The Grassroots Group

The Employment First Grassroots Group is a way for people to share their ideas and experiences about employment. Anyone who wants to share their experiences, make recommendations about how to improve employment, and learn new ideas about employment can join. 

We are retiring the Grassroots Group meeting and instead hosting presentations. For more information, navigate to http://www.employmentfirstfl.org/presentations-2019


Archives by Topic

Assistive Technology

April 2018 | Technology: Assistive, Adaptive, and Rehabilitative

Presenter: Eric Reed, Florida Alliance For Assistive Technology (FAAST)

Eric Reed shared information about assistive technology initiatives and programs that connect job seekers with the resources they need to thrive at work. In his presentation, he walked through several programs that FAAST runs in Florida that help connect job seekers with the AT resources they need to thrive at work.

Handouts:

Presentation slides

Meeting Summary

Business

March 2014 | Communication campaigns to promote employment for individuals with IDD to local business owners

Handouts:

Presentation slides

April 2016 | The Abilities Work Help Desk

The meeting provided information about the resources available to help Florida’s employers find information about hiring qualified employees with disabilities and to help link people with disabilities to available job openings. The presenters shared information about how employers and job-seekers with disabilities can use the Abilities Work Help Desk and Abilities Work Web Portal.

Handouts:

Meeting summary and highlights

Abilities work Presentation slides (PDF)

Abilities Work presentation (this verion is accessible to screen readers/ RTF)

Governor's Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities (2013)

Office of the Governor Executive Order

Interagency Cooperative Agreement

January 2018: Vocational Rehabilitation and WIOA

Presenters: Kathy David and Aleks Bologna, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

As a result of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) has changed the way it engages businesses. VR established a business relations project which provides customized services to local businesses to help them recognize the value persons with disabilities have and how to recruit and hire individuals. By providing businesses customized services, these partnerships allow VR participants to obtain competitive integrated employment. Vocational Rehabilitation’s business relations project has become a leading tool for helping employers meet the goal of hiring individuals with a disability into meaningful work. Join us January 23 to learn more about the project and how it functions.

Handouts:

Meeting summary

DVR presentation slides

Event transcript (closed captioning)

OJT: Construction flyer

OJT: Fire fighter flyer

Job driven training flyer

EMPLOYMENT FIRST FLORIDA (POLICY AND ACTIVITIES)

February 2014 | Governor Scott’s Executive Order on increasing employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)

Handouts:

Meeting presentation slides

 

April 2014 | Employment First Florida communication plan update

Handouts:

Meeting presentation slides

 

October 2015 |  Bringing Employment First to Scale

Handouts:

Presentation slides(PDF)

Employment First implementation plan

Implementation activity planning template

Employment Collaborative training kit

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

May 2014 | Identifying and supporting non-traditional employment opportunities

Handouts:

Meeting presentation slides

 

SELF-ADVOCATES

 

July 2015 | Success Stories

Handouts:

Presentation handout (PDF)
Post-meeting survey

The story of Izzy

An amazing bank teller

Laurie Adams, a team player at greeting card company
Stories from Vocational Rehabilitation
Stories from APD

 

July 2016 | Sharing Strategies and Self-Advocate Stories

The July 2016 meeting focused on sharing strategies to help individuals with disabilities prepare to look for a job in the community. The strategies are part of a curriculum that is being developed for individuals with disabilities to use on their own or in small groups to begin to think about the skills and resources they have that can help them work in the community. Arizona Jenkins, Ashley Wolfe, and Aaron Coleman presented on their work experiences.

Handouts:

Meeting summary and highlights

Presentation slides

 

July 2017 | Explore Work curriculum

Presenters Ashley Wolfe & Allison Hall, ICI

Employment First Florida presented “Explore Work,” our new online, interactive curriculum. The curriculum has 5 lessons to help people with disabilities learn about work and prepare for jobs. Each lesson has a worksheet with questions to help job seekers think about employment. 

Handouts:

Presentation slides

 

SYSTEMS CHANGE

 

April 2015 | Updates on Florida’s Interagency Systems Change Actions

Handouts:

Meeting presentation slides

 

January 2015 | Local-level collaboration

Handouts:

Meeting presentation slides

Community Conversation Guide

Community Conversation examples

 

January 2017 | WIOA | Unique Abilities Partner Program

In this presentation, we heard from Diane Vacca and Vicki Underwood from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. They walked us through the Unique Abilities Partner Program and how to find businesses that have been selected in a specific community. We also heard from Jan Pearce from the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation about the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Ms. Pearce specifically discussed Section 511 of WIOA, and opportunities for individuals who earn less than minimum wage.

Handouts:

Meeting summary and highlights

Presentation slides

 

January 2016 | The Center for Social Capital’s Employment First Collaborative Training Project

Beth Keeton from the Center for Social Capital shared info on the Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit (EFCT). The EFCT was created to help Florida identify what type of skills professionals (job developers and job coaches) need to build their skills and knowledge so that they can help people with disabilities find jobs in the community. 

Handouts:

Meeting summary and highlights

Meeting presentation slides

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

October 2014 | Transportation: Pursuit of mobility

Handouts:

Meeting presentation slides
Transportation resources

 

October 2017 | Transportation: Past, present, & future

Safee Broxton from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council presented on Florida's transportation voucher pilot program. Safee provided findings on outcomes and also examples of individuals with disability who utilized the vouchers. Ashley Wolfe, from the ICI, introduced the new transportation video created by Employment First Florida to compliment the Explore Work curriculum (located at www.employmentfirstfl.org/explore-work-curriculum).

Handouts:

Meeting summary

Grassroots Group presentation slides

FDDC/Safee Broxton slides

FDDC transportation charts

 

YOUTH/TRANSITION

 

September 2014 | Transitions: A look at agency services

Handouts:

Presentation slides

 

July 2018 | Secondary transition of youth with disabilities with Project 10
Danie Roberts-Dahm, Project 10

The meeting focused on how Florida school districts identify and meet programmatic needs to help improve post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities. The co-director for Project 10, Danie Roberts-Dahm, will explain how Project 10 has been helping schools succeed by providing them resources, technical assistance, and training

April 2017 | Nassau County School District as VR Vendor

In this presentation, we heard from representatives of the Nassau County School District on their efforts to become a Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) vendor. The presenters described the process that the school district undertook to become a VR vendor and lessons learned. 

Handouts:

Meeting summary and highlights

Presentation slides (PDF)

October 2018 | Mentoring/National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Christine Benes and Damien Hunte, with the Keiser University Multidisciplinary Center (KUMDC), joined the Grassroots Group to explain their work as school liaisons. They shared information about what mentoring is (a helpful relationship based upon agreement, mutual respect, and trust) and the activities they conduct with youth with disabilities. 

Recording 

Handouts

Event summary (PDF)

Closed Captioning transcript (RTF)

Closed Captioning transcript (PDF) 

Guest slides presentation

KUMDC career mentoring services

KUMDC career mentoring flyer

KUMDC brochure