The History and Future of D.C.’s Project ACTION! Part II: Supports

Season 2, Episode 3 — 19 June 2018

This is the second of a two part series on Project ACTION!, a coalition of self-advocates and self-advocacy groups from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (part one is here). ACTION! stands for Advocacy, Change, Training, Information, Organizing and Networking. The YES! Center’s Dale Verstegen talks to Rebecca Salon and Phyllis Holton about the beginning of Project ACTION!, the early supports and Project ACTION!’s path to the organization it is today.

Rebecca Salon is Project Director for the LEAD Center and the lead for DC’s Employment First program at the District of Columbia Department on Disability Services (DDS). Dr. Salon previously was Executive Director of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute. She has more than twenty years of experience with management of federally funded projects and has over thirty-five years of experience working with people across the spectrum of disabilities. She has been an advisor to Project ACTION! since 1988. Her Master’s and Doctorate in special education with studies and research geared toward disability policy, are from Syracuse University.

Phyllis Holton is the Deputy Directors of Operations at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities. She has over 21 years experience working with people who have developmental disabilities. Prior to joining the Quality Trust as a Lead Advocate in January 2003, she worked at a local service provider organization in the District as an advocacy services coordinator, media specialist, and communications manager. Phyllis worked on an initiative, Home of Your Own which supported people with disabilities to purchase their own home. Phyllis is a long time co-advisor and volunteer with Project ACTION! and assists members to plan local conferences and workshops, solicit funds to attend national conferences, and increase their presence as self-advocacy leaders.

Dale Verstegen is a Senior Research Associate at TranScen and one of the State Liaison for the YES! Center.
Announcer: You’re listening to YES! To Employment, a podcast series that seeks to improve competitive, integrated employment outcomes for transition-aged youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This is the second part of our two part series on the District of Columbia’s Project ACTION!. In part one the YES! Center’s Dale Verstegen talked to Project ACTION! leaders, Ricardo Thornton and Thomas Mangrum. Today Dale continues the conversation about Project ACTION! with Rebecca Salon and Phyllis Holton about their role in supporting Project ACTION’s self-advocate leadership.

Complete transcript forthcoming

Announcer: You’ve been listening to YES! To Employment, a podcast that seeks to improve competitive, integrated employment outcomes for transition-aged youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

To learn more about Project ACTION!, visit https://www.dcqualitytrust.org/families/join-project-action/. Or you can email Phyllis Holton at pholton@dcqualitytrust.org, or call her at 202-448-1458. Project ACTION! meets one Saturday per month at the Kennedy Institute of Catholic Charities, located at 801 Buchanan Street NE, Washington, DC 20017.

For more about YES! To Employment, including show notes, links to the resources discussed, a complete transcript and a schedule of episodes, visit www.yestoemployment.org/podcast. You can subscribe through iTunes or your favorite Android podcast app to have the series delivered automatically to your device so you never miss an episode. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please give us a rating on iTunes. Ratings will help us get the series in front of more listeners.

YES! To Employment is a production of the Youth Employment Solutions Center, the national Training and Technical Assistance Center that serves as a hub of information and expertise for the Partnerships in Employment (PIE) state projects. The YES! Center is a collaboration of TASH and TransCen. You can learn more about TASH at tash.org and more about TranCen at transcen.org. You can receive updates from the YES! Center on this podcast and our other activities by following us on Facebook or on twitter at @YEStoEmployment.

Partnerships in Employment is a series of seed grants funded by the Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, made to states for the purpose of transforming state disability support systems to competitive, integrated employment. AIDD is dedicated to ensuring that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families are able to fully participate in, and contribute to all aspects of community life in the United States and its territories.

Music for YES! To Employment is an original composition and performance by Sunny Cefaratti, the Co-Director and Autistic Self Advocacy Mentor at the Musical Autist. You can learn more about the Musical Autist at www.themusicalautist.org.

Be sure to keep YES! To Employment on your list: we’ll have another episode on competitive integrated employment for you in the near future.

This interview was originally recorded on 14 December 2017.

The audio of this interview and the transcript have been lightly edited for clarity.

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