Summit focuses on changing employment landscape for Tennesseans with disabilities

By: Rachael Jenkins

With the goal of sharing best practices and building community partnerships in order to improve employment outcomes for Tennesseans with disabilities, the TennesseeWorks Partnership is bringing together families, policymakers, service providers, employers, educators, and self-advocates for a one-day conference. This year’s Think Employment! Summit will be the fourth annual Employment Summit sponsored by the partnership, a systems change project funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

The Think Employment! Summit will be on Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Embassy Suites Cool Springs in Franklin, Tennessee from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Participants will choose from two tracks of informational sessions, one focusing on the policies, services, and progress in Tennessee, and the other providing interactive and hands-on experiences for self-advocates (including students from three local school districts), preparing them for their job search as well as competitive employment. The cost to attend the Summit is $50 for general admission and $25 for family members and self-advocates.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Anthony Ianni, a self-advocate working for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Ianni is well-known for sharing his inspirational story of overcoming adversity and spreading his anti-bullying message to youth across the country. Special guest Karen Lee, executive director of Seeking Equality, Empowerment, and Community for People with Developmental Disabilities (SEEC) will also share about the transformation of employment policy and implementation that has taken place in the state of Maryland.

Summit coordinators are looking forward to sharing best practices in competitive employment and network with youth, government leaders, families, and industry professionals. Get more information on the Think Employment! Summit and register online at

Last Updated: 8/19/2016 11:08:54 AM

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