[nfbwatlk] DSHS NR - Washington state develops Pathways to Employment website for job seekers with disabilities

Nightingale, Noel Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Mon Jun 13 21:53:06 UTC 2011

From: Olson, Toby [mailto:TOlson2 at ESD.WA.GOV]
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 11:15 AM
Subject: FW: DSHS NR - Washington state develops Pathways to Employment website for job seekers with disabilities

From: Kozak, Stephen J. (Steve) (DSHS/HRSA)
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 10:53 AM
Subject: FW: DSHS NR - Washington state develops Pathways to Employment website for job seekers with disabilities

Good morning all,

Thank you for your hard work and assistance with developing this resource and tool for individuals with disabilities in Washington state who are working or want to work and pursue their career goals.

Please share this information to help promote awareness and use of the WA Pathways to Employment website - www.pathways.dshs.wa.gov<http://www.pathways.dshs.wa.gov>.


From: Gau, Jennifer
Sent: Wed 5/25/2011 11:06 AM
To: Davis, Brenda M.; May, Elyse (DSHS); Molnes, Christine (DSHS); Nanto, Miko (DSHS); DIS Communications; Curtis, Cory (GOV); Gov Comm Office; Loesch, Marty (GOV); Shagren, Karina (GOV); Smith, Andi (GOV); Thomas, Ralph (OFM)
Cc: Kozak, Stephen J. (Steve) (DSHS/HRSA); Kohlenberg, Elizabeth (DSHS/RDA)
Subject: DSHS NR - Washington state develops Pathways to Employment website for job seekers with disabilities
[cid:image001.jpg at 01CC1B96.339021F0]
MAY 25, 2011                                                                         NO. 011-021


Stephen Kozak<mailto:stephen.lozak at dshs.wa.gov>, MIG Project Manager, Medicaid Purchasing Administration, 360-725-1343

Liz Kohlenberg<mailto:elizabeth.kohlenberg at dshs.wa.gov>, Director, DSHS Research and Data Analysis, 360.902.0707

Jim Stevenson<mailto:jim.stevenson at dshs.wa.gov>, Communications Director, Medicaid, 360-725-1915

Washington state develops Pathways to Employment

website for job seekers with disabilities

OLYMPIA - The Medicaid Purchasing Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services has launched a new website designed to give job seekers with disabilities some new tools to help them find employment without worrying about losing health care benefits in the process.

[cid:image002.jpg at 01CC29D9.9A5EFC20]"Many Washingtonians with a disability want to work," said Stephen Kozak, who led the DSHS team that developed the new site under a $416,305 federal grant. "But these job seekers may fear if they go to work, they'll lose their health care and Social Security disability benefits, such as SSI or SSDI cash."

With Pathways to Employment, people can explore different ways to balance benefits and work.

The new website, which includes information on health coverage, benefits and employment, will help job seekers with disabilities to:

 *   Make informed decisions on work by using a benefits estimator (this feature includes allowing users to save what is entered for sharing with others, such as Benefits Planners or other professional helpers).
 *   Use an online resume builder.
 *   Watch video success stories of individuals with disabilities who choose work and hear what they have to say about the value it adds to their lives.
 *   View information about and when and how best to disclose a disability to an employer or potential employer.
 *   Access an "employer proximity locator," which enables a person to obtain names, addresses and telephone numbers of businesses located near his or her home.

Pathways to Employment has other features that encourage employment. Overall, the site creates an environment that shows employment as a natural process for persons with disabilities.

It also provides information about work incentives attached to different public benefits and the many resources in the community that may help people achieve their career goals.

This new online resource is the result of planning and work done through use of federal funding provided under a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant managed by Stephen Kozak of the DSHS Medicaid Purchasing Administration's Division of Eligibility and Service Delivery.

The federal grant is steered by a broad-based, cross-agency Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the state and local programs that serve persons with disabilities. From DSHS, the following programs are represented:  Medicaid Purchasing, Aging and Disability Services, Developmental Disabilities, Home and Community Services, Behavioral Health and Recovery, Economic Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, and Research and Data Analysis. In addition, representatives from the following programs participate: the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues and Employment, Plan to Work, Positive Solutions, the human service divisions of two counties, a mental health consumer and an employment support specialist, the Department of Services for the Blind, the Washington State Rehabilitation Council, the Washington Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board, Disability Rights of Washington (Protection and Advocacy System) and Washington Initiative for Supported Employment.

The Pathways to Employment website was developed and is housed in the DSHS Research and Data Analysis Division. The project team includes Liz Kohlenberg and Rebecca Yette (project oversight), Becky Boutilier (project director), David Beshears (web architect), Hakan Axelsson and Josh Sjoding (web communications) and Trisha Keenan-Wilkie (project testing and support). The Gilmore Research Group conducted the focus groups of persons with disabilities and disability providers, which helped to define the content of the site and provided feedback on the presentation.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Medicaid Infrastructure Grant CFDA 93.768 was awarded to the State of Washington by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

# # #

DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran's status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.

Jennifer M. Gau
Department of Social and Health Services
Public Affairs
(360) 902-7829
jennifer.gau at dshs.wa.gov

Due to state budget reductions, I will be out of the office on May 27, 2011.

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