People with disabilities deserve more opportunities to work in the community
Each month, the State of Michigan releases unemployment numbers, which are seen as a major indicator of the state’s economic health. One subset of these numbers is often overlooked — the employment levels for people with disabilities. Michigan and other states struggle with the challenge of employing people in this group. The discrepancy is significant. As of March 2016, the national unemployment rate for people without disabilities was 4.9%. For people with disabilities, it was more than double that figure. Perhaps even more indicative of the challenge is the gap in the labor force participation rate of nearly 69% for people without disabilities, and almost 20% for people with disabilities.
A new approach is happening in Michigan. The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, is coordinated by the State of Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council. It is focused on a shift away from facility-based employment to community-based, integrated jobs. One of the major goals here is to bring together more agencies to reach young adults transitioning from education to employment.Read more about Michigan's innovative approach here.
Employee of the Month: Raynell Washington
Raynell is HDC’s newest staff member. She recently began working on our Early Head Start Child Care Partnership project as an Eligibility, Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment and Attendance (ERSEA) Specialist. Raynell earned her BA in Sociology from Southeastern Louisiana University and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Tulane University and is currently working towards her LMSW licensure, which she hopes to accomplish by the end of the year. Outside of work, Raynell enjoys spending time with her loved ones, especially her niece, and dining out at new restaurants. She loves listening to live music, especially soulful R&B and hopes to travel the world and learn about different cultural experiences. Raynell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Disability Policy Seminar
Five HDC LEND Trainees and the project coordinator (Ms. Brittney Wright) recently attended the 2016 Disability Policy Seminar in Washington DC along with approximately 700 people with disabilities, parents, students, and allies. This annual two day event prepares future leaders in the field of disabilities for their careers by providing intensive training on current legislative and policy issues that impact people with disabilities. Over 200 of the attendees were LEND and UCEDD trainees. On Wednesday, individuals used this information to help them educate their Members of Congress and their staff. AUCD was a co-sponsor of the Disability Policy Seminar along with The Arc, AAIDD, NACDD, SABE, and UCP. All the fact sheets and available presentations can be found on the DPS website.
HDC Upcoming Events and Trainings
Building Community through Social Capital
June 18, 2016
Human Development Center
In association with the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, HDC is hosting a presentation by Al Condeluci. Al Condeluci is a spokesperson for Louisiana Partners in Policymaking and the CEO of CLASS, a full-service nonprofit that supports people with disabilities. Mr. Condeluci will discuss the impact that our friendships have to build communities. For more information or to register, click here.
Needs-Based Training for Improving Employment, Postsecondary Education, and Independent Living Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
June 20 & 21, 2016
Human Development Center
2016 Summer Transition Institute
This institute is a collaborative effort by the LSU Human Development Center and the Louisiana Department of Education. The focus is needs-based training for improving employment, postsecondary education, and independent living outcomes for students with disabilities with an emphasis on the development and implementation of a focused strategic plan for improving transition services and outcomes for youth with disabilities age 16 and older. Emphasis will be placed on understanding evidence-based practices and predictors of successful employment, postsecondary education and independent living outcomes for youth with disabilities after exiting high school. This institute will be led and conducted by Dr. John Johnson, a faculty member of the LSU Human Development Center, who has extensive national experience facilitating statewide transition teams and communities of practice. Participation in this institute is by invitation only. We hope to conduct future annual summer institutes resources allowing. Additional information may be obtained about this and other training, professional/leadership development and technical assistance opportunities addressing transition issues by contacting John Johnson, Ph.D., at email@example.com or by phone at (504) 717-9810 (cell) or (504) 556-7515 (office).
Supported Employment Trainings
View upcoming dates