Desmond Hotel & Conference Center
660 Albany Shaker Road
Albany, NY 12210
518-869-8100 or 800-448-3500
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Merryl H. Tisch, Chancellor, New York State Education Department
Transition Age Youth: Our Challenges, Our Vision
Ceylane Meyers-Ruff, Director of Employment and Meaningful Activities, NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
Donna Bradbury, M.A., Division of Children and Family Services, NYS Office of Mental Health
Sheila Poole, Associate Commissioner, NYS Office of Children and Family Services
Kevin Smith, Deputy Commissioner, ACCES VR
This session will offer perspective and information from the State agencies which fund and support children and students in their Transition to adulthood. Listen to the visions, learn about initiatives and leave understanding the challenges we face as advocates for transition age youth and our direction for the future.
2:30pm - 3:45pm
Disability Focused Employer Resource Groups
Thomas Golden, Associate Director, Employment and Disability Institute
In the past decade, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have become an invaluable tool for attracting and retaining diverse talent and gaining access to new customer markets. Top performing companies have recognized that ERGs are vital partners in supporting the achievement of their business objectives. This session will highlight strategies and best practices and describe how utilizing these ERGs enhanced the companies’ recruitment, community relations, and other business initiatives. Specifically attendees will learn about successes and challenges and gain insight to a process that may be easily adapted, customized, and replicated.
4:00pm - 6:00pm
Ticket to Work - Schools & Education Systems
David Brewer, Senior Executive Associate, Employment and Disability Institute, ILR School, Cornell University
Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute has been conducting research into effective practices in transition, and the thoughts and practices of high performing education leaders of these programs. Participants will understand how these programs and built, maintained and sustained through hands-on activities, group discussions and problem-solving.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Registration 7:00 - 8:00
Welcome 9:00am - 9:15am
Jeff Wise, JD, President and CEO, NYSRA
General Session 9:15am - 10:15am
Transition to Independence for Youth
Glenn Liebman, CEO, Mental Health Association in NYS
Andrea Smyth, Executive Director, New York State Coalition for Children's Mental Health Services
This session will highlight a collaborative between the New York State Coalition for Children's Mental Health Services and the Mental Health Association in New York State for transitional age youth. This session will discuss the TIP system, highlight national best practice designs, research and transitional models for youth with disabilities. Time for questions and answers will be allotted.
Concurrent Sessions 10:30am - 11:45am
Multiple Pathways to Graduation
Stephen Boese, Executive Director, LDA of NYS
Students in special education are increasingly faced with new and demanding course requirements, as are all students. "No Child Left Behind", "Race to the Top", adoption of "Common Core Standards", and new state policies in response to these initiatives make for a period of rapid change and much uncertainty. Yet nearly all pathways to high school graduation with a valid diploma rely on student success in passing five NYS Regents Exams. What happens to students who, by nature of their disability or otherwise, cannot demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency through high stakes tests? What is the state's responsibility and where is the state's accountability for these students? This session will explore these emerging policies and explore alternative pathways to a diploma that are NOT based on high stakes tests.
Young Adult Perspectives: Challenges and Opportunities
Stephanie Orlando, Director of YOUTH POWER! Families Together in New York State
Youth Representatives TBA
This session will address the challenges, opportunities and barriers to independence as young people transition to adulthood. Young adults will share their concerns, needs and some of the best practices that they have experienced during the transition process. Time for questions and answers will be allotted.
Concurrent Sessions 11:45am - 12:45pm
Partnerships for Employment: Improving Transition-to-Work Outcomes for Youth with Developmental Disabilities
Julie J. Christensen, LMSW, Project Director, NYS Partnerships in Employment Systems Change, University of Rochester Medical Center
In 2011, the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities awarded Projects of National Significance: Partnerships in Employment Systems Change grants to six states, including New York, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mississippi, and Missouri. These efforts support increased collaboration and communication between state vocational rehabilitation and developmental disabilities agencies, special education, and the Developmental Disabilities Planning Councils. This presentation will provide an overview of the New York effort, including project priorities and key initiatives. Please come and share your experiences and ideas around how to better support students as they exit school and transition into employment.
OMH Initiatives for Transitional Age Youth
Gary Hook, Division of Children and Families, NYS OMH
Ellice Matza, LCSW-R, Coordinator, Case Management, NYS OMH
Tom O'Clair, Recipient Affairs Specialist, Family Issues, NYS OMH
Meredith Ray-LaBatt, Program Specialist, Division of Children and Families Services, NYS OMH
Brian Lombrowski, Citywide Youth Peer Specialist, New York City Field Office, NYS OMH
This session will highlight initiatives and efforts by the NYS Office of Mental Health for families and youth to assist in keeping this population in the forefront and work to eliminate the stumbling blocks that prevent or hinder the youth of today and tomorrow from achieving their full potential. Discussion will include how as providers, youth, families and OMH, as partners, can facilitate their successful transition to adulthood by bridging the gap that so many have fallen through in the past.
Lunch 12:45pm - 1:15pm
General Session 1:15pm - 2:45pm
Innovative Partnerships for Transition Age Youth
Ruthanne Abramovich, VP of Vocational and Housing Services, MHA Westchester
Carol Goldman, Program Director, Crossroads
Programs across New York State are offering innovative partnerships in their communities to address the needs of transition age youth. This presentation will discuss a providers partnership with the County, transition age youth/young adults and stakeholders in the community. Learn how you can be uniquely positioned to provide enhanced services for this population, including learning about employment initiatives, adapting to health system changes and promoting positive outcomes for the transition to adulthood.