Meaningful Lives – Spring 2023 Webinar Series
TASH New England is excited to bring you the first of a series of 3 webinars focused on Meaningful Lives. The three individual presentations are scheduled for 3 Wednesdays in March from 1:00 – 2:30. Presenters include Gail Fanjoy, Linda Rammler and Zach Rossetti. More information is available below. Registration is $20 for each webinar or $55 for all three.
About the Series
March 15, 2023, 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern
Why Words Are Not Enough: Using Slogans DOES NOT Spontaneously Translate to Better Outcomes
Gail Fanjoy, CEO (retired), KFI (Katahdin Friends, Inc.)
About this Episode
While owning a home, having a meaningful job, rich relationships, and community belonging are benchmarks of accomplishment for us all, human service systems struggle to realize these concepts on behalf on individuals with disabilities. Those of us working in the human service system have embraced the words “Community,” “Work,” “Home,” “Choice,” and “Inclusion” but many times our efforts result in outcomes that most of us would not want for ourselves and are not reflective of the words we use. Our rhetoric has changed, but our thinking, practices, and organizational culture have not. Gail will explore these words and provide examples of how they can mean the same thing in the lives of people with disabilities not just by changing the way we talk, but by changing the way we act.
March 22, 2023, 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern
Thinking out of the Box in Customizing Employment: Stories of Success
Dr. Linda Rammler, University of Connecticut UCEDD
About this Episode
In this webinar, Linda Rammler will describe ways unique jobs were created for individuals. Customizing different parts of ways to get jobs is really important. How this was done will include actual examples. A Do-It-Yourself resource also will be introduced. Target audience: jobseekers, families, transition and employment staff, members of the business community.
March 29, 2023, 1:00 – 2:30 PM Eastern
Friends Matter: Developing Authentic Social Relationships
Zach Rossetti, Associate Professor of Special Education, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, Boston University
About this Episode
Friendships are personally valuable and developmentally important relationships for all people, yet friendships between individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) remain infrequent. Extant research indicates that (a) social opportunities are more important for friendship development than social skills, and (b) direct support from adults is a critical facilitator of friendships. This presentation shares social successes and challenges, as well as research-based strategies to promote authentic social relationships for all.
About the Presenters
Gail Fanjoy is the retired CEO of KFI (Katahdin Friends, Inc.), an agency which provides supports for people with disabilities in the areas of community employment, supported living, and community life engagement in Maine. Having worked at KFI from 1976 – 2020, she was a leader in the revolutionary shift in service delivery away from sheltered and segregated services to customized supports for people to live and work in the community. Gail holds degrees in Speech Pathology from the University of Maine. On a national level, she served on the National Quality Forum’s Advisory Committee for Person-Centered Planning and Practice from 2018-2020; worked as a Subject Matter Expert for the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Employment First State Leadership Program and consulted around provider transformation in numerous states. Gail has 35+ years providing high-quality, person-centered planning and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and other significant disabilities in rural Maine and now serves as a subject matter expert for CareSource. She served two terms on the TASH national Board of Directors, is Co-President of TASH New England, and was honored with TASH’s Barb Trader Leadership Award in 2016. Gail is the Past President of Maine APSE and was a member of Maine’s Employment First Coalition; she is the recipient of APSE’s 2020 Dave Hammis Innovation Award. Gail is active in her hometown of Millinocket, Maine serving on various committees and boards to improve community living and employment for all its citizens. She has been married to her college sweetheart for 46 years and is the proud grandmother of an academically gifted, athletic, well-rounded 16-year-old grandson who happens to be on the autism spectrum.
Recently retired but back at the UConn UCEDD part-time, Dr. Linda Rammler has nearly 50 years of experience in disabilities. Her current projects include serving as an instructor for the Adulting Series, monitoring participation in the online course “A Family Guide to Postsecondary Transition,” supporting People First of CT, and continuing to represent the UCEDD in systems change initiatives such as a BRS grant to transition 14C-waivered day programs to competitive integrated employment opportunities for all.
Other more recent projects at the UCEDD include Customized and Customizing Employment, Think College, and LifeCourse trainings. She has also published articles on transition and employment of individuals with disabilities and complied a White Paper for the UCEDD calling for the elimination of punitive practices in schools. Previously, she provided technical assistance to the CT Special Olympics Healthy Communities Project and Ability Beyond’s Discovery Learn Work services to transition-aged students and young adults. She also served as Project Manager for “A Place of My Own to Call Home” Resource Manual and Curriculum and the “Prep is Personal: Find the Fridge” emergency preparedness for people with disabilities. She continues to provide technical assistance to individuals with disabilities, their families, and others who contact the UCEDD looking for assistance and information on any of the above topics as well as on inclusive education for school-aged children and adolescents. She maintains a small private practice providing communication and other inclusive supports to people with disabilities.
“Dr. Linda” has been married for 25 years to Mark Partin, a retired disability rights attorney, whom she met at TASH. She raised three children with IEPs, has two dogs and three cats living at home, is a grandmother to two beautiful girls, and her youngest daughter is engaged to be married in September.
Zach Rossetti, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development at Boston University. A former elementary school special education teacher and inclusion facilitator from New Hampshire, Dr. Rossetti’s research focuses on social interactions and friendships between students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), specifically the contexts and dynamics of such relationships and how educators and families may facilitate social opportunities. His research also examines the experiences of families with children with IDD by centering on participation and language access in IEP meetings, community participation, family-professional partnerships of culturally and linguistically diverse families, and sibling roles and relationships.
Dr. Rossetti co-authored (with Janet Story Sauer) Affirming disability: Strengths-based portraits of culturally diverse families (2020,Teachers College Press). He also co-authored (with Carol Tashie and Susan Shapiro-Barnard) Seeing the charade: What we need to do and undo to make friendships happen (2006, Inclusive Solutions: Nottingham, UK).
He is an Associate Editor for Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities and the Journal of Education, and he is on the Editorial Board of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, Remedial and Special Education, and TASH’s new practitioner journal Inclusive Practices.
How to Participate
This series of live webinars will be streamed over the web via Zoom. Each presentation will be about an hour and fifteen minutes, followed by fifteen minutes for questions and answers. Registered participants will receive an e-mail with instructions and the link to join the webinar on Tuesday (the day prior) and a reminder the morning of the event.
Attendees can register for single episodes or for the entire series. Each session costs $20, or there are three great ways to save:
- Complete series discount: When you register for the complete series, you attend all three episodes at eight percent of the individual episode price.
- TASH member discount: You get ten percent off the individual episode price and sixteen percent off the complete series price. Individual episodes are $18 and the complete series is $50. You need to be logged in to your member account for the system to apply your member discount (if you don’t know your member account login and password, you can find instructions for resetting them here.)
All the presentation will be recorded and available for purchase in the TASH Training Resource Library, or available without additional charge to Premium Members.
Not presently eligible for the membership discount? Become a member today and save.
If you have any questions or need help, you can contact Donald Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 808-8148.