Informed Choice and the Path to a Working Life

Workshop Description:
Over the last few years we have witnessed an incredible convergence of federal policies and initiatives in support of integrated employment. At this session, attendees will learn about the expanding federal support for real jobs at real wages, and what it means for the lives of people with disabilities, and the services and individuals that assist and support them. This session will feature a “user friendly” discussion of federal developments including Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) actions, the Workforce innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and efforts to expand employment by both the federal government and federal contractors. A significant portion of this presentation will focus on the impact and ripple effects of these federal efforts “on the ground” in the New England states, resulting in new opportunities for individuals with disabilities on a path to employment working side-by-side with their fellow citizens in the general workforce. This session will also include the perspective of an individual who has lived through these changes, and audience members will find his experience with the DOJ settlement agreement in Rhode Island and the impact it has had on his life to be compelling. Please join us for what is sure to be an engaging and informative session that will provide the tools to take full advantage of this shift towards making employment a possibility and reality for everyone.

Three Workshop Objectives:
1) As a result of this session, attendees will have a broad-based knowledge regarding federal efforts to improve employment and the potential opportunities they present.
2) After this session, attendees will understand the impact these developments are having in New England, and how to take advantage of the opportunities they present.
3) After this session, attendees will be able to advocate for a path to employment utilizing the information, tools, and strategies presented.