February 2018 Monthly News & Updates
Coordinators of Community Services (CCS)
 Employment First Resources

DDA's Coordinators of Community Services (CCS) assist individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families in learning and gaining access to resources in their community, planning for their future, and accessing needed services and supports.  CCSs use  person-centered planning   to help individuals and families identify current and future needs and to chart a course for the good life. 
Dr. Yemonja Smalls, State Director Coordination of Community Services
In the month of January, DDA headquarters and regional staff held regional trainings for CCSs in order to bring together the importance of person centered planning together  with the basics a bout DDA's Medicaid waivers and service definitions.
The DDA has partnered with State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) to bring a webinar series to Maryland CCSs around Employment First.  If you missed any of these webinars, you can view them at the links below:

Webinar #3: Click Here to participate in the next in the series on Employment on March 1, 2018 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.  

T he Stated Employment Leadership Network (SELN) launched in July 2006 as a joint initiative of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the SELN supports states to improve integrated employment outcomes. The SELN is a membership-based network of state intellectual and developmental disability agencies committed to making changes in their service systems.

Maryland partners with SELN in our
State Employment Data Initiative  as well as providing technical assistance around systems change to support Employment First in our state.  

Click here to read the resource document called " Ensuring Excellence in Community Based Day Supports: A Guide for Service Providers and Staff" by David Hoff, Cori Di Biase, and Genni Sasnett.
This week, the DDA and the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware partnered again to hold a week-long, intensive leadership development program for DDA-funded agency leaders. The DDA is committed to transforming its service delivery systems into a flexible, person-centered, family-oriented system of supports so people can have full lives. This requires skilled leaders who are equipped with sound management skills and are dedicated to supporting quality lives for people with developmental disabilities. The Leadership Institute is one way the DDA supports our providers in this effort.
Annette Downey
At the beginning of the week, Annette Downey, Executive Director of Community Living Services' Oakland County Division in Michigan, told participating leaders how her organization transformed their services to serve people wherever they happen to live, instead of in buildings with congregated programs. 

Another opening presenter was Lynne Seagle, Executive Director of Hope House Foundation in Norfolk, Virginia. Lynne shared success stories about the journeys of people with developmental disabilities (DD) supported by her organization.  She talked about "Anna", who  was known for challenging behaviors at the agency, such as spitting and aggression. When a sked what she wanted, 
Lynne Seagle
she said that she wanted to live in her own home. Although the agency helped her find an apartment, they were confused when she would only sleep in the building's lobby. They later learned that Anna just wanted a loving relationship, and eventually the agency allowed her and her boyfriend to live together. The staff were amazed at the positive change in Anna's behavior after she was able to identify and pursue her vision of a good life. If you care about someone with a DD, find out what matters most to him or her and support that vision. 

Our State Employment Data page has been newly updated with the most recently reported data from October 2017 and can be found here. 

As a reminder, data is collected from all DDA-funded Day and Employment providers twice annually: once in May and once in October. For more information on our data initiative, you can watch our archived webinar from September 26 here. 

Resources for Financial Empowerment for People with Disabilities
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB) has supplemented its financial empowerment toolkit, "Your Money, Your Goals," with a companion guide aimed at people with disabilities. Your Money, Your Goals consists of a set of modules for use by social service organizations to  work with people to help set financial goals and solve financial problems,  and is designed to be integrated into their daily work with the people they serve.
The companion guide-"Your Money, Your Goals: Focus on People with Disabilities" -contains information, tips, and tools based on the insights from people with disabilities and from organizations that serve the disability community. The materials-toolkit, implementation guide, training slides and videos, and pre-and postsurveys-can all be found on the Your Money, Your Goals webpage. The guide provides specialized information and tools meant to "equip staff and volunteers to adapt training on and use of the toolkit and other resources to meet the needs of people with disabilities." It also includes "information and tools to enable staff and volunteers to choose accessible locations, develop appropriate and considerate training activities, and plan to provide accommodations for diverse learning styles and other needs."
The companion guide includes 11 new tools that discuss how to:
  • Set up an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Account and build savings
  • Pay for assistive technology to achieve independence
  • Understand how income from work impacts Social Security Income (SSI)
  • Identify financial abuse and exploitation and how to get assistance
The toolkit is available at  www.consumerfinance.gov/your-money-your-goals . The companion guide for people with disabilities can be found at  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/practitioner-resources/your-money-your-goals/companion-guides/ .  
Career Guide for Students with Disabilities
Understanding the ADA, Knowing Your Rights & Finding Disability Resources
Career Guide for Disabled Students

Eleven percent of undergraduate students report having a disability, and according to Senator Tom Harkin, one of the authors of the ADA, fewer students with disabilities complete college once they start- 41 percent compared to 52 percent of the general population. It's important to support these students while they are in school and after they graduate and embark on their careers. Learn about the ADA, how to receive accommodations in the workplace and where to find internships, jobs and support.

February Employment First Webinar: A Community Living & Residential Perspective

We're gearing up for our next Webinar, scheduled for Friday, February 16, 2018 10 a.m.-12 noon. 

Sign in and hear about the basics of Employment First and about one organization's journey to infuse those Employment First principles and values into their Community Living and Residential services. Co-presenter, Diane Lewis, Senior Director of Residential and Community Programs will join Staci Jones for this discussion.
This is a great webinar for Community Living/Residential Program Managers, Directors and Direct Support Professionals, but anyone and everyone is invited to join in.  Watch as a team and start the conversation about Employment First.

Register Here                              

January Employment First Webinar- Recap 

Thank you for the great "virtual" turnout for our January Employment First webinar about Transformation.  For those of you that may have missed it, you can  c lick here to see a copy of the PPT which is full of links and resources related to Transformation. These resources may be useful to you and/or your team as you navigate Organizational Transformation.  

If you'd like the opportunity to go back and watch this or any of our past webinars, no worries! Y ou can find it on our archived webinar page with the 1/16/18 date.

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 me at Staci.Jones@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, trainings or service          



Want to read success stories?  Click here!

Want more information about Employment First?