference

April 11-14, 2012

Denver, Colorado

Registration is now open for the 2012 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Convention & Expo. The conference will feature a number of strands, including "Transition as an Evolving Field: Our Continuing Successes" and "New Developments in Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders."


2012 Disability Policy Seminar

April 23-25, 2012

Washington, DC

Save the date! 


Be sure to check the TACE Events page 

for the most up-to-date training announcements.











Other Learning Opportunities

AAIDD Webinar Archive: Inclusion and Employment

Listen to the insights of Dr. William Kiernan, Director of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Dr. David Mank, Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability at Indiana University, on the movement to competitive, integrated employment.


In October, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) hosted four 30-minute webinars in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The webinars, including The Workforce Recruitment Program: Tapping the Talent of Students and Graduates with Disabilities, are archived and available for viewing.

Transition Portals

Have you accessed your Portal today?

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.


Southeast TACE Logo


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.


To make the TACE Talks Transition as useful as possible, we encourage you to let us know about your innovative local practices, transition tips for VR Counselors, and Customized Employment success stories. Send an email to Kim Brown at and she'll schedule a telephone interview with you 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.

Counselor Tips: 

In September 2011, the U.S. Dept. of Education provided revised guidance on secondary transition. Among the clarifications:


"The IEP for a child with a disability must, no later than when the child turns 16 (younger if appropriate), include:

(1) measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and
(2) the transition services needed in reaching those goals.

Because employment is a distinct activity from the areas related to training and education, each student's IEP must include a separate postsecondary goal in the area of employment."

"The Summary of Performance (SOP) is to provide the child with a summary of the child's academic achievement and functional performance in order to assist the child to transition beyond high school. The SOP must include recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting his or her postsecondary goals. The IDEA does not otherwise specify the information that must be included in the SOP; rather, state and local officials have the flexibility to determine the appropriate content to be included in a child's SOP, based on the child's individual needs and postsecondary goals."


"Section 614(c)(5) of the IDEA does not require the LEA to include in the SOP the documentation necessary to determine a child's eligibility for another program or service, such as the State VR Services program, or the child's need for accommodations in college or in other postsecondary educational settings. However, the SOP may include information that may assist another program to determine a student's eligibility for services or accommodations. For example, section 102(a)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, requires the State VR Services program to use information submitted by education officials to assist in making eligibility determinations for students with disabilities. The SOP is one of the educational records that may be used to provide information to determine a student's eligibility for VR services."

"In addition to providing information that may be used to determine a student's eligibility for VR services, the SOP serves as a functional document that provides the VR Services program with information describing a student's vocational, employment, academic and personal achievements as well as vocational and employment supports needed by the student."

"If determined to be eligible to receive VR services, the student, with the assistance of a VR counselor, develops an individualized plan for employment (IPE) to achieve a specific employment outcome. An SOP may facilitate the development of a meaningful IPE by providing information that describes the student's secondary and postsecondary goals, career interests, levels of academic performance, need for reasonable accommodations for work, and the functional levels of the student's social and independent living skills, at the time of completion of secondary education."

"In general, an SOP that informs the State VR Services program of the student's academic and vocational functional performance may minimize delays in the transition service delivery system and better prepare the student for a successful career."

(Source: U.S. Department of Education Q and A: Questions and Answers on Secondary Transition)

Transition Innovation:

NCWD/Youth's Practice Brief Engaging Youth in Work Experiences is now available online. This brief describes the strategies and resources used by several successful youth programs to engage youth, including youth with disabilities, in work experiences. The work experiences described in this brief include internships, summer jobs, youth-run businesses and entrepreneurship, service projects and volunteer work, and part-time jobs.


The Mathematica Policy Research Center for Studying Disability Policy recently released The Youth Transition Demonstration: Interim Findings and Lessons on Program Implementation [PDF], an Issue Brief on the Social Security Administration's Youth Transition Demonstration. These six demonstration projects are designed to help youth with disabilities find jobs and reduce their dependency on federal disability benefits. Intervention components include individualized work-based experiences, youth empowerment, family involvement, system linkages, SSA waivers and benefits, and counseling.


Cornell's Employment and Disability Institute produced a documentary film titled What Works?, which addresses how young adults with disabilities can successfully compete for jobs. Job skills training, work experience and administrative support were found to be important for transitioning to employment.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded the University of Rochester's Institute for Innovative Transition a $2.35 million grant to enhance collaboration among the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC), New York State Education Department and its Office of Special Education, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), and the Institute for Innovative Transition at the University of Rochester. The project aims to dramatically increase the percentage of young people with developmental and intellectual disabilities who obtain competitive employment that earns them at least minimum wage.


Emerging Leaders Northwest (ELNW) is a youth-led resource center for young people with disabilities ages 13-30. The center provides training and resources on leadership, independence, graduating from high school and going on to college, self-advocacy, employment skills and living a healthy lifestyle.


Setting Higher Employment Expectations for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities, an Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston "Data Note," examined data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 and concluded that setting higher expectations in high school and providing adequate support services are critical steps to improving employment and social inclusion goals for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities.



The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development recently announced their on-line Youth Transition, Career, and Vocational Services Master's degree program. A federal grant has made tuition awards available to support 94% of a student's tuition for the first year of courses (spring, summer, and fall semesters). This program meets the Transition Guideposts of the U.S. Department of Labor National Collaborative on Workforce & Disability for Youth (NCWD-Youth,) and the CEC Advanced Knowledge and Skills Base for Transition Specialists (2008) which are recognized by most states. For more information about the program or how to apply for a tuition award, please email Bridget Green


Freddie Mac, a leading mortgage finance company, and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) are partnering to offer 2-3 internships for recent college graduates on the autism spectrum. Applicants must have a background in statistics, mathematics, economics, computer science or information technology.


Mathematica's June 2011 Issue Brief Effective Case Management: Key Elements and Practices from the Field [PDF] shares examples of key components of effective case management. Although the focus is on the Workforce system, a number of the concepts are applicable to Vocational Rehabilitation and other systems. Some of the topics addressed include: social media such as Facebook as a tool to connect and follow up on youth; posting employment workshops, job search tips and other employment-related information on social media platforms; effective interviewing strategies; developing rapport; ensuring confidentiality; active listening; and motivating, supporting, and empowering the people we serve.


The 2011 Disability Statistics Compendium [PDF] is now available. The report, produced by The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire, in collaboration with the Rehabilitation, Research, and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics at Hunter College, New York, funded by the U.S. National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, includes statistics related to Population and Prevalence, Employment, Poverty, Earnings, Health Insurance Coverage, Social Security Administration Programs, Medicaid and Medicare, Special Education, Vocational Rehabilitation and more.


Governor Rick Scott of Florida recently issued Executive Order 11-161 creating the Governor's Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. The commission will recommend ways to close the gap between workers with and without disabilities.


In her October Disability is Natural Newsletter [PDF], Kathie Snow explains "What is Inclusion? What's Not?"

Customized & Supported Employment:  

On September 30, 2011, the Office of Disability Employment Policy released the Advancing Workplace Flexibility Policy and Practices Forum synthesis report [PDF]. The forum, held on January 24, 2011, was designed to develop concrete recommendations for the advancement of workplace flexibility policy and practices for all employees. One of the forum goals was to expand the current consideration of workplace flexibility beyond simply "time and place" (when and where a task is performed) to include the way actual job tasks are performed. This may involve job task negotiation, such as through Customized Employment.


Key findings from the forum include:

  • Many workers do not have access to workplace flexibility.
  • Workplace flexibility arrangements must be seen as a strategy that may benefit all workers.
  • Successful workplace flexibility requires a supportive workplace culture.
  • Misconceptions of workplace flexibility (e.g., too expensive, employees will take unfair advantage, workers won't be available when needed, etc.) need to be addressed.
  • Workplace flexibility assessments can help employers select appropriate strategies.
  • Open communication between employers and employees is essential.
  • Flexible options are fully integrated into the work environment.
  • Reasonable accommodation(s) may or may not involve workplace flexibility arrangements.
  • Strategies exist that can help employers and employees better understand the mutual benefits of workplace flexibility.
  • Workplace flexibility can facilitate the recruitment and hiring of people with complex employment situations.



How DBTAC Can Help VR Improve Employment Outcomes is a toolkit to assist Vocational Rehabilitation professionals who work with employers and business to advance employment for people with disabilities. It includes training materials on the Americans with Disabilities Act.


The Employment First manual covers 40 key elements needed to support Employment First. It includes a self-assessment tool and an appendix of sample policies from around the U.S. The paperback version is available for $30; the online version (a download) is $25.


The Power of Digital Inclusion: Technology's Impact on Employment and Opportunities for People with Disabilities released by the National Council on Disability examines the importance of social media and other information technologies in connecting people to job opportunities. The report includes a review of six digital technologies that have "the potential to enhance social engagement; increase opportunities for workplace participation; heighten employment prospects; and/or create new employment opportunities for people with disabilities."


The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) recently launched its Integrated Employment Toolkit. The Toolkit offers a collection of resources, reports, papers, policies, fact sheets, case studies, and discussion guides to increase capacity and understanding about the value and potential of integrated employment. Specific sections target Employers, Community Employment Agencies, Individuals & Family Members, Policymakers and Researchers.


The Riot! has issued Part 2 of their two-part series on employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In this issue, they talk about what state leaders, policy makers, advocates and others all over the country are doing to promote real jobs.


In October, NCWD/Youth completed a three-part blog series on Youth and Registered Apprenticeships. In November, the blog featured Engaging Employers: Moving From a Handshake to Hands-On Opportunities for Youth. This post stresses the importance of building relationships with employers, especially in fiscally challenging times.


On November 15, 2011, Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) reintroduced the Achieve a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 1872; H.R. 3423). This legislation is designed to encourage and assist individuals with disabilities and their families to set funds aside to maintain health, independence and quality of life. The funds supplement but do not replace benefits provided through private insurance, Medicaid, Social Security and other sources.

National News: 

On October 31, 2011, the National Council on Disability offered the report

National Disability Policy: A Progress Report to President Obama and Congressional leadership. This report assesses the current state of community living, education and employment for people with disabilities in America and offers recommendations for reforms. 
Post-Secondary Education: 

The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) has released Navigating College: A Handbook on Self-Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults [PDF]. This guide covers accommodations, independent living, health and safety, self-advocacy, and social issues.

Social Security:

The Social Security Administration has announced a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The increase will begin with the January 2012 benefit payments. Increased payments for people on SSI will begin on December 30, 2011.  


The Job Accommodation Network ENews features a sampling of apps for mobile devices. Several that may benefit young adults with disabilities include:


Proloquo2Go, iTunes, $189.99: This is a full service augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app. It enables users to select from thousands of symbols to serve as a text-to-speech communication device.

iConverse, iTunes, $9.99: A simpler AAC app that comes with six basic everyday needs: Drink, Food, Bathroom, Sick, Break, and Help. In addition to the basics, you can program your own symbolism.

iCommunicate, iTunes, $49.99: This app has features that enable individuals with speech impairments to communicate through the database's symbols or from photos on the user's camera roll. You can create story boards or visual cues that turn the text/symbols into audio output.

Locabulary, iTunes, Free!: An AAC-type app with a database of moods, foods, and assistance symbols. It also has built-in GPS-enabled categories that are specific to the user's current location.

iSign, iTunes, $4.99: This is a reference, tutorial program that has over 800 American Sign Language gestures.

Community Sidekick, iTunes, $0.99: The app tracks a person's location by sending out an email every so often to assigned contacts, letting them know exact coordinates of the individual. Once the individual is safe at home, he/she ends the app, which sends out a final email alerting the contacts that he/she has made it home.


Featured Web Sites: offers a variety of resources for individuals with disabilities who are interested in starting a small business.


ODEP's Website provides links to resources on accessible and assistive technology in the workplace.


Look Back, Plan Forward from the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability, serves as an online person-centered planning tool for individuals with disabilities and people who are aging. It provides a place where individuals can capture their life stories to help others understand their history, values, preferences and support needs.


The U.S. Small Business Administration web site offers tips and resources for starting a business, including making the decision; writing a business plan; obtaining financing; learning about applicable business laws and regulations; and determining what forms will most likely be needed.


On their web site, the Epilepsy Foundation addresses employment-related topics including finding employment, safety sensitive jobs, disclosing epilepsy and frequently asked questions.


Please forward this TACE Talks Transition to others. Invite them to subscribe by joining the Southeast TACE Transition Listserv. To join the listserv, they simply visit the Southeast TACE Transition Services web site and follow the Transition E-Mail-List link . We'll take it from there!  
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
Chip Kenney, Project Director & Principal Investigator
Jill Houghton, Deputy Director
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.
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