2014 Wisconsin Employment First Conference


Governor Walker and the Employment First Ambassadors at the 2014 Conference

Governor Walker and the Employment First Ambassadors at the 2014 Conference

This was the first year for the Wisconsin Employment First Conference.  The conference was sponsored by People First Wisconsin the Wisconsin Association for People Supporting Employment First (WI APSE), and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (WI BPDD).

It was an extremely successful event with over 300 people in attendance, including people with disabilities, families, employment providers, long term care providers, and businesses . The pre-conference event “Businesses Make Employment Happen” featured a panel with 5 employers.

The following day, Governor Scott Walker was the opening speaker for the conference.  He told the audience “We want to get the word out to employers and organizations about what a great asset people with unique abilities are in the workplace”.

After his keynote address, People First presented him with a plaque in recognition of his support increasing integrated employment for people with disabilities.  The plaque read “Employment First: The Path to a Better Bottom Line.”

Allan Bergman followed Governor Walker with his presentation “The Employment First Imperative.”  The rest of the day was packed with 24 learning sessions, a lunchtime panel with people with disabilities sharing their employment experiences, and an Employment First film festival.  More than 15 micro-enterprise owners sold their products, including dog treats, steel water bottles, and handmade blankets, painting, jewelry and pottery.  Stay tuned for information and announcements about next year’s Wisconsin Employment First Conference!

Video of Conference Highlights
Conference Booklet

Keynote Presentation Videos

Other Conference Session Videos

Conference Materials by Session

Session 1: Employment First in Action: How States are Making Systems Changes to Promote the Employment First Agenda
CMS FinalRule for HCBS Waivers
2011 CMS Informational Bulletin on Employment
2011 Department of Justice – Olmstead
2013 Department of Justice Oregon Complaint
2013 Department of Justice – Rhode Island Interim Settlement

Session 2: Introduction to Self-Directed Employment Planning Curriculum
Self-Directed Employment Planning Modules
Self-Directed Employment Planning Summary

Session 3: Project SEARCH

Session 4: How to WOW Employers with Creative Visual Resumes

Session 5: Sharing Your Employment First Stories with Legislators

Session 6: DVR’s Innovative Initiatives

Session 7: Fostering SDS – A Key to Successful Employment and Independence after High School

Session 8: SSI and SSDI Work Incentives and Employment Supports
Social Security Helpful Links Handout

Session 9: Employment First Wisconsin – Moving at the Speed of Light!

Session 10: The Success of Making Employment Happen

Session 11: Self-Directed Supports and Employment Innovation Project

Session 12: Individual Placement and Supports – Works for Me

Session 13: Take Your Legislator to Work!

Session 14: Wisconsin PROMISE Grant

Session 15: Family Involvement – Person-Centered Planning

Session 16: The Nuts and Bolts of Self-Employment
Business Plan Outline
Self-Employment Resources

Session 17: Legislative Advocacy – Why is it Important for Future Leaders?

Session 18: All the Best Businesses Start in Garages (or in this case, basements)

Session 19: Let’s Get to Work: A Policy and Practice Approach to Launching Youth with Disabilities into the Workforce
Overview of LGTW Handout
Five C’s Handout

Session 20: Employment Planning and Supports for People with Physical Disabilities

Session 21: Integrated Employment: Making it Happen in IRIS

Session 22: How to Maximize Services with DVR and Family Care to Reach Your Employment Goal
Employment Workbook Handout

Session 23: Development of AdamCan Recycling

Session 24: Think College Wisconsin: Expanding Choice to Include Higher Education Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

For questions about the conference, please contact  Ann Sievert, WI BPDD State Plan Project Manager, at (608) 267-9897 or ann.sievert@wisconsin.gov