The New Jersey Conference on Disability and Employment returns in 2019. The conference is developed with the input of educators, service providers, families, employers and others who are committed to the concept of Employment First, which is premised on the assumption that individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment.
The conference offers case studies, public policy information, employer presentations and more. This is the only state employment conference designed for families, educators, employers and service providers.
8:00am - 8:30am
Registration and Breakfast (Exhibits Open)
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Eric Jager, Producer, NJ Conference on Disability & Employment
Keynote Presentation: Fred Maahs
Are employer Diversity & Inclusion initiatives really as inclusive as the need to be? Some hiring managers are beginning to focus on the hiring and retention of people with physical, neurological and intellectual disabilities. By most measures, however, corporate America has a long way to go in providing the opportunities and support necessary to leverage this largely untapped talent pool. This discussion highlights the initiatives and successes of individuals who have shown leadership within their organizations with respect to disability hiring and inclusion.
Dragan Tubonjic, Bloomberg
Pratin Shah, Willis Towers Watson
Brian King, Ultra Testing
Gerardine Mobley, PhD, TD
Moderated by Tara Cunningham, CEO, Specialisterne USA
Morning Refreshments (Exhibits Open)
Accessing Services and Resources in New Jersey
The transition to adulthood is a particularly challenging time for individuals with disabilities and their families. Navigating and understanding the services available to support training and employment is a daunting task. Gain practical advice on how to access services and an assessment on the capacity of New Jersey's resources to serve the disability community.
Paul Aronsohn, Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families, State of New Jersey
Jennifer Joyce, Director, Supports Program and Employment Services, New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities
Cheri Thompson, Program Planning and Development Specialist 1, New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Developing Vocational Skills at School, at Home and in the Community
Students with autism and a range of intellectual and developmental disabilities can benefit from developing and generalizing a range of skills across a variety of settings. A key to success is coordinated efforts by parents and educators and regular exposure to a variety of community businesses and other public settings. Gain actionable advice on assessing interests, developing skills and being visible around town as a precursor to interviewing and employment.
Rose McGurkin Fuhr, Transition Coordinator, The Arc of Farmington Valley "Favarh"
Dawn Monaco, Co-Director, SPAN
Moderated by Nina Finkler, President, Nina Finkler Autism Consulting, LLC
Community Employment Success Stories
Even with significant pre-vocational community involvement, there are still many challenges to achieving employment success at a local business. Learn how New Jersey's leaders in supporting community employment for people with autism use assessment, job shaping, training and customized supports to achieve success.
Lisa Jensen, Head Professional/Manager, Rutgers University Golf Course
Dr. James Maraventano, Behavior Analyst, Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center, Adult Day Program
John Vaccaro, President, Bettaway Logistics
Jonah Zimiles, Managing Principal [words] Bookstore