LEAN Event Report Out: Vocational Rehabilitation Referral, Eligibility and Planning Process, Department of Human Services, Rehabilitation Services was held July 22-25, 2013. VR Referal Report Out
May 6-9, 2013 TN State Transition Team attended the NSTTAC Capacity Building Institute and created a state plan for improving transition and post-school outcomes for Tennessee students with disabilities. See who was on the team and read the plan here .2013 TN Transition Assessment & Planning Report [PDF]
View a presentation [PDF] from March 1, 2013 Tennessee Employment Consortium meeting that explains how these grants work together.
October 2, 2012: AIDD Provides $930,000 in Funding for Employment First Initiatives
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Community Living (ACL), Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) has awarded two grants Projects of National Significance to fund two employment initiatives. These funds will be used to work towards improving employment outcomes and increasing competitive integrated employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Details of the awards are as follows:
Projects of National Significance:
Partnerships in Employment Systems Change
The grantee award recipients are:
- Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. (Nashville, TN)
- Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education (Anchorage, AK)
The grantees have been awarded a total of $732,000 for this initiative. These grants are in addition to the six grants that were awarded in September 2011 for the Partnerships in Employment Systems Change Initiative. By funding additional entities, AIDD can continue to work toward improving systems to support competitive integrated employment outcomes for individuals with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), with a focus on youth and young adults.
These projects will focus on systems change to prioritize employment as the first and preferred option for youth and young adults with I/DD. In Tennessee, the grant will fund and sustain the TennesseeWorks partnership to promote systems change efforts leading to the development of policies that support competitive employment in integrated settings for youth and young adults with I/DD. Read an overview of what was submitted here TennesseeWorks Abstract FINAL For Distribution [one page PDF]. AS the figure below depicts, there are many opportunities for collaboration as we plan to implement the grant in Tennessee:As with the current Partnerships in Employment Systems Change grants, AIDD will ensure the success of the grantees’ efforts by supporting them with additional data collection, technical assistance, and evaluation activities.
September 14, 2012: DIDD conference to launch initiative to increase persons in supported employment and decrease persons in sub-minimum wage, segregated and enclave settings. The agenda and presentations are linked below:
Transforming from Facility-Based Services to Competitive, Integrated Employment: Making the Business Case for Model Conversion by Nancy Gurney, President, Opportunity Services
Building Systems Capacity to Achieve Integrated Employment
Developing a Workforce to Implement Customized Employment Strategies
by Michael Callahan, President, Marc Gold & Associates
The Role & Responsibilities of State Government in Promoting Employment First: Strategies and Opportunities for Driving State Systems-Change by Richard Luecking, President, TransCen
The Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program Serena Lowe, Senior Policy Advisor at the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy
July 2012: Office of Disability Employment Policy and Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Partner on Employment First. Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, and Sharon Lewis, commissioner of the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, have signed a memorandum of agreement. Together, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (who fund the DEI grant that TNDoLWD is implementing) and AIDD, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (who fund the UT Boling Center and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center UCEDDs), will work to expand and promote integrated employment as the first employment option for individuals with significant, including intellectual and other developmental, disabilities.
May 2012: The 2012 TN Disability MegaConference had an overarching theme of “Sharing Our Strengths: Tools for Empowerment and Change” which we’ve organized into five tracks: The Program at a Glance is available in Word HERE and in Acrobat Reader HERE. Sessions related to Employment or Transition included:
- Careers in the Arts [doc]
- Assistive Technology 1 [pdf] Assistive Technology 2 [pdf]
- Best Practice in Action [pptx]
- We Have Choices [pdf] We Have Choices [doc]
- Look! I’m in College [pdf]
- Empowering Exceptional Individuals [pdf]
- Paving the Way Towards Employment [ppt]
- Unraveling the Mystery of Conservatorships & Special Needs Trusts [pdf]
- Student Directed IEPs [pptx]
- The Self Advocacy Movement in TN [pptx]
- Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications [ppt]
- Career Coach [ppt]
- FUTURE: College for Young Adults with Disabilities [ppt]
- Critical Issues in Public Policy [pptx]
- A case study: My Assistive Technology Path [pptx]
March 2012: Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Selected as a Grantee for the Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program. Download a presentation on Tennessee’s plan here. Integrated employment refers to jobs held by people with disabilities in typical workplace settings where the majority of persons employed are not persons with disabilities, they earn at least minimum wage and they are paid directly by the employer.
- Background on Employment First.
- Learn more about the four states selected for ODEP’s Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program
- Learn more about ODEP’s Integrated Employment Toolkit, which offers information on the topic for a variety of audiences and a video highlighting integrated employment success stories
- Learn more about Customized Employment, an individualized approach to job development that can assist in advancing integrated employment
January 2012: Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Employment Challenge
October 2011: Disability Employment Initiative led by TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Read an article that explains how this initiative should lead“Toward a More Inclusive Workforce” p.13- 14
An Overview of the TN Disability Employment Initiative: [PDF]
September 2011: Nashville Community Conversation to address this question, “What can we do as a community to increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities in Nashville?” The meeting yielded plans to address identified needs.
Launching Inclusive Efforts Through Community Conversations: A practical guide for families, services providers, and communities [PDF] from University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Community Conversation Resources: Info and tools on how to conduct one in your area. University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
2010: Employment of Persons with Disabilities added as an area of emphasis at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.
2001: Tennessee Employment Consortium led by TN DIDD
Local Area Employment Consortia led by the Center for Literacy, Employment and Education, Corporate Connections