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October 2019 E-Newsletter
TLC Outcomes advocates for adults with disabilities to find and keep jobs and live independently in the community

It’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month! (NDEAM) 
NDEAM is celebrated every October. Disability Employment Awareness month pays tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation's economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens. This monthly recognition began in 1988 by the United States Congress. When Congress designated the month of October to raise awareness of the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.
The 2019 NADEAM theme emphasizes the essential role that people with disabilities play in America's economic success. This is especially true when we live in a time where historically low unemployment and global competition are creating a high demand for skilled talent.

The U.S. Department of Labor sponsors this month. The Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) administers NDEAM. To find out more information about statistics about individuals with disabilities in Montgomery County, MD go to The Commission on People with Disabilities 2018 Annual Report , on page 14.

Maryland Department of Education - Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) 

Transitioning Youth Programs  
TLC - The Outcomes Service collaborated with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) in Maryland to provide services to youth transitioning form high school to adult services. The programs fall under the DORS category of Pre-Employment Transition Services (PreETS).

Background:
In July 2014, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law. WIOA replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) and amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. WIOA requires vocational rehabilitation (VR)agencies to set aside 15% of their federal
funds to provide pre-employment transition services specifically to “Students with Disabilities.” A “Student with a Disability” is defined as an individual who: a) is enrolled in a secondary school (including home school or other alternative secondary education program), post-secondary education program, or other recognized educational program and has not exited, graduated, or withdrawn; b) is at least 14 years old but less than age 22; and c) has a disability documented with an IEP, 504 plan, medical records, or a doctor’s note.

TLC Outcomes currently offers four types of programs for youth and we continue to expand programs. We anticipate launching a program for freshman and sophomores by the spring of 2020.  There are very few PreETS programs in Montgomery County freshman and sophomores. Currently Outcomes offers programs for transitioning youth that are juniors or seniors. 

Workplace Success Program
TLC Outcomes piloted the Workplace Success Program in the summer of 2016. The first program stated in July of 2016 and ended in August of 2016. The first year we supported two individuals in one three-week program. The program has grown over the last three summers and we have increased the number of individuals served in the program and increased the program from three-weeks to four weeks. In the summer of 2019 we ran two Workplace Success Programs. One in July and one in August. Each program lasted four-weeks. We supported 25 youth in the programs this past summer, 13 in July and 12 in August. The program is appropriate for youth going into their senior year of high school or rising juniors.  TLC Outcomes collaborates with a local retail provider to provide real hands on work experiences to help youth learn about the world of work and understand what it employer expectations on the job. Workplace Success Program includes learning about workplace behaviors and job seeking skills. Topics covered in the session include corporate culture, conflict management, workplace communication, resumes and cover letters, executive functioning and interviewing. Participants in this program have the opportunity to go on field trips to visit employers in the community for tours and informational interviewing to learn more about the types of employment opportunities and requirements to work in jobs. The program currently runs twice in the summer in July and August for four-weeks each month. The program has supported 45 youth since 2016. The program times are Monday – Thursday from 9:00am-4:30pm. This program is open to students that attend school in Maryland and have funding through DORS or private pay. Individuals begin and end the day here at our office in Rockville
 
Life After High School (LAHS)
TLC Outcomes piloted the Life After High School (LAHS) the fall of 2016. The pilot program was held at the Katherine Thomas High School the program began in September and ended in December. After the initial pilot, we began offering this after school program at the TLC Outcomes location.  The program is suitable for youth going into their senior year of high school or rising juniors.  In this 12 week two hour program topics covered, include interest inventories for work, social skills, training, job preparation, field trips to employers to tour worksites and speakers that present on post- secondary education and transitioning. The LAHS program served over 20 youth in FY 19.  The program is on Monday or Thursday from 3:30pm-5:30pm for 12 weeks. Participants attend one class a week on Monday or Thursday here at the Outcomes office in Rockville. The DORS funded program has supported 88 youth since 2016.  TLC Outcomes offers this program in the fall and again in the winter/spring to juniors and seniors in high school. The next session will begin in February 2020. This program is open to students that attend school in Maryland and have funding through DORS or private pay. We hope to offer this program in Prince Georges County starting in 2020.

Work Based Learning Experience (WBLE)
TLC Outcomes began collaborating with DORS for WBLE programs in March 2018. A WBLE provides students with the knowledge and skills that will help them connect school experience to real-life work activities and future career opportunities. Outcomes currently offers support for an unpaid WBLE. A WBLE lasts for a minimum of 6 weeks but no more than 8 weeks. TLC Outcomes as a Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP) has a MOU with the employer that describes the support to the youth on the job and the goals of the WBLE for the individual. TLC Outcomes WBLE programs occur in the evenings or on a weekend day when youth are not in school. This program is open to individuals that attend school in Maryland and have funding through DORS. Outcomes supports youth that are juniors or seniors in high school. A DORS counselor refers directly to this program. Supports provided are one to one. This program is open to students that attend school in Maryland and have funding through DORS or private pay

Recognize your Potential Lift off Job Exploration Services (JES)
TLC Outcomes began providing JES services for youth 17-21 in 2019 to help identify career options post high school in 2019. The program lasts for 3-5 sessions and is a total of 8-10 hours. The specific length of the program is participant specific. Students participate in activities to identify interests, learn about personal skills, and values to determine how well they match a certain career. Activities assist with helping to understand job-specific skills and self-management skills.  By the end of the program, the goal is that students will have more refined ideas as far as a career to pursue after high school and requirements to pursue employment. Supports provided are one to one or in small groups. A DORS counselor refers directly to this program. Supports provided are one to one. This program is open to students that attend school in Maryland and have funding through DORS or private pay.

Transitioning youth programs are popular and appear to be beneficial. In FY 19 we exceeded our goals. One goal was youth receiving a 50% improvement on tests from the pre-test on day one of the program to the post -test on the last day of the program for Workplace Success and LAHS programs. The actual was 91%. The satisfaction survey goal was 4.6 out of 5 for all PreETS programs and the actual was 4.7 out of 5. 

Participant comments from youth that participated include, In my life I can go however I choose, That there is a way I should conduct myself in an interview, I learned that life after high school is much harder but if you put in a lot of effort you can thrive, I liked that I learned many skills that will help me in the world, I learned more on the many job expectation and principals for work, I learned how to make a resume.

Contact TLC Outcomes Service if you are interested in learning more or participating in one of these programs: Karen Morgret, Director of Vocational Services and Quality Assurance, (240) 813-6909, kmorgret@ttlc.org

Maryland Department of Health - Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) Programs
Transformation
The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) has been working to transform program policies, services and funding processes to create a flexible, person-centered, family-oriented system of supports so people can have full lives. DDA has been working on this systems wide change since 2014. The DDA transformation change was prompted by the final rule, from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Final Rule CMS 2249-F and CMS 2296-F published in the Federal Register January 16, 2014. 

Briefly, the intent of this rule was to ensure that individuals receiving long-term services and supports through home and community based services (HCBS) have full access to benefits of community living and the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate. CMS wanted to enhance the quality of HCBS programs and provide protections to participants. The ADA and Olmstead requirements now required states to offer services in t he most integrated setting , which is defined as a setting that enables individuals with disabilities to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possible.
 
All states have been required to revise their Medicaid waiver plans. The State Medicaid plans or state plan amendments often indicate what types of services are covered under Medicaid.  
 
The state of Maryland DDA has been working on its transformation plan since 2014. Maryland DDA is in the process of changing programs, policies and procedures.

Community-Based Programs: Private Pay

What is Private Pay?  
Private pay allows someone to pay for services directly. 

Why is there a need for Private Pay programs?
Individuals pay for adult services when they do not have DDA or DORS funding or would like to add supports not currently provided under DDA or DORS. In the case of DORS, job-coaching services are currently very short term often only four weeks. 
In the past DORS was able to provide longer-term job coaching supports through TLC. Families hire TLC Outcomes to provide additional job coaching to ensure that the family member is successful in the new job. Employers use this program to help support individuals that are on the job with disabilities that do not have DORS or DDA funding and that are having difficulty on the job. In this case a job coach a job coach will help the employee with a disability learn the job, perform the job accurately, efficiently, and safely, and may also help acclimate the employee to the work environment if they have just started a job or have changed positions in an organization.

Employers also use TLC to provide training to staff on disabilities. Training may include how to work with individuals with disabilities in the workplace. Employer training sessions are individualized to meet specific employer needs.  

What supports can TLC Outcomes Private Pay program provide?
Outcomes staff supports include but are not limited to, advocacy, case management, employment services (resumes, cover letters, interviewing support etc.), job development, job coaching, assisting with community services, supporting someone in school, travel training, social/recreational/leisure/community access and socialization. Supports also include helping individual’s learn independent living skills such as shopping and errands, housekeeping, meal preparation and cleanup, laundry, finances/budgeting/handling money, maintaining home personal record, mail, health and fitness. 

DDA Success Story
Ryan Atkins
Ryan Atkins is a Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration ( DDA) consumer that receives Supported Employment. In April, he attended a Career Fair hosted by TLC Outcomes. Skookum Contracting Services was one of the many employers present. Ryan met with the recruiter and hiring manager. They were impressed with how he presented himse l f so they invited him to do an in person interview. He nailed it!!! Before he could began working, Ryan needed to complete a plethora of new hire forms. His job coach, Miranda, played an integral part of ensuring that this process moved efficiently and effectively. Miranda stayed on top of Ryan by calling him daily, meeting with him in person to make sure all his documents were completed in a timely manner. Ryan began working with Skookum Contracting Services in July of 2019.
He is working part time as a Grounds Maintenance Laborer in Poolesville, MD (NIH Campus). He has been an awesome worker and great contributor to the team. His supervisor is very impressed with Ryan’s skills and abilities. Since Ryan is working so well and learning new skills, his supervisor wants to offer him a full-time employment opportunity with Skookum. His supervisor also indicated that he would like to hire more TLC candidates. Another supervisor described Ryan as hardworking, respectful of others and a great team player. Ryan is responsible for operating walking-type or commercial grade riding mowers (less than 2000 lbs.) to ensure the grass is cut properly. He also trims hedges and edges around walkways, flowerbeds and wells using hedge trimmers, clippers and edging tools. Ryan is independent but knows when to seek help. Ryan drives to work every day and is on time. A few weeks ago, Ryan told Miranda how much he appreciated her and the opportunity to work with Skookum Contracting Services. 
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a
time to visit us, call or email our Admissions and Community Supports Coordinator, Sherri Stocklin
(301) 294 9205
TLC Outcomes Adult Services
2092 Gaither Road, Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850