2022-2023 Annual Report

With the holiday season at our doorstep, I’d like to recognize the Wise staff, Wise Associates and community partners for an amazing year of hard work and thoughtful innovation. Please join me in reflecting on the past year through the Wise annual report. The report features a wide range of accomplishments, highlights strategies for building community capacity and emphasizes our focus on creating accessible and culturally relevant services so that everyone is welcome, included and able to access the services at Wise. 
I believe the results you’ll see in this annual report demonstrate what is possible when people with disabilities lead, teach, and inform the work needed to advance employment opportunities for everyone. 
-Cesilee Coulson, Executive Director

View the Annual Report.

Save the Date for the 2024 Community Summit!

2024 Community Summit

Embracing the Challenge: Together We Thrive

May 7-9, 2024

Wenatchee Convention Center

DSHS Developmental Disabilities Administration is proud to announce Community Summit 2024. The Community Summit continues a long tradition of conferences that have focused on expanding access to supported employment, supported living and assistive technology. The Summit is an annual three-day conference that brings together individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, self-advocates, families, friends, partners and allies to work together toward building more inclusive communities. Join us in person or virtually on May 7-9, 2024!

Planning is underway! To stay up to date, please visit us at the Community Summit Facebook page. If you have questions about Community Summit 2024 or want to know how you can be involved, please contact the Community Summit steering committee coordinator Ron Bryan at [email protected].

Announcing the 2021-2022 Annual Report

Happy New Year! I am excited to announce the release of the Wise 2021 – 2022 Annual Report. Annually, we use this report to highlight our training and technical assistance outcomes and share our experiences with community partners. Our annual report team at Wise, along with many staff, have produced a series of videos to share our reflections, outcomes and insights into our story. 

The first in our series is included with this announcement: Innovative Training and Technical Assistance.

In the following weeks, we will share the remaining videos through our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Follow along below:

Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to view our experiences and the work we were involved in to advance competitive integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Cesilee Coulson

Executive Director

Wise is seeking candidates for three open positions

These positions allow for primarily remote work, with some travel, and will require flexibility with work hours. Travel may include work across Oregon, Washington and periodically across other states. The successful candidate will provide their energy, enthusiasm, talent and expertise in support of, and as an integral part of, a team dedicated and passionate about promoting and achieving employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

If you are interested in being part of our organization, please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected]. Application deadlines vary based on position. Please see below for more information.

Training and Technical Assistance Program Manager

In this position, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Provide training and technical assistance on core supported employment skills both online and in person.  
  • Plan and coordinate training, community and other events related to employment.  
  • Work with community members to promote supported and customized employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 
  • Work with Wise staff, consultants, and government partners to assist employers to hire people with disabilities. 
  • Lend expertise to a host of other exciting projects as they arise.  

Application deadline: 5:00pm PDT, November 22, 2022.

Operations and Communications Coordinator

Application period closed.

Staff Accountant

Application period closed.

Wise is committed to standing up for and embracing positive changes in policies and practices to combat discrimination in our institutions and systems. We seek employees and partners with a range of experiences and are committed to creating an inclusive work environment where all employees are respected and appreciated for their unique contributions. 

Joining our team will provide an opportunity for critical thinking around how external systems and societal norms impact access to employment for people with disabilities. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique perspectives and experience that you can bring in terms of your own culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, color, religion, disability, education and sexual orientation.  

PROCEED UNTIL APPREHENDED: WISE’S Innovative Thinking on Supported Employment in the Midst of a Crisis

Yes to Employment Podcast Series Graphic featuring a white microphone icon. Click to listen to podcast episode.

Click image to listen to podcast episode

Serena Lowe, TASH’s interim Executive Director, talks with Cesilee Coulson, the Executive Director of WISE, the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment. They have the sort of conversation you might expect from two people with such depth of experience in these issues: high-level, broad-ranging, big ideas. But mostly they talk about the necessity to not letting ourselves be limited by systems, processes, the way things have been done in the past during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. They discuss the importance of fostering people’s creative thinking and never losing sight of our person-centeredness.

ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

A photograph of Cesilee Coulson. She is leaning into frame from the left and wearing a life jacket. Her dog is to the right and a lake and forested hill are in the background.Cesilee Coulson is the Executive Director of the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (Wise). She brings 22 years of experience in competitive integrated employment training and technical assistance to her position. Cesilee uses her experience to assist with organizational transformation, employment systems change and community employment capacity building.

An official federal government portrait of Serena Lowe. She has blond, shoulder-length hair and a big smile. She is wearing a black blazer and a bit of a U.S. flag can be seen over her right shoulder.Serena Lowe is the Founder & Principal at AnereS Strategies and the interim Executive Director of TASH. Prior to this role, she was a Senior Policy Advisor with the Administration on Community Living’s Office on Policy Analysis & Development, focused on CMS HCBS implementation. Before her work for ACL, she was employed in a variety of roles in the field of federal government relations, including for the U.S. Department of Labor, a Fortune 100 global biopharmaceutical company, a top 20 national lobbying firm, and two former Members of Congress. She holds a B.A. in International & Public Affairs from Westminster College; an M.P.H. in International Health Policy and M.A. in International Development Policy from George Washington University; and a PhD in Public Administration from American University.

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