Employment First Training Resources and Webinars

Employment 1st Training and Resources

1. Provider Transformation – Virtual Technical Assistance 

The Provider Transformation Manual Virtual TA Series has been archived on the Iowa Association of Community Providers website. The series of five webinars is based on the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Criteria for Performance Excellence in Employment First Provider Transformation, which includes seven key elements: 

  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Customer Focus
  • Workforce Focus
  • Operations Focus
  • Results
  • Ongoing Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge

Link to the webinar series, and access the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) Provider Transformation Manual.

2. Information, Tools, & Resources for: Community Based Case Managers, Care Managers, and Services Coordinators, and Integrated Health Home Coordinators 

This comprehensive webinar training was developed by the Iowa Coalition for Integration & Employment (ICIE) and funded by University of Iowa, Center for Disabilities & Development, and Iowa’s University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (CDD/UCED). 

Introduction & Why this Training Series Was Created

As Iowa’s system is shifting from a facility to community-based employment model, it requires a change in philosophy and approach in supporting Iowans with disabilities.  Many diverse partners have invested time in pulling together information, developing tools, and creating resources that are intended to increase expectation and capacity of partners to support implementing Iowa’s Employment 1st vision.  

The Iowa Employment 1st Training Series is a collection of training and resources specifically designed for case managers, care managers, service coordinators, and integrated health home coordinators.  We will be using the term ‘case manager’ to refer to the whole array of service coordination positions.  Case managers play a pivotal role in advancing employment for individuals with disabilities, especially those with the most complex needs.  

Case managers wear many hats and manage multiple responsibilities.  As frontline staff in the planning, authorization, coordination and monitoring of employment services for Iowans with disabilities utilizing long term services and supports (LTSS); case managers set the tone for high expectations for full integration and individualization of services. Case managers partner closely with individuals, families, and guardians to offer supported decision making around working and living in the community, ensuring informed choice and encouraging an individual’s greatest level of self-determination.  This training series was created to equip case managers with essential information, strategies, and resources that can be utilized to provide the opportunity to support individuals with exploring and pursuing integrated, competitive employment.  It was developed to complement and build on Iowa's Employment 1st Guidebook, which is a resource that was developed to support case managers with implementation of Employment 1st practices. 

How to Utilize the Training Series

The training consists of six webinar modules and corresponding tools/resources that case managers can access and complete at their own convenience and speed.  It is recommended that existing and new staff complete the training series as a part of their training requirements and new staff orientation.  

Case managers are encouraged to complete the entire series, as each module addresses important components related to employment planning and implementation.  It is expected that additional topic specific modules will be added to the series on an ongoing basis. 

Module I: Expectations & Having Conversations that Encourage, Inform & Shape Employment Planning 

What is Employment First? 

  • The National Movement Towards Employment 1st
  • Iowa’s Commitment to Employment 1st 
  • Expectations & The Role of Case Manager Expectations
  • Encouraging Individuals & Families to Pursue Integrated Employment 
  • Employment Guides to Planning
  • Addressing Concerns & Handling Objections
  • Indicators of Informed Choice
  • Referral & Funding Sources

Module II: Person Centered Planning for Medicaid Funded HCBS Employment Services

  • What is Person Centered Service Planning?
  • Who is responsible?
  • Why is it important?
  • Person Centered Planning in the Context of HCBS 
  • Service Plan Documentation 
  • Prevocational Services & Outcomes
  • Supported Employment Services & Outcomes
  • An Example of Person Centered Planning from DHS Targeted Case Management 

Module III: Where the Rubber Hits the Road

  • Iowa’s Employment 1st Vision
  • Navigating HCBS Employment Services
  • Prevocational Services
  • Career Exploration Services
  • Individual Supported Employment Services 
  • Small Group Supported Employment 
  • Long Term Job Coaching 
  • Service Definitions
  • Scope of Service & Service Activities 
  • Expected Outcome
  • Exclusions, Limitations, & Additional Considerations 

Module IV: Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services 101

  • The Who, What, How, When & Why of IVRS
  • Making a Referral
  • Service Descriptions
  • Menu of Services
  • Resource Sharing Guide
  • Services for Students & Youth
  • Role of the Case Manager 

Module V: Benefits Planning 101

  • Overview of Social Security Benefit Programs
  • Social Security Disability Insurance 
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Impact of Earned Income on Benefits 
  • Work Incentives 
  • Dispelling Myths & Fears 
  • Benefits Planning Resources & Referral 

Module VI: Traumatic Brain Injury & Employment

  • The Incidence & Prevalence of Brain Injury
  • Definition of Brain Injury in Iowa Code
  • Brain Injury & Behavioral Relationships 
  • Brain Injury & Impact on Cognition
  • Cognitive Challenges After Brain Injury
  • Resources for Supporting Individuals with Brain Injury 

The six modules above link to YouTube videos. If you are not able to access them on YouTube, you may watch them as MP4 video files, using QuickTime Player. Link to the Drop Box which contains all six video files.

The associated materials and supplemental documents listed below are available here:

  • Expectations & Having Conversations that Encourage, Inform, & Shape Employment Planning – Presentation Slides
  • Employment Planning Guides  
  • Employment 1st: A Family Perspective
  • Iowa Centers for Independent Living Contact List
  • IowaWORKS Services for Persons with Disabilities
  • Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Statewide Team Contact List
  • Person Centered Planning for Medicaid Funded HCBS Employment Services – Presentation Slides 
  • Iowa Employment 1st Guidebook 
  • Where the Rubber Hits the Road – Presentation Slides 
  • Employment Services Matrix 
  • Staff Qualifications & Training Requirements
  • IVRS 101 – Presentation Slides 
  • Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) Menu of Services 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Service Descriptions
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Service Flow Chart 
  • Resource Sharing Between DHS & IVRS for Supported Employment Services
  • Benefits Planning 101 – Presentation Slides 
  • 2017 Social Security Administration (SSA) Changes in Medicare Premiums 
  • Traumatic Brain Injury & Employment – Presentation Slides 
  • Understanding Brain Injury: A Guide for Employers
  • Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa Brochure

Acknowledgments: The Iowa Coalition for Integration & Employment would like to thank the following partners for their support, assistance, and previous work that contributed to the development of this resource:

  • University of Iowa, Center for Disabilities & Development, Iowa’s University Center for Excellence on Developmental Disabilities
  • Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Medicaid Enterprise & Mental Health/Disability Services
  • Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services
  • Iowa Department for the Blind
  • Iowa Department of Human Rights, Iowa Client Assistance Program
  • Iowa Workforce Development, Disability Employment Initiative
  • Iowa Association of Community Providers
  • Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Iowa Department on Aging 
  • ASK Resource Center
  • Iowa APSE
  • Disability Rights Iowa
  • Iowa Coalition Members & Core Team

3. Employment 1st Webinar Series: An educational opportunity for Mental Health and Disability Service (MHDS) Regional staff.

This series five of webinars provides a basic overview of issues relating to Employment First philosophy and practice. Each of these webinars is approximately 30 minutes long. They were developed to provide MHDS regional leadership and staff with basic information and tools to support their work on improving employment outcomes for Iowans with disability.  The series was presented live in June and July of 2017 by Lin Nibbelink, MHDS Employment Services Specialist and Tammie Amsbaugh, CDD Program Manager.  

Employment 1st Foundations: You will learn… How we got to E1st at this time in history.  What is Employment-1st?  Civil rights & Federal laws behind E1st.  Iowa Employment Vision.  Best practices in E1st.  Why is E1st important?  How employment improves people's lives!

Informed Choice & Person Centered Planning: You will learn… Tips for Parents, Indicators of Informed Choice, and How to use Person Centered Planning to prioritize employment.

Talking with Parents & Others about E1st: You will learn… Where to find Iowa’s E1st Guidebook, Why is E1st good? Tips for talking with parents, Answers to some questions parents may have, Realities to refute common Myths, and Where to get info on Customized Employment.

Supported Employment as Evidence Based Practice: You will learn… What is an Evidence Based Practice?  What is a Promising Practice?  What is “Employment”?  How to implement evidence based individual employment services.  How to know if a service meets the evidence based standard.

E1st Data and Outcomes: You will learn… Iowa’s E1st timeline & process.  History of E1st data collaboration.  What data on employment tells us!  Expectations for data collection in Iowa.  Other data collection efforts in Iowa.  How to support data collection in your Region.