2020 TASH Conference - Virtual Edition has ended
Welcome to the 2020 TASH Conference - Virtual Edition website! We’re so glad you are here!

Each year, the TASH Conference brings together individuals with significant disabilities and their allies to share resources and success stories, learn about field-driven best practices, and network within a community engaged in shared values. The conference is attended by passionate advocates, leaders, and subject matter experts from every corner of the disability community. Conference attendees play an important role in supporting individuals with significant disabilities to overcome various barriers in order to live their best lives. Central to this work is the premise that individuals reach their optimal potential only when they are given the opportunity to live, work and thrive across the lifespan in the same communities we are all members of. The conference is intentionally designed to support the interests of professors and researchers from leading institutions; those involved in local, state, and federal governments and public policy; special and general educators, and school administrators; home and community-based service providers; students, family members, and most importantly, self-advocates with lived experience.

This year, while we are taking the conference virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that our unique approach to providing exceptional first-rate content and building strong community ties and connections across various stakeholders will yield an extraordinary event! We have taken extra steps to bring people closer together during these times, as well as to create an amazing virtual environment that expands our knowledge, spurs our creative thinking, and focuses on healthy living and having fun!  Our conference theme, Feel the Power of Inclusion, reinforces the importance of our continued commitment to promoting a world of equity and opportunity for all, and is predicated on the value of bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences in an effort to build strong human connectivity and spur collective action.

Need technical assistance during the conference? Please email our support staff at helpdesk@tash.org.
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Tuesday, December 1 • 11:15am - 5:00pm
Track 1: Employment & Transition

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Day 1 Intensives: Employment & Transition Track

11:15-11:30 AM EST: Welcome and Keynote Address: The Power of Competitive Integrated Employment in Achieving Equity and Opportunity for All
Presenter: Jennifer Johnson

11:30 AM-12:30 PM EST: Promoting Inclusion to Increase Employment for Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities
Presenters: Kathleen Woodward, Kristin Corcoran, Montrel Tennessee, Sandy Jordan, Kelie Hess
Employment remains a critical part of community inclusion for people with disabilities (Administration on Community Living, 2019). This presentation will share how the Administration on Disabilities' Partnerships in Employment grantees formed a group of stakeholders to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities by creating and supporting programs and policies that promote inclusion. Participants will hear from the national evaluator and grantees from DC, South Carolina, and Utah on how they promote inclusion of youth and young adults with disabilities through self-advocacy programs, parent and family engagement, and career and technical education. Presenters will also share success stories of how their states' have involved students with the most significant disabilities in employment opportunities. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on the importance of inclusion of youth and young adults with disabilities in competitive integrated employment.

12:45-2:00 PM EST: Building an Inclusive and Resilient Workforce: Recruitment, Retention and Innovation
Presenters: Susan Brooks, Dale Verstegan
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the fragility of the Direct Support Professional workforce, and increased the already too high unemployment rate of people with disabilities. Now, more than ever, innovative ideas are needed to tackle these critical issues. The DSP Academy is a training program that certifies people with disabilities as DSP's supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It starts with high expectations and uses principles of customized employment and universal design to prepare people with disabilities for success as a Direct Support Professional, supporting others to achieve their dreams. We will also share our learning from adapting to provide a large portion of the DSP Academy curriculum in a virtual environment. Staff development is most often accomplished through external training organizations. The DSP Academy is a great example of provider organizations adopting and reinforcing the training curriculum. While external training trainers and events should be valued, this approach does not ensure the development of staff skills, competency and improved employment outcomes and presents challenges with sustainability as well.

2:15-3:30 PM EST: Supporting Employment through Supported Decision-Making
Presenter: Erin Leveton, Joan Christopher, Morgan Whitlatch
Talk with DC and MO about how they are braiding the National Supporting Families Community of Practice principles and tools with learning from the National Supported Decision-Making CoP to support self-determination and employment. Hear the national perspective on what's happening to launch and grow supported decision-making and promote self-determination, inclusion, and competitive integrated employment. We will share experiences in MO and DC and then have you share what's happening in your state. Next, we will do a deep dive with family members about how supported decision-making works in practice. Finally, we will facilitate a conversation to share promising practices in engaging self-advocates and families to not only help them envision and plan a good life for themselves and their children, but also to better inform state systems changes through deep engagement with families and to successfully advocate for those changes.

3:45-5:00 PM EST: The Power of Leading a Self-Determined Life Through Person-Centered Planning
Presenters: Kelie Hess, Tricia Jones-Parkin, Aubrey Snyder
As the Utah School to Work Interagency Transition Initiative enters its 5th year of the project, we have identified a need for building self-advocacy skills and focusing on strengthening individualized opportunities and aligning service plans prior to work experiences and going through the process of discovery. The school to work project is introducing person-centered planning tools and the process with students entering their first year of post-high with the goal of 1. Students directing IEP and person-centered planning meetings 2. Aligning goals across service systems and life domains 3. Development and exploration of individualized work and community-based experiences to inform and strengthen the Discovery and Customized Job Development process.

avatar for Alison DeYoung

Alison DeYoung

Project Manager, YES! Center | TASH
Alison DeYoung is the Project Manager for the Youth Employment Solutions - YES! Center, the national training and technical assistance center for the Partnerships in Employment (PIE) state projects. She began working in the field of education in 2008 while completing her undergraduate... Read More →

avatar for Joan Christopher

Joan Christopher

Research Instructor, Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
Activities and programs to support people with disabilities and their families
avatar for Morgan Whitlatch

Morgan Whitlatch

Legal Director, Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities
Morgan K. Whitlatch is the Legal Director of the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, an independent, non-profit advocacy organization that has been advancing the interests of D.C. residents with developmental disabilities since 2002. Morgan has devoted her legal career... Read More →
avatar for Dale Verstegen

Dale Verstegen

Senior Research Associate, TransCen
Dale Verstegen, a Senior Research Associate at TransCen, since 2007, is assigned to a range of research, training and technical assistance projects related to transition and employment services in various parts of the country. Mr. Verstegen provides consultation and training in the... Read More →
avatar for Erin Leveton

Erin Leveton

Director, Alvarez & Marsal
avatar for Kristin Corcoran

Kristin Corcoran

Consultant, The Lewin Group
I am a Consultant for the Lewin Group. We are the national evaluator for the Partnerships in Employment Systems Change Grant, which provides funding for state grantees to promote competitive, integrated employment for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental dis... Read More →
avatar for Montrel Tennessee

Montrel Tennessee

Project Manager, DC Department on Disability Services
avatar for Sandy Jordan (she/her)

Sandy Jordan (she/her)

Director of Employment Programs, Able South Carolina
Sandy directs Able SC’s employment programs and has a special interest in youth transition, connecting with employers, and financial literacy for individuals with disabilities. Before working at Able SC, she spent ten years providing career supports and guidance to individuals with... Read More →
avatar for Susan Brooks

Susan Brooks

Chief Innovation Officer, RCM of Washington
avatar for Tricia Jones-Parkin

Tricia Jones-Parkin

Project Director, Utah State University
Tricia Jones-Parkin has over 20-years of experience working with people with disabilities. In 2011, Tricia collaborated to craft the Employment First Language for Utah and has focused on capacity building and systems change efforts to increase the number of people employed and included... Read More →
avatar for Aubrey Snyder

Aubrey Snyder

Training and Development Specialist, Utah State University
Hi! I'm Aubrey. I am a Sibling and I work at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. Before working at USU, I worked as an employment case manager for youth experiencing homelessness, a paraprofessional in a special education classroom with 3rd-6th graders... Read More →
avatar for Kelie Hess

Kelie Hess

Utah School to Work Program Manager, Utah State University
My name is Kelie Hess.  I work at Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities as the Utah School to Work Project, Program Manager.  The Utah School to Work Project is a statewide initiative that focuses on cross-systems collaboration for improving competitive, integrated... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson

Deputy Commissioner, Administration on Disabilities, Administration for Community Living
avatar for Kathleen Woodward

Kathleen Woodward

Senior Consultant, The Lewin Group

Tuesday December 1, 2020 11:15am - 5:00pm EST
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