Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program
Community of Practice Monthly Webinar
April 10, 2019, 3:00-4:00 ET
The Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) Community of Practice (CoP) Webinar Series is structured to augment the technical assistance areas of primary focus in Employment First systems change (Capacity Building, Provider Transformation, School-to-Work Transition, Employer Engagement, and Policy/Funding Alignment). CoP participants will benefit from national subject matter experts (SMEs) presenting information and resources to support Employment First efforts.
Topic: State as a Model Employer: Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities in State Government
Through EFSLMP, Louisiana and Arkansas opted to work on State as a Model Employer (SAME) policy. Webinar participants will learn about the opportunities these states have found for people with disabilities in their state to obtain competitive integrated employment in state government
By attending this webinar you will learn about:
Special Guests: Bambi Polotzola, Sharon Mohammed, Shamia Rafter, and Joe Winford III
Bambi Polotzola, a state leader in disability issues for over a decade, has worked with people with disabilities and their families as an educator and as a home and community based service provider. She serves on the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, Statewide Interagency Coordinating Council for EarlySteps, State Independent Living Council, College and Career Readiness Commission, State As a Model Employer Task Force as well as on the boards of numerous disability-related non-profit organizations. As a mother of a teenager with a disability, Bambi understands the needs of families and is respected for her knowledge and advocacy on their behalf. Her work has primarily been centered in capacity building and systemic change that supports people with disabilities and their families to be fully included and valued members of their communities. Bambi currently serves in the administration of Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Disability Affairs.
Sharon Mohammed has been employed with the State of Arkansas for 37 years, where she works as a Special Programs Manager, with the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) in the Community & Employment Services (CES) Waiver section. Sharon has served as lead & co-lead for the AR Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) and the lead for CES Waiver-Supported Employment, from 2012 to 2018. She has provided strategic and visionary leadership -as she led and coordinated Arkansas’ EFSLMP latest efforts to increase inclusion at the state level by investing in state systems change efforts – such as the ‘SAME’ project, which seeks to establish a more diverse and inclusive workforce within Arkansas state government. Today, she continues to work with state leadership, ID/DD and other state agency leaders on change- sustainability and prioritizing Employment First as a policy and practice for the state of Arkansas.
Shamia Rafter has been employed with the State of Arkansas for 11 years, where she works as Program Coordinator, with the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) in the Community & Employment Services (CES) Waiver section. In March 2019, Shamia became the co-lead for the AR Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) and CES Waiver-Supported Employment. Shamia assists individuals with disabilities and/or guardians finding placement in Human Development Centers (HDC) and/or Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) and applying for CES Waiver Services. She is the manager of Adult Integrated Support Services for the entire state of Arkansas. Shamia is on the Disaster Working Group for DHS EF6 and the Respite Coalition Committee.
Joe Winford III has worked for the Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Services for the past 31 years where he now serves as the Program Administrator for the DDS/CES Intake and Referral Unit. He currently serves as the HR Manager for the State Agency Module Employer (SAME). As part of the SAME Leadership team he handles all of the HR needs. When he first started with DDS, he began as Mental Retardation Aide at the Conway Human Development Center. During his tenure at the Conway Human Development Center he also worked as a Recreational Activity Leader and as a Habilitation/Rehabilitation Instructor until he transferred to DDS Central Office in April of 2000. Upon transferring to DDS Central Office, he has served as a Management Project Analyst I/II where his duties included grant writing and submission of the grants to CMS. Duties also included the training of all DDS License Providers and DDS Staff on the Medicaid Waiver Conversion Process. Due to career advancement, he has also served as a DHS/DDS Financial Section Manager for 4 years, and DDS Personnel Manager for over 12 years until he was promoted to DHS/DDS Program Administrator in 2016.
Meeting MaterialsMeeting materials will be distributed closer to the event.
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