Employment Network

Category: Article

An interesting idea from Montana...

What would happen if you combined the pop-up shop phenomena with the food truck concept? You might get a whole lot of cool, and you might also get Dish-Ability.

Dish-Ability is the brainchild of the Silver Bow Developmental Disability Council, Inc. — a Butte organization that advocates for the health, safety and independence of individuals with developmental disabilities.

The council launched Dish-Ability last summer primarily as an ice-cream food truck, but Todd Hoar, director of the council, said the organization has much bigger aspirations for the truck.

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This research brief dives into the issues that affect the lives of young adults living with serious mental health conditions (SMHC). Learn more about the issues affecting their employment.

The unemployment rate of young adults living with serious mental health conditions (SMHCs) is appallingly high when compared to young adults with other disabilities and even worse compared to young adults without disabilities. Approximately 91% of young adults with SMHCs are employed at some time since high school, while only 49.6% were employed 8 years a er high school, a rate that is significantly lower than that of the general population. Traditionally employment research has focused on only mental health conditions related to employment, but there is more to it.

Read the rest of the research brief. 

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The U.S. Departments of Labor and Education have announced the availability of the approved Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Unified or Combined State Plans. The public and workforce system stakeholders may view, download, or search the State Plans for information on how states are undertaking the implementation of WIOA. Under WIOA, the Governor of each State and outlying area must submit a Unified or Combined State Plan to the U.S. Department of Labor that outlines a four-year strategy for the State’s workforce development system. States submitted their four-year WIOA State Plans for Federal review and approval in 2016. The U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture, whose programs are addressed, provided review and approval for each State Plan for the period July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. The WIOA State Plans provide valuable information about the various investment, programs, and initiatives underway to serve our jobseekers, students, and businesses across the country.

View State Plans

Posted in: WOIA | 0 comments

Survey for People with Physical Disabilities

By Employment Network, 2016-03-10

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is conducting a study of adults with physical disabilities.  We want to know about your barriers to employment as well as resources that you need to support your work / career goals.  In addition, we are interested in knowing how you find information on employment services and supports. The target groups for the study are:

•    Adults with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, or other physical disabilities; and
•    Young adults ages 18 to 65 with any type of physical disability.
•    You may be employed or unemployed.

To be eligible to participate, you must be a U.S. citizen and be able to provide legal consent.

Participants will complete an online survey requiring approximately 20 minutes. One hundred participants will be randomly selected to receive a $25 gift card.  However, there is no guarantee that everyone who completes the survey will be selected to receive the gift card. 

If you are interested in participating, the VCU-RRTC needs your consent.  You may do this by following the link below to read more about the study, review the survey questions, and give your consent.


If you have questions or need special accommodations to participate in the study, please contact:

Dr. Katherine Inge
P.O. Box 842011
Richmond, Virginia 23284-011
TTY: (804) 828-2494

This research is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (#H133B130011) and has been approved by VCU’s Institutional Review Board.

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Volunteers needed for Disability Advocacy Day!

By Employment Network, 2016-02-16

Volunteer for Disability Advocacy Day!

Tuesday March 15, 2016

Disability Advocacy is successful because of the many volunteers that give of their time and expertise.

Volunteers are needed for the following duties:

Help at Monona Terrace with set up and registration: help needed between 8 am-12pm (20 people needed)

·         Put materials on tables

·         Check participants in  when they arrive

·         Hand out  t-shirts or lunches

Assistance at the Capitol: help needed between 12-3 (30-35 people needed)

·         Guide participant to their appointments

·         Assist individual who may be lost

·         Assist in the debriefing rooms

Table/Visit facilitators: 10am- 2:30 pm (70 people needed)

·         Facilitate discussion as tables to coordinate a smooth visit

·         Stay with your table members (district constituents) and escort them to the visits and help facilitate the conversations with their legislators.
(note there may be more than one facilitator for each group and you may facilitate both the Senate and Assembly visits)
* Every effort will be made to keep you in your own district but we cannot guarantee this.

** Facilitators are not able to volunteer to other duties between 10am and 2:30 pm as you will be busy with your group

If you are interested in helping please use this link to sign up 


or contact Todd or Fil for assistance:

Todd Costello: (608) 242-8335 or costellot@clanet.org

Fil Clissa: (608)698-0333 or survivalcoalitionwi@gmail.com

Family Advocate Positions Available

By Employment Network, 2016-02-11

Wisconsin PROMISE, a project of the Wisconsin Department for Workforce Development (DWD), aims to foster improved health, education and post-secondary outcomes for families and teenage youth with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  Enrolled families have access to a number of trainings and services, including a training for families on transition and employment planning basics.  The Waisman Center at UW-Madison is partnering with the project to help deliver this transition and employment training by developing a network of family advocates across the state to work with identified families.  The Family Advocates will connect with families, in their homes or in the community, to share information about the transition process and employment planning using the already-developed training.  Advocates may also assist with navigating service systems as needed.  In addition, the Family Advocates will strive to organize small learning communities for local families to meet and share their experiences.  Ideally, Family Advocates will be individuals with personal, or professional, experience with disability and public support systems.  If you know people who might be interested in these positions, please share this with them.  There are 10 positions located in various regions around the state.  Individuals will telecommute and will travel regularly within their region.  See links to the position postings below.  When you click on the link, you’ll see a Job Summary and then if you click on “Position Description” you will see more details of the position.  The deadline for applying is February 23, 2016

For more information about the larger WI PROMISE project, visitwww.promisewi.com


Racine/Kenosha area
 (Region 1), Position #97755: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97755&title=08500


Milwaukee area (Region 2/3), Position #97761 (Full-time): http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97761&title=08500


Milwaukee area (region 2/3), Position #97764:  http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97764&title=08500


Milwaukee area (Region 2/3), Position #97763:  http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97763&title=08500


Green Bay/Fox Valley area (Region 5), Position #97796: http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97796&title=08500


Northcentral WI (Region 6), Position # 97795: https://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97795&title=08500


Northwestern WI (Region 7), Position #97758: https://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97758&title=08500


Western WI (Region 8), Position #97793:  https://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97793&title=08500


La Crosse area (Region 9), Position #97757:  http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97757&title=08500


Madison area (Region 10), Position #97327:  http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/Weblisting/External/PDSummaryApply.aspx?vacid=97327&title=08500



Thank you for sharing this with your networks!  If you have any questions, please contact Molly Cooney at 608-266-0266 ormolly.cooney@wisconsin.gov.


To play a key role in advancing self-determination for people with disabilities and older adults in Wisconsin. InControl collaborates to ensure that all individuals live a productive community life as valued citizens, we work to discover, share, and promote best practices and as advocates for sound programs and good public policy

Date: October 28, 2015
To: Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services
FromIn Control Wisconsin Board of Directors
Subject: Comments on the new Long-Term Care Plan for Wisconsin

In Control Wisconsin was formed in 2009 to a) promote the nationally and internationally growing idea that people with disabilities and older adults should have more control over their lives and the long term care (LTC) services they receive, and b) improve the cost effectiveness of the LTC system by ensuring that people only receive the level of support they need. This trend has been called “self-determination”, “self-direction”, and “self–directed supports”. In Control Wisconsin is the only organization in Wisconsin that is solely focused on promoting this philosophy and its best practices. Our work is based on these core beliefs:


  • people are capable of taking responsibility for making thoughtful, cost-effective decisions about their lives and their services,

  • people have a right to substantial control over how public dollars are spent on their behalf and they can exert that control without directly handling the funds themselves, and

  • it should be possible to deliver quality services with limited red tape for the individual.


Many people with physical and/or developmental disabilities, and a growing number of older adults are expressing a strong preference for having some level of self-direction in their services (an estimated 25,000 people in IRIS and Family Care are currently electing to fully or partially self direct their services).This enthusiasm for self direction also came through loud and clear in the JFC hearings on the 2015-2017 state budget.

We believe that self-direction is the way of the future in long term care. It resonates with the desire of many people to not be passive recipients of the care someone else chooses for them, but rather to be in the driver’s seat and be able to say what supports they want, when they want them, and to hire the agency or the people who will provide them. This is an effective way to ensure that people are actually getting the services they want and need, and to ensure that public dollars are not spent on unnecessary services or bureaucracy.

In developing the specifics of Wisconsin’s LTC Plan for the future, we believe there are several important elements which must be included in the Plan to ensure that there is a robust self directed supports option available to anyone who wants it, which not only preserves the essential features of IRIS but actually make improvements on it. These elements include:

1. Education and Information. All LTC-eligible people in WI must be objectively informed and educated about the self directed supports (SDS) option.

2. Full access to Self Directed Supports. All LTC-eligible people in WI must have the right to elect a fully or partially self directed supports option. No one should be excluded from SDS because of the nature or extent of their disability. Shared or supported decision-making (with family and/or friends) is a legitimate form of SDS, and some people will need training on shared/supported decision-making.

3. Participant decision-making. SDS participants get to set their own goals. People who elect to self direct their services believe that they are the experts on their own lives, and Wisconsin’s experience with the IRIS program has proven that to be true.

4. Participant Control. SDS participants must have full budget authority and employer authority.(“Budget authority” = decision-making authority over how the Medicaid funding in your individual budget is spent. “Employer authority” = decision-making authority re who provides your services and how the services are provided. You get to choose any provider agency, or directly recruit, hire, train, supervise, and fire the people who provide your services, including parents, spouses, and relatives.)

5. Reliable budget-setting. Individual budgets must be set fairly and objectively before the person-centered planning process begins, and must be based on the individual’s long term care needs and desired outcomes. The Plan should include safeguards to ensure consistency and transparency of the budget-setting process.

6. Quality Support. SDS participants must have access to ongoing support for self direction. People’s circumstances change and some people experience crises. For many people, SDS won’t work without the support of a competent SDS consultant.

7. Self-direction of the Whole Person. In the context of the new Integrated Model, SDS must now also apply to the provision of acute and primary health care, and behavioral health. This fits with national trends toward more consumer-directed health care and the use of the recovery model in the behavioral health field. It is also important that SDS not become “medicalized”, e.g. prior authorization procedures for medical treatment should not be applied to long term services and supports in SDS.

8. Appropriate Cost Effectiveness approaches. Promote cost effectiveness in SDS in ways that fit the values of SDS. SDS is inherently cost effective, as evidenced by the fact that IRIS participants give back 17% of their individual budget allocations. But traditional cost containment methods used in managed care (e.g. across the board provider rate cuts) can undermine the concept of SDS. Experience has shown that the most impactful cost effectiveness strategies in SDS are local and individualized. It is also important that individuals are given enough flexibility to fully capitalize on all the unique, cost effective opportunities to utilize natural supports which are inherent in SDS.

9. Program integrity. Create mechanisms to ensure that services are actually resulting in the outcomes chosen by the person, and that comply with CMS rules. Also, utilize fraud prevention and detection mechanisms that do not add unnecessary bureaucracy to SDS.

10. Participant rights. Include adequately funded Ombudsman services in the Plan which are independent of ADRCs, IHAs, and provider agencies. Include safeguards to prevent unnecessary institution admissions, and incentivize a safe, timely return to the community. Allow individuals placed in institutions less than 90 days to stay enrolled in SDS.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Contact information for Lynn Breedlove, President, InControl Wisconsin: lynnbreedlove.wi@gmail.com 608-577-0468

Board of Directors

Lynn Breedlove, 

Kate Norby, 
Vice President

Jenny Felty, 

Patti Becker, 

Peter Tropman
Ruth Adix
Terry Lynch
Jim Canales
Dennis Harkins
Erik Scribner
Laura Hanson
Trista Brandt
Monica Bear

Welcome to the Employment Network!

By Employment Network, 2015-05-13
Welcome to the Employment Network!

Learning and working together to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to earn livable wages, pursue meaningful careers and have real choices about individualized employment in their communities.

~ The Employment Network is powered by InControl Wisconsin

Posted in: About | 0 comments

Member Spotlight: Stephanie Drum

By Employment Network, 2013-04-24

The Employment Network is shining the Member Spotlight on Stephanie Drum. Stephanie has a wealth of knowledge about how work affects your benefits and what incentives are available to help you make informed decisions about working when you're concerned about losing your benefits. We are lucky to have her as a member of the Employment Network. Stephanie will be joining us for a Coffee Break on May 1st.

What kind of work do you do? Where do you work?

I am a Work Incentives Benefits Specialist (WIBS) and trainer for the Wisconsin Disability Benefits Network (WDBN). I work for Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI) in Madison, WI.

Tell us some good news - what's the most exciting thing happening for you or for people with disabilities who want to work?

I have heard from Social Security and people using the system that the telephone wage reporting is working for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. This reduces some of the administrative process for people who have to report their work to Social Security. This is really helpful for those who can use it.

What employment tip or resource would you like to share with people who want to work?

The UW Extensions often have free budget counseling and tools. Also, there are free programs at local banks and Universities/Colleges that can provide financial education to people. Budgeting as one aspect of working can get lost in the planning.

What message would you like to share with the members of the Employment Network?

Dont be afraid of Social Security! If you get into the habit of reporting income and you keep in touch about other changes, that often leads to fewer issues. I know that problems pop up, but some of them can be avoided if you provide accurate and current information to Social Security.

What's your dream vacation?

Somewhere warm and quiet. At this point in my life, I would take just quiet.

What's your favorite book/movie/music?

Right now, my favorite music is from Band of Horses.

Movie right now, Groundhog Day or Royal Tenenbaums.

Book I always fall back on Anna Karenina, but there are likely other competitors.

Employment Network News: Jan. 28, 2013

By Employment Network, 2013-01-28

Connect | Share | Learn | http://employmentnetworkwi.org/

Jan. 28, 2013

Happy New Year...2014!

It's already the end of January, which means that spring is right around the corner, which is almost the same as halfway through summer, which tells me that Fall is just about starting, which starts me thinking about my holiday shopping before it's too late, and finally that reminds me that I want to be the first to wish you a Happy 2014!!!

Yikes! Don't panic yet. It really isn't that late in 2013. This year has only just begun and there are exciting things in store for the Employment Network this year. We're going to start introducing some new features, some new opportunities to get involved. We hope you'll like what you see and that you'll join in. You can tell us what you think about our new features and events, as well as share your ideas for what you'd like to see. Check out this discussion for more details.

It Only Takes "Five" to Support the Employment Network

The Employment Network is different from a typical website or email group/listserv. Those types of technology, while being valuable tools, rely on you sitting back and being the recipient of information. You might decide to do something with that information... or not...

The Employment Network is designed to be more. We want to tap into the ideas, connections, resources and questions of all members from the day they join the community. We believe that each of us has something to contribute - that each of us is an "owner" of the Network and responsible for giving whatever it is we have to give. That's why we say it only takes "Five" to support the Employment Network. Here's how you can be part of that support:

  • Take five minutes. Check out some of the new discussions, resources, etc. on the Network. Then add something to the Network - a comment to discussion, a thumbs up or a thank you for a resource, a question that you've been wondering about, a greeting to a new member, or share your story. The possibilities are endless. Don't worry if you're doing it "right". There's no right or wrong about how to use the Network.
  • Donate five dollars. The Employment Network was initially developed through the Wisconsin Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG). Now that grant has ended for Wisconsin. In order to continue to grow and develop this community (as well as pay the bills associated with sustaining the platform we use), we need to find ways to financially support the Network. We are inviting each of our members to make a financial contribution - $5 (or $10 or $20 or whatever you can afford) will help support the Network. We've added a new Donation button in the right hand column on each page of the Network - click on that button and you'll go straight to the PayPal account for In Control Wisconsin, our new "home". If you cannot donate at this time, PLEASE keep using the site. Your presence and participation is the only required payment. We want everyone to have full access to each other and the wisdom of the community.

In addition to donations from members, we are looking for organizations who may be interested in becoming a sponsor of the Employment Network. Please contact Deb Wisniewskiif you have questions or ideas about potential sponsors.

We hope you're ready to take the challenge to support the Employment Network. It's our community - Let's work together to help it grow and develop.

Join Us for a Coffee Break

Starting this month, the Employment Network will be hosting an occasional live chat (called "Coffee Break") open to all members of the Network. Each Coffee Break will have a different theme, but you are also welcome to ask questions or share information about anything that relates to employment in the community or to the Network itself.

The first Coffee Breaks will be Wed. Jan. 30th from 8:30 am - 9:00 am. OR 4:00 - 4:30 pm (choose one time). The theme this week is the Employment Network itself: Do you have questions about how to use features? How to add a profile photo? Ideas about how we can improve the site? Deb Wisniewski will be online to connect with you about whatever ideas and questions you have.

Registration is not required, but RSVPs are welcome. Find out more and RSVP.

Take Five Minutes

Welcome New Members

Stop by to welcome our newest members.

Upcoming Events

Here's a sample of upcoming events listed on the Employment Network:

Post your event on the Employment Network and it can be included in future Network News emails to members! Questions? Contact Deb Wisniewski at scgwis@gmail.com


Thanks to the sponsors of the Employment Network!

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