The 20th Employment Supports Symposium

April 15th & 16th, 2020

Connecting Talent to Opportunity!


PhilaOnTheJob logo - connecting talent to opportunity

Symposium - Day 1

April 15th, 2020

Symposium Day-One At-A-Glance
May 22, 2019

Convene Cire Center
2929 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Picture of Carol Blessing
"Work is Everybody's Business"
~ Carol Blessing ~

Did you know that the unemployment rate of individuals with disabilities over the age of 16 is more than twice that of people without disability? Two thirds of these people say they would like to work. So what keeps people with disabilities from taking their rightful place in today's workforce? Join us for a discussion that will challenge you to "think about what you think about" when it comes to coral inclusion, employment, people with disabilities, and whose job it is to help close the unemployment gap. (PDF)

Welcome: 9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Keynote: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

“Work is Everybody’s Business!” The Depot Forum
Carol Blessing, LMSW

Morning Breakouts: 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Making Work Your Business: A Framework for Employment Planning & Support Huntington
Carol Blessing, LMSW

  • Our communities are missing something when people with disabilities are not there. Each of us, regardless of job title, holds a piece of the puzzle that leads to gainful employment for people with disabilities. This workshop builds on the Work is Everybody’s Business! discussion by introducing a planning approach called A Framework for Planning. In this interactive session, participants will learn and practice a series of tools that help point the direction to meaningful community building and employment opportunities. Spoiler alert: the tools you will learn to use have universal application! Come get your Framework for Planning “toolkit”!!  (PDF)   (WORD)

Successful Transition to Employment Baldwin
Diane Perry, PEAL Center
Panel: Elizabeth Lipp, Parent/Advocate; Nic Cuconati & David Perry, College Students

  • This presentation will focus on 2 successful transitions to employment.  You will hear from 2 young adults who will share their journey in finding and securing their current positions.  You will also hear from their parents how they navigated the systems and supports that are available.  This will be a panel presentation with an opportunity to interact and ask questions.

Work Incentives: Dealing with the Tough Questions About Employment Revolution Hub
Michael Walling

  • Conflicting information limits a person's decision to go to work and also imposes limits on what they think they can earn.  This presentation will provide the key facts of  how much an individual can earn without compromising entitlement to a Social Security benefit and Medicare, or eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. (PDF)

Discovery and Customized Employment Success! Diesel
Patti Trexler, CESP and Carol Holewinski, CESP, Penn-Mar

  • The presentation will provide examples of discovery activities and what strengths, abilities, and barriers can be identified throughout the process. The session provides an overview of discovery and job development leading to successful Customized Employment in the community. (PDF)  (WORD)

Zen Space Think!

Lunch on Your Own

After Lunch Panel Discussion 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.

Employment 1st Pennsylvania Updates and Perspectives Depot Forum
Kristin Ahrens, PA ODP; Shari Brightful, Philadelphia OVR; and others

  • Come learn what is happening to promote Employment 1st efforts both locally and regionally.

Full Afternoon Breakout: 2:15 – 4:30 p.m.

Building an Awesome Life: Work, Home, Love, & Fun! Propel
Kristen Mattei

  • What makes your own life awesome? How might opportunities for self-fulfillment differ for people with developmental disabilities? In what ways does our society impede on people’s basic rights such as responsibility, taking risks, making mistakes and falling in love? Join Kristen Mattei as we work collaboratively on tackling these, and other, complicated questions. From the science behind our needs and desires to the art of making friends, this workshop will explore the building blocks of supporting people on their journeys towards a more fulfilling life.  (PDF)  (WORD)

Early Afternoon Breakouts: 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Entrepreneur Think Tank! Revolution Hub

  • Join us during the Entrepreneur Think Thank session as we welcome a variety of local entrepreneurs to share information about their businesses. Our goal is to encourage and promote the idea of entrepreneurial sprit/self-employment as a way to generate income. This event will feature multiple entrepreneurs who will have a chance to speak with the audience regarding their backgrounds, objectives, business strategy and endeavors. Most importantly this is an opportunity for the entrepreneurs to engage with an audience to build their social capital and provide exposure for potential investors and partnerships. Audience participation is welcome and highly suggested!

Strategies for Developing Business Relationships and Engagement Propel
Stacy Kyle, AHEDD

  • This session will provide strategies for successfully connecting to hiring contacts; developing employer relationships that are based on meeting business needs; keeping companies engaged with your efforts; and appropriately responding to common objections and requests.

Together in Transition: Key Considerations for Student Success Diesel
Chelsea Lutts, SPIN, Inc.

  • Transition is an exciting, and often uncertain time for students and families navigating the adult service system and determining what’s next. While each student’s transition journey is unique, there are key considerations to make each transition a success. This session will focus the tools needed to foster a successful transition and post-graduation life for all students. Presenters will highlight how to best collaborate with all members of a student’s transition team and form a holistic transition plan. Let’s brainstorm how to make a student’s transition goals reality!  (PDF)  (WORD)

Late Afternoon Breakouts: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Social Media for Furthering One's Career Revolution Hub
Imani Barbarin

  • This session will delve into the ways in which the disability uses communities, finds jobs, and supports one another's work.  (PDF)  (WORD)

Taking Care of Ourselves So We Can Offer Our Very Best! Propel
Jessica Stover, MS, ATP

  • You wouldn’t let your phone battery continuously live at 10% “energy”… so why do we always seemingly do this to ourselves?  Join in for a time together to breathe, laugh, and learn how to reset (and recharge our own batteries) … We may even dance a little, too!

Cocktail Reception: 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

Painting with a Twist

...Continuing Education opportunities!

This Symposium may qualify for CEUs toward CESP Recertification. Please click HERE to learn more.
Additionally, Social Work CEUs are pending via Widener University Center for Social Work Education


An "Early Bird Rate" is in effect for the
FULL Symposium until April 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.
-- don't miss out on the savings!