September 16 Troy, MI
September 17 Grand Rapids, MI
September 19 Marquette, MI


Lighting the Way: Helping Families See Possibilities in Competitive Employment. A workshop for professionals.

Families play a crucial role in the lives of youth and individuals with significant disabilities. They are often the first and most consistent influence a person with a disability will have. Families are responsible for making many decisions and coordinating services and support, all while trying to cultivate and honor what youth want for themselves.

For many families, their youth’s transition to adulthood is an uncertain time. Where will they work? Where will they live? Will they have friends and be able to do things they enjoy? Families of youth with significant barriers to employment may not be able to envision employment in the community for their sons and daughters. This session is intended to serve as an introduction to the topic of building partnerships with families and the following topics:

  • Improve partnerships between employment professionals and families of youth and individuals with disabilities in Michigan
  • Provide regional tams of professionals/parents with a presentation to rain professionals on engaging families
  • Expand capacity within Michigan’s employment and provider community to partner with families
  • Improve the ability of families in Michigan to understand the value of competitive employment and their role as partners in the employment process


A Future that Includes Employment: A Workshop for Families

Parents of youth with significant disabilities may have a difficult time envisioning community-based competitive employment as part of their son or daughter’s future.  This workshop is intended to be a tool that advocates, educators, and service providers can use to provide accurate information to and help raise the expectations of families in Michigan. The goal is to show that work is possible for all people regardless of disability, to help address questions families may have, and to connect families with the resources they need to begin advocating for competitive employment for their sons and daughters.

No single presentation can answer all the questions about employment or show all the available resources and supports available to people with disabilities. This session is meant to be an introduction to seeing employment as an option, and addresses the follow topics:

  • Opportunities for people with disabilities in today’s society
  • Challenges faced
  • Employment First and competitive employment (what are we trying to accomplish?)
  • Core employment concepts
  • Benefits of your son or daughter working
  • The power of high expectations (and the impact of low expectations)
  • Helping youth create a vision statement
  • Preparing for employment success
  • Addressing your concerns
  • Social Security benefits overview
  • Action steps: Getting started