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

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.


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.

OELN Social Security Benefits and Work Incentives


Please join us for a two day workshop covering the history of Supported Employment, the basics of Discovery when working with individuals who experience intellectual or developmental disabilities, and Person-centered employment planning, with Emily Harris, Debra McLean, and Michelle Furman.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Be familiar with Supported Employment history and the current state of the field,

2.   Be familiar with the Discovery Process, be able to perform Discovery with an employment candidate, and be able to write a Vocational Profile as the basis for Employment Planning, and

3.  Be familiar with Person-centered Futures Employment Planning and able to use it in assisting in developing Employment Action plans.

Additional Information:

  • The training room is located above the grocery store on the second floor.
  • Coffee and snacks will be provided each day.  Lunch will be on your own.
  • In order to receive a certificate of completion for this training, attendees can miss no more than one hour total during this two-day event.
  • CANCELATION POLICY: If you are unable to attend this training, please notify Emily Harris as soon as possible. Please note that attendence lists are sent to the Oregon State Employment First Office on a regular basis in order to track no-shows.
  • If you need any additional accommodations please contact Emily Harris, [email protected]  at least 2 weeks  prior to the event to allow for adequate scheduling time.
  • This training series is put on by the  Employment First/ ODDS Employment team. Registration for this training is open to Oregonians. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Harris. 
  • ODDS Employment First Office has requested that if you have previously taken this class, email Emily Harris at  [email protected] before you register; to prioritize space for students who have not taken this course.



  Trainers:Emily Harris, Program Manager, WISE. Emily has had the good fortune to be affiliated with people with disabiliities throughout her life. She has experience as an employment consultant and as a Positive Behavior Support consultant with individuals, families, and employment agencies both in Oregon and Washington States. Emily is committed to the concept of inclusion and full participation, and knows that employment is critical to equity. Emily is a Certified Employment Professional through APSE, is a primary trainer and the new manager for the Oregon Employment Learning Network, and a Person Centered Planning Facilitator. Emily is innterested in creative, innovative, low-tech ways to support people to be independent on their jobs. Emily loves music (especially soul and oldies on vinyl), runninng, spending time with her family, and vintage shopping in small towns.

Michelle Furman, Community Employment Services Project Manager at Shangri-La. Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences from Linfield College. Michelle is excited for  the opportunity to help move our communities and individuals forward into integrated employment.  She is a Certified Employment Support Professional with APSE and is a member of the Oregon APSE Board. Michelle is actively involved in her community through facilitating the Marion & Polk Employment First Network and is also involved in the Lincoln and Lane Employment First teams.  She is a strong advocate for integrated community employment and has been developing Shangri-La’s Community Employment Services since last July.  Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, camping and has plans on restoring a vintage trailer and a 1966 Chevy truck which will be family projects!

Debra McLean, Senior Program Manager, WISE. Debra is passionate about seeing all people obtain employment. She has been intrigued with community building and person centered planning as a way to see individuals with a variety of support needs succeed in jobs that fit them since 1981. She has worked for the University of Oregon and Oregon Health Sciences University on a number of projects involving people with disabilities and employment .She provides training and consultation on employment and person centered planning in Washington and Oregon. She has taught classes on these topics at Portland State University in the Teacher Education Program and for Highline Community College, Certificate for Employment Specialists.  She has worked with schools, families, agencies, businesses, and individuals, both in the US and in Australia.

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