TASH 2017 Conference
In December, the LEAD Center participated in the national TASH Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The LEAD Center added to this diverse community of stakeholders by providing five presentations on strategies to improve the employment and economic advancement of individuals across the spectrum of disability. The sessions were designed to provide information and strategies to assist participants in understanding inclusive career pathways, resource mapping, ABLE accounts and employment, and financial capability. LEAD presentations included:
- Guided Group Discovery: Successful Employment through Partnerships – This session focused on strategies that can benefit any job seeker who faces barriers to employment. Guided Group Discovery (GGD) is a universal design approach that is very effective for people with and without disabilities. It is used in partnership with a number of systems, so that people can receive support through multiple agencies at the same time, as needed. GGD assists people in securing and maintaining employment by supporting them in small groups to create their own individual blueprint to guide their job search process.
- Resource Mapping: A Tool for Achieving Employment Outcomes and Financial Goals – In this session, participants explored Resource Mapping and the impact it has to enhance employment outcomes for individuals and the community providers that support them. Resource mapping offers a strategy that can help organizations view the larger picture of supports and resources that are available to help individuals improve their employment and financial outcomes.
- The ABLE Act and Employment – In this session, participants learned about how the ABLE Act now allows certain individuals with disabilities the opportunity to save money without jeopardizing their federally-funded means-tested benefits (such as Medicaid and SSI). These funds can be used to pay for qualified disability-related expenses that help the person with a disability increase and/or maintain their health, independence, and quality of life (including employment-related expenses).
- Let’s Talk Money! Why Discussing Finance Is Important to Employment Services – In this session, participants, including self-advocates, learned about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Final Rule, and the ABLE Act. Participants gained knowledge about the importance of improving financial capability of all Americans, including people with disabilities. As a part of employment services, talking about money can play a critical role in identifying barriers to employment, setting financial and employment goals, making decisions about public benefits, and effectively managing earnings.
- Creating a Vision for Your Life – This session discussed why everyone needs financial education. Participants learned about opportunities to better understand how to manage money and save towards individual goals. During the session, participants identified a goal that they have for themselves and explored how to earn, manage, and save money to meet their goal. Participants also heard from a self-advocate on his success in building his money skills.
The TASH Annual Conference brought together over 700 attendees from every aspect of the disability community to share their passion for disability rights, civil rights, human rights, and inclusive communities. This year’s conference theme was “Still We Rise for Equity, Opportunity, and Inclusion.”