Employment Webinar Series for Iowa's Regional Staff (IA UCEDD)

October 5, 2017

The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD). Iowa's UCEDD, in partnership with Iowa's Division of Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) produced and presented a webinar series on Employment First Concepts and practice. Last winter, a survey was sent to the regional leadership asking what training or information was needed to continue to make progress towards Employment First for Iowan's with Mental Illness and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The needs expressed ranged from understanding basic concepts and communication around Employment First to information on evidence based practice, data, and outcomes reporting.

To address these needs, and considering time and travel constraints that face local service staff, CDD staff, Tammie Amsbaugh, and MHDS staff, Lin Nibbelink, developed a webinar series to cover the major areas of interest. The series was designed to address the basics of each issue in a short webinar with time for interaction. Five webinars were created, each lasting about 30 minutes. Each webinar was recorded and archived. In addition, background material and detailed information was made available for those wanting to dig deeper.

The Webinar topics included:

  • Employment 1st Foundations
  • Talking with Parents and Others About E1st
  • Informed Choice and Person Centered Planning
  • E1st Data and Outcomes
  • Supported Employment as Evidence Based Practice

In July of 2017, each webinar was present twice, on different days and times, to give individuals maximum flexibility to attend. Fifty-six (56) individuals registered for one or more of the webinars, and 33 actually attended one or more. Feedback has been very positive.

The team is currently reviewing feedback and determining next steps. Options currently being considered include:

  1. Scheduling the series to be repeated this fall, or poll the Regional leadership to find the best time to repeat the series
  2. Conducting topical conference calls to discuss the topics and share ideas and experience 
  3. Follow-up with more in-depth webinars

Links to the webinars:
E1st Foundations, 37 min, 6/29/17

Informed Choice and PCP, 29 min, 6/29/17

Talking with Parents and Others, 23 min, 7/18/17

Evidence Based Practice, 33 min, 7/20/17

Data and Outcomes, 43 min, 7/20/17