The 26th Anniversary of the ADA: Progress and Lingering Obstacles

Last month marked the 26th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by President H.W. Bush in 1990. A law that ensured that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else; giving civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the… Read more

More than a wheelchair; Emojis to better represent people with disablilties

Every day, billions of emojis are sent back and forth on social media applications and have come to play a quite significant role in the world of text communication. There has been quite a bit of initiative to make emojis more diverse, to depict people with different skin tones and same sex couples and so on; however,… Read more

Why Hiring Those on the Spectrum is Good for Your Company

According to Disability Scoop, an estimated 50,000 students with autism graduate from high school each year, entering into the scary realm of adulthood. However, now that they are adults and no longer children, they enter into a world where they may not have access to the support systems they were given in childhood. Thus, more… Read more

Category: Employment, I/DD

Smoothing the way for better pay for Ohio’s home-care workforce

Low wages are a challenge that’s all too familiar for the nation’s direct support workforce, and in Ohio in particular, it’s a problem that is not being overlooked. According to a recent article on Cleveland.com, home-care workers in Ohio are pressing for an increase in wages to $15 an hour. According to the article, until… Read more

Category: All, Employment

No Woman Left Behind

According to UN Women, approximately 10% of the world’s population lives with a disability (about 650 million people) and those with disabilities are often among the most marginalized group in society. However, a man with a disability is almost twice as likely to find a job than women with a disability. Women in general, even… Read more

North Carolina MCOs Announce Workforce Development Collaborative

New initiative designed to boost quality of care, improve patient outcomes Three North Carolina specialty Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) have come together to launch a one-of-a-kind workforce development initiative that will provide cutting-edge training resources to their network providers. Through this collaborative effort between Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, Smoky Mountain LME/MCO and Trillium Health Resources,… Read more

Fellowship Prepares Young Adults with Autism for Careers

An innovative fellowship in Massachusetts is helping parents, employers, and state legislators to support and empower people with autism. Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), a legal advocacy organization, created the Young Adult Leaders Fellowship, which helps young adults with autism prepare for work, gain new skills, and perhaps most importantly, learn to advocate for themselves… Read more

Category: Employment

CES Approved for ACRE Certification

After a rigorous review process that took nearly a year, The Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) has approved the DirectCourse College of Employment Services (CES) curriculum as an integral part of their training process for employment professionals. The ACRE certification process allows employment professionals to document their accomplishments and education, develop professionally,, and help… Read more

Category: Employment

Admin Corner – Nov/Dec 2015

NEW Courses Now Available! We have released two new courses, one in College of Employment Services and the other in College of Recovery and Community Inclusion. Customers of the applicable content areas will automatically receive the new content, and free demo’s of the content are available to anyone interested (contact us here for details). College… Read more

Admin Corner – Sept/Oct 2015

Upcoming Therap Conferences Therap Services, LLC. is a web-based service organization that provides an integrated solution for documentation, reporting and communication needs of agencies providing support to people with developmental disabilities. We will be leading sessions about Improving Implementation, Meeting Compliance and Regulations, Using the Therap Bridge, and more at these upcoming Therap conferences. We… Read more

Employment Specialists Can Create Social Change

As the nation celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and its many successes, it’s a good time to examine how far we’ve come as a nation in ensuring the civil rights of people with disabilities. One of the foundations of any civil rights movement is the right to employment. Employment professionals–also called employment support… Read more

Category: Employment

Arc of Minnesota Provides DirectCourse Training to Families for Free

This past February, The Arc of Minnesota partnered with the University of Minnesota and DirectCourse to make four online curricula available to Minnesota families and people with disabilities absolutely free. The Arc of Minnesota is a private, non-profit statewide voluntary organization that provides advocacy work and education that will further the efforts of inclusion and integration for people… Read more

New Book Encourages Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities

In today’s challenging job market, finding opportunities for people with disabilities often seems like an uphill battle. However, job professionals may want to consider another option when helping the person they support find meaningful work—starting their own business. Rayna Verbeck, MBA, is the author of three books, most recently (with co-author Wheeler del Torro) Creating… Read more

Category: Employment

There’s Great Careers in Rehabilitation Counseling

If you’re an employment professional seeking new opportunities, one of the fastest growing and most rewarding fields is in rehabilitation counseling. Even more intriguing, rehab counseling is one area where employment professionals can get certified and find fulfilling work almost immediately. Recently, the Masters program in Rehabilitation Counseling at the School for Global Inclusion and… Read more

Category: Employment

Higher Education Should be for Everyone

As more and more state governments work to build the necessary infrastructure to help make post-secondary education available to people with disabilities, employment professionals should be abreast with all the emerging opportunities available to the people they support. One such resource is Think College (ThinkCollege.org), a resource with a strong, convenient online presence that helps… Read more

Category: Employment

Task Force Seeks to Curb Unemployment for People with Disabilities

As an employment professional, you know the challenges that face people with disabilities when finding employment. With unemployment rates typically in the double-digits, and with accessibility and discrimination set as two of the many barriers facing people with disabilities, work can sometimes feel impossible to find. This past March, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive… Read more

Category: Employment

A Strong Community Can Help People Living and Working with a Disability

For the last decade, Jonathan Keleher has been coming to work every morning at 9:00 on the train, settling in and going about his day as a receptionist and administrative assistant at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts-Boston (ICI). What makes Mr. Keleher’s day unique, however, is that he was born… Read more

Category: Employment

Transition Specialists Help Students Enter the Workplace

For students with disabilities, leaving high school can be fraught with challenges. Like most teenagers, they seek to find their way in a complex world, trying to navigate college, employment, or a new place to live. Massachusetts is trying to make this leap into adulthood less daunting with a new transition certification for special education… Read more

Category: Employment

Massachusetts Blueprint for Success Increases Employment Options

Almost two years ago, the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it was no longer going to support reimbursement for sheltered work services–settings such as workshops where all employees have developmental disabilities. Instead, CMS stated its support for integrated employment for people with disabilities. To make the transition from segregated work to competitive employment… Read more

Category: Employment

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Still Needs Senate Approval

In a process that has taken over three decades, the United Nations has created the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an international human rights treaty that protects the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. The CRPD continues to be ratified by countries around the globe—over 151 thus far. According to… Read more

Category: Employment

New Crosswalks, CDS featured in NASDDDS Newsletter, and more!

March/April 2015 Connections Admin Corner The College of Direct Support was featured in the January 2015 issue of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) Newsletter for exciting findings from the UMN Research and Training Center on Community Living  – click here to view! The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) funded… Read more

2014 Year in Review

As we start the New Year, the DirectCourse team has been reflecting upon a successful 2014, surrounded by friends, old and new. We invite you to share in our reflection – check out this video we made! Happy New Year!

Hiring People with Disabilities Can Be a Winning Corporate Strategy

For many years now, corporations have been devising hiring strategies to attract and retain more minorities in their workforce. However, too often corporations don’t look at hiring people with disabilities as a way to enhance diversity. However, as an employment specialist, familiarizing yourself with a corporation’s diversity strategy can actually help the person you support… Read more

Category: Employment

Project SEARCH Helps Teens Find Meaningful Work

Finding work is one of the most challenging goals a person will face in their lifetime—not just landing a job, but one that is challenging and edifying. People with disabilities face an even more daunting task, as finding a job—any job—is often seen as an end in itself, without thought to whether or not it… Read more

Category: Employment

ABLE Legislation May Help Pave the Road to Self-Sufficiency

In September, a bipartisan group of four U.S. senators announced that the groundwork had been laid for the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act to become a reality. The bill, S.313 and H.R.647, seeks to “encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.” Senators… Read more

Category: Employment

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Heralds New Opportunities

On July 22, President Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act and Rehabilitation Act. For over a decade, Congress has been debating this reauthorization, which is now effective through 2020. The President stated that the WIOA “will help workers, including workers with disabilities, access… Read more

Category: Employment

Tips to Help Employment Professionals Support Veterans with Disabilities

Veterans returning from military service with disabilities often face an uphill battle when seeking employment. But as an employment specialist, you can prepare yourself to help veterans find satisfying work. Lisa Stern is a consultant who has worked with private and government organizations throughout the United States, and is the author of the Disabled Veterans… Read more

Category: Employment

NEW! Why Working in the Community is Essential

A presentation from the ICI at UMass Boston. Anya Weber shares a 7 minute presentation about why working in the community is essential for people with disabilities – and how employment professionals can help make it happen! View the presentation!

Category: Employment

Showing Employees Their Earnings Helps Motivate Them

It goes without saying that no matter how much you enjoy your job, being paid is a primary motivator for work. Too often, supported employees who do not manage their money are not included in this very simple premise. Without the appeal of a paycheck, or the simple understanding of what money actually does, these… Read more

Category: Employment

Using Business Models Can Help People Find the Perfect Job

We all know that having a good job has a profound effect on people’s lives. However, job coaches and employment specialists can sometimes focus on getting a person hired – and not spend enough time on the needs of the business doing the hiring—when trying to find the perfect match. Often times, failing to connect… Read more

Category: Employment

Elsevier’s PolicyNavigator Streamlines Training

This July, Elsevier launched PolicyNavigator, an efficient and flexible management tool that pairs perfectly with Elsevier Performance Manager – the platform on which most DirectCourse users access their content.  PolicyNavigator can further productivity by making it easier for organizations to train and communicate with employees. With PolicyNavigator, documents of all kinds are available instantly. Too… Read more

Admin. Corner: New courses, sunset courses, and an exclusive webinar with Nancy Thaler!

Did you miss our webinar with Nancy Thaler?  Don’t worry – we recorded it. Check it out here: “Future Needs of Caregivers in the Home” with Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of NASDDDS In case you missed it – we’ve added several new courses this year!  Click on the titles below to learn more about each one.… Read more

Helping Parents Navigate Supported Employment

Transitioning from high school and into the workplace is always a challenge. But for people with disabilities and their parents, finding work can often be even more complex. Luckily, a variety of resources and tools can help parents navigate this often confusing path. Barb Ziemke is a parent advocate and trainer and project coordinator at… Read more

Category: Employment

Work Autonomy App Helps Employees Take Charge

As an employment specialist, you work hard to try and get the person you support into a job, keep the job, and enjoy the work with as much independence as possible. A lack of strong accommodation can slow this process.  Often, this is a lot for anyone to juggle. Jennifer White is the Director and… Read more

Category: Employment

Communication is Key to Helping People Thrive in Employment

Communication is perhaps the most important element in a person’s life, not to mention in their workplace. Try to imagine being unable to communicate even your most basic needs, much less the things you need to get your job done. But for some people in supported employment who are non-linguistic, the usual methods of communication… Read more

Category: Employment

New DirectCourse Webinar Focuses on Future Needs of Caregivers in the Home

DirectCourse is proud to present the recording of its latest webinar, Future Needs of Caregivers in the Home, presented by Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDS). According to recent studies noted in the webinar, almost 40% of all adult Americans are caring for someone disabled… Read more

New DirectCourse Video!

Thank you to all participants in the making of our new video, which is now posted on our website: www.directcourseonline.com Ben Woodworth, Director of Training, Iowa Association of Community Providers Megan Hartwig, Technical Assistance Specialist, Iowa Association of Community Providers Judith Dotzman, Executive Director, SPIN Lucy Corker, Director, Professional Development, SPIN Erica Lowry, Direct Support Professional, SPIN Taryn Garvin, Direct Support Professional, SPIN… Read more

New! DirectCourse Admin. Training

We are proud to announce that Elsevier’s Customer Support Team is providing training directed to clients using DirectCourse products on a bi-monthly basis, as of this April! Please check your inbox for a list of upcoming sessions that we’ve designed to ensure you are getting the most from our learning management system delivering the content… Read more

The “Dual-Customer” Approach is Changing Vocational Rehabilitation

Traditionally, vocational rehabilitation (VR), including job development, focused almost exclusively on serving the client with disabilities. VR counselors would assess the individual’s needs, offer training, and help the person find a job. Lately, however, there has a been greater focus on including the needs of the business community in the VR focus. In recent years,… Read more

Category: Employment

DirectCourse – Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions – we have answers! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive, as well as our responses. How are your curricula developed? Will your curriculum help me meet my state standards? Do I receive a certificate upon completion of each lesson? I want to incorporate my current training… Read more

Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies Embracing Job Development Role

Vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies help people with disabilities to find good jobs. When these agencies were first created, their staff were expected to handle every aspect of this process. However, over time, job development—working closely with job seekers and employers to create strong job matches—began to fall off their menu of services. Now the pendulum… Read more

Category: Employment

Can Social Media Help You Find the Right Job?

Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. As these and other social media websites become more and more essential for the job search, employment professionals must be aware of the benefits—and the challenges—of these intriguing new online platforms. “I tend to think of social media as another tool in the toolbox, but not radically different from the methods we’re… Read more

Category: Employment

Adults with Autism Thrive in Employment

A recent study by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center at Vanderbilt University has shown that adults with autism benefit greatly from having employment. The study included 153 adults, ages 19 to 53, with autism spectrum disorder. The study, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, found that people who held jobs saw significant improvement… Read more

Category: Employment

New CES Course Addresses Employment Opportunities for People with Mental Health Issues

As an employment specialist, you’re charged with finding the best possible job for the person you support. But often, people have co-occurring issues, including mental health issues, that can make finding and keeping a good job that much more difficult.

Category: Employment

Federal Government: Contractors Must Hire People with Disabilities

After months of concerted effort on the part of disability advocates, on August 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a Final Rule that changed the regulations of Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This prohibits federal contractors (and subcontractors) from discriminating against employees with disabilities. Though this rule has been in… Read more

Category: Employment

Informational Interviewing: Your Secret Weapon in the Job Search

If you enjoyed our post about informational interviews (or if you missed it!), please be sure to view this 5 minute presentation from Anya Weber, Copywriter and Editor at the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston.  She walks through the concept, including examples, tips for getting started, and more!

Category: Employment

Tips for Connecting with Employers

Though the economy is improving, finding a job is often challenging. One of the first steps toward securing a rewarding job for the people you support involves connecting with the people who create those jobs. Suzy Hutcheson is the president and CEO of Helping People Succeed, Foundation Inc. of Stuart, Florida. She is an expert… Read more

Category: Employment

Social Security Administration to Replace “Mental Retardation” with “Intellectual Disability”

In a process that began in January 2013, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began eliminating the term “mental retardation” and replacing it with “intellectual disabilities” in its listing of impairments and official rules, regulations and other documents. The new rule was published on the first of August, and went into effect at the end of… Read more

Category: Employment

Real Work Stories Inspire Job Creation Success

Finding a good job is never easy. For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), this journey may seem even more daunting—both for them, and the employment professionals who support them. The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston has created a website called Real Work Stories that highlights numerous stories… Read more

Category: Employment

Employment Expert Takes the Mystery out of Informational Interviews

When you’re supporting a job seeker to find employment, one of the first steps is to learn about the field he or she is interested in. Informational interviews are a great way to do this. These interviews can help your client find a job, and can even help make you a better employment specialist. “A… Read more

Category: Employment

New Savings Calculator Helps Set Training Budget

Whether the economy’s soaring or times are tough, organizations are always seeking ways to cut costs and stretch their budgets whenever, and wherever, possible. With this in mind, DirectCourse has created a “Savings Calculator”, designed to allow potential clients of any of the DirectCourse curricula to determine how much money they will save using our… Read more

Elsevier/DirectCourse Curriculum Aligns with APSE Certification Process

Elsevier/DirectCourse’s College of Employment Services (CES) curriculum is now aligned with the national certification from APSE, the Association for People Supporting Employment 1st, a national organization dedicated to integrated employment and career advancement for people with disabilities. APSE recently developed the first national certification program for employment support professionals.

Category: Employment

DirectCourse Now a Partner with APSE

Elsevier is pleased to announce that it has engaged in a partnership with the Association for Persons in Supported Employment (APSE.) All registered members of APSE are eligibile for a preferred rate of up to 25% off the purchase price of DirectCourse curricula, particularly the College of Employment Services (CES) curriculum.    

Category: Employment

Join Today! DirectCourse’s Social Media Sites Launches

Elsevier, a global leader in medical and health information, continues to find ways to make its DirectCourse online curriculum even more accessible to its learning community. We have successfully launched a Facebook page and Twitter account for both the DirectCourse College of Direct Support (CDS) and the College of Employment Services (CES) online curricula.

Category: Employment, I/DD

The Evolution and Vision of the New DirectCourse Curricula

DirectCourse…online curricula for life in community A decade ago the College of Direct Support (CDS) online curriculum was a vision fast becoming reality. Its founder Bill Tapp, DirectCourse Vice President, was working with MC Strategies and the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center (RTC) on Community Living to develop an online curriculum to train… Read more

Brew in the Holidays with DirectCourse’s New Website and Branding & Enter to Win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card

The newly designed DirectCourse website, that embraces new branding, was released November 2011. The website that is optimized for organize web searches enables existing and prospective customers and visitors to experience a user-friendly design, easy navigation, and engaging tools that initiate lead generated marketing programs and promotions. Most important, the website houses compelling content centered… Read more

Elsevier Introduces DirectCourse, an Expanded Suite of Online Curricula to Train Professionals Who Support People with Intellectual, Developmental and Physical Disabilities

ATLANTA, November 30, 2011 — DirectCourse is anchored by the renowned College of Direct Support (CDS), plus the addition of the College of Employment Services. Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today introduced DirectCourse, an expanded suite of online curricula to train professionals who support people with intellectual,… Read more

Category: Employment, I/DD

Elsevier to Unveil its New DirectCourse Curriculum at AFP: College of Employment Services

The College of Employment Services (CES), Elsevier’s second online training curriculum in its new DirectCourse overbrand developed by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at University of Massachusetts Boston, will be unveiled during the Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) Summit 2.0. AFP will be hosted at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel outside of Washington, D.C.… Read more

Category: Employment, I/DD

Introducing the New DirectCourse Overbrand: Includes CDS & Evolving Online Curricula in the Disabilities Field

Elsevier’s product line of online training curricula under the brand of DirectCourse will officially launch in November, along with the introduction of its second curriculum – the College of Employment Services (CES). Both will be rolled out during the Alliance for Full Participation Conference Nov. 17-19 in Washington, D.C. DirectCourse is an expanding lineup of… Read more