August 2012

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TACE Talks Transition 
Monthly Transition Information from the Southeast TACE

Upcoming TACE Transition Topics 

Establishing Linkages to Promote the Recruitment and Hiring of Candidates with Disabilities
September 13, 2012
1:00-2:00 PM ET
Recruiting and hiring qualified employees with disabilities require a multi-faceted strategy. To be most effective, employers and federal contractors should become familiar with resources both at the national and local levels. This webinar will highlight the Vocational Rehabilitation Program as an important resource listed in the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) proposed revised regulations of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended and released on December 9, 2011.
Kindly note that to register, you must create an account with Southeast ADA Center. Your MYTACE account information will not work for this webinar.

TACE Training Archives

2010, 2011 and 2012 TACE webinar recordings, handouts and PowerPoint slideshows are archived and available for you to access at your convenience.


TACE Learning Communities

Job Development Exchange

The Exchange focuses on what a counselor needs to know, whether they are buying job development services or doing it themselves. 


Helping Your Team Improve Employment Outcomes for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities-Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

This four-webinar series will provide
VR Counselors and Area Directors with information, tools, and tips to communicate, interact, and support individuals with TBI to reach integrated, competitive employment goals.

Upcoming Training Events

Barriers and Supports for Research Use

SEDL's Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (KTER) is hosting this free online workshop. Participants may login and "attend" whenever it fits their schedule. The workshop presents ideas and strategies to promote the use of high quality research information to support employment of people with disabilities. Barriers and how to address them are also discussed. This has been pre-approved by CRCC for 6 CRC-CEUs.


Career Development for Youth and Adults with Disabilities

September 11-24, 2012

Cost: $149

This 2-week, 18-hour web training focuses on developing career paths through innovative vocational assessment, career development skills, and vocational profiling for youth and adults with disabilities.


Employment First: Making it a Reality

September 13, 2012

2:00-3:00 PM ET

Laura Owens, APSE Executive Director, will explain the "Employment First" movement, take a look at what other states are doing, and explore what we can be doing in states to move this grassroots agenda forward.


The Health Care Law 101

September 13, 2012

12:30-1:30 PM ET

The HHS Partnership Center is hosting a series of interactive webinars to discuss the benefits and provisions of the Affordable Care Act. All webinars are open to the public and include a question and answer session.


Getting Started: Developing Inclusive College Opportunities

September 17, 2012

2:00-3:30 PM ET

An overview of the issues involved in developing inclusive postsecondary educational opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. 


Customized Employment

Sept.17-Oct.15, 2012

Cost: $100

This course will take a closer look at customized employment and how it can facilitate employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.


Reasonable Accommodation & the Americans with Disabilities Act

September 20, 2012

Miami, Florida

Cost: $199

Commissioner Chai Feldblum and Commissioner Victoria Lipnic from the EEOC Headquarters in Washington D.C. will discuss the basics of reasonable accommodation and other related topics including essential job functions, leave and modified work schedules as reasonable accommodations, and the interactive process. This special topic seminar is especially beneficial to all HR and EEO practitioners, disability professionals, and labor law attorneys.


Customized Supported Self-Employment

Sept.24-Dec.17, 2012

Cost: $250

This online course is being offered by Virginia Commonwealth University's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in collaboration with Griffin-Hammis and Associates. Discussion groups will be led by nationally known experts in self-employment from Griffin-Hammis and Associates.


State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with ID

November 29-30, 2012

Fairfax, Virginia

The 2012 State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities will be held on the campus of George Mason University and include topic strands such as Leadership and Sustainability, Promoting Systemic Change, Program Development and Evaluation, Transition to College, and Employment.


USBLN® 15th Annual Conference & Expo

October 1-4, 2012

Orlando, Florida

This conference brings corporate, government, disability-owned businesses and BLN affiliates together to create workplaces, marketplaces, and supply chains where people with disabilities are fully included as professionals, customers and entrepreneurs.


Achieving Inclusion Across the Globe

October 25-28, 2012

Washington, D.C.

The Arc partners with Inclusion International to bring you this national convention and international forum on living in the community, leadership, self-advocacy and creating change with an international twist.



Be sure to check the TACE Events page

for the most up-to-date training announcements. 






Welcome to the monthly electronic Southeast TACE Talks Transition! For our end-of-the-summer issue, we've gathered transition-related information from across the country to help you guide the young people you serve successfully into adulthood. 


We encourage you to let us know about your creative 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.
Meet Your Colleagues:

Southeast TACE is pleased to introduce Janell Turner. Janell is a Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator with the Kentucky Office for the Blind. One of the duties that she has is as the Statewide Transition Coordinator for the agency. Prior to holding this position, she was a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the Kentucky Office for the Blind for 9˝ years. Janell has over 13 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities, including psychiatric and visual disabilities. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Dayton, and a Master of Science in Education Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky. She has been a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor since 2005.

Regional Spotlight:

 Kentucky Collaborates for Summertime Transition Services

Based on an interview with Janell Turner, MS, CRC, Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator, Kentucky Office for the Blind

The Kentucky Office for the Blind and the Kentucky School for the Blind have joined forces to offer eligible students two summer programs to assist them in their transition journeys. The Insight Program, now in its sixth year, was developed for students who might be interested in pursuing post-secondary education after exiting high school. Insight takes place over nine days on the campus of Morehead State University, where students live in the dormitories, eat in the cafeteria, participate in campus activities, take workshops to learn what college is like, and audit an actual college course. In addition, they are provided with orientation and mobility services so they can learn to navigate the campus independently. Invited speakers tell the students about Disability Support Services, Office for the Blind programs, and other supports they might need to succeed in higher education. Students may also apply to attend a second year of Insight, during which they audit two college courses.


The Insight Program can accept a maximum of 20 students due to funding and staff limitations. Typical enrollment has been around 15; this year there were 35 applicants for the available slots. Priority is given to older students and to those who have already attended once. Applications are accepted from high school students who are completing their sophomore year through those completing their senior year. Participation is free for the selected students.


Insight uses a braided funding model. The Kentucky School for the Blind provides some funding and staff, and a charitable foundation, the Office for the Blind, the Big East Education Cooperative, and Morehead State provide staff.


Program administrators are starting to track former Insight participants and collect outcome information. Thus far, most students are choosing to pursue post-secondary education after they finish high school, and they say Insight was a helpful part of their decision-making process. Some have decided they don't want to continue on to college after completing the program...figuring this out early can save time, money and frustration in the long run.


For students who want to explore employment, the Kentucky Office for the Blind, in conjunction with the Kentucky School for the Blind and the Louisville Zoo, offers the Summer Work Program. Interested students must apply for the program by submitting a résumé and completing a job interview with School for the Blind staff. Up to ten students are selected each summer for the ten-day program. In the mornings, they attend classes to learn about soft skills, job interviews, how to keep jobs, and more. In the afternoons, they work at the Louisville Zoo doing all kinds of different jobs based on their interests and abilities. For example, they feed the animals, take tickets from visitors, clear the grounds, operate the 3-D ride, and work in the gift shop. They are considered zoo employees and must wear a uniform, observe the dress code, and follow all other workplace rules and expectations.


The School for the Blind funds most of the Summer Work Program, provides staff as job coaches, and offers on-campus housing to students from outside the Louisville area. The Office for the Blind pays the students' wages of $7.25 per hour for 36-37 hours total. Program size is limited by the available funding. This is the second year of working with the zoo - last year a couple of students were offered jobs for the rest of summer.


Through collaboration and innovation, Kentucky Office for the Blind is finding ways to maximize summertime transition preparation opportunities for the young people it serves. For more information, please contact Janell Turner. 



In July 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued the report Students with Disabilities: Better Federal Coordination Could Lessen Challenges in the Transition from High School [PDF]. GAO found that after high school, young adults must apply and establish eligibility for programs administered by multiple federal agencies. There is often poor coordination between these agencies, making it difficult for young people and their families to navigate the system, and they may face delays in service and waiting lists if programs are full. Students and their families may lack sufficient information or awareness of the options available after high school, and they may leave high school inadequately prepared for the transition due, in part, to limited opportunities to engage in work experiences and receive vocational and life skills training while in school. GAO recommends that Education, HHS, Labor, and SSA "develop an interagency transition strategy that addresses (1) operating toward common outcome goals for transitioning youth; (2) increasing awareness of available transition services; and (3) assessing the effectiveness of their coordination efforts."


The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center recently added new annotated bibliographies on current transition topics to the NSTTAC website. Areas covered include Academics and Transition-Focused Skills, Transition Planning for Adjudicated Youth, Comprehensive Transition Programs, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Youth and Transition Planning, Mental Health and Transition Planning, and Transition Curricula.  


The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is accepting applications for its Governing Board. NYLN is a youth-led organization that works to build power among people with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 28 years old. Examples of board responsibilities include serving on at least one committee; representing NYLN in coalitions and at conferences; building collaboration with other organizations; recruiting new members; and finding ways for NYLN to be active in local communities. Board members attend an average of two meetings (online or by phone) a month. Applicants must be between 14 and 28 years old; have a disability; live in the United States or its territories; have a passion for social justice; and believe in and practice full-inclusion.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announces the brief video What's Disability to Me? [Video], featuring Mr. Bernard Baker, a person with disabilities who describes how he fully participates in life. The video might be useful when educating stakeholders about community inclusion and independent living.


The U.S. Census Bureau has released Americans With Disabilities: 2010 [PDF]. The report finds that nearly 1 in 5 Americans have a disability, with more than half reporting the disability as "severe." Adults with severe disabilities were about twice as likely as adults with non-severe disabilities to experience long-term poverty.


The National Disability Institute is offering a free six-webinar Financial Wellness series. Each 90-minute webinar will begin at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on select Wednesdays starting on September 5th. The series will address personal finances, taxes and public benefits as they relate to people living with multiple sclerosis, their families and caregivers. However, the topics would be of interest to all people with disabilities.


APSE chapters in our region have a number of upcoming events:

October 10-11:North Carolina APSE Fall Training Event [PDF]

October 10-12: Georgia APSE 17th Statewide Conference

October 12: Alabama APSE's Preparing for the Future [PDF]

December 5-7: Kentucky APSE's Supported Employment Works! [PDF]

June 19-21, 2013: Alabama APSE's Annual Conference [PDF]


The Southeast TACE website offers a wealth of Customized Employment resources, including:

The Winter/Spring 2012 Impact newsletter [PDF] from The Institute on Community Integration & Research and Training Center on Community Living features articles on the career needs of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, social networking to build careers, customizing job development, supported self-employment, and peer training to achieve employment goals.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded nearly $35 million in grants to public housing authorities, resident associations and non-profit organizations to promote jobs and self-sufficiency for public housing residents.  The funding will also connect the elderly and people with disabilities with services to support independent living. All eight states in the Southeast TACE Region IV received funding. 
Job Development Tips:

Many times a youth seeking a job is limited by the knowledge of the professional providing career development. Review Expanding Job Options: Potential Computer-Related Employment for Adults with Down Syndrome [PDF] to expand your "employment vision" of youth with Down Syndrome. The article will enrich your knowledge of what computer skills to look for while "getting to know" (Discovery) the job seeker. It will also offer ways to categorize computer skills and how these skills are used in the workplace.


In Computer Usage by Young Individuals with Down Syndrome: An Exploratory Study [PDF], you will learn about research showing that children and young adults with Down syndrome have a fair level of computer-related skills and may not be using those skills in their existing jobs. Are there better ways to understand how young adults with Down syndrome interact with computers? Could these "undiscovered" technical skills be transferred to the workplace and lead to better quality jobs with higher pay?


Understanding the Computer Skills of Adult Expert Users with Down Syndrome: An Exploratory Study [PDF] shares the results of a study showing that older, more experienced users with Down syndrome have the ability to use computers for a number of basic workplace tasks such as word processing, data entry, and communication. As you conduct Discovery with job seekers, look for computer skills (observe, ask questions, conduct targeted analyses, etc.) and consider how these can expand the individual's employment opportunities.


National News: 

On August 23, 2012, the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency, released a report calling for a six-year phase-out of section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. This provision allows employers to receive a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor to pay less than federal minimum wage to workers with disabilities for work performed. "The 14(c) program should be phased-out gradually as part of a systems change effort that enhances existing resources and creates new mechanisms for supporting individuals in obtaining integrated employment and other non-work services," writes Jonathan Young, chairman of the NCD, in a letter to the president that accompanies the report. "NCD recommends a phase-out of the 14(c) program rather than immediate repeal because those who have been in the program for many years need time to transition to a supported employment environment."  


The NCD report includes a number of specific recommendations addressing such areas as:

  • Congressional reauthorization, development and implementation of an expanded, integrated benefits planning and assistance program
  • Coordination and expansion of peer support efforts to both families and individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities transitioning from the 14(c) programs to integrated employment
  • Alignment of state reimbursement rates to providers to reflect a bias in favor of integrated settings
  • Exploration of performance-based payment systems for employment supports
  • Expansion of access to customized employment and job carving services
  • Development of a strong working collaboration between the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency, ID/DD service-provision agency and State Education Authority
  • Rulemaking by the Department of Education to prohibit school districts from writing IEP goals that will place students in settings paying a subminimum wage
  • Prohibition on using sheltered workshops for transition activities or for skill assessments completed during a public school transition program
  • Disallowance of work in a sheltered workshop or for subminimum wage as a successful placement when collecting data about post-school outcomes  

During the site visits conducted to prepare the report, NCD identified two key indicators that an individual was more likely to choose competitive employment. The first indicator was age - younger people with disabilities were more likely to advocate for employment at or above the minimum wage. The second indicator was whether or not they came from an inclusive K-12 school environment. Individuals who had access to the general curriculum and integrated classrooms were more likely to say they wanted integrated employment (and their parents were more likely to support this desire).


Another important finding from the site visits was that "an individual's desire to work at all, and at what wage, was influenced heavily by the expectations that were set for that individual beginning in childhood and all the way through school. Participation in inclusive settings should include both academic work and opportunities to take on their share of classroom chores and responsibilities along with their nondisabled peers. It is important to note, however, it is not helpful for students with disabilities to be assigned chores and work in place of academics, nor be assigned work and chores not typically assigned to non-disabled peers. All of this will lead to an expectation that meaningful work in an inclusive environment is possible and part of each student's future" (p.19).


The U.S. Business Leadership Network, a national business-to-business network, issued a statement calling for the end of subminimum wage by for-profit employers. 

Post-Secondary Education:

The August 2012 Think College E-News is now available.


Postsecondary education is still a worthwhile investment. The College Advantage: Weathering the Economic Storm, a study recently released by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, shows that in 2012, "seven percent of graduates with a bachelor degree or better are still unemployed and another 14 percent are underemployed in jobs beneath their skill levels. By comparison, the unemployment rate for new high school graduates is 24 percent and 42 percent are underemployed."


The August 23, 2012 NCWD/Youth blog Entering the Real World: Transitioning from College to the Workforce provides guidance to youth making the transition from college into employment.


Student Loans, For-Profit Colleges, and Traditional Colleges: Some Things You Should Know Before Borrowing [PDF] is a 4-page fact sheet designed to help prospective college students become better informed about student loans.

Social Security:

The Ticket to Work program can help Social Security disability beneficiaries (SSI/SSDI) ages 18 through 64 prepare for, find and maintain employment. Social Security's Find Help tool connects beneficiaries with organizations to help them achieve their work goals.


The August 23, 2012 issue of the DOL News Brief from the U.S. Department of Labor shares the story of one young woman who "Discovered Her Ticket to Work": "The odds of finding a job were stacked against her, Jennifer Lortie acknowledged. 'I graduated from college during the recession, I had little experience and I used a wheelchair. I had a lot of strikes against me,' she said. But with a desire to find employment helping others, the 28-year-old began her search by looking for support from federal programs. Lortie qualified for Social Security disability insurance and sought career assistance from an eastern Connecticut job center designated as a 'Ticket to Work Employment Network.' That led to job resume preparation and employment placement by a counselor whose program was funded through the Workforce Investment Act. Lortie now works 22 hours a week as an assistant technology specialist. Eventually, Lortie said, she hopes to go back to school for an advanced degree in social work." 


The Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning from the Family Center on Technology and Disability is available in both English and Spanish.The guide provides an overview of transition planning and assistive technology (AT) and offers guidance on how to make a successful transition with AT.


A number of accessibility features are built into Apple products. For example, Text to Speech technology can read aloud a selection of text or an entire document, and VoiceOver allows users to hear a spoken description of what's onscreen and control their computer using only the keyboard (no mouse required). According to Apple, VoiceOver supports more than 40 different models of refreshable braille displays.


Microsoft also includes accessibility features in their products. Their website offers an Accessibility Guide for Educators, which includes information on types of impairments, disabilities, and specific accessibility solutions, as well as how to select assistive technology for students.


Dell products include accessibility features such as Text-to-Speech software, magnifying screens and touch screen monitors.


The Family Center on Technology and Disability and PACER Center have released a fully-captioned assistive technology awareness video series, AT in Action [Video]. In the first video, viewers meet Sam Graves, a young man with cerebral palsy who uses AT to succeed in college and as a blogger.


The Office of Disability Employment Policy is hosting and archiving a series of webcasts, webinars and podcasts on accessible technologies and employment for people with disabilities. Recent topics include Accessibility and Emerging Technology - Keys to Improving the Employment of People with Disabilities and Accessible Technology's Impact on the Employment of People with Cognitive and Developmental Disabilities.


Web Sites:

The Green Mountain Self-Advocates have developed Get the Life You Want: A Transition Toolbox.This toolbox helps self-advocates, support people, and families plan for the transition from high school to adulthood. The checklists cover topics such as voting, relationships, job-searching, transportation, and assistive technology.


Find Youth Info houses resources related to transition-age youth, including materials addressing the challenges young people may face, ideas about how to engage youth in the community, and information about effective transition programs. 


MI Future Builder is Michigan's interactive website designed to help families navigate the transition process. Please note - the site takes time to load.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site provides an overview of developmental milestones parents can watch for in their children, as well as fact sheets on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Intellectual Disability and more.


The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY) website features brief fact sheets in English and Spanish on specific disabilities. Each fact sheet defines the disability, describes its characteristics, offers tips for parents and teachers, and provides links to related information and resources.


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.

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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