June 2018 Monthly News & Updates

For the second year in a row, Maryland State partners attended the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition's (NTACT) annual Capacity Building Institute (CBI). This year's CBI, held in Denver, Colorado and focused on national best practices, networking and state planning around improving transition and post-secondary outcomes for all students with disabilities. 

Maryland State Partners that attended this year's conference included: Christy Stuart, Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Jade Gingrich, Maryland Department of Disability (MDOD), Carolynette Scott, Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR),  Staci Jones, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Jill Pierce, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), Betsy Turnquist, Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education (MCIE), Rene Averitt-Sanzone, Parents Place of Maryland (PPMD), Matthew Elburn, Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) and Christina Sprague from Charles County Public Schools (CCPS). Maryland's Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) is also part of the Maryland State collaborative, although not present at the conference.

Maryland State Partners had intensive planning time, during which the group discussed and drafted a joint vision statement as well as identified joint values around transition for students with disabilities in Maryland.  This Maryland collaborative will be sharing these items, and much more, with stakeholders over the next year.

Upcoming DDA Employment First Webinars

Join us for part 2 and 3 of our 3 part webinar series on Community Based Non-Work. 

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).

The leadership from Scott Key Center (SKC), a Day and Employment service provider in Frederick County, had the opportunity to attend the 5 day Leadership Institute back in the fall of 2017 specifically for Maryland DDA funded agency leaders. After attending, SKC Executive Director, Sean Lore, was interested in bringing those same insights back to his organization, so he partnered directly with the National Consortium on Developmental Disabilities to bring the mini 2-day Leadership Institute directly to them. SKC closed for services for 2 days during the month of May to bring this unique leadership opportunity to its staff, families and board of directors.
Over the 2 days, participants heard from national subject matter experts about current tre
Sean Lore, Exec. Director, SKC
nds and directions in the disability support field and how these trends affect organizations like Scott Key Center. Themes included the focus on the values of Employment First and person-centered, community-focused service models. Other objectives over the course of  the
2 days included identifying and prioritizing SKC's own organizational change init iative wit h the goal of enhancing the quality and scope of the services provided. Mr. Lore commented that "t he session sparked a sense of energy and excitement throughout the organization.  It has brought everyone together to discuss and plan for the change in how we support people." 
Jeff Lambright, a Vocational Training Specialist from SKC that attended also had this to say about the event: "The two day Leadership training was a beneficial experience for our organization. It provided a unique opportunity for Scott Key Center staff, employees, parents, and caregivers to learn, interact, and engage in productive discussion on important topics. It provided great insight on the direction of the human service field. The transformation stories of other organizations will serve as an inspiration to us. The Scott Key Center will be a better support provider as a result of this two day training."- Jeff Lambright, Vocational Training Specialist
The DDA would like to congratulate SKC on their initiative to better educate their organization and stakeholders regarding their organizational transformation. 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 providers in this effort. The next session of the leadership institute will be  September 23 -28. More information will provided in the coming months.

EFSLMP Provider Transformation 
2.0 Webinar Series Recordings Available

The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) Provider Transformation 2.0 Webinar Series is underway. 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. 

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
Recording Link:  http://econsys.adobeconnect.com/p7tkr58c4852/ 
Meeting materials may be downloaded from the webinar recording link.

March 29, 2018 Webinar #2: Staff Development, Recruitment, and Restructuring: "How To" Examples of Effective Restructuring; Where to Focus Attention on Transformation [Operations Focus, Workforce Focus]
Facilitators: Dale Verstegen; Gail Fanjoy
Recording Link: http://econsys.adobeconnect.com/pgsuopqrw5lr/
Meeting materials may be downloaded from the webinar recording link.

April 12, 2018 Webinar #3: Staff Training Specifics: Developing Internal Trainers, Meaningful Day Integration, Best Practices, Transportation Solutions, Sample Job Descriptions/Work Day Schedules [Workforce Focus]
Facilitators: Genni Sasnett; Gail Fanjoy
Recording Link:  http://econsys.adobeconnect.com/pl75jxwpbinc/
Meeting materials may be downloaded from the webinar recording link.

April 26, 2018 Webinar #4 : Stakeholder Engagement : How to Listen; Considering Real Choices; Working Effectively with Families, Self-Advocates, Employers, Policymakers, and Advocacy Organizations [Customer Focus]
Facilitators: Sean Roy; Pat Rogan
Recording Link:  http://econsys.adobeconnect.com/pubg7d48k2yx/  
Meeting materials may be downloaded from the webinar recording link.

May 10, 2018 Webinar #5: The Importance of Effective Advocacy for Better Policy : Collaboration, Coalitions, Communities of Practice, and Capacity  Building  at the Local Level [Leadership, Strategic Planning Focus]
Facilitators: Rachel Pollock, Karen Lee
Recording Link:  http://econsys.adobeconnect.com/ptexej2px5on/    Meeting materials may be downloaded from the webinar recording link.

Governor Hogan Funds Grant to Create Inclusive Higher Education Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities

Coppin State University Selected as Recipient of $250,000 Grant
Baltimore, MD  (May 17, 2018)-Governor Larry Hogan announced the allocation of $250,000 to the Maryland Department of Health's Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) for a grant that will create an inclusive higher education program for students with developmental disabilities.
"Creating inclusive higher education opportunities for students with developmental disabilities that focus on both education and employment is incredibly important," said Governor Hogan. "Our administration is proud to work with the Developmental Disabilities Administration, Think College, and Coppin State University on this endeavor."
Think College, a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability, along with  Coppin State University, will plan, develop, and implement a higher education program that allows students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as defined under the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) to:
  • Access inclusive academic courses
  • Obtain and sustain integrated competitive employment
  • Access internships and work-based learning experiences
  • Receive campus or community housing
  • Experience the same benefits and outcomes as their peer students without disabilities
"This grant further helps us meet our goal to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities-starting at a younger age-to provide much-needed tools and knowledge so they can live active, full lives and to ultimately become working and living members in the communities of their choice," said Bernard Simons, Deputy Secretary Developmental Disabilities Administration. 
In preparation for the launch of the program, the DDA held two Capacity Building Institutes for Inclusive Higher Education events to identify emerging and best practices for inclusive higher education. The first session, held at Towson University, focused on programs for adults with disabilities, while the second, held at Chesapeake College, focused on programs for Transitioning Youth with disabilities. Both sessions included experienced presenters from colleges and universities in surrounding states who shared their experiences and knowledge about the development and sustainability of their programs. 
The DDA also worked in consultation with the Maryland Inclusive Higher Education Collaborative, whose members include: Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), Maryland State Department of Education-Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services (MSDE-SEEIS), Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD), and the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP).  The collaborative was supported by a grant awarded to the University of Maryland by Think College.  
This announcement closely follows federal approval for DDA's Family Supports Waiver and Community Supports Waiver. Approval for both waivers was announced at the end of 2017, and services became available in February of this year. The waivers will reduce the current DDA wait list by 800 and provide needed supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families.

The Lead Center Resources

Guided Group Discovery Resources: Introduction and Course, Participant Workbook, and Facilitator Guide

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the LEAD Center are pleased to release resources for Guided Group Discovery. Guided Group Discovery materials include a Facilitator Manual, an accompanying PowerPoint slide deck (Introduction and Course), and a Participant Workbook.
The purpose of Guided Group Discovery is to lay the foundation for competitive integrated employment as a Universal Design that can benefit all job seekers. For some people, Guided Group Discovery leads to Customized Employment. For everyone, the process assists job seekers in identifying employment that would be a good fit both for them and an employer. 
Complete the workbook through your web browser:  Guided Group Discovery Participant Workbook. This tool will allow you to reopen the Workbook you started and add to, edit, or review your information at any time through a link it will send you through email.

If you prefer to print the workbook, visit the Download section below.

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?


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