Breakout Sessions

Please note: In a change from previous years, you will not be required to pick what breakout sessions you will be attending at the time you register. You may attend any session you choose on the day of the conference as long as seating is still available in the room.​

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Concurrent Session #1  10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Bridging the Gap between VR Counseling and Behavioral Health Counseling, Part 1

Leo Yates, Jr., LCPC, Behavioral Health Specialist, and Shardae Carter, Rehabilitation Counselor, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)

This interactive workshop works towards better collaboration between vocational rehabilitation counselors and behavioral health counselors. Substance abuse, drug testing, and typical treatment options will be discussed, along with the advent of prescribed medical marijuana. Intersectionality points between VR counseling and BH counseling will be identified and built upon in order to deepen collaboration, which supports serving the consumer with a person-centered approach. Note: this will be a two-part workshop, which allows time to discuss experiences and answer questions.

Making the Connection, what Employment Specialist and Community Providers Need to Know About the Intersection Between Traumatic and Acquired Brain Injury and Addiction

Anastasia Edmonston, MS CRC, Project Coordinator, Behavioral Health Administration (BHA); Martine Jean-Baptiste, LCSW-C, Human Service Program Manager, Local Addiction Authority for Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services

The link between traumatic brain injury and addiction as it relates to alcohol is well documented in the literature. Recently, due to the national opioid epidemic a similar pattern of opioid use has been linked to both traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury Data collected by Maryland’s Office of Health Promotion and Prevention suggests that many individuals who are addicted to opioids and subsequently overdose have a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Reports from family members, addiction professionals and public health officials suggest that many who survive an overdose are left with an acquired brain injury (ABI) that makes successful engagement in rehabilitation, recovery and employment difficult.

How to Use Coaching and Feedback to Effectively Supervise Staff

Ariyanna Anderson, Community Development Director, and Lauren Eaton, Behavior Analyst and Behavior Support Services Director, Itineris

Direct Service Providers (DSPs) are arguably the most important team members for agencies that serve individuals with disabilities. Often, agencies are understaffed and DSPs are underpaid, underappreci¬ated, and underdeveloped professionally. At Itineris, we focus intensely on staff morale and satisfaction, which undeniably includes professional development, training, and growth for our most important employees – our DSPs. Itineris has developed a model for how to use evidence-based best practices to not only train staff, but also supervise them effectively using coaching and feedback. Often, supervisors don’t have the training and practice they need to truly develop staff competencies, particularly when staff come to us with professional development needs and interpersonal challenges. The goal of this training to support supervisors in developing their management skills. This includes how to effectively train staff, how to utilize positive reinforcement to increase skills and morale, and how to manage challenges when they surface. The better we can serve our staff, the better they can serve our clients.

Meeting Client and Employer Needs with Internships and Train-to-Hire Opportunities

Tom Liniak, Director of Specialized Employment Services at JSSA

DORS consumers and their families often have great desire and enthusiasm to want consumers to join the workforce, but school systems typically leave them with limited practical tools or experience to meaningfully do so. The key to success is having candidates learn by seeing and doing at employer sites doing work that is truly needed and well matched to their abilities and an eye to future permanent employment. Properly structured internships and train to hire programs equally benefit consumers and employers and increase hiring and retention results in win-win relationships for both parties.

 

Concurrent Session #2  1:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Bridging the Gap between VR Counseling and Behavioral Health Counseling, Part 2

Leo Yates, Jr., LCPC, Behavioral Health Specialist, and Shardae Carter, Rehabilitation Counselor, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)

This interactive workshop works towards better collaboration between vocational rehabilitation counselors and behavioral health counselors. Substance abuse, drug testing, and typical treatment options will be discussed, along with the advent of prescribed medical marijuana. Intersectionality points between VR counseling and BH counseling will be identified and built upon in order to deepen collaboration, which supports serving the consumer with a person-centered approach. Note: this will be a two-part workshop, which allows time to discuss experiences and answer questions.

Encourage Independence by Using Technology

Curtis John, Site Lead, Project SEARCH Smithsonian; Monica Aisenberg, Employment Consultant, Project SEARCH National Institutes of Health

Thanks to DORS funding, we use iPads to support young adults with disabilities at four Project SEARCH sites in the DC metropolitan area: National Institutes of Health, Montgomery County Government, Smithsonian Institution and Hilton Worldwide. In this presentation, we will share benefits, challenges, and strategies of how to incorporate apps into a daily routine. Additionally, we will provide specific case studies and examples highlighting multiple apps (two of which are: Work Autonomy and Clips). Be sure to bring a Smart Device to this session, as we will provide time to practice using some free apps.

Expanding your Talent Pool: Understanding ASD in the Workplace

Katie Vester, A.C.R.E., Employment Director, and Katelyn Szymanski, Special Projects Coordinator, Itineris
  1. Participants will learn the current employment statistics for adults with autism and understand the importance of incorporating this untapped talent pool into their workforce.
  2. Participants will develop an understanding of the topography of ASD and how it may present in the workplace.
  3. Presenters will review a work-ready checklist that can be used for a wide variety of people.
  4. Participants will understand the different types of accommodations that we have found to be most helpful to those with ASD.

Interpersonal Excellence: Improving your Communications for Success

Melissa (Missie) Wilcox, Principal of MarketWorks

Effective communication is a key success factor for all employees and supervisors. This 75 minute, fast-paced course begins with an exercise and description of the Communications Model, and continues with key skill building in the areas of active listening, effective questioning and reading nonverbal feedback. The course includes many experiential exercises to ensure that all attendees both participate and learn.

RESUMES: A Ticket to an Interview, A Ticket to Success

William Brownlee, Business Services Representative, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)
Upon completion of this training all will be able to:
  • Effectively demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA)
  • Build a well-formatted resume that makes an effective and dynamic first impression
  • Build an error-proof and easy to read resume that answers the question of the recruiter/hiring manager
  • Tailor a resume for a specific position
  • Highlight experience
  • Get an Interview


Way2Work Maryland: A Collaborative Partnership Supporting Careers for Transitioning

Meredith Gramlich, MA, Technical Assistant Liaison, Way2Work; Kelli Crane, Ph.D., Way2Work leadership team; Jill Pierce, Project Co-Director, Way2Work and Transitioning and Supported Employment Specialist, Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS); Malorie Marti, CRC, LGPC, Transition Counselor, DORS & MRA President

Interagency collaboration is a best practice in transition to achieve positive post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. Way2Work Maryland, a five-year federally funded project, incorporates service coordination through interagency collaboration as a key model component, which was designed to evaluate the impact of work-based learning experiences on post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. This session will describe:

  1. The Way2Work approach to inter-agency service collaboration
  2. Common barriers for partners to effectively collaborate
  3. Lessons learned to improve collaboration among partners leading to improved employment outcomes for students.
 

Concurrent Session #3  3:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Is My Organization Accessible? Does it Have to Be?

Donna Lettow, Digital Accessibility Administrator, Division of Rehabilitation Service (DORS)

Websites, email and digital documents are how modern agencies communicate with each other and with consumers, but do you know if your agency's electronic communications are usable by people of all abilities? Want to make sure your message is getting across to all your stakeholders? We'll see what makes a website or other digital communication accessible, what accessibility regulations and standards apply to what types of agencies, and quick ways to check if your agency's communications are accessible. If the WiFi behaves, we might also take a look at your agency's website to see if there's a reason to be concerned.

Job Readiness Assessment for Blind Consumers

Nikki Jackson, Adult Rehabilitation Program Manager, and Sue Schaffer, Manager of Program Enhancement, Blind Industries & Services of Maryland (BISM)

Are You Ready To Compete in the Job Market? The consumer has been determined “Job Ready” and they want a job; however, they do not have any experience working as a Blind individual, and they may not have basic blindness skills. So the real question is Are You Ready To Compete in the Job Market? This session will outline a two-week “Work Readiness Assessment” using interactive, hands on assessments to evaluate all of the consumers’ skills prior to going on interviews. Assessments include videotaped interviews, technology and travel skills among others.

Stages of Changes and Supported Employment Services: A Mental Health Perspective

Meka McNeal, BA, Consultant and Trainer, University of Maryland

Assisting individuals living with a psychiatric diagnosis around employment services can be a challenge when the individual is unmotivated and/or ambivalent to participate in the vocational activities. Understanding and using the stages of change can assist employment staff with helping individuals who present unmotivated/ambivalent about achieving their employment goals. Whether that goal is to find employment or change jobs, this session will provide examples and tools on how to assist individuals with working through barriers while pursuing employment, by matching service activities with the level of motivation that the individual is in.

Supporting Transitioning Youth on a Trajectory Toward their Good Life and Employment

Staci Jones, Statewide Career and Employment Services Coordinator, and Patricia Sastoque, Director of Programs, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Maryland Department of Health

The DDA is committed to supporting transitioning youth and families to identify a vision of their "good life" and to create person centered plans that identify various services and supports that can help them realize that "good life." This includes ways to identify a path to employment. This presentation will outline DDA’s initiatives related to increasing employment and community engagement outcomes for transitioning youth, as well as the importance of setting high expectations and using visioning early in life to create a trajectory toward achieving those outcomes.

The Joys and Pains of Working with a Disability

Jessica Stine, Western Maryland Regional Advocacy Specialist; Cheryl Gottlieb, Central Regional Advocacy Specialist; Cody Drinkwater, Eastern Shore Regional Advocacy Specialist; and Nicole LeBlanc, Southern Maryland Regional Advocacy Specialist, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Maryland Department of Health

The Advocacy Specialist team will be bringing you not only facts, but also our personal experiences about a person with a disability working. We are going to provide a background history and the differences between segregated and integrated employment, how to navigate the challenges regarding benefits, services, resources, and transportation. We will explain the many stresses of the whole employment process, from looking for that right job to when you get that job, to normal day-to-day work stressors. So come and join the Advocacy Specialist to learn all about the joys and pains of working with a disability.

Beyond Grades: Performance & Progress of an Adult Learner to the Workforce

Sindiso Nyathi, MA, PCT, Automotive Instructor at DORS/WTC

Beyond grades: Enhancing abilities to perform and progress as an adult learner with disabilities will focus on what learning and training styles are used to help consumers succeed in their career paths. The objectives will explore both the learner and trainer’s preferred methods of doing things not neglecting the outcome. (Successful employment placement or Independent living) Different methodologies will be discussed and sample exercises/scenarios will be done to achieve set goals. Feedback between the learner and the trainer will be highlighted by setting bench marks along the course of learning and training to be consistent and reflective of the set goals.

 

Friday, November 8, 2019

Concurrent Session #4  9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Brain Injury Overview: Part 1: What You need to Know; BI in Focus: Best Practices in Employment

Jess Nesbitt, Case Manager and Health Educator, Brain Injury Association of Maryland; Deborah Cottrill, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) & Certified Brain Injury Specialist

This session will provide a general overview of brain injury including incidence, prevalence, and special populations affected. Additionally, common sequelae and implications for how that may interfere with successful employment will be discussed. Attendees will also learn how to conduct a brain injury screening tool to identify if someone has had a brain injury in their history. This will provide the context for the succeeding session discussing best practices and strategies for supporting individuals with brain injury as they seek employment.

Simply Educating Clients About the Americans with Disabilities Act

Dr. Deschamps, Training and Technical Assistance Division, TransCen Inc; Darlene Peregoy, Business Relations Program Manager, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS)

Twenty-nine years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the most comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation, was signed into law. While people may know what ADA stands for, many do not understand how the law applies to them and how to take advantage of its protections. This presentation will introduce participants to a simple packet of four documents covering essential information that a person with a disability should know about the ADA. This includes two tools that are particularly useful for job seekers with disabilities. After reviewing the ADA basics, the presentation will focus on the two tools and how the packet can be used to educate clients.

Pro or No – How Much DO You Know About Benefits, Work Incentives, and Employment

Lauren Horner, CPWIC, Director, Maryland Benefits Counseling Network; Keirstyn Silver, Director, Maryland Employment Network

Come find out… and learn more! This fun and highly interactive session will give participants the opportunity to compete against their peers and show off their knowledge of benefits and work incentives. Throughout this Family Feud style game, presenters will elaborate on topics to elevate participants’ knowledge and provide them with resources and tools to gain additional benefits information and meet beneficiaries’ individualized needs. Bring your competitive spirit, desire to learn more, and get ready to play the Feud!

Coordination for Success

Diane Beaver, RPS, Vocational Department Program Manager, and Kevin Hansen, Supported Employment Program Manager, Cornerstone Montgomery

In this presentation, you will learn how to use the entire treatment team of your consumer to your advantage in order to help them to return to work and keep their jobs.

Non-violent Crisis Intervention, Part 1

Christine Maly, Supervisor, Johns Hopkins Bayview’s Adult PRP

Identify behavior that indicates an escalation toward aggressive and violent behavior and take appropriate measures to avoid, and/or de-escalate crisis situations. Use suitable and acceptable physical interventions to reduce or manage risk behavior. Identify the impact of crisis events and describe post-crisis responses that can be used for personal and organizational support and learning.

 

Concurrent Session #5  10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Brain Injury Overview: Part 2: Best Practices for Best Employment Outcomes

Jess Nesbitt, Case Manager and Health Educator, Brain Injury Association of Maryland; Deborah Cottrill, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) & Certified Brain Injury Specialist

This session will provide both general and specific guidance on best practices for supporting individuals with brain injury in employment, with suggestions ranging from pre-vocational training to job retention. The presenters will offer some guidance on assessing needs of individuals with brain injury who are interested in working and discuss how Attendees will learn compensatory strategies that they can use with clients and examine several case studies.

New Consumer Mentoring Program = More Job Placements

Josh Basile is a quadriplegic, past DORS consumer, attorney and disability employment advocate; Amy Wallish, Founder and CEO of Full Circle Employment Solutions

Would you like more job placements? Do you have DORS consumers with questions, concerns and fears about pursuing employment? Could they benefit from learning or speaking with a prior DORS consumer? Join us to hear how a prior DORS consumer is using his success and unique employment journey to give back to others with disabilities. We will then have a lively discussion on increasing job placements.

Employment First and Harm Reduction – Working with Homelessness

Jean-Michel Giraud, President, and Sal Corbin, Training Coordinator, Friendship Place

Homelessness and addiction often coexist and amplify each other. Understanding addiction recovery is an important factor to ending homelessness. Friendship Place embraces a combined model of Employment First and harm reduction as an agency response. Employment First is a person-centered solutions based job placement model that assumes employability of all participants and expedites the hiring process, and harm reduction techniques are used to build trust and facilitate empowerment. We put forth an organizational skills-based perspective that often involves unorthodox methods to assist individuals in their day-to-day living. Service examples from our program participants are shared, and promotion of community wide service delivery is offered to engage our consumers and collaborate with potential employers. We will share our experiences working with people in functional addiction from our employment assistance program, Aim Hire.

Techniques for Group AT Training of Blind and Low Vision Students

Harris Rosensweig, Director, Accessibility for TCSA

This session will provide an overview of the various teaching techniques and best practices demonstrated to be most effective including:

  1. A robust screening process when assessing student ability and need.
  2. Detailed lesson plans with topics that flow naturally from one to another.
  3. Instructor lecturing techniques.
  4. Various exercises that test students’ speed and efficiency including: timed exercises, verbal “lightning rounds,” games, self-assessments of students’ knowledge of topics taught to date, projects, quizzes, etc.
  5. Lab activities that require students to put into practice topics learned.

Non-violent Crisis Intervention, Part 2

Christine Maly, Supervisor, Johns Hopkins Bayview’s Adult PRP

Identify behavior that indicates an escalation toward aggressive and violent behavior and take appropriate measures to avoid, and/or de-escalate crisis situations. Use suitable and acceptable physical interventions to reduce or manage risk behavior. Identify the impact of crisis events and describe post-crisis responses that can be used for personal and organizational support and learning.

​  Online Registration
  

Registration closes October 10th