Self-Advocates: Chris & Christina

Chris & Christina shared thoughts on employment, marriage, and self-advocacy at the 2019 Florida Self-Advocates Network’D conference in Orlando.

Chris, an employee at Home Depot, speaks about a recent recognition he received for providing excellent costumer service. Christina is a secretary at the Conklin Center for the Blind. She talks about the accommodations they provide to her to make her job easier. They are both part of a self-advocacy group from East Volusia.

October 2019: What does it mean to become an Employment First provider?

Provider agencies across the country are transforming to support jobs in the community for people with disabilities. This process of organizational transformation can be both exciting and challenging for provider staff and the people they serve. Jaimie Timmons and Oliver Lyons, ICI, provide joined us to help participants gain insight into the benefits of provider transformation and the work done by members of the ARC network through their membership in the Provider Transformation Network, a project of the Institute for Community Inclusion.
Watch the presentation recording.

July 2019: Developing a Vision of a Good Life

On July 30, Crystal Bell, a certified trainer of  Charting the LifeCourse Framework, spoke about the Framework and the roles everyone can play in supporting employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is a set of tools created by families to help individuals of all ages and their families develop a vision for a good life, think about what they need to know and do, identify how to find or develop supports, and discover what it takes to live the lives they want to live. Self-advocate Ashley Wolfe, shared her thoughts about a quality life in a short video and participated in some Q&A to audience members.
Watch the presentation recording.

Self-Advocate: Amanda

Amanda shared her employment story at the 2019 Florida Self-Advocates Network’D conference in Orlando.

Amanda is originally from Pennsylvania, and moved to Florida about six years ago to pursue a job at Disney. Today, she works as a guest services coordinator at Universal Orlando. Amanda says, “Guest service coordinators try to make their guests’ day just a little bit better trying to figure out what to do in situations where they’re going to be, you know, upset and just try to make life a little easier for them.” Listen to the interview to learn more about her, especially her very cool first job as a Macy’s parade balloon handler!

How do you request an accommodation from your employer?

It is important to know how to ask for an accommodation. Watch our videos and check out these tips:

  • Be polite and give examples. “These are some accommodations that help me in school, and I think that they can help me on this job. Could we talk about them?”
  • Have a conversation.  Be open to feedback and suggestions. “I looked at the requirements for the job and these are the accommodations I may need.  What are some of your ideas?”

Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit: Domains 1 – 5

The Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit provides a guide for all employment service professionals—from executive directors and managers to front-line direct support staff—to assess their current capacity and training needs and to identify options for addressing them.

The toolkit covers the application of core values and principles to practice and competencies in:

  • Community research
  • Job development
  • Community-based assessment
  • Workplace and related supports
  • Ongoing supports 

Continue reading “Employment First Collaborative Training Toolkit: Domains 1 – 5”

Let’s Get Everyone to Work: Shane, imaging technician

Shane has a career in data processing at a company in St. Petersburg. Watch his story to learn more about what he does and how he learned to do it.

“It feels good to have a job and a paycheck.” Shane Dahlin

Shane is one of 12 individuals with disabilities who share personal stories about employment and education as part of the FDDC’s “Let’s Get Everyone to Work: Resource Toolkit for Students and Families.” Learn more (and see more videos) at