March 2018

Governor John Bel Edwards Signed State as Model Employer Executive Order

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed an Executive Order this Monday creating  the State as a Model Employer Taskforce, which will develop policies and strategies to improve within state government the rate of hiring, recruitment and retention of Louisianans with disabilities.

The State as a Model Employer Task Force will have the following duties:

  • Develop policies, strategies and services designed to achieve the seven percent employment target.
  • Establish a five-year plan with annual goals that will enable the state workforce to reach parity with the percentage of working age people with disabilities in Louisiana.
  • Provide guidance and other support to agencies and institutions of higher education of higher education on recruitment, retention, accommodation and accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Click here to read the governor’s executive order.

Over the past year the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs have held workgroups, roundtables, and other events in collaboration with diverse and varied stakeholders about Employment First, which is an initiative of stakeholders designed to address barriers to employment and improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Due to those efforts, in collaboration with diverse and varied stakeholders, Louisiana has been selected to receive Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA) as a Vision Quest (VQ) State for the 2018 fiscal year under the United States Department of Labor’s, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP). This technical assistance will further the efforts to increase competitive, integrated employment outcomes for all individuals with disabilities.

Also, in the Governor’s Office, they know employing people with disabilities is great for businesses, communities, and Louisiana. If you are a person with a disability, they want to hear your story about where you work and what you do. There are so many positive employment stories which need to be shared, and we would like to publicly highlight our hard working citizens and their employers. Please go to the following link and complete the form with your information and story:

Louisiana State Parks Now Hiring Persons with Disabilities


The Louisiana Office of State Parks is currently hiring throughout Louisiana.


  • 82 seasonal openings available
  • Custodian, Groundskeeper and Front Desk
  • Personnel positions
  • Schedule: 24 hours/week throughout the summer
  • Salary: $8.50/hour

Applications are available at each state park location.

HOW TO APPLY:  For a full listing of state park locations, please visit

For more information about Louisiana Rehabilitation Services,

visit http://Louisiana Workforce Commission

March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month

The goal for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2018 is to create awareness about developmental disabilities, teach the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life, and to share the stories of individuals with a disability to show that a successful life is possible.

How to Participate:

  • Share stories, photos, and videos that expand the conversation of inclusion and disability on your social media channels using #DDawareness18
  • Search social media for #DDawareness18 and like, comment on, share, and retweet the posts from others
  • Use this schedule to help guide the topic of your posts:
    • March 1-9 (Week 1): See Me as your Classmate (share Education stories)
    • March 10-16 (Week 2): See Me as your Coworker (share Employment stories)
    • March 17-23 (Week 3): See Me as your Neighbor (share Community Living stories)
    • March 24-30 (Week 4): See Me as your Friend (share any kind of story)
  • See this resource guide for additional information and some suggestions of posts that you can share from campaign participants.
  • Additional information, including graphics; social media links for AUCD, NACDD, and NDRN; informational webinar archives; and DD Awareness Proclamations from several states are posted online at

LEND 2018-19 Applications Now Available!

We are delighted to inform you that applications are now OPEN for graduate students, family members of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD), self-advocates with ASD and other NDD, and practicing professionals to apply for LA Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) training program. The LA LEND is a one-year 300+ hours interdisciplinary training program that incorporates both classroom teaching and learning by experience. It encourages people from many backgrounds to learn to work together. This is a leadership program that prepares future leaders to support and work with children with disabilities (with a focus on autism) and their families.  

For the application, please see attached. EXTENDED Due Date: Completed applications are due by April 13, 2018. If you have any additional questions about the LA LEND, you may contact Brittney Wright Peters, Training Coordinator, at

All Means All: Building Inclusive Practices in Schools

 Girl holding hands together in front of classmate in circle around table in preschool classroom, possibly playing game
What are the post-school outcomes for students with ASD and related disabilities who were included in general education classes compared to those who were educated in self-contained settings?  This basic to intermediate level workgroup will review the research that addresses this question and share indicators of inclusive schools. Strategies will be discussed to increase inclusive practices for students with ASD and related disabilities. Participants will evaluate their own schools and determine a plan to improve access to the general education for all students.
This webinar is geared toward new and seasoned educators and family members seeking more information on the benefits of building inclusive practices in schools.