2018 Conference Session Descriptions


May 22, 2018 · Kalahari, WI Dells

Listed in Alphabetical Order

Download a copy of the full conference program: HERE

Sessions with an * will be presented twice

This year’s Employment First conference will focus on transformational change so providers are better equipped to support people with disabilities across all community settings, including at work, volunteering, and participating in all aspects of community life. Sessions will include transforming organizational culture and practice, connecting to community and building natural supports, and developing business practices that support change.

A Life in the Community – Stories from Busy Self Advocates*

Presenter: Members of People First Wisconsin 

Learn about the many ways self-advocates are working and living meaningful lives in communities across Wisconsin. This is an interactive session with People First members sharing their experiences about staying active and reaching their goals. Students and self-advocates who attend will be provided an opportunity to engage in self-directed life planning with peer support.

A Tale of Two Transformations: First hand Experience Transforming Services in Maryland and Illinois

Presenter: Michael Glanz, The Arc of the Quad Cities Area

This session will present the story of two agencies and their different paths to transition from focusing on facility-based services to community employment. Melwood, the second largest service provider in Maryland, eliminated facility-based employment in 2013 and ended the use of sub-minimum wage in all services in 2016. The Arc of the Quad Cities Area, with the majority of operations in Illinois, has just begun to shift its focus away from facility-based services and has increased community employment placements by 100%. These two tales of transition will be used as a catalyst for discussion among attendees. The session will include actual success stories and provide examples of pitfalls to avoid.

PowerPoint: HERE

Advancing Community Opportunities through Smart Budgeting*

Presenter: Paul Houston, Retired CFO of St. John’s Community Services

Strengthen your organization’s capacity to expand community integrated services by learning how to develop budgets for new programs. What are the key financial considerations for sustaining a community-based program? What process can organizations use to develop realistic revenue projections? This session will take a deep-dive into these questions and more, providing agency Directors, Chief Financial Officers, and Managers with practical solutions to adapt to changing services, create efficiencies, and increase program revenue.

PowerPoint: HERE

Excel Revenue Handout: HERE

Advancing Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) in Long-Term Care in Wisconsin*

Presenters: Curtis Cunningham and Amy Chartier, WI Department of Health Services

In this presentation, we share Wisconsin’s vision for increasing Competitive Integrated Employment Outcomes in Long-Term Care.  We will review current employment services and options for life enrichment.  We will also share the findings and recommendations from the recent State Employment Leadership Network assessment and the direction they provide for Wisconsin.

Recorded Session: Advancing Competitive Integrated Employment in Long-Term Care 

Memo Regarding Prevocational Services in Wisconsin Medicaid Long Term Care: HERE

Session Slides: HERE

Building Full Lives – A Rural Perspective

Presenters: Representatives from Headwaters, Green Valley Enterprises, and Opportunity Development Center

Providing community-based services in rural areas presents unique challenges and opportunities. This panel of service providers involved in BPDD’s Building Full Lives initiative will focus on the experiences of three rural service providers. They will share creative and practical strategies to support people to engage in meaningful activities and employment in the community.

PowerPoint: HERE

Building Full Lives – Moving in a New Direction

Presenters: Representatives from Bethesda Lutheran Communities, Easterseals, and Goodwill

Goodwill closed its prevocational work center in December 2017. Easterseals’ prevocational work center will close by the end of 2018 and Bethesda’s in 2019. This panel of service providers involved in BPDD’s Building Full Lives initiative will focus on their experiences, lessons learned, and the strategies they are using to expand services in the community and increase supported employment.

PowerPoint: HERE

Community-Based Services – Supporting People with Significant Needs to do Significant Things

Presenter: Sara Murphy, TransCen, Inc.

Across the country, as more services move into integrated settings, providers are finding innovative ways to address the more vexing aspects of supporting people with significant needs in the community.  In this session, Sara Murphy will share some creative methods to address common barriers such as transportation, staffing issues and managing medical or behavioral needs in real world settings. The group will have an opportunity to share successful practices and to brainstorm Wisconsin’s resources.

PowerPoint: HERE

Self-reliance Handout: HERE

Community-Based Services: Setting Goals, Teaching Skills and Managing Your Team

Presenter: Sara Murphy, TransCen, Inc.

Across the country, service providers are expanding their community-based services.  For many, teaching and supporting people in the real-world settings is a completely new ball game. How do you set goals? Supervise staff? Manage the daily logistics?  In this session, Sara Murphy, the director of a 100% community-based program will share ideas and strategies for providing meaningful services for individuals and managing your program staff.  

PowerPoint: HERE

Community Support with Dignity

Presenter: Janet Estervig, Attainment Company

This session will provide practical strategies on supporting people with disabilities at their jobs or in the community, with respect, dignity and promoting independence.  How do you maintain a person’s dignity and space when providing job coach support at the workplace?  How do you use “mindfulness” that result in both the person you support and yourself having positive outcomes?  How do you provide supports in the community that encourages independence and builds people’s skills?  Attendees will learn about multiple approaches that can result in improved experiences for both staff and the person with a disability.

PowerPoint: HERE

Customized Employment Supports – Building Capacity in Wisconsin

Presenter: Beth Wroblewski, John Fuller and Mike Edwards of Employment Resources Inc. (ERI)

The ERI Team will share their vision and efforts to design Customized Employment Services to increase the capacity for these services across Wisconsin.  This includes unique recruitment and onboarding strategies to immerse the team in a person-centered, strengths-based approach to assessment, planning and securing jobs that are distinctively designed to meet the employer’s needs.  When the person’s goals align with business goals, the result is enduring community-based employment for job seekers who have often been excluded from the mainstream job market.

PowerPoint: HERE

Employment First Provider Transformation: Getting Ahead of the Curve (Interactive Virtual Session)

Presenter: Richard Davis, MSW – Policy Advisor, U.S. DOL, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP)

Provider transformation is a critical element in Employment First systems-change. For organizations interested in diversifying their services to provide expanded community-based options for individuals with significant disabilities, this session is for you!  Come learn about investments of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to provide community rehabilitation providers access to high-quality technical assistance, training and ongoing coaching from executives who understand the level of complexity involved and effective strategies for model conversion from facility-based work or day habilitation centers. This session is intended to provide technical assistance and informational resources to providers who are looking to accelerate their own organization’s transformation efforts, and offer strategies for how providers can engage in productive ways with state-led Employment First initiatives and implementation of various recent Federal policy regulations.

Recorded Session: Employment First Provider Transformation: Getting Ahead of the Curve

Galvanizing Transformation and Sustainable Change in Wisconsin

Facilitated by: Molly Cooney, WI BPDD Employment Project Staff

Did you know 44% of people participating in subminimum wage facility-based employment in Wisconsin are interested in or open to the idea of getting a job in the community? And that 37% of people participating in subminimum wage facility-based employment in Wisconsin have been participating in facility-based prevocational services for more than 10 years? Join this Community Conversation-style session to share your ideas about supporting the changing landscape of services in Wisconsin and generate strategies for increasing meaningful community involvement and employment for people in Wisconsin.


Let’s Talk Strategies!

Facilitated by: Shannon Webb, inControl Wisconsin, Inc.

What are your great ideas, lessons learned, tips, and tricks for providing top notch community services and supports? This session is all about sharing best practices in community supports!  Discussion topics include communicating change to families, staff training and accountability, teaching skills and growing independence, identifying community opportunities, fostering meaningful connections, and creative/customized job strategies. Guaranteed to provide you with new perspectives and strategies you can use!

PowerPoint: HERE

New State Legislation Impacting Employment Policy and Practice*

Presenter: Lisa Pugh, The Arc Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Legislature took a great interest in disability policies this past session passing bills that impact employment and other policies. Learn about Wisconsin’s new Employment First law, the Partners with Business initiative and Supported Decision-Making as well as other updates from Madison. Hear from lobbyists and advocates who spend time inside the Capitol.

PowerPoint: HERE

Personal Cares in the Community

Presenter: Janet Estervig, Attainment Company

This session is led by a Registered Nurse, who will share the basics of providing personal care in the home, community and workplace.  Learn how to provide these supports with dignity, choice and privacy along with basic wellness activities for you and the person you support.

 PowerPoint: HERE

Supported Decision Making in Wisconsin

Presented by: Tami Jackson, WI BPDD and George Zaske

Supported Decision-Making can sound like a new, foreign idea. But most families, people with disabilities, and advocates are already using supported decision-making, even if they don’t call it that. In fact, most people without disabilities are also already using supported decision-making. Supported decision-making means helping a person understand their options when making choices and communicate their own decisions. Wisconsin just passed a new law empowering certain people with disabilities and older adults to use formal Supported Decision-Making agreements. Come learn how Supported Decision-Making and the new law works.


Teaching Skills in the Community

Presenter: Janet Estervig, Attainment Company

This session will share ways to use systematic instruction when teaching skills at home, work and in the community.  Teach skills that will give people with disabilities the ability to build their independence now and into the future!  People with disabilities can be part of their communities when they have the skills to access and make connections to their communities!

PowerPoint: HERE

People First Article: HERE

Task Analysis Form: HERE

The Essential Elements of Community-Based Services

Presenter: Sara Murphy, TransCen, Inc.

In their guidance regarding the Medicaid Waiver Settings Rule, CMS states that the ultimate goal of these services is to connect people to their community and foster inclusion and employment. How do providers create meaningful, effective services in real world environments? How do we assist people to become valued contributors in their communities?  In this session we will identify the fundamental elements of quality services and discuss how to incorporate these features and quality indicators into our community-based service models/methods.  Sara Murphy will share strategies her program uses to foster client success in community-based settings and measure programmatic outcomes.

PowerPoint: HERE

Life Skills Assessment: HERE

WorkLink Scatter plot example: HERE

Positive personal profile: HERE

Trends in Employment Policies – Update from Washington DC*

Presenter: Nicole Jorwic, The Arc of the United States

With continued implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) at the state level and updates to the Medicaid Home and Community Based Settings Rule, things are rapidly changing. New guidance and materials are coming out at a fast pace, come and hear from The Arc’s National Federal Policy staff about what providers, and stakeholders need to know and how to stay engaged.

PowerPoint: HERE

Recorded Session:  Trends in Employment Policies – Update from Washington DC