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Wise Webinar Series: Building and Borrowing – Keeping Your Spirits and Focus High


December 13, 2023

2023-2024 Wise Webinar Series

Building and Borrowing – Keeping Your Spirits and Focus High

In this webinar, Anne will share her supported employment experience from the early days following deinstitutionalization legislation and throughout her career.  Participants will reconnect with historic best practices as well as look at a lifelong learning approach to connecting each jobseeker to a life enhancing job.

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Presenter: Anne O’Bryan

Anne is standing in front of the community center in Bradford on Avon where she lives. There are lots of posters of community and business activities in the picture. She is wearing a gray sweater and polka dot scarf, has shoulder length hair and is smiling at the camera.

Description: Anne is standing in front of the community center in Bradford on Avon where she lives. There are lots of posters of community and business activities in the picture. She is wearing a gray sweater and polka dot scarf, has shoulder length hair and is smiling at the camera.

Anne O’Bryan has worked in supported employment and community building in the US, UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands. She is heavily influenced by her brother, Larry O’Bryan who was diagnosed with autism in 1951 by Mildred Creak, one of the legendary pioneers in the field. Inspired by Larry, Anne has learned to aim high and celebrate small steps towards a life worth living.

Teaching people jobs since the mid-1970’s, Anne worked with the Specialized Training Program at the University of Oregon and then implemented their model to start electronics assembly businesses in Washington and Virginia. She moved into individual job development working with Mark Gold and Associates and others as a freelance consultant. In the 1980s, she was lucky enough to connect to the leaders of circle building and person-centered planning which she and her brother used to help him achieve his vision of his own home. In the 1990’s, Anne continued to consult with organizations offering supported employment and community building, using graphic recording techniques such as PATH. Once introduced to Project SEARCH, she worked with the founders to build 58 partnership programs in England, Scotland, Wales, Portugal, and Ireland.

During Anne’s tenure at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, she led the European Project SEARCH program development. In June 2018 she helped develop the British DFN Project SEARCH franchise so that UK programs could have a more secure future.

Since the Covid years she has returned to her freelance work and continues to help her brother achieve his life goals.

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