April 2018 Monthly News & Updates
Preparing for May's Employment Data Collection

Just a reminder to be preparing for this year's first Employment Data Collection period in the month of May.  

Providers of Supported Employment, Employment Discovery & Customization, Community Learning Services and Day Habilitation Services are to document various employment and community outcomes in DDA's Employment Outcome Information System for a two-week period within the month of May. Providers will have until June 30th to submit their data in the system. 

This will be the DDA's 5th year of participation in Maryland's Employment Outcome Information System, developed by the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston , and by staff of the  State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) for Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). This data system was developed to more accurately track toward individual and system-wide employment goals, and opportunities to improve our system's performance. This data has assisted the DDA in making policy and budgetary decisions and to identify technical assistance needed for providers to better support employment outcomes.

This website summarizes data collected at the individual level for people who receive employment or related day supports funded by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration. Data on variables such as total wages or total hours of participation are for the two-week data collection interval.

A formal reminder letter will be sent to all Executive Directors of Day and Employment agencies.  DDA asks that providers complete the data in the timeframe given to expedite publication of the data for all stakeholders. If you have questions about the data collection feel free to contact Staci.Jones@maryland.gov 

Remember Civic Engagement as a part of Community Membership

When we think about supporting full community membership for people with disabilities, we often think about things like employment, volunteerism, recreation, etc.  However, an important component of everyone's community is general civic engagement. 

As excerpted from  Civic Responsibility and Higher Education , edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000, 

Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.

As people with disabilities take an active role in becoming vocal members of their chosen communities, supporters can help by education around civic engagement, as well as to understand all the ways they can have their voice heard. This could include voting, running for office, joining organizations which represent people with disabilities at local, regional, national and international levels.

Remember that the 2018 Maryland gubernatorial election to elect the Governor of Maryland will take place November 6, 2018. The Republican and Democratic primaries will be held June 26, 2018. 

Click here to find local voting information, voting registration, and polling places.

Click here to read a resource page from Disability Rights Maryland around voting rights  in Maryland.

Click here to read a guide to voting rights for people with intellectual disabilities.
Funding Opportunity Available for Inclusive Transportation Planning Initiative
A request for proposals has been released for  Inclusive Transportation Planning grants  . The purpose of this funding opportunity is to facilitate development of local inclusive, coordinated transportation systems. People with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers should actively participate in both advisory and decision-making roles.
Applicants are invited to begin where they are, even if they have never been involved in inclusive planning or have made only minimal effort to engage older adults or people with disabilities in transportation planning.

The grants are funded by Administration for Community Living (ACL) and managed in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration and will be administered by the Community Transportation Association of America in partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, the Institute for Community Inclusion of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and DJB Evaluation.

Grants of up to $35,000 for a maximum of 20 organizations will be made for a six-month period. New grantees are expected to adopt inclusive strategies that fit their communities and build on learning from previous grant projects. It is anticipated that learning from the new grants will add to the knowledge gathered previously and help to build recognition and support for inclusive transportation planning nationwide.

A teleconference for interested applicants will be held April 17, 2018. Proposals are due by May 4, 2018 Learn more about the grant application details.

For additional questions about the project, contact project director Charles Dickson at  dickson@ctaa.org. 

DDA Employment First Webinars
DDA invites you to participate in a 3-part webinar series on  "Community-Based Day Services as a Path to Employment."   Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Subject Matter Expert, Sara Murphy, will be presenting resources for both management staff and direct support professionals in this webinar series.

Date:  April 20, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Topic 1: Employment First: A new day for day services. Hear about inclusion vs. integration, supporting adults with I/DD to build meaningful lives and using community-based day services to support people on a pathway to employment.
Date:  June 15, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm          
Topic 2: Setting meaningful goals and documenting progress in community settings. Hear about individualizing services in group settings, assessing skills and setting person-centered goals, rural vs. urban services, tapping into community resources to teach skills, documenting progress and data collection. 
Date:  July 20, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Topic 3: Managing community-based services: A completely different ball game.  Hear about marketing community-based services, scheduling and supporting community-based staff, using technology to connect your team, and funding services in Maryland.
Sara Murphy , M.A., is a Senior Associate at TransCen, Inc. and the Director of TransCen's WorkLink program, a nationally-recognized, employment service for job seekers with disabilities. She has a bachelor's degree in Behavioral Disabilities/ Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an master's degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling from San Francisco State University. For the past 30 years, Murphy's focus has been on school-to-work and employment for individuals with disabilities. She has extensive experience in transition and direct services, customized employment, employer engagement, program development and service transformation.  
As part of TransCen's consultation team, Murphy provides technical assistance and training for a number of state agencies, school districts and service providers across the country. She also participates in federal and state initiatives, including the Social Security Administration's Youth Transition Demonstration Projects, Department of Labor's Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP) Customized Employment Demonstration Projects and the California Employment Consortium for Youth (CECY).

EFSLMP Provider Transformation 
2.0 Webinar Series Recording

The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) recently launched the Provider Transformation 2.0 Webinar Series, a new technical assistance opportunity. These webinars are designed for community rehabilitation providers (CRPs) who have already begun to transform their service delivery model to one with an emphasis on competitive, integrated employment as the priority outcome for the people served.

Even though the call for participation in the live webinar series is closed, the webinar recordings will be shared with the EFSLMP Community of Practice.

March 15, 2018 Webinar #1: Redesigning Your Organization: Board, CEO, CFO, Middle Management, Front Line Staff, Employers & Stakeholders [Leadership, Strategic Planning, Operations Focus] 

Facilitators: Karen Lee; Thomas "Tom" Wilds
Click here for the recording. 
Meeting materials may be downloaded from the webinar recording link.

Read this newsletter each month for a link to the recorded webinars.

Do you know about the LEAD Center?

The LEAD Center is a collaborative of disability, workforce and economic empowerment organizations dedicated to improving employment and economic advancement outcomes for all people with disabilities. The LEAD Center is funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant #OD-23863-12-75-4-11.

The LEAD Center is a great resource for trainings, newsletters and information that relates to Employment First. They have a YouTube channel where you can watch archived webinars on subjects like: customized employment, creating inclusive workforce systems, self-guided discovery...and more.  Get on their mailing list to receive up-to-date information. 

Looking for Stories

Do you have success stories or promising practices to share related to competitive, integrated employment or community integration?  If so, please contact DDA's Communication Director at Tana.Stevenson@Maryland.gov.   

Things we would like to highlight:

1.   Self-employment

2.   Use of technical assistance

3.   Creative supports and services for people with medical or personal 

      care needs

4.   Stories about community membership

5.   Creative organizational structures, policies, training or service          



Want to read success stories?  Click here!

Want more information about Employment First?