Virtual DD Day is March 30!!

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) is thrilled to announce that the 2021 Virtual Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day (DD Day) is set for Tuesday, March 30! Join them as we make our voices heard in support of Floridians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their family members and our dedicated caregivers.
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How to Talk to People about Work presentation: January 19, 2021

Ever wonder what you can do to help someone with a disability obtain a job in the community?
Join us January 19 for some guidance!

The How to Talk to People about Work presentation will introduce the Employment Empowerment Toolkit. It will also offer ideas and actions job seekers, families, teachers, case managers, employment staff, and adult day training staff can take to help people with disabilities work in their communities. 
Date: January 19, 2021
Time: 3-4pm ET
Format: Zoom webinar

Register now! 

Arc of the Bay, Lynn Haven, FloridaThe Arc of the Bay Supports Staff to Transform Employment Services

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EMPLOYMENT FIRST SUCCESS STORIES: EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

 The Arc of the Bay’s board of directors developed and implemented a plan to transform the agency’s ADT to support employment in the community as a priority outcome. “We decided to play offense and lead the way,” said Ron Sharpe, the Arc of the Bay’s executive director during a recent presentation about this transformation for Employment First Florida.

They framed ADT and employment services around supporting adults with IDD to build employment skills and find employment in the community. This led to the development of organizational goals and objectives to achieve this mission.

BRICK by BRICK: Building a Talent Pipeline through Work-Based Learning Experiences for Students with Disabilities

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 requires that state vocational rehabilitation (VR) departments create local partnerships with school districts. These partnerships have led to improvements in the transition from school to work for youth in Florida with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  

Many students with IDD aged 14–21 are accessing VR services before completing school through a work-based learning experience, or WBLE. While participating in a WBLE, students spend their time in a real work environment, taking on workplace responsibilities, acquiring skills, and gaining insight into their own work interests and the requirements of careers.

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Interview with Kiersten Lee, Agencies for People with Disabilities

Kiertsen joined Employment First Florida for our third session of the Profiles of the Employment First Interagency Collaborative Team seres. Kiersten provided us with updates on the work the Agencies for People with Disabilities has been doing to support Employment First in Florida. Listen to her recording to learn more!

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Session Recordings: The Florida DD Network Collaborative Leadership Program Half-day virtual conference

In August 2020, the Florida DD Network Collaborative Leadership Program, funded by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, hosted a half-day virtual conference to discuss strategies, initiatives and recommendations to promote successful employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Employment First Florida is happy to share recordings of the 4 sessions! If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Holly Hohmeister at hollyh@fddc.org.

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Employment First Florida Employment Empowerment Toolkit!

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Since 2015, Employment First Florida local collaborative sites have been on the cutting edge of creating solutions to help people with disabilities get the help they need to work. To further support local communities in Florida to prioritize employment for individuals with disabilities, the Institute for Community Inclusion has developed the Employment Empowerment Toolkit. The toolkit is designed to support job seekers, families, teachers, case managers, employment staff, and other direct support staff to make employment the first option for all Floridians with disabilities.

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Transportation: Recommendations from the FDDC

We all know how important frustrating transportation can be. It’s one of the main issues people seem to struggle with and we are always looking to solutions. It would be nice if Oprah could give us all new cars but that just isn’t a reality.

Back in 2017, the FDDC conducted a study to look for ways to help people with disabilities find good options for transportation.  They found 5 areas of need:

  • More money
  • Stronger agencies
  • More driver training
  • More routes and hours
  • Additional issues

Read the report to learn about their recommendations and advice.

Interview with Valerie Breen, Florida Developmental Disabilities Council

Valerie Breen, executive director of the FDDC, joined Employment First Florida on July 28, 2020 presentation to highlight the collaborative work being done to support the Employment First Florida initiative.

The initiative grew out of the council’s seven year commitment to improve employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. From 2013 until present, the council’s investment in time and dollars has resulted in many returns. Listen to Valerie’s recording to learn more.

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