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Final Issue - November 2014
MSD Network News Flash
Improving Employment Outcomes for Individuals with the Most Significant Disabilities
In This Issue
TACE News
Announcements
Employment
National News
PSE
Social Security
Technology
Websites
TACE Archives

2010-2014 TACE webinar recordings, handouts and PowerPoint slideshows are archived and available for you to access at your convenience.

Other Learning Opportunities

Mental Health and Vocational Rehabilitation Collaboration: Supported Employment

December 1, 2014

11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET

This session will highlight how SE programs and their local VR offices can collaborate. In addition, information regarding the larger statewide roll out of IPS-SE between VR and MH will be presented.

 

Be the Future: TASH Annual Conference

December 3-5, 2014

Washington, DC

For more than 38 years, the TASH Conference has impacted the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders in the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life.

 

Job Coaching and Workplace Supports

December 3-16, 2014

Cost: $159

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

 

Rural Job Development - Supported Employment

December 12, 2014

11:00 AM-12:00 PM ET

This session will focus on approaching job development with an eye toward social capital, economic development and even self-employment as an option.

 

Supported Employment for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury

Jan.19 - Feb.16, 2015

Cost: $125

This course will offer participants an overview of TBI and the supported employment literature; share suggestions on specific strategies to use to get to know the job seeker; present possible workplace supports with an emphasis on compensatory memory strategies; and offer insight into ways to provide pro-active job retention services.

 

Customized Employment

Feb.2 - March 2, 2015

Cost: $125

This course will take a closer look at customized employment and how it can facilitate employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. It will also review strategies for collaboration and braiding funding to support the needs of an individual with a disability in order to be successfully employed in the community.

 

Griffin Hammis Associates is offering Relias Learning online asynchronous training courses on Customized Wage Employment, Social Security Work Incentives, and Self-Employment.

 

Think College is hosting a series of webinars on a variety of topics related to post-secondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. The next session will be on November 24, 2014.

 

The Job Accommodation Network 2014/2015 Webcast Training Series schedule is now available. The free webcasts will cover a variety of topics, including Inclusive Workplaces/Disclosure, Current Events in Job Accommodation, Mentoring, and more.

 

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors' Use of Evidenced-Based Practices Involving Motivational Interviewing [Video] is archived and available for viewing. Watch the video to learn 1) What is motivational interviewing and its evidence base? 2) How has MI been used in VR? 3) What evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of MI in VR service delivery? and 4) What is the role of practice guidelines in the use of MI in VR service delivery?

 

  Chair on dock beside lake with autumn leaves in background

 

To all our Southeast TACE Serving Individuals with Most Significant Disabilities Network News Flash (MSD Network News Flash) subscribers, this is the final issue of the News Flash. Please see the TACE News article below for more information. Thank you for your interest in the monthly web blast and for your support of the Southeast TACE over the past five years. We wish you all the very best in your continued efforts to promote employment for people with disabilities, and we look forward to the day when our paths will cross again as colleagues, coworkers and collaborators.

  

 

TACE News: 

In this season of thanks, the Southeast TACE team would like to express our gratitude for everyone who has been a part of making the TACE a success. Sadly, federal funding for regional TACE centers ended effective September 30, 2014. Therefore, this will be the final MSD Network News Flash. All other TACE activities, including the networks, email distribution lists, webinars, etc. have been completed. Although the Southeast TACE website is "live" for now, content will eventually be distributed to states and to New Editions, which was awarded the Rehabilitation Services Administration clearinghouse contract.

 

We are proud of the work the Southeast TACE staff and you, our partners, have accomplished over the past five years. TACE staff were focused in their efforts and addressed the strongest needs they saw regionally and nationally. Toward this end, they conducted a needs assessment and identified two major areas of challenge: Employment of People with the Most Significant Disabilities and Transition. Then they devoted themselves to providing technical assistance and continuing education activities around these areas of challenge, striving to deliver services that would meet the strategic goals and program performance needs of state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and community partners. To summarize a few of the highlights:

  • Hosted monthly National VR Transition Network webinars and the network website. The information was specifically geared to VR, rather than to educators or families.
  • Disseminated findings from work in the southeast at regional and national conferences.
  • Hosted over 200 webinars.
  • Established projects around Customized Employment, which finally gave states and agencies a viable option to work with people with the most significant disabilities. The goal had been to extend this practice throughout the region.
  • In the area of Transition, the emphasis was on employment. TACE staff brought in subject matter experts from around the country on internship and other employment-related topics.
  • Introduced Asset Development and Financial Literacy to the country as key topics in the employment of people with disabilities. Although TACE staff didn't get far with this project, they were able to pilot it in a couple of states and show what an important part asset development and financial literacy are of VR services. It takes benefits planning to a whole new level.
  • Created, facilitated, and maintained networks (Transition, Job Development, Fiscal Operations, etc.) for collaboration and coordination.
  • Created, facilitated and maintained an active Community of Practice (COP) with agencies using Customized Employment strategies.
  • Both the networks and the COP provided forums for agencies to receive technical assistance in groups, share information, and bring in subject matter experts when needed.
  • Because of the Southeast TACE team's strong commitment to evaluate our center's impact on state agencies, staff encouraged those agencies to continually evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of technical assistance, continuing education, etc.

Our TACE received a "no-cost extension" to fund wrap-up activities, particularly around Customized Employment. Staff members are currently working with programs to sustain the network and Customized Employment (CE) projects. Lots of time and effort went into the CE projects, so we are pushing to evaluate their effectiveness and identify ways for them to continue.

 

By following a business model of finding expertise where it already exists instead of building a big TACE staff, we have been fortunate to work with top-notch subject matter experts regionally and nationally. We have welcomed the opportunity to promote the Southeast's regional identity, both through facilitating connections within the region and through our visible efforts at the national level. We are thankful for your participation in the various TACE activities over the years, for your comments and critiques that encouraged us to continually improve and expand the services we offered, and for your commitment and dedication to helping people with disabilities achieve their dreams. It has been a great run!

 

Chip Kenney, Southeast TACE Project Director and Principle Investigator

 

Announcements: 

The Office of Disability Employment Policy's Campaign for Disability Employment announces the Who I Am public service announcements featuring nine people with disabilities sharing their diverse identities.  

 

Employment:

Employing People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is a recently released report from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). According to i4cp, the report "provides compelling data and inspiring success stories to showcase this talented pool of workers that are exceeding expectations in driving business results from companies that are household names." (Free registration is required to download the document.)

 

The 2014 National Study of Employers - Including the Talents of Employees with Disabilities [PDF] by the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management reviews workplace characteristics that promote inclusion of employees with disabilities, including: workplace flexibility, employee resource groups, and formal staffing plans.

 

Vermont Closed Workshops for People with Disabilities; What Happened Next? by Halle Stockton reports the findings of a PublicSource investigation into the after-effects of Vermont's sheltered workshop closures more than a decade ago.

 

Evolving Views on Disability Disclosure in the Workplace, a report from the Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission, discusses a number of issues related to workplace disability disclosure.

 

Thinking Outside the Employment Box: Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Share Their Self-Employment Success Stories [PDF] introduces readers to Iowa entrepreneurs who have found creative ways to leverage their skills, talents, abilities, resources, and social connections into creating their perfect job.

 

Getting a Job, Keeping a Job: Services and Supports That Promote Employment among People with Disabilities [Video], a September 2014 Mathematica Policy Research webinar, is archived and available for viewing. Presenters discussed:

  • Factors associated with achieving return-to-work milestones among SSDI beneficiaries
  • The effectiveness of programs by state vocational rehabilitation agencies
  • Services, supports, and strategies used by people with disabilities to find and keep work
  • Lessons learned that can inform the design of future programs to foster employment

Evidence-based Supported Employment for People with Severe Mental Illness: Past, Current, and Future Research by A. Luciano, A. R.E. Drake, G.R. Bond, et al (Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 40(1), 1-13) summarizes 20 years of research on individual placement and support, an evidence-based vocational rehabilitation intervention for people with severe mental illness. (Article abstract is free; the full text version may require a subscription or purchase.)

 

Employer-Recommended Strategies to Increase Opportunities for People with Disabilities by A.D. Henry, K. Petkauskos, J. Stanislawzyk, and J.Vogt (Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 41(3), 237-248) explores employers' perspectives to expanding employment among people with disabilities. (Article abstract is free; the full text version may require a subscription or purchase.)

 

 

National News:

The WIOA Resource Page provides information and resources for states, local areas, non-profits and other stakeholders to assist with implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

 

The Office of Disability Employment Policy has launched a web page for the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities. Visit the page to learn about committee meetings, reports and resources. The committee consists of both federal officials and private citizens from specific groups identified in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) legislation.

 

In October, the LEAD Center released Summary of Major Policies Included in Titles I and IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a policy brief summarizing major amendments to Titles I and IV of the Workforce Investment Act from a disability perspective.

 

The September 2014 LEAD On! quarterly e-newsletter includes articles about the WIOA, workplace flexibility, return-to-work strategies, and more.

 

In September 2014, Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, released Fulfilling the Promise: Overcoming Persistent Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency for People with Disabilities [PDF]. The report examines barriers people with disabilities face as they strive to work their way out of poverty.

 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy website houses a Workplace Flexibility Toolkit, which includes case studies, fact and tip sheets, issue briefs, reports, articles, websites, other toolkits, and frequently-asked questions.

 

The Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination recently released an issue brief [PDF] on the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The brief shares the background and current status of the bill.

 

The 2014 edition of the National Disability Policy: A Progress Report from the National Council on Disability focuses on seven key areas: the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, employment access and inclusion, subminimum wage, education outcomes, Medicaid managed care, mental health care, and data trends in disability policy.

 

Post-Secondary Education:

Your College Community: How People with Psychiatric Disabilities Can Make the Most of Their College Experience [PDF] addresses such topics as: mental wellbeing and stress management, living on or off campus, jobs and internships, and more.


Social Security:

In 2015, monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will increase by 1.7%. For Social Security beneficiaries, the increase will start in January; for SSI beneficiaries the increase will begin on December 31, 2014.


Technology:

To Siri, With Love is an article from The New York Times about a 13-year-old boy with autism who has become best friends with Siri, Apple's "intelligent personal assistant" on his iPhone.

 

Bridging Apps is a free newsletter from Easter Seals of Houston. The newsletter strives to bridge the gap between technology and people with disabilities.


Websites:

The U.S. Department of Labor's Clearinghouse for Labor Evaluation and Research has included a Disability Employment Policy topic area that "focuses on research determining which programs have been most effective at improving direct labor market outcomes such as employment and earnings; improving education and health status, which may affect a person's ability to work; and decreasing federal disability benefit receipt."

 

PEATworks.org is a web portal spearheaded by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. The site houses accessible technology tools and resources.


Please forward this MSD Network New Flash to agency staff, parents, individuals with disabilities, and anyone else you think might find the information useful.


About the Southeast TACE Serving Individuals with Most Significant Disabilities Network News Flash:

This free service has been sponsored by Southeast TACE, the Technical Assistance & Continuing Education (TACE) Center for Region IV. TACE was a partnership of academic, governmental, and community expertise that provided 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 supported 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.