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

Session: Florida Employment Enhancement: Strengthening the System of Support

This session shared suggestions for increasing employment outcomes by strengthening the role effectiveness of employment specialists and job coaches. These suggested strategies are based on examination of current tools, practices, and resources created for and available to employment specialists, job coaches and job seekers.  

Jairo Arana, Cody Bowman, Natalie Jean, Arizona Jenkins, Danielle McGill, Mindy Stevens
Presentation handout [PDF]
Presentation recording: Recommendations to Strengthen the Role Effectiveness of Employment Specialists and Job Coaches [MP4]
Strengthening the System of Support, A white paper from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Network Leadership Development Program [PDF]

Session: Employment First: Advancing Equal Employment Opportunities and Creating Inclusive Workplaces

In this session, participants learned about Employment First, which is the presumption that all working age adults and youths with disabilities can, and should, be working side-by-side with co-workers without disabilities, earning minimum wage or higher. They also explained that Employment First principles must be based on clear public policies and practices that ensure employment of citizens with disabilities within the general workforce is the priority for public funding and service delivery. The definition and core concepts of competitive, integrated employment were reviewed, and resources offered by APSE were shared.

Presenter: Julie Christensen, APSE
Employment First 101 presentation handout [PDF]
Presentation recording: Employment 101 [MP4]

Session: U-Cane Ability- Improving the Hiring of People with Disabilities at UHealth

For the last nine years, Mailman Center has been conducting an advanced leadership program, the Emerging Transformational Leadership Program (ETLP) for early to mid-level career professionals, family and persons with disabilities that want to create systems level change for the disability community.  This year our cohort focused their group project on improving employment for people with disabilities.

Presenters: Rachelle Carrie and Stephanie Hacker
Presentation handout [PDF]
Presentation recording U-Cane Ability- Improving the Hiring of People with Disabilities at UHealth [MP4]

Session: Building Strategies for Career and Financial Advancement (NDI)

This session provided tips and resources to assist in building your career and financial future. Attendees learned about resources to help understand public benefits and impact on work, resources to assist in identifying the career that is right for you and financial tips to keep in mind in your job search.

Presenter: Michael Rousch
Presentation handout [PDF]
Presentation resource [link]
Presentation recording: Building Strategies for Career and Financial Advancement [MP4]