Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Advocates visit Seattle to discuss employment, people with disabilities

Updated on 6/6/2013 10:55:11 AM.

Source: Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

By: Elizabeth Turner

Local advocates, including Elise McMillan, J.D., Co-Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), Director of Community Outreach, and Senior Associate, Department of Psychiatry, attended the National Governors Association meeting May 20 in Seattle, WA, to take part in a conference titled "A Better Bottom Line: Employing People With Disabilities." Additional representatives from Tennessee included Cynthia Galbreath from TennCare, Gayle Feltner from the Department of Education, Jordan Allen and Amy Gonzalez from DIDD, Susie Bourque from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Ruth Brock from Vocational Rehabilitation, Sue Karber from the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and Wanda Willis from the DD Council.

According to DIDD Commissioner Jim Henry, some participants met with individuals from Washington that included leaders from their Developmental Disabilities Administration, King County Developmental Disabilities Division, King County School to Work program, parent leaders/advocates, and a business owner who successfully made the transition from her sheltered workshop to community work.

"Tennessee is grateful to have wonderful mentors from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) through the Employment First Leadership State Mentor Program (EFLSMP) grant that can help pave the way for making the significant changes needed in order for people with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment in their communities," said Commissioner Henry.

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