Employment First Massachusetts

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Webinar Archives

This page contains past webinar presentations sponsored by DDS in partnership with ICI. Selecting the links below will open the presentations.

LifeCourse Webinars 2023-2024

LifeCourse in Action: Supporting Families in Massachusetts & the National Community of Practice

09/13/2023 | Presenter(s): Ingrid Flory | Slides | Transcript

LifeCourse in Action: Planning the Life You Want

10/11/2023 | Presenter(s): Rania Kelly and Rebecca Davis | Slides | Handouts | Transcript

LifeCourse in Action: Empowering People with Disabilities

11/8/2023 | Presenter(s): Keila Torres | Slides | Transcript

LifeCourse in Action: Holiday Edition

12/13/2023 | Presenter(s): Sonja A. Haecker | Slides | Transcript

LifeCourse in Action: Exploring Life Possibilities

1/10/2024 | Presenter(s): Maryann Welch | Slides | Transcript

LifeCourse in Action: Relationships

2/14/2024 | Presenter(s): Nancy Willey | Slides | Transcript

LifeCourse in Action: Integrating Positive Behavior Support with Charting the LifeCourse

3/13/2024 | Presenter(s): Amanda Purchase | Slides | Transcript

LifeCourse in Action: Empoderar a las personas con discapacidades

04/10/2024 | Presenter(s): Keila Torres | Slides

Technology Throughout the Employment Process: A Webinar Series
Webinar #4: Technology Strategies for Employment Professionals


Presented by Jill Eastman and Kelly Wanzer from the Institute for Community Inclusion

May, 23 2023

Download Slides to This Webinar
( PDF)

Technology Throughout the Employment Process: A Webinar Series
Webinar #3: Technology Strategies for Communication and Behavior Support


Presented by Jill Eastman and Kelly Wanzer from the Institute for Community Inclusion

April, 18 2023

Download Slides to This Webinar
( PDF)

Technology Throughout the Employment Process: A Webinar Series
Webinar #2: Best Practices in Social Media


Presented by Jill Eastman and Kelly Wanzer from the Institute for Community Inclusion

March, 14 2023

Download Slides to This Webinar
( PDF)

Technology Throughout the Employment Process: A Webinar Series
Webinar #1: Tech Tools on the Job


Presented by Jill Eastman and Kelly Wanzer from the Institute for Community Inclusion

February, 21 2023

Download Slides to This Webinar
( PDF)

CBDS Fundamentals

On Friday, April 29, we hosted and presented a live webinar on Community-Based Day Support (CBDS) Fundamentals. ICI’s Training Associate, Brit Miles, alongside guest speakers Kyle Schaller, Corey Cooke, and Emily Burque from Riverside Services, presented on the principles and best practices of CBDS services. The webinar included tools that encourage person-driven service delivery and examples of community-based activities that embody CBDS core values.

Click on each timestamp in this list to jump to a specific segment from the CBDS Fundamentals webinar presentation:

  • 9:00 - What is Employment First MA? How is Employment First MA integrated into CBDS principles?
  • 20:23 - How did CBDS services help Emily Burque form a meaningful relationship in the community?
  • 29:30 - What are some examples of living out CBDS core service values, including person-centered, integrated, and purposeful CBDS?
  • 39:04 - A personal profile is a living document that leads to building community programming. How can you develop a personal profile?
  • 50:20 - What are some examples of community activities CBDS providers have developed that uphold CBDS core service values?




This webinar identifies challenges and barriers culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families experience. It provides an overview of strategies for supporting and increasing partnerships between CLD families and professionals.

Presented by:

Ginger Kwan: Executive Director of Open Doors for Multicultural Families

Reehana Nisha: Transition Program Lead at Open Doors for Multicultural Families

Slides ( PDF)

Getting From Here to There: Transportation During the Transition Years


This webinar addresses transportation services available to people with disabilities in communities around Massachusetts, explores connections between transition-aged youth and transportation opportunities, and provides a greater understanding of how to effectively infuse the topic of transportation when discussing transition goals.

Presented by:

Rachel Fichtenbaum: Executive Office of Health and Human Services Mobility Manager, Mass Mobility

MaryEllen MacRae: Director of Community Support Services of Ester Seals Massachusetts

Raising the Bar: Seeing Employment as Part of Our Children’s Future

This webinar is designed to help parents raise the bar and envision an employment success for their son or daughter. Success stories and strategies are shared to help youth prepare for employment through chores at home and work experience in the community.

Presented by:

Sean Roy: Training Associate, TransCen Inc

For Professionals and Educators

Partnering with Families: Working Towards Employment Success


This webinar highlights the importance of family involvement in the employment success of youth, while providing strategies for professionals to better engage families in the process. Topics include understanding the family perspective, addressing apprehension in exploring community-based employment, and strategies for helping families play a key role in career readiness and the job search.

Presented by:

Sean Roy:  Training Associate, TransCen Inc

School-Related Issues

Helping Your Child to Lead: Student-Driven Secondary Transition Webinar

Presented by:

Amanda Green: Secondary Transition Coordinator, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Martha Daigle: Family Engagement Coordinator, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Turning 18

Planning for the Transition to Adulthood: Applying for SSI and Medicaid (MassHealth)


As students in special education prepare to enter adulthood, individuals with I/DD who are turning 18 years old will apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. This webinar provides information on why applying for SSI and Medicaid is important, the steps you need to take to prepare to apply, and then how to apply for this important benefit.

Presented by:

Karen Mariscal: Esq.

Pat Nemia: M.A., P.T., Project Director at the Federation for Children with Special Needs

Autonomy, Decision Making Supports, and Guardianship


This webinar addresses guardianship, alternatives to guardianship and other “coming of age” related issues for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Presented by:

Frederick M. Misilo, Jr.: Attorney and Vice President, the Arc of The United States, Inc.

Assistive Technology and Transition to Employment

Kristi Peak-Oliveira of Easterseals Massachusetts and Jan Hollenbeck of Medford Public Schools share strategies regarding use of assistive technology during transition from school to adult life, to support employment and career success. Steps for identification of technology and a variety of technology examples are provided.


Informed Choice: It’s More Than Just Asking

“Informed choice” is a term that is used a lot in terms of employment services and supports for people with disabilities. But what does it really mean? Attendees at this webinar learned about strategies that will ensure that individual’s choices in terms of employment are truly “informed”. We focused in particular on individuals with significant disabilities with limited experience in both employment and choice making, and who may be in the habit of deferring to the wishes of others. A variety of strategies for maximizing informed choice will be discussed, emphasizing experiential activities that inform an individual about the range of employment choices available, use of peer-to-peer supports, and how to address barriers to employment.


Slides ( PDF) | Transcript ( DOC)

Employer Engagement During Challenging Times Part 1 & 2

Enhancing Best Practices: Part 1 of this two-part series focused on the importance of maintaining our commitment to the values of integrated employment, and best practices in job development and employment searches can be utilized during this challenging time.


Part 2


Providing CBDS Services in the Current Environment

Description: The current pandemic has created major challenges to a core tenet of Community Based Day Supports (CBDS): spending maximum time in the community and physically interacting with other community members. However, CBDS can still be provided, with individuals participating in their communities, interacting with other community members, and working on goal directed skill development. Participants in this webinar will learn about a variety of strategies for providing CBDS services during this time, and how the current environment can serve as a catalyst for long-term enhancements for CBDS.



In this webinar, participants learn about the Community-Based Day Supports design, complemented by a journey into an innovative Without Walls program built upon these best practices. This webinar gives an overview of services designed and delivered free of walls and full of opportunity.


Slides ( PDF) | Transcript ( DOC)

Supported Self-Employment

With small business ownership becoming the fastest growing segment for new employment options in the United States, the New England Business Development Center is supporting individuals to become successful business owners. These individuals not only run and manage their business but are now key players in the economic development within their communities. Self -employment can provide the scheduling flexibility necessary to accommodate a disability, circumvents the often-challenging competitive employment process, creates financial equity options and allows individuals to bring their talents to the open market. This presentation will share success stories, provide a framework for creating a successful entrepreneur team, share challenges faced throughout the process and walk participants though all phases of process, including the development of a business plan.


Presenter: Jeannine Pavlak, Executive Director, New England Business Associates

Slides ( PDF) | Transcript ( DOC)

Massachusetts: Working to Solve the Transportation Challenge

Transportation is often identified as one of the primary barriers to employment for people with disabilities. The good news is that Massachusetts is undertaking a number of efforts to expand options for those who experience transportation challenges. Attendees at this webinar will learn about a variety of strategies for addressing transportation challenges. As part of the webinar, staff from MassMobility will share how they support efforts for expanded transportation options in Massachusetts. Attendees will receive a variety of practical resources. Join us to expand your knowledge of transportation options to support employment success.


Presenters: David Hoff, Institute for Community Inclusion; Rachel Fichtenbaum, Jenna Henning, MassMobility

Slides ( PPT) | Transcript ( Doc)

Robots are Taking Over! Technology Assists Human Supports to Fade, Opening the Door to Independence

Though smart speakers and robots are not the answer to all of life’s challenges, there are very practical ways we all use technology to be more independent in our lives and in our work. This session will support participants to think about assistive technology when supporting people to reach independence on their employment pathway.


Slides ( PDF) | Transcript ( Doc)

Clearing Way to Employment: Collaboration with Transition and Special Education Staff

How you can collaborate with transition and special education staff as they facilitate career development opportunities for students with disabilities? With greater interest in early career exploration and preparation, especially as a result of Workforce Innovation & Opportunities Act’s Pre-Employment Transition Services, Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) and special education and transition specialists have increased opportunities to collaborate on career development activities. In this session, two transition specialists from MA school districts and a transition specialist trainer share their strategies to assure that these partnerships are effective and lead to positive work experiences for students with disabilities.


Slides ( PDF) | Transcript ( Doc)

Secondary Transition Services and Graduation with a High School Diploma

In this archived webinar, Amanda Green, Secondary Transition Coordinator at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), reviews DESE’s recent administrative advisory, Secondary Transition Services and Graduation with a High School Diploma. Amanda discusses what is required for a student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to graduate in Massachusetts. Her presentation includes the student’s right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under federal law, best practices for planning and documentation of secondary transition services, and ways to reduce disputes.


Slides ( PDF) | Transcript ( Doc)

You can read the Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-2: Secondary Transition Services and Graduation with a High School Diploma here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/2018-2.html