General Development Activities of the NYSRA Transformation 2.0 project are designed to provide agencies with a broad base of knowledge and support for completing the OPWDD-required Proposal and developing some initial strategies for culture change and workshop transformation. Open to all providers offering employment supports, register today for any of our upcoming live webinar presentations designed to assist in the transformation project. Archived recordings are also available.


Upcoming Transformation 2.0 Webinars & EVENTS



ABILITY BEYOND: "Three Cups of Tea" and Other Tips for Successful Job Development
Presented by Carrie O'Connell & Kate Travis, Ability Beyond
Learn about how the "Three Cups of Tea" model of job development utilized in the Individual Placement and Support model of employment services (an Evidence Based Practice) can assist you in your community job development efforts. This simple, yet effective strategy offers a concrete approach to building relationships and creating mutually beneficial partnerships. This webinar also teaches about other strategies and techniques to increase your networking opportunities and build your job development skills.


NYSRA: Chill & Chat with Jill & Pat 
Presented by Jill Dorsi, Project Director & Pat Dowse, COO, NYSRA
With the deadline for submitting a Workshop Transformation Proposal to NYS OPWDD looming, Jill Dorsi and Pat Dowse held two calls to discuss the expectations and requirements included in OPWDD's May 2016 Instructions for Submission of Workshop Transformation Proposals. Questions from registrants of the webinars were answered throughout the conversation. 


BARCLAY DAMON: Compliance, Employment and Enforcement Issues 
Presented by Melissa Zambri, Esq. & Margaret Surowka Rossi, Esq.
During this webinar, Barclay Damon LLP discussed some of the legal issues to consider when addressing transformation including those related to structure, labor and employment and compliance issues. 


BARCLAY DAMON LLP: Choice of Entity Considerations
Presented by Jim Grossman, Esq. and Nicholas Scarfone of Barclay Damon LLP
During this webinar, Barclay Damon LLP discussed some of the legal issues to consider when addressing transformation including those related to structure, labor and employment and compliance issues. 


LOEB & TROPER LLP: Keeping Board Members On Board
Presented by Laurie Kelley & Allan Blum of Loeb & Troper LLP
Loeb and Troper offered a comprehensive discussion of the importance of educating board members about the transformation agenda and evolving employment narrative. Presenters will examine strategies for engaging board members in the process and keeping them "on board." 


LOEB & TROPER LLP: Changing Business Models
Presented by Laurie Kelley & Allan Blum of Loeb & Troper LLP
When providers change the way they do business, they must consider the impact of fixed costs on their fiscal viability. Loeb & Troper explored potential changes and pitfalls and offered resources for solutions.


DISABILITY RIGHTS NY: Rights, Responsibilities, Entitlement, Opportunities
Presented byJennifer Monthie of Disability Rights NY
Workshop transformation offers people increased employment opportunities but also challenges them in new ways. Using a person centered focus, this webinar explored how people can successfully navigate the new terrain and become contributing members of their communities.


SHAMEKA ANDREWS: Becoming Your Own Boss: How to Start Your Own Business
Presented by Shameka Andrews
Shameka shared her personal experiences in starting her own business. This included discussing how to access the resources that are avilable to individuals through Small Business Development Centers and local community colleges. Participants learned about the challenges and rewards of being your own boss and the steps to take to become an entreprenur. Shameka's webinars are highly reccomended for individuals exploring new employment experiences and their families. 


DISABILITY RIGHTS NY: Transformation is a National Affair!
Presented by Jennifer Monthie of Disability Rights NY
Disability Rights NY (DRNY) is the federally and state authorized Protection and Advocacy ( P & A) Sytem and Client Assistance Program ( P& A/CAP). In this webinar Jennifer Monthie, an attorney with DRNY, provided an insightful examination of the roles played by ADA, Olmstead, and litigation in assuring that individuals have access to productive employment opportunities and how these interactions have impacted the future of sheltered workshops accross the nation. Participants learned about the services DRNY offers to individuals as they consider new directions in employment, including assistance with Benefits Management.


DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE: Navigating the Benefits Terrain Successfully
Presented by Emily Tortorici of the Disability Employment Initiative
How many times have we said to a client, "You can only work part time, so you do not lose your benefits."? How many clients have said to us, "I can't work, I will lose my benefits."? The stigma surrounding work and Social Security Disability Benefits has been an ongoing issue for beneficiaries as well as people who provide services to them. Emily Tortorici of the Disability Employment Initiative discusses tools and resources for balancing income with benefits including SSI and Medicaid. This webinar explores various work incentives and supports designed to transition individuals from depending on Disability Benefits to becoming self-sufficient. 
ABILITY BEYOND: Techniques for Involving All Levels of Stakeholders in Transformation
Presented by Carrie O'Connell & Shaileen Brighton-Ortiz of Ability Beyond
Learn about techniques used to assure comprehensive involvement at all levels of the organization including leadership, middle management, program staff, DSPs, residential staff, families and community partners, as you implement the process of transformation.
SHAMEKA ANDREWS: The Employment Adventure: Finding Tools for New Experience
Presented by Shameka Andrews
Great opportunity for individuals and families to learn about employment resources!
Shameka Andrews explored the barriers that people often encounter as they explore new employment opportunities. These may include practical issues like how to use public transportation or may include more sensitive concerns such as being nervous about change or how to maintain friendships and family contact. Shameka helps people identify solutions and tools for overcoming any challenges they may face (and many are free and/or accessible online!)
LOEB & TROPER LLP: Identifying and Creating Corporate Structural Changes for Business Model Design
Presented by Loeb & Troper LLP
Loeb and Troper LLP provides agencies with important guidance for the identification and creation of corporate structural changes for business model design. 
CCSI: Completing the NYSRA Employment Supports Transformation Assessment Tool: Identifying Strategies for Transformation
Presented by CCSI
Neilia Kelly and David Eckert, Senior Consultants at Coordinated Care Services offered a comprehensive, interactive webinar on the recommended strategy for completing the NYSRA Employment Supports  Assessment Tool effectively. Using the tool developed by Coordinated Care Services, Inc (CCSI) and NYSRA, each provider will be able to explore areas of the organization's strengths, challenges and vulnerabilities and target those areas where additional focus and training will be most useful. Providers will also be able to work directly with CCSI to discuss results of their assessment. Individual interpretations of tool results will identify additional training needs and resources that will be most useful in moving the agency forward to complete the OPWDD Proposal and develop new ways of doing business.


PARENT NETWORK OF WNY: A Lunchtime Chat About Employment and Sheltered Workshops
Presented by WNY Institute of the Parent Network of Western NY
Michelle Archer, Program Developer for the WNY Institute of the Parent Network of Western NY shared what is on OPWDD's transformation agenda related to employment and the reasons sheltered workshops are closing. This recorded webinar shared information on working with an organization to create employment opportunities. Parents also shared personal stories about their experiences with employment and sheltered workshops.
FOOTHOLD TECHNOLOGY: Managing Data, Information and Knowledge for Tomorrow's Success
Presented by Foothold Technology
David Bucciferro, Senior Adviser for Foothold Technology examined the struggles agencies currently face, focusing on demands to transform service delivery and business practices and develop sustainable funding.  As we move toward program transition and performance-based contracting, it becomes more crucial than ever to track services and outcomes effectively.  Effective data management and the use of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) both provide agencies with tools that support efficient documentation, accurate and faster billing, and regular internal auditing.  These themes were explored within the context of participant's own agencies and practices that other states have found to be successful were discussed.