NOTICE OF FUNDS AVAILABLE
Bright Star Grant Application Deadline is January 30, 2020
The purpose of the Mini-Grant is to facilitate innovative projects and/or activities in the state that will empower people with developmental disabilities and their families. Projects or activities funded by a Mini-Grant must fulfill the Council’s stated purpose and vision.
The WGCDD is granting $100,000 for the 2020-21 grant period. Grant amounts can range from $1,000-$50,000 per project.
Click HERE to apply for a mini-grant.
Want to be a member of the WGCDD?
The Council is a unique, governor-appointed body of people with developmental disabilities, family members and professionals who work together to promote choice, independence and the full inclusion of all people with developmental disabilities in community life.
Click here to see a list of current members.
If you would like to apply to be a member of the council, please contact Shannon Buller:
Every five years, the Wyoming Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities travels the state of Wyoming to speak to communities about gaps in services for people with developmental disabilities. This feedback is used to build the Council’s Five-Year Plan, which is what drives everything the Council does. If you have information or concerns about people with developmental disabilities in Wyoming please join a listening session or complete an on-line survey, we need your input.
The WGCDD will be conducting listening sessions during the month of January 2020. We hope to see you there for some great discussions!
Can't make a listening session? Click HERE to give your feedback!
ABLE accounts create tax-advantaged investment accounts for people with disabilities.
ABLE accounts allow individuals to contribute up to $15,000 per year without losing government benefits.
ABLE accounts allow individuals with disabilities the opportunity to save for disability-related expenses.
Visit www.wyable.com for more information, or click here for a quick facts sheet.
Check back for future Facebook live interactive sessions about WYABLE!!
This December will mark the 5th anniversary of the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which created tax-free savings accounts for people with disabilities who have a disability before age 26. Since 2014, over 50,000 individuals have opened ABLE accounts. Unfortunately, millions of people with disabilities aren't eligible for ABLE accounts because they did not acquire their disability before age 26. So as we are celebrating this anniversary, we are urging Congress to pass the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 651, H.R. 1814). The ABLE Age Adjustment Act would make six million more people with disabilities eligible to open an ABLE account. It would also greatly enhance the sustainability of all ABLE programs nationwide.
WGCDD Quarterly Council Meetings
- February 6-7, 2020, Cheyenne, WY
- May 7-8, 2020. Newcastle, WY
WGCDD Annual Events
- Developmental Disability Awareness Month Luncheon: March 12, 2020, Little America Hotel, Cheyenne, WY
- Wyoming Developmental Disabilities Conference: June 25-26, 2020, Ramkota Hotel, Casper, WY. Preconference June 24, 2020.
Have you heard about Pre-Employment Transition Services?
Pre-Employment Transition Services. Section 113 provides that from the funds reserved [see below] and any funds made available from State, local, or private funding sources, each State shall ensure that the VR agency, in collaboration with the local educational agencies involved, must provide, or arrange for the provision of, pre-employment transition services for all students with disabilities in need of such services who are eligible or potentially eligible for services under this title.
Required Activities. Funds available must be used to make available to students with disabilities—
1) job exploration counseling;
2) work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after school opportunities, or experience outside the traditional school setting (including internships), that is provided in an integrated environment to the maximum extent possible;
3) counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education;
4) workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and
5) instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring.
Authorized Activities. Funds available and remaining after the provision of the required activities described above may be used to improve the transition of students with disabilities from school to postsecondary education or an employment outcome by—
1) implementing effective strategies to increase the likelihood of independent living and inclusion in communities and competitive integrated workplaces;
2) developing and improving strategies for individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals with significant disabilities to live independently, participate in postsecondary education experiences, and obtain and retain competitive integrated employment;
3) providing instruction to vocational rehabilitation counselors, school transition personnel, and other persons supporting students with disabilities;
4) disseminating information about innovative, effective, and efficient approaches to achieve the goals of this section;
5) coordinating activities with transition services provided by local educational agencies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.);
6) applying evidence-based findings to improve policy, procedure, practice, and the
7) preparation of personnel, in order to better achieve the goals of this section;
8) developing model transition demonstration projects;
9) establishing or supporting multi-state or regional partnerships involving States, local educational agencies, designated State units, developmental disability agencies, private businesses, or other participants to achieve the goals of this section; and
10) disseminating information and strategies to improve the transition to postsecondary activities of individuals who are members of traditionally unserved populations.
For more information, contact your local Workforce Development Center, or visit http://www.wyomingworkforce.org/workers/vr/
Employment First is a policy of the state; whereas competitive and integrated employment shall be considered the first option when serving persons with disabilities who are of working age to obtain employment.
- People with developmental disabilities need access to the resources and supports necessary to gain and maintain meaningful, inclusive, competitive and integrated jobs earning a livable wage.
- Employers can utilize these resources to learn about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, how to foster inclusion in the workplace, how they can support an employee with a disability, information about relevant tax credits, local area disability resources, and other topics related to disability and employment.
- Providers that support and assist individuals with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment must have a vast understanding of employment from all perspectives. They must be able to educate the individuals they support on the benefits and rights of employees with disabilities.
visit our resource page at: http://employmentfirst.wyo.gov/