Recording  Available: A Self Advocate Perspective: Strengthening the System of Support

If you missed the presentation on April 12, 2022, you are in luck! A recording of the event is now available! In April’s event, Natalie Jean from ADP and Sheila Gritz-Swift from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council discussed the Florida Developmental Disabilities Network Leadership Development Program and the creation of a scorecard that allows people with disabilities to determine whether they are receiving high quality employment services. Stay tuned for a bonus recording with Arizona Jenkins III, coming to you soon!

Click here to watch the event recording

Are you a person with a disability would like to work? Check out these resources!

Meet our speakers for the April 12 event!

Sheila Gritz-Swift

Sheila serves as the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council’s Senior Director, Programs and Contracts, where she provides oversight and support for development, implementation, and evaluation of the Council’s Five-Year State Plan.  Mrs. Gritz-Swift’s background includes 25 years working in the field of Exceptional Student Education as a practitioner, state-wide trainer, and Program Specialist for the Florida Department of Education, as well as 10 years with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.  Her primary content expertise and contributions to the field are in the areas of employment, secondary transition, and self-determination and self-advocacy.

Continue reading “Meet our speakers for the April 12 event!”

Join us on April 12, 2022 for: A Self Advocate Perspective: Strengthening the System of Support

Join us on April 12, 2022 to hear from self-advocates in Florida as they discuss their membership in the Florida Developmental Disabilities Network Leadership Development Program. Attendees will learn about work being done to identify barriers and solutions to improve quality employment services for Floridians with developmental disabilities. During the event, our speakers, Arizona Jenkins II and Natalie Jean will describe their work on the Florida DD Network Collaborative Leadership Program, a program designed to develop a diverse cadre of current and emerging leaders with and without disabilities. The cadre worked collaboratively to identify barriers and solutions to improve quality employment services for Floridians with developmental disabilities. The discussion will include a recommendation to create a scorecard that allows people with disabilities to determine whether they are receiving high quality employment services.

Date: April 12, 2022 from 3-4 PM
Location: Zoom meeting room
Register now

After you register, you will receive an email confirmation that includes connect information.

Need more information or assistance?  Contact Nancy Nickolaus at

Webinar recording: College Matters Florida

If you missed the College Matters Florida presentation on February 8, 2022, you’re in luck! We have a recording. Jaimie Timmons and Sheila Johnson presented on the new College Matters public awareness campaign. We had some great questions from our audience, and it was exciting to see so many people interested in supporting inclusive education programs for young adults with ID.

Webinar slides

Guest presenter slides

Here’s a bit of follow up information.

If you would like to help promote the message College Matters, please complete this form or contact Jaimie Timmons ( directly.

College Matters Florida staff are eager to get students involved. Please pass along our contact information or share the survey link:

Here are a few resources they shared during the presentation.

College Matters Campaign news article

University of Central Florida College Matters resources
Think College Search engine : A database of 312+ colleges and universities offering inclusive college programs for students with intellectual disability.

Join us Feb. 8, 2022: College Matters Florida

Learn more about college for students with IDD

College Matters. It is the name of the project but also a statement. College for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) matters, a lot!

On February 8, we welcome Jaimie Timmons, coordinator of the College Matters Florida (CMF) project. Jaimie will explain the CMF project, it’s evolution and share key resources available to you, including a 5-part series of videos about inclusive secondary and postsecondary education.

CMF kicked off a multi-media educational awareness campaign in January 2022.  Jaimie, along with colleague, Sheila Johnson, will describe the campaign and explain how each one of use can help spread the message that college is a viable and transformative experience for transitioning youth and young adults with IDD in Florida.

Register today!

If you have questions, you may contact Nancy Nickolaus at

Online event recording available: Benefits Planning & Work Incentives

October 26, 2021: Benefits Planning & Work Incentives: Busting Barriers to Employment Event

People with disabilities or their family members may be hesitant to work due to fears about losing health care and other benefits.  This month’s online event provided information about work incentives and resources that can help eliminate these concerns.

Focusing on the Social Security, Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program, our speaker Lesly Quintanilla Lopez highlighted a variety or rules and work incentives that can help people work, retain health care and increase financial security. She stressed the importance of being proactive and provided tools that can help. If you or someone you know is interested in working and receives SSI or SSDI contact the WIPA expert in your area.  Don’t know your local Community Work Incentive Coordinator?  You can find your local WIPA provider by zip code and other information in the the attached resources.

Click here to watch the event recording


Find a local WIPA provider by zip code. Choose the Benefits Counseling WIPA dropdown option: Http://

Ticket to Work Helpline: 1-866-968-7842

Visit the Social Security Administration and learn more about SSA Benefits and work supports:

To learn to take control of your finances and build financial independence at Check out money management tools like household budget worksheets and a financial savings calculator.

10.26 SSA beneficiaries, how a CWIC can help you [PDF]

10.26 Asset Building for Individuals with Disabilities [PDF]

project search logo

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!


Patti Langford, ESE transition specialist, Nassau County School District

people talking

Announcement – 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!