Technology, Communication & Employment for Youth with Disabilities

Three Part Webinar Series: Exploring the Intersection of Technology and Employment Systems Change for Youth with Disabilities

Explore how we can use newly developed, intuitive applications to support youth towards employment success and how we can best advocate for equal access to technology for all communities, including those that are traditionally underrepresented. Hear unique perspectives shared from nationally recognized experts on viewing technology solutions beyond “assistive technology” and offer practical strategies to address gaps in access, application and usage.

Part 1: Person-Centered to Person-Driven:
Successful Innovative Accommodations Increasing Self Advocacy and Self Determination

October 15th, 2020

Person driven accommodations, where individuals author and build reference tools, increase agency in communication, independent living skills, community access and work opportunity. Using portable printers to iPads – we build sequenced tasks lists, calendars, maps for community travel, self advocacy film, and job development tools that level the playing field for populations who have diverse organization and/or communication needs. With touch screen technology, now a tool of the masses, we have an opportunity for very strong and affective incidental learning. And yet people with disabilities fall behind in access to these tools. Nothing has highlighted this more clearly than the global pandemic forcing us to move into virtual work. Join us for review of concrete steps and functional tools that demonstrate successful progress!


Jennifer L. White

CEO, Able Opportunities, Inc.
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Part 2: Transformation through Disruption:
Technology solutions and their role in systems change and employment outcomes

October 22nd, 2020

Disruption describes the current climate, where innovative solutions provide pathways to new services, supports, and tools. Technology solutions play a critical role in modernizing opportunities and practice for people with disabilities as they navigate and engage with an ever-changing environment. In this presentation, Dr. Tanis will describe the disruptions influencing our programs and services and how innovative systems and technology solutions can be applied to provide students and job seekers opportunities to engage in emerging job markets.


Emily Shea Tanis, PhD

Director for Policy and Advocacy, Coleman Institute
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Part 3: Communication is Job One: Effective Communication and Employment

November 12th, 2020

Bob Williams and Tauna Szymanski from CommunicationFIRST will explore why and how people who need augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can have real jobs and career opportunities. How can those who use AAC be better supported to work and communicate throughout their lifespan? What are the rights to communication access and what are employers’ responsibilities? It’s never too early or too late to introduce improved communication tools and supports!


Bob Williams

Policy Director, CommunicationFIRST
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Tauna Szymanski, JD, MPA

Executive Director & Legal Director, CommunicationFIRST
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