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The 17th Employment Supports Symposium
Symposium Info

Networks for Training and Development, Inc., in conjunction with Philadelphia DBHIDS, proudly presents

The 17th Employment Supports Symposium: "A Time for Change: New Era, New Possibilities!"

May 23 & 24, 2017 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Ave., 4200 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131

Join us as we explore the many opportunities Employment 1st presents to us during this time of change.

Save the Date! (PDF) (WORD)

Download the Symposium Brochure (PDF)

Day One

Day One

May 23, 2017, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Registration / Continental Breakfast: 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Registration (Renaissance)
Continental Breakfast (Grand Salon)
Story Corner (Renaissance)

Stories generate excitement and can inspire action! Join us for an opportunity to share your stories in traditional and multimedia formats. Stories will be captured during the symposium and made available afterwards. Let’s inspire one another! Please make sure everyone involved is open to their story being shared.

Welcome / Opening (Versailles): 9:00 - 9:30 a.m.

Morning Breakout Sessions: 9:45 - 11:00 a.m.

“Developing Stellar Employment Programs” (Versailles)
Cesilee Coulson (Executive Director, Washington Initiative for Supported Employment - WISE)

With ongoing changes happening in the service system, now more than ever it is crucial for employment agencies to build and maintain extraordinary teams. Join us as we discuss how we market the work we do, support new employees, and retain quality staff to build a diverse range of career paths that enhance the services we provide.

Cesilee brings 20 years of experience in competitive integrated employment training and technical assistance to her position. At WISE, she assists with organizational transformation, employment systems change, and community capacity building. She designs and manages local, statewide and national projects to increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Most recently Cesilee was selected to serve on the Department of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for People with Disabilities.

“Everyone Works with Everyday Technology” (Merion)
Mike Marotta, ATP (President, Inclusive Technology Solutions, LLC)

So many technology tools are available today. Let’s explore ways we can use everyday technology to enable individuals of all abilities to obtain a job and remain employed. 

Mike is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional who has been providing direct services to individuals with all disabilities for over 27 years. As an evaluator, Mike works collaboratively with teams in all environments (school, workplace, and community) to effectively match the individual’s needs to technology supports.

“Partnerships to Promote Seamless Transition to Adulthood” (Gladwyne)
Dianne Malley (Transition Pathways, AJ Drexel Autism Inst., Drexel Univ.),
Kelly Carroll & Susan Schonfeld (Community Integrated Services - CIS),
Jane Cordero (School District of Philadelphia), &
Taryn Fogarty (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation - OVR)

Partnerships and collaborations can create successful transition experiences for students, but development of effective partnerships can be challenging! Join us as one group shares their experience in bringing agencies in Philadelphia together to support individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities as they move from school-based services to adult services.

Diane Malley leads Transition Pathways in a collection of innovative efforts to improve outcomes for young adults on the Autism Spectrum, and is committed to promoting the full inclusion of people with disabilities. She is joined by representatives of Community Integrated Services (CIS), Kelly Carroll & Susan Schonfeld, Jane Cordero of Hill-Freedman World Academy (HFWA), and Taryn Fogarty of OVR.

CIS is an employment agency supporting over 700 individuals by creating employment opportunities that foster self-sustainability, equality, and community. Kelly oversees daily operations, promoting community partnerships, facilitating training and development activities, and partnering across multiple funding sources. Susan, Executive Director of CIS for 20 years, is a frequent presenter at area conferences on employment services for people with disabilities, and works as a consultant to other states and organizations on implementing effective community employment models. She was the recipient of the 2014 Best Practices Award, given by the National Association for People Supporting Employment First (APSE).

Hill-Freedman World Academy (HFWA) expanded to a high school program, graduating their first class of 12th graders this school year. Jane Cordero, Secondary Special Education Coordinator of HFWA, supports and collaborates with staff, students, parents, related service providers, and experts in the field to oversee, implement, and develop best practice programs for students with complex support needs who are transitioning so that they may become independent, contributing members of society. Taryn was recently named one of two ID/Autism Coordinators in her office at OVR.

“The Next Generation of Transition Students - Family Perspectives” (Haverford)
Tamani Love Molett (Office of Vocational Rehabilitation - OVR),
Norma Realpe (Disability Rights Pennsylvania - DRN),
Sabra Townsend (The ARC of Philadelphia), &
Tamesha Wilson (Northwestern Human Services)

Come hear from parents who are also professionals in our field and are supporting their children in pursuing their college and career aspirations, and making things happen!

Tamani Love-Molett is the Business Service Rep for OVR in Philadelphia centered upon Pre-Employment Transition Services (P.E.T.S.) to disabled youth in high school or post-secondary education and in the development of employment and program collaborations with employers. She has three children, her son Dale recently transitioned from high school into college and the workforce. Tamani is joined by Norma Realpe, Tamesha Wilson, & Sabra Townsend, all professionals who have supported, or will be supporting their children in making successful transitions from high school to adult life.

Keynote (Versailles): 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

“Let’s Get to Work - Federal Policies Creating Opportunities to Expand Competitive Integrated Employment”
Alison Barkoff, J.D. (Dir. of Advocacy, Washington, D.C. Office of the Center for Public Representation)

Recent federal policies have created unprecedented opportunities for increasing competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. Join us for a discussion about changes in states’ day service systems occurring in response to the HCBS Settings Rule, WIOA, and enforcement of Olmstead and the ADA integration mandate around day services. Learn what strategies other states are using to expand competitive integrated employment, potential threats to progress, and opportunities for advocacy and stakeholder engagement by Pennsylvania stakeholders.

Alison works on policy and litigation related to community integration and inclusion of people with disabilities, including employment, housing, education, Olmstead enforcement and Medicaid.  She is an appointed member of the Federal Advisory Committee for Competitive Integrated Employment of People with Disabilities.

Employment 1st, Employment NOW “World Café”: 12:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Join us for an event where YOU decide the topics! Take some time to stop by the Versailles room, and jot down the topics you want to discuss. Come to the World Café ready to join in a series of discussions generated by you and your fellow attendees. Facilitators for discussions, and more detailed guidelines will be available at the event. Box lunches will be provided.

Pulling It All Together! - World Café Summary Discussion: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

All participants will reconvene for an opportunity to share their insights, thoughts, and ideas generated during the World Café discussions. Come prepared to share!

...and more!

Day Two

Day Two

May 24, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Registration / Continental Breakfast: 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Registration (Renaissance)
Continental Breakfast (Grand Salon)

“Bottom Dollar” Viewing: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m.

If you haven’t seen this documentary, make time before the symposium begins to enjoy some breakfast and watch “Bottom Dollar”

Keynote (Versailles): 9:15 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

“Creativity + Innovation = Change”
Karen Lee (Exec. Director, Seeking Equality, Empowerment, & Community for People with Developmental Disabilities - SEEC)

As active, involved members of the community, people with developmental disabilities see themselves in a new light - as achievers, contributors, coworkers, and friends. Karen will share how SEEC helps people have a meaningful life, one person at a time, through the stories of people they have supported.

Karen began working in the disability field in 1984 and became the Executive Director of SEEC in 1990. SEEC, an innovative provider of a full complement of community supports for people with developmental disabilities in Montgomery County, MD, has created four successful Project SEARCH programs in partnership with The Ivymount School. Karen also serves as  Employment  Public Policy Fellow with the Maryland Department of Disabilities Administration (DDA) 2015-2016, bringing together over 175 people to create Maryland’s first Employment First Strategic Plan.

Morning Breakout Sessions: 10:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

“Meaningful Days=Meaningful Lives” (Versailles)
Karen Lee (Exec. Director, Seeking Equality, Empowerment, & Community for People with Developmental Disabilities - SEEC)

Shopping malls, a walk in the park, and bowling are found on the schedules of too many adults with IDD who aren’t working. In this session we will discuss how to create a schedule that has substance and meaning to the person supported by blending funding, accessing community resources, and networking within a person’s own community.

“Promoting Employment for Individuals with Mental Illness” (Villanova)
Richard C. Baron (Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion)

This session focuses on the importance of competitive employment in the lives of those with serious mental illnesses, the multiple barrier individuals face, the principles of effective rehabilitation programming, and the crucial roles that direct service staff can play in supporting people who choose to return to ‘real work for real pay’. Come prepared to share your perspectives, concerns, and experiences in this challenging arena.

Richard Baron is a researcher and trainer in the mental health field at Temple University. Currently the Co-Director of Knowledge Translation for the Temple Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, Richard focuses on improving the capacity of mental health policies, programs and practices to assist individuals with mental illness through an array of training and technical assistance activities.

“I’m Not a Job Coach, How Do I Support Employment?” (Gladwyne)
SPIN, Inc.

How do professionals and others in non-job coach roles support Employment 1st efforts? Come hear creative strategies for promoting employment for all, no matter what your current role is! EVERYONE can think and take action like an Employment Support Professional.

“Networking: Establishing, Building, & Maintaining Vital Relationships” (Merion)
Gary Fedor (President, Sandler Training)

This interactive session will share key benefits and strategies of networking. What is holding you back? How do you get connected to events? How do you meet people? What are the do’s and don’ts of networking? If these questions seem all too familiar to you, join us for the answers, and bump your connections to the next level!

With over thirty years experience in business development, management, and business leadership, Gary Fedor possesses a deep understanding of the importance of behavior, attitude and techniques in the business development process.  He has worked with thousands of sales, customer service and management professionals and brings first-hand knowledge to his training and coaching style.  Gary has facilitated strategy development for business visioning, market planning, new product development, and has proven success in moving organizations toward a systematic business development culture.

“A Social Media Plan to Reach Your Donors, Volunteers and Customers” (Haverford)
Jennifer Gardella, PhD. (Your Social Media Hour)

You know social media is important to your organization, but are you doing all you can? Jennifer will share an overview of digital marketing, and how social media done right can be an invaluable tool to get your message across to multiple stakeholders. Come prepared with your laptop, notebook, or portable device, as you will have the opportunity to work on a plan for YOUR particular organization.

Jennifer Gardella, PhD is Your Social Media Expert.  Through blogging and social media she helps clients reach their target markets bringing traffic to their offices and websites.  Dr. Gardella has spent considerable time in the non-profit community as a fundraiser, volunteer, and leader of multiple organizations.

LUNCH - “Conversations That Matter” (Versailles) - box lunch will be provided: 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Octavia Green Dream Job Award
Conversations That Matter - (local success stories)

ODP & OVR Updates on PA: Where We Are... WIOA, CMS Final Rule, Executive Order, & Beyond (Versailles): 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.

Opening- Nancy Thaler and guests
Panel Discussion

Afternoon Breakout Sessions: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

“Mid-Atlantic Perspectives on APSE: Regional Efforts in Employment 1st” (Villanova)
Representatives from PA APSE & NJ APSE

APSE has a strong Employment 1st presence nationwide. With so many changes happening within our system, it is difficult to keep track of all of the changes, but our local chapters can shed some light on the subject! PA and NJ APSE are partnering for this session to share a regional perspective on employment efforts. Come join this session to hear what is happening in our region.

Wesley Anderson is the Director of Training and Consultation Services at The Arc of New Jersey, where he provides technical assistance and training to supported employment agencies and families throughout the state. A certified practitioner of The Teaching Family Model as well as a Traumatic Brain Injury Specialist, Wesley has been providing supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 7 years. An effective networker, he was appointed by the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey to represent them as a member of their Ambassador Committee. In his current role, Wesley is also a member of NJ APSE Board of Directors, and sits on its Steering, Conference and Professional Development Committees. Wesley will be joined by fellow members of both PA and NJ APSE.

“Follow In Our Footsteps: Employment 1st at KenCrest” (Versailles)
Allison Smale, Lisa Harner, & Stephanie Garrett (KenCrest Services)

For the past 18 months, staff at KenCrest have been living and breathing the work of transitioning 20 individuals from their day program to community-based employment. Come learn about what to do - and what not to do - when launching Employment 1st Initiatives in your programs, and everyday life.

Allison Smale has worked for KenCrest for 17 years, helping youth and adults attain their career goals in the community and supporting them to develop self-advocacy and leadership skills.  As Director of Employment and Day Programs, she enjoys developing new strategies for assisting people to build social capital and full participation in their communities.  Allison is the current chairperson for the Berks County Transition Coordinating Council and is a graduate of the National Leadership Consortium at the University of Delaware.    As Community Supervisor, Stephanie oversees the Employment Consultants at KenCrest’s Pottstown location.  She was awarded the Positive Approaches Award for which she was nominated by coworkers, and the Direct Support Professional of the Year for southeastern Pennsylvania given by PAR. She has been an active member of the committee working on the Employment 1st grant since its inception. Lisa Harner, Coordinator of Employment and Community Programs, has been with KenCrest since 1983 and working with community services for 20+ years.   She is a member of APSE, is a Certified Employment Support Professional, and holds an ACRE Certification in Customized Employment.  Lisa helps to ensure quality service delivery and provide training and support to staff.

Pennsylvania Able Savings Program: A Savings Plan from the PA Treasury for Individuals with Qualified Disabilities(Merion)
Ryan Buxon (Bureau of Savings Programs, Pennsylvania Treasury)

Modeled after college savings accounts, ABLE accounts allow individuals with qualifying disabilities and their families to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses. These federal tax-free savings and investment options are offered to encourage individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life while maintaining government benefits.

Prior to Mr. Buxton being a Program Representative, he served as a Marketing Representative for the INVEST Program. As a Program Representative For Pennsylvania’s ABLE programs, Ryan travels to different counties across the Commonwealth to promote these Programs to different businesses, advocacy groups, schools, and organizations to help them understand the importance of saving for a loved one.

“Make it Work” (Gladwyne)
Cathy Grow (Warrior Run High School)

Cathy Grow, Transition Coordinator, developed and oversees the Defenders’ Café at Warrior Run High School in Northumberand County, PA. Join us as she shares about Warrior Run School District’s comprehensive transition program, Warrior Run Internship Network (WIN), including the inception of Defenders’ Café, a vocational training program for students in autistic and life skills supports classes, while focusing on the employability of all students, regardless of the severity of their disability. Cathy has been placing students into unpaid work internships for the past 3 years in local businesses, and provides support to students based on their post-secondary goals.

“CareerLink: Serving People of ALL Abilities!” (Haverford)
Chris Bellias, Joe Cipolla, & Nicki Woods (JEVS)

This session will tell the story of how a large urban, non-profit workforce is transforming one of the largest CareerLinks in the state to offer employment service to all of its constituents. Come hear how to access this user-friendly location, learn more about the importance of WIOA, and how to make the system work for a diverse customer base.

Joe Cipolla, Director of Employment services at JEVS, has over 30 years experience developing work force programs that support people experiencing a variety of obstacles in accessing the employment market.  Site administrator Nicki Woods has extensive background in the CareerLink system, and is the driving force behind the transformation of the JEVS CL into an accommodating, user friendly employment center. Chris Bellias, Coordinating Services Manager for people with disabilities at the JEVS CL, has over 7 years experience as a job developer and retention support specialist.

...and more!