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Setting the Stage for Employment A Critical Next Step for Transitioning Youth with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Denise Sleeper, State of NH,

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Presentation on theme: "Setting the Stage for Employment A Critical Next Step for Transitioning Youth with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Denise Sleeper, State of NH,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Setting the Stage for Employment A Critical Next Step for Transitioning Youth with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Denise Sleeper, State of NH, Bureau of Developmental Services NH Association of Special Education Administrators Summer Academy ~ July 30, 2013

2 Perceptions and Expectations of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities have changed dramatically in a short period of time. Then and Now…..

3 Then….. In the past, there was no expectation… for being prepared to live, work, contribute and recreate in the community or to be as independent as possible and as desired in all facets of life

4 Then….. Children at the Laconia State School Living in an Institution was expected

5 Then….. Dorms at the Laconia State School The Laconia State School was created with good intentions (at that time period) by people who cared and wanted a better life experience for people with disabilities.

6 Then….. Passing the Time at the Laconia State School Isolation from family and community could not foster good health, happiness, personal growth or prosperity. Living in the institution offered a life of many limitations.

7 Then….. A Sheltered Workshop similar to one at the Laconia State School Keeping busy with meaningless tasks was the norm. Developing skills to work in jobs in the community was not the expectation.

8 Now….. Things have changed

9 Now….. People with intellectual/developmental disabilities are expected and desire to live, work, recreate and contribute to their community.

10 Now….. Families are creating a different vision for their sons and daughters… A vision and expectation of living a full and meaningful life in their community and being as independent as possible.

11 Now….. Work is a critical component of achieving independence, developing meaningful relationships and of being a valued and contributing member of their community

12 Now….. Families seek education and training opportunities that prepare their children with the hard and soft skills needed to be successful in work

13 Now….. Our systems have been evolving to better meet the changing visions and expectations of families and individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities

14 One Example… Project SEARCH is a 9 month program that targets transition aged- youth in their final year of high school and young adults up to age 26.

15 Now….. Project SEARCH Intern

16 Now…..

17 Now…..

18 Now…..

19 Now….. Nick graduated Project SEARCH in Currently Employed at Dartmouth- Hitchcock Hospital. He works 5 days/wk. Lives on his own. Performs the piano every Monday at the Granite Ledges.

20 Now….. Project SEARCH Partnership with Great Bay Community College

21 Project SEARCH Partnerships with Schools Alvirne Hollis-Brookline Campbell Merrimack Nashua North & Nashua South Souhegan Londonderry Central HS, Manchester Manchester Memorial West HS Bedford Goffstown Pinkerton Academy Exeter Barrington Deerfield Epping Oyster River Concord Keene High School Hinsdale HS Con Val Crotched Mountain Hanover High School Hartford School District

22 Project SEARCH Outcomes 6 sites in NH Over 100 graduates employed Working an Average of 18 Hours Earning an Average Wage of $8.86

23 Lessons Learned Students rise to the expectations Structured training programs are key Students need access to meaningful career development services Internships are an important part of discovery for students Multiple complex systems can effectively work together toward a common goal

24 Deepening Collaboration Project SEARCH helped NHVR, BDS and schools to have a better understanding of each others rules, regulations and funding which led to the ability to leverage each others resources to achieve our collective mission

25 BDS – Strengthening Our Commitment to Employment Comprehensive process of aligning Vision, Policy and Funding

26 BDS Vision – Employment Position Statement TRANSITION We believe that it should be discussed with all individuals and families that employment is important. Individuals and families should have opportunities to learn about jobs and the supports to help gain employment. Therefore, all members of New Hampshire’s regional system shall: 1. Advocate for transition and successful employment outcomes for individuals entering the adult service system. 2. Assist families to understand the transition process as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 3. Work with families to understand the role they play in the transition process and the options they have. 4. Support and provide career development services that will help to identify interests and skills. These services could include internships, job shadowing programs and/or classes on careers.

27 Developmental Services Strategies Changes to our regulations has begun… He-M 503 Eligibility and the Process of Providing Services (finalized) He-M 518 Employment Services (in process)

28 Developmental Services Strategies He-M 503 Eligibility and the Process of Providing Services Subsection (14)(f)(13) Allocation of Funds for Current and Future Individual Service Requests: (f) To access the wait list funds appropriated for a given fiscal year, the area agency shall…prioritizing each individual’s urgency of need based on the following factors: (13) Individual needing long-term employment funding to maintain his or her job after completing employment training;

29 Developmental Services Strategies He-M 503 Eligibility and the Process of Providing Services Subsection (14)(h)(7) Allocation of Funds for Current and Future Individual Service Requests: (h) An area agency shall request advanced crisis funding from the bureau to provide services without delay when there are no generic or area agency resources available and an individual is: (7) In need of long-term employment funding to maintain his or her job.

30 Developmental Services Strategies Changes to He-M 503 Guarantee… that long term funding will be in place to maintain employment for a student who graduates with a job

31 Developmental Services Strategies He-M Employment Planning for Youth Aged 14 – 21 Years In School (in process of being revised) (a) Beginning at age 14, the individual and his or her family, and school personnel shall be given information by the area agency staff regarding: (1) The employment services that are available within the adult service system; (2) Importance of planning ahead for achieving successful employment outcomes in the future;

32 Developmental Services Strategies He-M Employment Planning for Youth Aged 14 – 21 Years In School (in process of being revised) Continued… (3) Work incentives planning information; and (4) The bureau of vocational rehabilitation as a source of assistance regarding employment opportunities. (b) In their contacts/communications with the individual, family and schools, area agency staff shall continuously reinforce the importance of employment opportunities and facilitate as applicable, their development.

33 Developmental Services Strategies Employment Outcomes are publicly reported on a quarterly basis

34 Developmental Services Strategies Employment Outcomes are one of three factors in allocating waitlist funding to Area Agencies.

35 Developmental Services Strategies Beginning in July 2013, Employment Goals are included in the contracts with Area Agencies. Progress on goals will be reported in the Quarterly Employment Data Report

36 “It Takes A Village” If students are to be successful in transitioning from School to Work… families, schools, and agencies must be willing to dialogue, innovate, compromise, and always “try another way” to Make it Happen.

37 Contact Information Denise Sleeper State of NH, Bureau of Developmental Services


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