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Employment and Transportation Task Force

Employment

Information Page

Task Force Members

Executive Summaries

Meeting Materials 

Meeting Minutes 

   

Employment and Transportation Task Force
 
The main areas of emphasis of the Employment and Transportation Task Force are 1) employment-related activities including advocacy, capacity building, and systemic change activities that result in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities acquiring, retaining, or advancing in paid employment, including supported employment or self-employment, in integrated settings in the community, and 2) supporting interagency collaboration and demonstration of new approaches to increase access to affordable, accessible, transportation options for Floridians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
 
Employment and Transportation goal pages in the State Plan Blueprint
Employment and Transportation Position Papers
      ·      Employment First Position Paper
 
Employment and Transportation Task Force Projects

      ·    Benefits Training and Asset Development (12.1) 

      ·    Statewide Training and Technical Assistance Initiative

 

The National Disability Institute implemented the Benefits Planning and Asset Development Initiative through the provision of training and technical assistance to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families and key stakeholders in Florida. The initiative focused on dispelling the myths about employment and loss of benefits, and on building assets as a cornerstone to financial self-sufficiency.

 
During year one, the project developed and released a new accessible self-paced workbook, The Changing Face of Benefits; Samuel’s Journeya supplimental workbook targeted to individuals with disabilities; and The Changing Face of Benefits Online Course. The initiative also partnered with Florida agencies on benefits planning and asset development to build capacity through training and technical assistance in all employment efforts.
Plans are underway to translate the workbook, supplement, and online course to Spanish during year two of the project.
      Contact Sheila Gritz-Swift, Employment and Transportation Task Force Program Manager, 
      for more information via email at
sheilags@fddc.org or phone (850) 488-4180.
 
·         Rural Routes to Employment (12.4)
o    Lake, Osceola, Santa Rosa/Walton, Suwannee/Hamilton/Lafayette /Madison Counties
 
The Center for Social Capital is implementing the Rural Routes to Employment Initiative.  This initiative is designed to provide technical assistance and training to stakeholders in rural communities in Florida to develop and implement a strategic plan for creatively addressing strategies that lead to an increase in employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in rural communities. A major focus is on implementation of customized and self-employment facilitated by Community Action Teams (CATs).
 
In year one, the Center for Social Capital project staff selected four communities based on their request for proposal responses: (1) Bishop Grady Villas (Osceola County); (2) Building Blocks Ministries, Inc. (Lake County); (3) Helping People Succeed (Okeechobee County); (4) Trio Employment Network (Santa Rosa County). Each of the sites developed Community Action Teams (CATs), identified team members, received technical assistance and training, and conducted resource mapping activities. Each of the sites completed community forums to ascertain information related to employment barriers and opportunities in their respective communities. Findings will be shared with additional communities to improve the employment of individuals in other rural areas.
 
In year two of the project, the Okeechobee site pulled out of the initiative and the Santa Rosa site leadership changed. During year two, the Lake and Osceola project sites will remain intact with limited project support. The Santa Rosa site is under new leadership with Eagle Connections taking the lead and expanding to Walton County. A new site has been selected. The new site will be implemented through the Suwannee County Division of Vocational Rehabilitation office in Live Oak, Florida, and the project will operate as a consortium with Suwannee, Hamilton, Lafayette and Madison counties.
 
A recent positive development is that Congressman Webster has attended one Community Action Team (CAT) meeting of the Lake County site, and he has appointed staff to continue participation in the meetings.
 
Contact Sheila Gritz-Swift, Employment and Transportation Task Force Program Manager, for more information via email at sheilags@fddc.org or phone (850) 488-4180.
 
·         Employ Me 1st (12.5)
o    Statewide Systems Change Initiative
 
The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services (NASDDDS) partnered to help Florida understand national efforts and to develop an Employment First initiative in the state.
Employment First is being defined as integrated employment in the community as the first option for working age individuals with disabilities, including individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, receiving publicly funded services. Integrated employment, including supported employment, customized employment, and self-employment means individual employment paid by an employer at minimum wage or greater or earnings through one’s self-employment business, fully integrated in the community workforce, with a goal of maximum self-sufficiency.
The goal of the effort is to translate the lessons learned from existing Employment First states into strategies for effective implementation of an Employment First initiative in Florida.
In year one, the project provided Florida with a National and Florida Findings Report. The Florida Findings Report was based on Florida’s experiences, strengths, and needs and included document review, in-person and web-based forums, key informant interviews, and an online survey. The lessons learned from Employment First states are being considered in the context of Florida’s support system, and led to development of a draft Implementation and Marketing Plan towards an Employment First initiative in Florida. The overarching goal of Florida’s effort is to ensure broad participation from Florida stakeholders to develop and support a sustainable implementation and marketing plan that can contribute to greater employment opportunities for Floridians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
 
Employ Me 1st has entered into year two of implementation. Project staff is working with Florida to help move forward considerations for an executive order, legislation, and policy.
Contact Sheila Gritz-Swift, Employment and Transportation Task Force Program Manager, for more information via email at sheilags@fddc.org or phone (850) 488-4180.
 
·         Let’s Get Everyone to Work (12.6)
o    Statewide Systems Change Initiative
 
This initiative is designed to provide training, technical assistance and resources to employers and community stakeholders on employing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The initiative partnered with Diane Wilkins Production to develop and disseminate three high quality videos. The videos are targeted to self-advocates, families, educators, community agencies, students in higher education, and employers and promote the use of best practices in high school transition programs that culminate in employment for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
 
In year two of this project, a Post-School Options Guide will be developed to help youth and adults navigate pathways to postsecondary education, training, and employment as well as the agencies and resources that can provide supports.
                                                                                                        
Let’s Get Everyone to Work: Resource Toolkit for Students & Families
 
This 45-minute video explores strategies and approaches that lead to successful employment and greater independence for individuals with developmental disabilities. It focuses on the importance of having high expectations for employment and independence and using a person-centered transition process that reflects the interests and abilities of the individual, while developing a collaborative and creative support network. Also included are 12 personal stories of individuals with developmental disabilities who are successfully employed or participating in postsecondary education. You may order one DVD online and make as many copies as you wish. If you need additional copies, please download from the website including English or Spanish subtitles.

Order Online

Student Family Intro View Video
Amanda View Video
Antionette View Video
Chelsea View Video
Edwin View Video
Jason View Video
JJstudent View Video
Jonathan View Video
Kelsey View Video
Michael View Video
Misty View Video
Richard View Video
Shane View Video
Advice Parents View Video
Advice Students View Video
Career Exploration View Video
College Experience View Video
On The Job View Video
Person Centered View Video

Let’s Get Everyone to Work: Marketing Toolkit for Employers

This five-minute video highlights the benefits of hiring people with developmental disabilities and the support that is available to help your business and your employee succeed. Also included are 10 personal stories of individuals who have become super employees with the support of their families, schools, employers, co-workers and communities.

Order Online

Employer Intro View Video
Amanda View Video
Antionette View Video
Edwin View Video
Jason View Video
JJEmpPs View Video
Jonathan View Video
KelseyPsEmp View Video
Misty View Video
Richard View Video
Shane View Video

Let’s Get Everyone to Work: Teaching Toolkit for Pre-Service Professionals

This 45-minute video explores the role of educators, rehabilitation specialists, social workers and other professionals in supporting successful employment and greater independence for individuals with developmental disabilities. It focuses on the importance of having high expectations for employment and independence and using a person-centered transition process that reflects the interests and abilities of the individual. Also included are 12 personal stories of individuals with developmental disabilities who are successfully employed or participating in postsecondary education.

Order Online

Pre-Service Professionals Intro View Video
Amanda View Video
Antionette View Video
Chelsea View Video
Edwin View Video
Jason View Video
JJEmpPs View Video
Jonathan View Video
KelseyPsEmp View Video
Misty View Video
Richard View Video
Shane View Video
MichaelPsEmp View Video
PsCareerExp View Video
PsCollegeExp View Video
PsMakingIt View Video
PsOnTheJob View Video

Contact April Katine, Education Task Force Program Manager, for more information via email at: AprilK@fddc.org or phone (850) 488-4180, or Sheila Gritz-Swift, Employment and Transportation Task Force Program Manager, for more information via email at sheilags@fddc.org or phone (850) 488-4180.

 
·         Transportation Voucher Pilot (8.2)
o    Pilot Site to be Determined
 
Based on recommendations from the 2008 Florida Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida study funded by the Council entitled, “Innovative Approaches for Increasing Transportation Options for Persons with Disabilities in Florida,” also referred to as the Transportation Feasibility Study and recommendations from the Council’s Transportation Stakeholder’s Task force, the Council is moving forward with a transportation voucher pilot program for individuals with disabilities and seniors living in Florida through a collaborative partnership and interagency Memorandum of Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (DOT). The Council will provide $150,000.00, and the DOT will provide $200,000.00 for a total of $350,000.00 during year one to initiate at least one pilot program in Florida. The program is slated to begin in the fall of 2013.
 
Transportation vouchers will provide tickets or coupons to eligible riders with mobility needs that can be exchanged for rides. The provider of the ride can then exchange the vouchers with the sponsoring agencies for payment for the transportation service. They are typically used to subsidize the cost of transit, paratransit, taxis, but may also be used with volunteers where they are exchanged for mileage reimbursement. They give consumers choice and control, allow for the provision of transportation for individuals living outside established public transportation routes, and promote options in rural communities that often have minimal or no public transportation.
This project has the potential to open doors for transportation to employment and community activities, which is often limited or nonexistent in Florida due to funding shortages and medically necessary transportation taking precedence for existing providers of transportation. Moreover, it is anticipated that the pilot will provide a framework to enable replication and sustainability through future grant funding.
Contact Sheila Gritz-Swift, Employment and Transportation Task Force Program Manager, for more information via email at sheilags@fddc.org or phone (850) 488-4180.

 

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