Employment Conference

Sun Jun 01 2014
Posted by: swoddadmin
Category: Event

WORKING Together:
Changing Employment Experiences for People with Disabilities

This conference will bring families, providers, county board staff, and people with disabilities together to learn from national and state leaders in expanding employment options for people with disabilities.

September 15-16, 2014
Great Wolf Lodge
2501 Great Wolf Drive, Mason, OH 45040
Save the Date!

Click HERE to see the flyer.


Click HERE to register for the conference.
The deadline for registration is September 1, 2014.
Registration up to September 1st is $200.
Registration after September 1st is $250.

A limited number of scholarships are available on a first come/first serve basis for people with disabilities or their families/caregivers. To request a scholarship to attend please email Emily Beltz Emily.Beltz@cchmc.org or call (513)803-0653. All requests for scholarships must be made by August 8, 2014.


Registrants are responsible for lodging reservations. Great Wolf Lodge features many amenities, including a water park. Discounted rates are available IF MADE BEFORE AUGUST 14, 2014.

Each guest is responsible for making their own reservation by calling the Great Wolf reservation department at 1-866-954-9653 by 8/14/2014. Please identify yourself as a member of the Employment Conference Group with reservation number #1409INTE. All reservations must be guaranteed by the individual and accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed to a major credit card. Each individual has up to 72 hours in advance of arrival to cancel with a $30 cancellation fee per room. Cancellations within 72 hours will incur a fee of 100% of the first night room rate, plus tax. Please review this information as well as any additional booking information with the booking agent at Great Wolf.


Opening & Keynote Presentations
  • "Ohio Employment First Initiative: Where are we and where will we go?"
    • John Martin, Director Monty Kerr, Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Direction, Kristen Helling, Employment First Project Manager, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

John L. MartinJohn L. Martin was first appointed as Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, effective January 15, 2007. The Department was re-named The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) in 2009, following the efforts of many of Ohio's self-advocates. In 2011, Governor John Kasich re-appointed Director Martin to continue serving as Director of DODD. Martin has emphasized leadership transformation in several areas for the department, including increased collaboration with stakeholders, upgrading technology infrastructure, and making data driven decisions to help better align resources and programs for long-term sustainability. He has led several core initiatives such as: Creating more opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to live and work within their communities; developing the Positive Culture Initiative; supporting shared services and collaboration models among county boards; and consolidating all programs under DODD to reduce confusion for those who use those services.

Kirsten HellingKirsten Helling joined the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities in 2013 as a project manager for the Division of Policy and Strategic Direction. Her program focus areas include coordinating implementation of Ohio’s Employment First Initiative. Her leadership priority is to emphasize programs and opportunities that empower people and support their choices in how they want to live. As project manager for Employment First, Kristen coordinates activities and projects for DODD and the Ohio Employment First Taskforce and Advisory Committee. She is working closely to identify training and resource needs to help improve employment outcomes in all areas of the state, as well as coordinating efforts to raise awareness of community employment as a preferred outcome.

  • "Customized Employment: Best Practice of Today"
    • Katie Wolf Whaley, Project Director, Supported Employment Training Project, University of Kentucky Human Development Institute

Katie Wolf WhaleyKatie Wolf Whaley, MSW, CESP, is the Director of the Kentucky Supported Employment Training Project and oversees other contracts with the state Office of Vocational Rehabilitation at the University of Kentucky’s Human Development Institute. She coordinates training and technical assistance for service providers and presents on personalized employment supports for people with disabilities across the state and nationally. She currently serves as the President of the Kentucky Chapter of APSE and sits on the national board of APSE. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Kentucky.

  • "Moving from Sheltered Workshops to Community Employment and Life: Lessons learned from Individuals and their Families/Caregivers"
    • Bryan Dague, Research Associate, University of Vermont Center on Disability and Community Inclusion

Bryan DagueBryan Dague, Ed.D. has been employed at the Center on Disability & Community Inclusion at the University of Vermont since 1992 providing training and technical assistance in the areas of supported employment and transition. In 2006 he earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Vermont. His dissertation entitled “Sheltered Employment, Sheltered Lives: Navigating the New Realities of Community Employment” focused on the last sheltered workshop in Vermont and the impact the conversion had on the families and participants. Dr. Dague has been involved in the conversion of sheltered workshops to community-based employment in Syracuse, NY as well as Vermont and provides consulting and training on issues of conversion.

  • "Waves of Change: National Trends in Employment"
    • Nancy Gurney, President, Opportunity Services, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nancy GurneyNancy Gurney, M.A. is the President and CEO of Opportunity Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is responsible for leadership, innovation and performance for multiple state services including Minnesota, Florida. Services include Vocational Rehabilitation, Medicaid Waiver, Extended Employment, Day Training & Habilitation, Ticket to Work Employment Network, Project Search. Services are provided in communities for a wide range of persons with disabilities including developmental disabilities, Brain Injury, CADI, hearing impaired and mental health. Opportunity Services has an annual budget of eight million with services to 1,200 persons annually. She has experience in transformation of sheltered workshops, days services to community employment and diversion from sheltered work, TANF reform employment demonstration, and TTW employment network. Her education includes expertise in education, psychology, business, leadership and Baldrige Quality Performance measurements. She servers the ODEP as a subject matter expert for Employment First . She also serves as the court monitor for the first Rhode Island interim settlement agreement for closure of a sheltered workshop.

Track 1: Individual and Family Engagement

Track 2: Organizational and Systems Change

Track 3: Best Employment Practices

Multiple breakout sessions will offer opportunities to learn from the keynote speakers as well as Ohio experts.
For a complete listing of all breakout sessions, click HERE.

Diamond Sponsors

Butler County Board of DDClermont County Board of DDHamilton County DDSWarren County Board of DDOhio Valley Goodwill Industries

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