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The 2014 Employment Conference, entitled “Working Together, Changing Employment Experiences for People with Disabilities” held on September 15 and 16th welcomed a standing room only crowd of interested providers, professionals, families and advocates. Sponsored by the Southwestern Ohio Council of Governments with the support of the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), along with four county boards and Ohio Valley Goodwill as a diamond sponsor, the two day event was designed to bring interested attendees together to learn about expanding employment options from national and state leaders. The conference highlighted the Employment First initiative and the increased opportunities that will soon be available to individuals for disabilities in community employment.
The employment conference was divided into three tracks: Individual and Family Engagement, Organizational and Systems Change and Best Employment Practices. As a diamond sponsor, Ohio Valley Goodwill had 10 of its staff team members in attendance at the sessions and was an exhibitor throughout the event. Attendees were abuzz with all of the information being presented about options for adults with disabilities as well as the coming changes in the world of employment services. The conference was punctuated with presentations by advocates sharing their own experiences in obtaining community employment and the positive impact on their lives and families. Keynote speakers John Martin, Director of the Ohio Department of DD and Kristen Helling, Ohio Department of DD provided an overview of the Employment First initiative and how the department is working with local communities to expand employment outcomes for individuals in all areas of the state.
Ohio Valley Goodwill was pleased to be a diamond sponsor for this information-filled two-day employment conference and looks forward to working with its county board partner organizations in expanding the community employment opportunities for people with disabilities.