Lesly Quintanilla Lopez: The Impact of Work on Benefits (October 2021)

The Impact of Work on Benefits: Worried about losing public benefits? Competitive employment IS an option! Benefits Planning & Work Incentives: Busting Barriers to Employment  

Tuesday, October 26, 2021, 3-4pm ET.
Register

Guest speaker: Lesly Quintanilla Lopez is the executive director for The Keys Advocacy Center, Center for Independent Living where she is responsible for a multi-county, community-based project from SSA and for the Independent Living program covering the Florida Keys.  As an advocate for people with disabilities and the elderly for the last 14 years, her skills and areas of expertise include advocacy, disability issues, and health insurance specifically Medicare.

 Lesly enjoys serving and contributing to her community and she is currently involved with:

  • The Alliance for Aging, as part of the Board of Directors, and volunteering for the SHINE program as an Area Coordinator for Monroe County since 2009 and
  • The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) educating Medicare beneficiaries in how to prevent fraud to Medicare since Feb 2014
  • Disability Independent Group (DIG) as a newsletter contributor since April 2014

The American Red Cross Greater Miami and the Keys Chapter as a Community Volunteer Leader.  In this volunteer role, she serves as an ambassador for the Red Cross in Monroe County.  She also sits on the Red Cross South Florida Disability Integration Team since May 2019.  This year, 2021, Lesly was named the Disaster Cycle Services Preparedness Volunteer of the Year!

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Lesly was awarded The Golden Choices Volunteer of the year recognition from the Department of Elders Affairs State of Florida some years back for her volunteer services to SHINE program from the Alliance for Aging.  Some of her hobbies and special interests include spending time with her family, reading and being involved in serving her community.   Lesly has been happily married for the last 28 years and lives in Homestead, which is a 45-minutes ride from the beautiful Florida Keys where she works.

Learn more about past and upcoming presentations.

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July 2021 archive: Project SEARCH: Looking to the Future

Recording from the July 20, 2021 presentation: Project SEARCH: Looking to the Future

Project SEARCH is a proven school to work transition program where youth experience a combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant job-skills training at a local business. Building a successful program takes commitment, teamwork and problem solving. One reason Project SEARCH works? Workplace immersion. What is this? And how does it help students? What should you do at the local level? Join us and learn more!

Presenters:

Patti Langford, ESE transition specialist, Nassau County School District

Join us July 20 at 3pm to learn about the benefits of Project SEARCH!

Project SEARCH is a proven school to work transition program where youth experience a combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and relevant job-skills training at a local business. Building a successful program takes commitment, teamwork and problem solving. One reason Project SEARCH works? Workplace immersion. What is this? And how does it help students? What should you do at the local level? Join us and learn more! 

What: Project SEARCH in Florida: Transitioning to Work 
When: Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 3-4pm ET 
Register now! 

Presenters: 
Patti Langford, ESE transition specialist, Nassau County School District 
Donna Thompson, VR employment specialist, Nassau County School District 

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IBUDGET: Lawmakers have agreed on the largest funding increase in recent history!

(April 28, 2021 update)

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is pleased to share that Florida lawmakers have agreed to spend an additional $95 million a year to provide more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities access to services they need to live in their communities and out of institutions.
 
This is the largest funding increase in recent history and will help reduce the iBudget Waiver waiting list.
 
“We are very excited about (the $95 million). It will certainly help with getting a larger number of individuals off the waitlist than what we originally anticipated,” said Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Executive Director Valerie Breen.
 
 
We want to thank everyone who has contacted their legislator and made their voice heard on behalf of the iBudget Waiver and its services as well as for all Floridians with disabilities. It is because of your efforts we were able to Preserve the iBudget Waiver this legislative session.
 
While this funding is what we were asking for during our Preserve the iBudget initiative, we are still closely monitoring the estimated 50 percent vacancy rate of direct support staff. We are hoping this will be something that the Legislature will also address.
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Thinking about college?

College is for everyone!

There are many college programs that serve students with intellectual disabilities. They provide individual supports and services for the academic and social inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities in academic courses, extracurricular activities, and more. Follow this link for a list of inclusive college programs from our friends at Thinkcollege.net!

What am I interested in?

Not sure what you want to do for a job? Think about what interests you?

  • What are/were my favorite classes in school?
  • What do I like to do in my free time?
  • What things am I good at?

The things you are good at are also called “skills.” These skills can help you decide what a good job might be. For instance, if you are very organized, you might want to work in a library or an office. If you’re friendly, you might want to work at the check-in desk at a gym. If you know a lot about music, maybe you could work in a music store.
Learn more by visiting our Explore Work lessons!

Top 3 reasons people want to work

  1. Money. People work to make money. They need money for food, for rent, and to have fun with their friends and family. 
  2. Independence. Money isn’t the only reason to work. Working can also give you more independence and more control over your own life. When you work, you are learning new things, getting more skills, and making friends with people you meet through your job.
  3. Community. People work to be part of and contribute to their communities. This means that jobs exist not only for your benefit, but jobs also let you help others. For example, let’s say I have a job in an office delivering the mail. I’m helping the whole office save time and get stuff done.

Do you know why you want to work? Visit our Explore Work lessons to read and do exercises about community employment.

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Apprenticeships Benefit both Employers and Job Seekers in Florida

Apprentice Florida

Businesses are searching for employees with specialized skills and training, while job seekers want to gain work experience and earn good wages. In Florida, the apprenticeship employment model is helping to meet both the needs of job seekers and employers. The state’s goal is that by 2030, 80% of Floridians will have essential work skills. The policy of CareerSource Florida, the state’s workforce investment board, supports the use of sector strategies to align educational and economic resources in support of this goal. Apprentice Florida is a strategy to implement this policy and reach the state’s goals.

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