Employment First Summit

A critical priority for the State of Wyoming is to empower our citizens, and recognize the systems change efforts happening nationwide that reflect an increase in community-based, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. 
Wyoming's Employment First initiative says competitive and integrated employment shall be considered the first option when serving persons with disabilities who are of working age to obtain employment. All citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life. 

Join us for the 3rd annual Employment First Summit October 12! Tentative schedule and all registration information can be found above under Projects > Employment First Summit or click HERE to register to attend! The Keynotes and Breakout Sessions are listed below.



Debbie Ball is a leader in the area of employment services for individuals with disabilities having spent more than 25 years advocating for societal change and creating pathways to facilitate it.  A Vice President at Easter Seals Southern California (ESSC) since 1998, she oversees the organization’s WorkFirst Employment Services throughout Southern California. 

Concurrently with her position at Easter Seals, Debbie serves on the boards of directors for the National Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), the Foundation for Developmental Disabilities, and the Southern California Chapter of APSE, where she holds the positions of secretary and treasurer. She is a frequently requested presenter at local, state and national disability employment conferences, and is a member of multiple organizations including California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity (CAMEO), National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and Autism Society of America.



Rick McAllister has over 30 years of experience in consulting, training and the day-to-day managing of service-based organizations. He is a nationally recognized speaker on employment strategies, leadership, management, and designing creative and effective organizational structures. He has extensive experience providing technical assistance to private, federal, and state sponsored employment initiatives. Rick has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in applied behavioral analysis. He is the Managing Partner/EVP of Management Analytics Resource Collaborative, LLC, a consulting group based in New Hampshire.


Morning Breakout (10: 00 am - 11:30 am)

 Online Applications: A Step-By-Step “Hands-on” experience. Cheryl Junge, Carol Salveson 

Join us for an exciting tutorial to learn fundamental aspects of filling out job applications online, winning strategies for cover letters, and how to build a great resume.  Participants will have the opportunity to practice the concepts while navigating through an online application.  *limited seating available for this session, register early! 

How to Hire People with Disabilities in Your Company: An Employer Focus. Jason Delo, Shaye Moon

Learn about effective tools for employers who want to improve employment outcomes and increase hiring of individuals with disabilities. This session aims to address a few common misconceptions about hiring people with disabilities, the laws behind ODEP and WIOA, how the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation is a crucial aspect in employment, and explore the ways in which employment professionals can become powerful vehicles of change. 

Employment First in Wyoming Strategic Plan Update. Employment First Taskforce Members

Attendees in this session will have an engaging, interactive update surrounding the progress toward Employment First in the state of Wyoming. Presenters will discuss essential strategies to drive organizational change embracing Employment First best practice, as well as success the taskforce has had toward implementation of Employment First and collaboratively working with community partners.                       


First Afternoon Breakout (1:15 pm - 2:45 pm)

 How to dress for success!  Von Maul, Tracy Frederick, Cheeks International

Are you presenting yourself at your personal and professional best? Are you making the right first impression to an employer?  What you wear to your next job interview might be more important than you think. Join a few style professionals in this session for some handy pointers, style tips, communication strategies, and helpful resources for men and women job-seekers to look and feel their best for a job interview.


Building a Highly Qualified Workforce: What is Pre-ETS? Ann Armel, Nicky Harper

There is currently a labor crisis in our nation and the disability employment industry could be a partial solution to the staffing difficulties confronting employers. Employers may not be aware of the resources available to develop these employment opportunitiesOur presenters will discuss WIOA legislation and that Pre-ETS (Employment Transition Services) can provide services to help youth enter the workforce, including: work place readiness training and work experiences. 

 Real Jobs for Real Pay: Public Policy and Legal Challenges for Change.  Bob Lawhead  

This presentation will describe the application of Olmstead’s integration mandate to employment, recent legal examples that challenge the status quo and strategies to gain access to supports and services needed to obtain real employment.   

Second Afternoon Breakout  (3:00pm - 4:30 pm)

 Filling Your Job Development Toolbox: The Key to Effective Interviews. Renee Ashworth

When you have successfully mastered cover letters, resumes, and job applications and are receiving requests for interviews, understanding how to succeed in the interview is a crucial step in snagging that job! Join us for important information and tips, do’s and don’t’s,  and a mock interview session with hiring managers! 

Successful Placements: An Employer Panel Discussion. Moderator: Shannon Buller

This open forum is an opportunity for selected panelists to share their stories and answer questions focused on integrated employment for people with disabilities. The open dialogue will allow the audience an opportunity to brainstorm ideas and discuss obstacles and challenges they face with employment.   

CARF- Accreditation Options for EmploymentPete Hathaway

What accreditation options meet your needs as a provider?  CARF is an international, nonprofit accreditor of human services providers.  Participants will learn the requirements of organizations seeking accreditation and what they can expect to encounter at each step of the process.

                                                                                      2016 Six State Summit
Hosted by the Wyoming Community Service Providers
Snow King Resort and Hotel
Jackson, Wyoming
or go to their website at:


HCBS Setting Statewide Transition Plan Public Comment:

The Wyoming Department of Health, Behavioral Health Division and Division of Healthcare Financing seeks public input on its Statewide Transition Plan to comply with federal Medicaid Home and Community Based Settings (HCBS) requirements. In March 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) passed new rules for provider setting requirements for HCBS. The new rule requires all states to evaluate their provider’s settings where services are provided, and transition those settings to meet the new federal rules over five (5) years. This affects all provider controlled, owned, or operated settings in which individuals receive home and community based services through the Acquired Brain Injury, Comprehensive, Supports, Assisted Living Facility waiver programs. This plan was first posted for public input October 18, 2014 and has been revised at the request of CMS. 

A copy of the revised Wyoming Statewide Transition Plan may be found online at:


A hard copy may be obtained by contacting the Department via phone at (307)777-6494 or by mail or in person at the Wyoming Department of Health, Behavioral Health Division, 6101 Yellowstone Road Suite 220. Cheyenne, WY 82009. 

A public forum will be conducted via phone conference on Monday, September 26th from 2:00pm-3:00pm. Callers should call in to 1-877-278-2734 access code 0488804.

Public comment will close on October 14, 2016. Comments can be sent via e-mail to bhdmail@wyo.gov or calling 307-777-6494 or mailed to the address listed above for the Behavioral Health Division.

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Sibshops Facilitator Training
During this two day facilitator training, people will learn how to run a local Sibshop. Facilitators-in-training will learn about sibs’ life-long concerns, find out how to organize a local Sibshop, and experience what a Sibshop is all about. Families, parents, adult siblings, providers, and community members wanting to gain more information about the unique opportunities and concerns experienced by siblings of children with disabilities are invited to attend the community education portion. For more information, contact Aleyta Zimmerman at (307) 777-3339 or aleyta.coffey@wyo.gov. 
SPACE IS LIMITED!!!   Click here to register. 

WGCDD Events and More...

Below is a calendar of Wyoming Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities Events and other disability related activities happening around the state. If you have an event or activity you would like listed please email all of the details to (wgcdd@wyo.gov). Include "Add Event/Activity" in the subject line, provide contact information and a brief description of the event/activity.