Project SEARCH is a national internship program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). In Oregon, there are three sites funded by the Department of Human Services (DHS), including one with developmental disabilities provider Community Access Services and the city of Portland that started in March 2017.
As we approach the Sept. 1, 2018 deadline for providers in Oregon to comply with new Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) regulations, I wanted to send a message with some updates and resources.
In June 2017, summer work experience programs throughout the state funded by grants from the Department of Human Services and Oregon Department of Education kicked off.
|7/20/2018||EOS Case Manager VR Message|
Recently, the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) relaunched the Employment Outcomes System (EOS) website with new tools and features for Services Coordinators (SCs), Personal Agents (PAs) and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors.
To maintain a high quality of training opportunities and increase capacity, ODDS has adopted a pre-approval process for continuing education programs and activities.
Considering the upcoming increase to Oregon’s minimum wage on July 1, 2018, I thought it would be good to send a reminder, since some people may have concerns about working and keeping their benefits when wages increase.
The Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) has been working with stakeholders to update guidance and clarify requirements related to Employment Path services. Under new requirements for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), sheltered workshop services will no longer be eligible for Medicaid funding as of March 15, 2019. However, not all Employment Path Facility services are sheltered work.
|6/15/2018||Benefits and call update message|
Last week, the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services and the Work Incentives Network (WIN) held a call about benefits counseling.
|6/8/2018||EOS Provider Message|
The newest additions to the Employment Outcomes System (EOS) includes a new function for providers to enter capacity for job coaches, developers and Discovery services. This new function can be entered and updated by providers at any time – even daily.
Most providers in Oregon know that we have been preparing for the new Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) regulations for many years. Under these regulations, employment services not given in a community setting or with significant community components to ensure integration will not be eligible for federal funding as of March 2019, unless a specific exception is made. Oregon has given Medicaid-funded providers until Sept. 1, 2018 to comply.
|5/18/2018||Benefits counseling waiver message|
Employment First is requesting that benefits planning services be included in the Home and Community Based Services waiver as part of Employment Path services that will hopefully take effect July 1, 2018.
|5/11/2018||Employment Path Community Message|
This message is to provide materials and information related to Employment Path Community.
|5/4/2018||Breaking Barriers Message|
The Breaking Barriers – Life Beyond Labels conference was held Friday, April 27 in Redmond, Ore.
|4/13/2018||Claire Model Coco Good Work|
Claire, 31, started working at Coco & Toulouse in July 2017. It is her first paid job.
|4/6/2018||Amplify Rock Stars message|
In 2017, Employment First awarded innovation grants to various agencies and groups around the state. Two grants went to Dirkse Counseling & Consulting to develop an employer engagement pilot in the Washington County area and to train professionals to teach self-advocacy skills to students and transition-age youth.
|3/30/2018||EOS Webinar Reminder|
As a reminder, there are two webinars scheduled in April on the changes to the
Employment Outcomes System (EOS).
|3/23/2018||EF Communications Success Stories Message|
Part of the Employment First initiative required by the Governor’s Executive Order is an outreach and communications plan aimed at reaching people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
|3/21/2018||Order Selection Message|
Recently there has been conversation about whether Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) might go into Order of Selection in 2018. This message is intended to clear up any confusion and address the current situation.
|3/16/2018||2018 Transition Conference Message|
The Oregon Statewide Transition Conference was held March 1-2 in downtown Portland.
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) has announced a Request for Proposal for interested service providers to provide career counseling and information and referral services to Oregonians with disabilities making subminimum wage in 13 key counties.
|2/9/2018||OELN training message|
We have scheduled the first half of 2018 Oregon Employment Learning Network (OELN) trainings. As always, training information is also available on the Employment First Training Calendar
|2/2/2018||EOS Capacity Message|
The newest additions to the Employment Outcomes System (EOS) includes a new function for providers to enter capacity for job coaches, developers and Discovery services.
|1/19/2018||Transition Conference 2018|
The Oregon Statewide Transition Conference will be held March 1-2 in Portland. The event provides attendees an opportunity to learn, network, and share innovative approaches regarding transition practices in Oregon.
|1/12/2018||Transformation Grants Announce January 2018|
DHS has awarded new grants to service provider agencies that currently provide facility-based employment or day services to help transform their organizational and program models to community-based, integrated employment services.
|1/8/2018||Statement on DOJ actions|
Some of you may have heard about the recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the removal of several technical assistance and guidance documents, including those related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Olmstead.
|1/5/2018||Model Referral Message|
Based on stakeholder feedback, with technical assistance from the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition, the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS), Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) collaborated to create a Model Referral and Release of Information form.
|12/22/2017||2017 Year End Message Final|
I wanted to take this opportunity to look back at the many accomplishments achieved throughout our employment system in the past year. I recognize that everyone has had to adapt to a lot of change in the past few years
|12/1/2017||New Training Web Page Message|
I am excited to announce that we have revamped the Employment First Training and Technical Assistance web page to include new features and resources.
|11/2/2017||Training RFP Message|
The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a two-year contract to develop and provide training and technical assistance for the Employment First Initiative.
|10/27/2017||IDEA VR Business Event|
On October 11, Vocational Rehabilitation offices in the greater Vancouver, Wash. and Portland Ore. metro areas held the first Interstate Disability Employment Alliance (IDEA) forum.
|10/20/2017||October 2017 Outcomes Successes Report Message|
I am excited to announce that the Employment First: Outcomes and Success report for October 2017 is published online. This report highlights some of the outcomes and successes achieved toward the goal of increasing community jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
|10/10/2017||Mid Columbia Recognition Event|
On October 3, the Mid-Columbia Employment First team held “Working in the Gorge! Mid-Columbia Employment First Employer/Employee Recognition Event,” to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
|10/6/2017||Message NDEAM October 2017 Events|
In September, we sent out a message asking for anyone holding events to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October to send us the information. This year’s theme for the national event is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.” Here are some events happening statewide October 2017 for NDEAM.
|9/22/2017||Message NDEAM Call Out|
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I plan to send out a message in the next few weeks informing all statewide stakeholders and staff about events that may be happening in their area.
|8/25/2017||Lincoln County Summer Work Program|
A group of 15 students recently celebrated completion of a seven week paid work experience program in Lincoln County School District.
The students ranged in age from 16 to 21. They finished seven weeks of paid work in an individual community job through Lincoln County Schools’ “Summer Work Employment Experience Training,” or SWEET.
|8/11/2017||Message Obtaiining Job without VR|
This is an important message to Service Coordinators, Personal Agents, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors and employment providers. Notification must be sent to the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) for review and tracking anytime an individual with an intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) goes straight into ODDS job coaching without VR job development services.
|8/4/2017||I-DD Employment Policy Web Page|
I am excited to announce a new web page dedicated to employment policy for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Oregon.
|7/14/2017||Innovation Grants Message|
We are pleased to award more than 20 organizations throughout Oregon with innovation grants.
|7/7/2017||ODDS Transportation Message|
I am excited to announce that the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) has a new transportation web page.
|6/30/2017||Update on Project Search|
Oregon currently has five Project SEARCH sites, three of which are funded by the Department of Human Services (DHS). This message is to update you on how these sites are progressing.
|6/23/2017||VR Career Counseling Message|
Some of you may have heard about visits that Oregon’s Vocational Rehabilitation program is conducting statewide with individuals who are paid less than the federal minimum wage. This message is to give more information about this process.
|6/9/2017||minimum wage and benefits 2017|
In May 2016, I did a message on the importance of making sure individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities seek benefits counseling. In light of the upcoming increase to Oregon’s minimum wage on July 1, 2017, I thought it would be good to remind everyone, as we know some individuals may have concerns about working and keeping their benefits when wages increase.
|6/7/2017||DSA Tier Review Message|
We have received questions recently from providers regarding the tier review process for individuals in Day Support Activities (DSA).
ODDS has an established process for reviews for exceptional service needs or tier reviews. The tier review process has been in effect since 2014 when ODDS started tier-based rates for employment and DSA.
|5/12/2017||HCBS Extension Message|
Some of you may have heard about the recent decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to extend the deadline for implementation of the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) integration rules to March 17, 2022.
DHS has awarded new grants to service provider agencies that currently provide facility-based employment or day services to help transform their organizational and program models to community-based, integrated employment services.
|4/28/2017||Summer Work Experience RFA|
I am excited to announce today that we have an opportunity to increase summer work experiences for young people with disabilities through a collaboration between the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Oregon Department of Education and Vocational Rehabilitation.
|4/7/2017||Meet Mountain IV Message|
Meet at the Mountain IV, which brought together local Employment First teams along with families, self-advocates, providers and staff, drew a crowd of more than 350 attendees this year.
|2/24/2017||OR Transition Conference Message|
The Oregon Statewide Transition Conference, sponsored by the Oregon Association of Vocational Support Needs Personnel (OAVSNP), the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the Oregon Youth Transition Program (YTP), and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), was held Feb. 16 and 17 in downtown Portland.
|2/3/2017||Meet at the Mountain Registration Announcement|
Registration is now open for Employment First’s 2017 Meet at the Mountain conference, held April 5 and 6 in Sunriver, Ore.
|1/30/2017||Message on Family Friendly Report|
We are happy to announce that the Employment First: Outcomes and Success report is now published online. This report highlights some of the outcomes and successes achieved toward the goal of increasing community jobs for people with I/DD.
|1/20/2017||Statewide Transition Conference|
Oregon Association of Vocational Support Needs Personnel (OAVSNP) has joined in partnership with the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the Oregon Youth Transition Program (YTP), and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) in development of the first Oregon Statewide Transition Conference
|1/6/2017||Transformation Grant Reminder|
This RFA “DHS-4216-16,” titled “Request for Proposal (RFP) Request for Applications Service Provider Transformation Project” is in the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN).
|12/29/2016||2016 accomplishments review|
I also wanted to take this opportunity to look back at the hard work and many accomplishments achieved throughout our employment system in the past year
|12/16/2016||QA Plan Message|
The DHS Employment First initiative is working to increase and improve the delivery of employment services to individuals with I/DD with the goal of increasing integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Quality assurance and quality improvement play an important role in ensuring the success of these efforts.
|12/6/2016||Innovation Grants Launched|
Employment First is offering the opportunity for local providers and agencies to apply for grants to fund new, creative and innovative ideas to increase collaboration and capacity within a local area.
|12/2/2016||12-2-16 Waterford Grand Video Testimonial Message|
I am pleased to announce a new feature on the Employment First website: employer video testimonials.
|11/22/2016||ABLE launch message|
Oregonians with disabilities will be able to save money without fear of losing their state and federal benefits starting Dec. 6.
|9/23/2016||MV Advancements QA Message|
This month we have a Question and Answer with Marie Gwilliam, manager of the employment division for MV Advancements’ Yamhill County office. MV Advancements has received training and technical assistance from WISE.
|9/2/2016||EF Data Report Message September 2016|
Here are some highlights of the Employment First September 2016 Data Report that may be of interest to stakeholders.
|8/12/2016||2016 SC PA conference message|
The Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) held its annual Case Management Conference for Service Coordinators (SCs) and Personal Agents (PAs) Aug. 9-10 in Corvallis. More than 600 participants from around Oregon attended the conference, which featured more than 70 sessions on a range of topics.
|7/27/2016||Summit Cancel Notice|
I wanted to let everyone know that we have decided to cancel the Employment First Summit, originally scheduled for November 2016.
|7/22/2016||RFA Transformation Message 7-22-16|
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced a Request for Applications (RFA) for providers to improve employment services and outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities.
|7/8/2016||Message on Maximizing Hours Video|
The video explains in a user-friendly way, the new 20 hour policy standard for maximizing work hours when planning employment services.
|7/5/2016||Acacia hiring announcement|
Acacia McGuire Anderson has been named as Oregon’s permanent Statewide Employment First Coordinator.
|6/17/2016||Components of transformation|
According to the training and technical assistance (T/TA) contractors Living Opportunities and WISE who have been working with the 25 providers as part of the transformation project, there are five primary elements to transformation. Future providers that may consider applying for 2016 grants should consider these elements before applying.
In the coming months, we will have a series of messages and stories to help tell the story of transformation: the obstacles, struggles and victories these providers have encountered during their journey to transform their business model from facility-based services to community-based, integrated employment service providers.
|5/13/2016||EF benefits minimum wage|
We know some individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families may have concerns about working and keeping their benefits when wages increase.
|5/6/2016||Peer to Peer|
The Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD) and the Oregon Self-Advocacy Coalition (OSAC) are working on a peer-to-peer (P2P) education project called “P2P for Employment.”
|5/2/2016||Independent Reviewer Announcement 5-2-16|
One of the key provisions in the settlement agreement of Lane v. Brown is the selection of a neutral independent reviewer to act as a subject matter expert and to assess Oregon’s progress in complying with the terms of the settlement.
|4/29/2016||New EOS website|
A new and improved Employment Outcomes System (EOS) website launched this week. EOS is one of the primary tools used by the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) to collect data from providers on employment outcomes.
|4/22/2016||QA Opportunity Foundation Message|
In recent months, we have heard concerns from stakeholders and family members as many sheltered workshops transform to provide community-based employment and day services.
|4/8/2016||Seamless Transition Phase 2|
Employment First recently hosted a kick-off event in Salem for the second phase of the Seamless Transition Pilot.
|3/25/2016||Message on trainings|
A series of trainings on “Better Employment Success Together” have been scheduled from April through August statewide. VR, ODDS and ODE are presenting these trainings in nine locations.
|3/18/2016||20 hour policy intro|
One of those requirements is that the Department of Human Services will issue guidance to VR counselors, ODDS staff, Community Developmental Disability Programs (CDDPs), and brokerages stating that the recommended standard for planning and implementing supported employment services will be the opportunity to work at least 20 hours per week, recognizing that based on individual choice, preferences and circumstances, some people may choose to work at that level while others may not.
|3/11/2016||CESP capacity message|
The Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) certificate through APSE (Association of People Supporting Employment First) and the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) certificate are two nationally-recognized credential standards.
|3/4/2016||February 2016 Data Summary Message|
As one way to monitor our progress, the Governor’s Executive Order 15-01 (EO) calls for a semi-annual data report.
|2/26/2016||Myths Discovery Message|
With so much change in our system, it is understandable that myths spring up. To help address this, we are starting a feature in these messages called Myths & Facts. This is an opportunity to try and bust certain myths that are perpetuated around employment services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
|2/19/2016||HCBS and Settlement Message|
The Settlement Agreement for Lane v. Brown was approved by a federal court in December 2015. Since then, we have heard from service coordinators, personal agents, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors and employment providers around the state with questions as to how the settlement, as well as other major federal changes, may impact their work.
|2/5/2016||AWC Job Supports Message|
A new video produced by the DHS Employment First team shows some of the strategies used by Eugene-based nonprofit employment agency Alternative Work Concepts (AWC) to help people with significant disabilities keep and maintain community jobs.
|1/29/2016||Message from Lilia and Trina|
With the Settlement Agreement now in place, we saw that the work of the EF Team needs to shift to coordinating with and among the program areas (ODDS, VR and the Oregon Department of Education) to ensure we are on track with the commitments we made in the Agreement.
|1/8/2016||ODDS Supported Employment Services|
There are new additions to the Supported Employment Services web page that we hope will be helpful to self-advocates, families, providers and case managers.
|12/30/2015||Settlement Approved Message|
The Department of Human Services was informed late yesterday that U.S. Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart approved the Settlement Agreement in the Lane v. Brown case
|12/18/2015||Final message from Mike Maley-Statewide Employment First Coordinator|
This is the season for reflecting on the past, recognizing what we are thankful for, and reaffirming a preferred future.
When we discuss challenges and opportunities around building service capacity to move the Employment First agenda forward, we know that capacity-building has specific challenges in rural areas of the state.
|11/20/2015||Jason Video Intro|
I am pleased to present our first video success story produced by the DHS Employment First team. I want to encourage our stakeholders and partners around the state to share this video through your networks.
|11/13/2015||EF Question Social Isolation|
One of the goals of our service system is that a person with an intellectual or developmental disability (I/DD) has a life that reflects that of someone without a disability. Like with other people, the workplace has social interactions, but is not the primary place you socialize with friends.
|11/6/2015||Issue of Choice|
In discussing the Employment First initiative, we often hear questions about the impact of policies and changes on choice. We hear from people who ask us, “What if people don’t want to work in the community? What about choice?”
|11/2/2015||Central Oregon Employer Awards Final|
The Central Oregon Employment First team held its 4th annual Employer Recognition Event on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at the Eagle Crest Resort.
|10/23/2015||ORA employer breakfast|
The Oregon Rehabilitation Association held its annual conference Oct. 21-22 in Eugene. More than 350 attendees attended multiple sessions in both new and traditional offerings, including an employment panel featuring leadership from Employment First, Vocational Rehabilitation, Office of Developmental Disability Services and the Oregon Department of Education.
|10/16/2015||National Disability Employment Awareness Month|
The Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS), the Employment First initiative and Vocational Rehabilitation, will celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month with an event held Friday, Oct. 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be in the lobby of the Barbara Roberts Human Services Building, 500 Summer St. NE, Salem.
|10/9/2015||Provider Expectations Message|
Oregon is fortunate to have a well-established network of providers, funded through ODDS, delivering employment-related services. Many of these providers have rich histories in their local communities of delivering services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
|10/2/2015||Message Future of Workshops|
I understand that many individuals, families and providers are concerned about the future of sheltered workshop services. There will be a gradual reduction of use of sheltered workshop services over time and an increase in integrated and community-based services.
|9/18/2015||EF Message Settlement Final|
Last week there were announcements from many sources about the proposed settlement in the Lane v Brown case, the lawsuit regarding use of sheltered workshop services. This message is just to inform you of some immediate actions we will be taking to further help inform people about the settlement.
|9/11/2015||Proposed Settlement Message|
The state has reached agreement on a proposed settlement in Lane v. Brown, the class action involving employment services that Oregon provides to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
|9/3/2015||SC PA Conference Message Final|
The Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) held its annual Case Management Conference for Service Coordinators (SC) and Personal Agents (PA) on Aug. 26-27 in Corvallis. More than 500 participants from around Oregon attended the conference, which featured more than 50 sessions on a range of topics.
|8/28/2015||VR In Service Message|
Vocational Rehabilitation held its annual in-service event on Aug. 12-13 at the Salem Convention Center. The theme was “Collaborating and Communicating to Improve Employment Outcomes.” The theme reflects the major initiatives VR is directly involved in that are driving change in how they serve people, not only in VR but with its partners including Employment First, the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS), the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) and workforce systems.
|8/14/2015||Transformation Grant Update Message|
In recent months we have had inquiries about the service provider transformation project. This message is to give a brief update.
|8/7/2015||July 2015 Data Message Final|
Here are some highlights of the Employment First July 2015 Data Report.
|7/10/2015||Supported Employment Page|
There is a new web page with information on employment services offered by the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS).
|6/26/2015||EF Ad Campaign|
Thanks to those who were able to join the Employment First webinar last week on the launch of the I Work We Succeed ad campaign. For those who couldn’t join the webinar, we have posted it online.
|6/19/2015||Kaiser Project Search Article|
Project SEARCH has a 9-month internship training program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) at Kaiser Permanente Westside Medical Center.
|6/12/2015||EF Message News|
This is a reminder of several important opportunities to engage, plus a new F.A.Q. document on the July 1 policy changes for entry into sheltered workshops.
|5/29/2015||Full Access article|
Margaret Theisen, chief executive officer of Full Access, Oregon’s largest support services brokerage, is retiring in June 2015. She has led Full Access for 13 years, and spent 25 years total in the developmental disabilities field.
The Transition Co-op is a community-based transition program for young adults with disabilities, ranging in age from 18 through 21 years. The Co-op is part of the Bend-La Pine Schools Special Programs Department.
|5/15/2015||Local Leadership Meeting Update|
Leadership from the executive steering group of the Employment First initiative recently completed a series of meetings around the state with VR branch managers, special education directors, brokerage directors as well as Community Developmental Disabilities Program (CDDP) managers.
|5/1/2015||July 1 No New Entry Message|
This message addresses closing new entries into sheltered workshop settings beginning July 1, 2015. The Office of Developmental Disability Services and the DHS Employment First initiative have put together a F.A.Q. document to answer some of the common questions around this policy change.
|4/24/2015||EcoBinary Job Success Story Final|
Tim Benedict and Taylor Ingle have found jobs at a small community business that gives them a chance to grow and thrive in their career goals.
|4/17/2015||Meet Mountain Message|
Meet at the Mountain III, which brought together local Employment First teams from around the state, drew a capacity-only crowd of more than 300 attendees, almost doubling the attendance at the first event held in 2011.
|4/14/2015||Campaign launch message|
In the next few months, the Employment First team, in coordination with partners in Vocational Rehabilitation, the Office of Developmental Disability Services, the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities, are launching a statewide marketing campaign.
|4/3/2015||July 1 Changes Message|
In the coming weeks, you will begin to see more information and messages from us about the changes to entry into Sheltered Workshop Services effective July 1, 2015.
|3/27/2015||EF Success Story Roundup|
When the Employment First team first started reporting on community job success stories for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities back in June 2014, we were happy to hear how many employees, businesses owners and providers were anxious to share their successes with us.
|3/13/2015||Mandi Job Success|
Every school day, more than 300 students in the small town of Elgin are fed a hot breakfast and lunch thanks to a team that includes Mandi Durfee, who attended the school as a child.
|3/6/2015||Revised IEP and MOU Message|
In February, the Integrated Employment Plan was revised to reflect expanded outcome metrics, as well as new metrics based on feedback from the Executive Order Stakeholder Policy Group.
|2/27/2015||Start Up recipients|
The purpose of this grant is to expand the number of employment specialists available to provide services. Today’s message is to share with you the results of that grant process.
|2/20/2015||Provider Success Story|
This week, we are going to share a story recently sent to us by Exceed Enterprises in Milwaukie, Ore. Exceed is expanding its supported employment program to focus more on community employment.
|2/13/2015||EO Update Message|
On Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, the Governor issued Executive Order 15-01 “Providing Employment Services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” This Order is an update of his prior Executive Order 13-04 with the same title issued in April 2013.
|1/30/2015||Transition Network Update Message|
The eight newly-hired Transition Network Facilitators have now been on the job for more than four months. This message is to update you on the progress of Transition Technical Assistance Network from the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), developed to support the implementation of the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04 and Employment First.
|1/26/2015||Start Up Grant Announcement|
DHS has issued a Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) to expand Oregon’s capacity to provide individual integrated employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
|1/16/2015||EF Message Leadership Meetings|
Starting Jan. 29, leadership from the executive steering group of the Employment First initiative will begin a series of meetings around the state with VR branch managers, special education directors, brokerage directors as well as Community Developmental Disabilities Program (CDDP) managers.
|1/9/2015||Jerry Success Story|
Jerry Hansen, 51, works 30 hours per week at Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton. Previously he worked at the sheltered workshop at Pendleton-based Trendsitions.
|12/19/2014||Looking Ahead Message|
As we bid farewell to 2014 and look forward to a New Year, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you all a peaceful and joyous holiday season from the DHS Employment First team.
The Steering Committee for the Employment First initiative, which includes leadership from Employment First, the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS), Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) recently approved a document designed to help answer some of the questions we have heard from individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families over the past months.
|11/14/2014||Training Technical Assistance Contracts|
DHS has awarded contracts to two training and technical assistance entities to help providers transform from providing facility-based services to services designed to directly help people choose, get, and succeed in integrated, community jobs.
DHS has awarded grants to 25 service provider agencies that currently provide facility-based employment or day services to help transform their organizational and program models to community-based, integrated employment services.
|10/24/2014||Central Oregon Employer Event|
Last week I was honored to be invited, along with Joe Miller with Vocational Rehabilitation, to speak at the Third Annual Employer Recognition Event in central Oregon.
Since Matt was hired in 2013, the Butler Auto Group has hired four additional employees with developmental disabilities from its relationship with Living Opportunities (three work in Medford at Butler Hyundai and two others are employed at the Ashland dealership.
|10/10/2014||Jeff Job Success|
Jeff Keeler is an integral part of his community, which includes his job at Ray’s Food Place in Roseburg.
The 31-year-old has worked at Ray’s for 10 years, and currently works Thursday through Saturday as a courtesy clerk.
|10/3/2014||National Employment Awareness|
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
|9/26/2014||Bonnie Job Success|
Now I want to share a recent employment success story that came out of the Employment First Seamless Transition Pilot. The goal of the pilot is to develop best practice guidelines for helping students with disabilities to obtain their job of choice by the time they exit from their high school transition program.
|9/19/2014||Transition Network Facilitators|
The Transition Technical Assistance Network includes Heather Lindsey, our Secondary Transition Liaison, Mitch Kruska, Director of Education Programs/Secondary Transition, and eight newly-hired Transition Network Facilitators.
|9/12/2014||New Website Message|
One of the critical components of our efforts to do outreach to our stakeholders is to have a viable and easy-to-access website.
I am pleased to tell you today that we have launched a newly-designed Employment First website.
|9/5/2014||RFP Provider Transformation|
The Department of Human Services has announced a Request for Proposals for providers to improve employment services and outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities. The total investment for both service providers and subject matter experts to engage those providers in training is up to $6.75 million.
|8/22/2014||Stakeholder Policy Group Update|
The Policy Group was formed in July 2013, with its first meeting held on September 2013. As the anniversary of the first meeting date approaches, I thought it might be helpful to describe the next actions planned for the Policy Group.
|8/15/2014||Executive Order Data Report July 2014|
One of the deliverables called for by the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04 is a semi-annual data report on working-age people in the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) target population.
|8/8/2014||Workforce Reauthorization Act|
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was passed on July 22, 2014. The Act requires analysis and thoughtful consideration. In particular, WIOA makes numerous changes related to transition-age youth
|8/1/2014||VR DD Supported Employment Trainings|
For the past two weeks, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) held a series of trainings around the state on the topic of Supported Employment. The trainings were held in collaboration with staff from the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) and Employment First.
|7/25/2014||Vickie's Employment Success Story|
Vickie Anderson’s job has not only allowed her to stay engaged in the community, it has also helped her achieve her dreams of traveling.
|7/18/2014||Employment First Seamless Transition|
The Seamless Transition model is based on research from the Department of Labor's Guideposts for Success. The model services include an emphasis on school-based preparation, youth empowerment leading to employment and career goals, work-based experiences, family supports, and connecting activities.
|7/11/2014||Employment Learning Collaborative|
Medford-based Living Opportunities, Inc. was awarded a grant by Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and the Oregon Community Foundation to train five provider organizations for 18-months on supported employment.
|6/30/2014||July 1 Executive Order Deliverables|
This week’s message is to give a brief overview of the July 1 Executive Order (EO) requirements, which were met by the Employment First initiative, the Office of Developmental Disabilities (ODDS), Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).
|6/27/2014||Department of Education Educator Institute|
Oregon Department of Education (ODE) held a series of trainings for teachers in the last two weeks of June. Titled the “Educator Institute on Networking and Transition,” the trainings aimed to provide an overview on the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04, the Employment First initiative, and related-employment services for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
|6/20/2014||Marion Polk Employment Team|
As part of the Employment First initiative, local leadership teams around the state started gathering in 2011. This week’s message is to inform you about one of those teams, the Marion/Polk Employment First Network.
|6/13/2014||Sam Employment Success|
Before he got a job, Sam needed 24-hour behavioral supports. For the past three years, however, Sam has worked at his job at RideSource Lane Transit District and his need for behavioral supports during the work day disappeared.
|6/6/2014||Employment Question Schools Person Center Planning|
Can schools pay for facilitated person-centered employment planning by a trained facilitator?
|5/30/2014||Youth Transition Program|
The Oregon Youth Transition Program (YTP) serves more than 1,300 youth with disabilities statewide. YTP operates as a partnership between Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), the University of Oregon’s College of Education, and local Oregon school districts.
|5/16/2014||Darci's Employment Success Story|
Darci currently works in the Lane County Developmental Disabilities Office. She works about nine hours per week putting together packets, collecting recycling, and shredding confidential paperwork.
|5/9/2014||Washington Transition Conference|
On May 2, members of the DHS Employment First team, along with some of our colleagues in Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Developmental Disability Services, attended the Washington State Transition Conference in Vancouver, Wash.
|5/2/2014||Alternative Work Concepts|
A few days ago, some of the Employment First team members had the opportunity to go to Eugene to meet with Liz Fox and her crew at Alternative Work Concepts.
|4/25/2014||Partnering with National Agencies|
As part of the Employment First effort, we strive to partner with outside agencies that offer helpful resources and guidance.
|4/18/2014||Employment Question of the Month|
Question: “Can VR counselors work with students before they turn 18? If not, what kind of transition supports can they utilize before age 18?
|4/11/2014||Q and A with Ann Balzell|
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) recently hired Ann Balzell as Developmental Disability Policy Analyst, with a primary focus on employment issues. Ann is an experienced educator and policy analyst who started her advocacy work as a parent of a child who experienced multiple disabilities.
Prior weekly messages have mentioned self-employment as one way to achieve an employment outcome. This message expands on the benefits of pursuing self-employment and why this may be a good choice for some people.
|3/28/2014||Employment Services and Waiver Definitions|
In this week’s message, Trisha Baxter with the Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) and I will give an overview of employment-related services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) through the Support Services and Comprehensive Waivers (Waivers).
|3/21/2014||Discovery and Employment First|
The use of person-centered planning and processes to learn about an individual’s skills, interests, preferences, abilities, and strengths is important to the goal of obtaining and maintaining successful community integrated employment.
|3/14/2014||Paths to Employment|
Every month, we will publish answers to an Employment Question of the Month. These provide good discussion topics and help provide guidance on the work going forward as we implement the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04 and the Employment First Integrated Work Plan.
|3/7/2014||Q and A with ODE Transition Liaison Heather Lindsey|
To assist with making connections between all units and supporting the goals of the Executive Order and the Employment First initiative, Oregon Department of Education recently hired Heather Lindsey for the newly created position of Secondary Transition Liaison.
|2/28/2014||Training and Technical Assistance|
Providing training and technical assistance for providers and stakeholders is one of the key steps in our efforts to implement the Employment First Initiative and the Governor’s Executive Order 13-4. The purpose of training and technical assistance is to enhance practical or specialized knowledge to achieve the employment outcomes of the Employment First Policy and the Executive Order.
|2/21/2014||Employment First and Self-Advocates|
Several leadership representatives from the Department of Human Services (DHS) were recently invited to a meeting with the Oregon Self-Advocacy Coalition’s (OSAC) Employment Committee. OSAC is a project of the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities (OCDD).
|2/14/2014||FAQ of the Month Employment in Rural Areas|
Every month, we will publish answers to Frequently Asked Questions in the F.A.Q. of the Month. These provide good discussion topics and can help to provide guidance on some of the work going forward as we implement the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04 and the Employment First Integrated Work Plan.
|2/7/2014||Stakeholder Policy Group and Data Report|
One important provision of the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04 is the creation of a Stakeholder Policy Group, comprised of key stakeholders and community partners.
|2/2/2014||Employment First and Transition Services|
School district success in preparing students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) for integrated employment will greatly help achieve the goals of the Employment First policy.
|1/24/2014||Employment First and Executive Order relationship|
Over the past several months there have been questions from state representatives, stakeholders and community partners about Oregon’s Employment First initiative and its relationship to the Governor’s Executive Order 13-04.
|1/16/2014||Employment First Team Introduction|
I want to take some time today to give a bit of information around our structure and introduce the DHS Employment First Team.
|9/18/2013||Executive Order 13-04|
I am pleased to deliver the next Oregon Employment First News & Information for You message in the new series of communications. As I said last week, you can expect to see regular updates as we move forward to implement Governor Kitzhaber’s Executive Order on Employment First and our ongoing commitment to integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
|9/10/2013||Oregon Employment First News and Information for You|
Welcome to the first Oregon Employment First News & Information for You message!