January 26, 2021 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
This is an online event

Boots on the Ground: Employment Consultant Community of Practice Seminar

In collaboration with the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration, Wise is pleased to announce the Boots on the Ground: Employment Consultant Community of Practice! Comprised of two sessions per week, this Community of Practice will offer hands on examples and opportunities to see innovative direct service from employment providers across the State of Washington. Tuesday seminars will occur each week from 9:30 to 11:30am PST, and Friday workshops will provide follow up conversation and activities based on the Tuesday content from 9:30 to 10:30am PST. These events are open to all and free of charge.

*Attending the Tuesday seminar is not required in order to participate in Friday’s workshop, although you are encouraged to do so. Recordings of Tuesday’s events will be made available the following Wednesday to those who could not attend. Register for the Friday workshop that corresponds with this event by visiting to the Wise Calendar (scheduled for Friday of that same week).


Where Rubber Meets the LCD (Road)

with Trillium, VADIS & AtWork!

Please join us on Tuesday, January 26 for our seminar, “Where Rubber Meets the LCD (Road)” with TrilliumVADIS & AtWork!

This session will feature a panel of employment professionals who will provide their view and perspective on what it takes to be successful in delivering employment services under today’s conditions. The panel will be moderated by Cesilee Coulson from Wise and engaged by David Mank (Wise Board member and retired faculty, Indiana University.).With emerging practices being developed daily and the powerful spirit of innovation embodied, we’ll look to the story of services as told by Megan Brandes (Trillium), Erika Thomas (VADIS) and Katherine Randall (AtWork!).

Learning Objectives (Info, tools, and skills attendees will receive):

  • Understanding the problem solving and creativity involved in delivering services during a community crisis;
  • Analyzing organizational cultures and strategies for service delivery;
  • Recognizing individual styles and strengths   

Do you require an accommodation, materials in alternate format or have inquiries about accessibility in this event? If so, please reach out to [email protected] no later than 5pm Friday prior to this webinar. Due to the short turnaround of our webinar series we are unable to accommodate same day requests. We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully.

*Please note: Wise maintains registration and attendance records for our events and training programs. Wise is required to monitor participation in our courses and provide reports to our funding sources so that they may utilize these records in the course of their audits of programs. These reports may include actual time spent by attendee name, event/training title, county and state. Reports are provided to ensure there is documented proof of the appropriate use of government funds for the purposes of professional development. Attendees that participate in our events and/or complete training programs will receive a certificate to document participation as back up for billing purposes.  

Wise provides Washington State Educator/Teacher Clock Hours for our webinars. For more information and to request Clock Hours, please click here. 


Meet the Panel:

Erika Rose Thomas, Employment Consultant, VADIS

ErikaRose was born and raised on the beautiful island of Guam. She is a proud USAF Military wife and mom of a blended family of 6 kids, 1 grandbaby and 3 dogs. ErikaRose recently completed her B.A in Business Administration and Communications at Liberty University. She has travelled the world and has also lived in Germany for over 7 years before moving to Washington. ErikaRose has been an Employment Consultant with Vadis for nearly 5 years and her goal is to continuously strive for excellence in all that she does in order to support and enrich the lives of adults with disabilities through equity and service innovation. She continuously strives to educate her community on the benefits of fostering an environment of inclusivity, diversity and acceptance in the workforce. ErikaRose is always thinking outside the box with ways she can creatively break barriers, open doors of opportunities and pave the way to new beginnings. At Vadis she serves on the School To Work Team, the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Team; and was selected to represent Vadis alongside her Supervisor as a member on the Rainier School Transition Team, a newly created pilot program with all Peirce County supported employment vendors collectively working together to provide Rainer School’s residents with the opportunity to pursue employment outside the institution and within their community.

Megan Brandes, Employment Consultant, Trillium

Megan Brandes enjoys her work as an Employment Consultant at Trillium Employment Services, an organization that is committed to creating an inclusive community. She is originally from Colorado and moved to the beautiful State of Washington in 2019 to pursue work in supported employment. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has worked and volunteered in various organizations in the helping field including working with a foster care agency that specializes in supporting children with developmental disabilities. Megan is passionate about supporting individuals in their journey to reach their own goals and dreams.


Katherine Randall, Transition Specialist, AtWork!

 Katherine is a Transition Specialist for AtWork!. She has a background in Family Science and managing non-profit programs. Prior to joining AtWork! as an Employment Consultant in 2019, Katherine ran an inclusive before and after-school program for elementary students in the Renton area. Katherine’s experience with creating an inclusive program for students of all abilities, coupled with her passion for diversity and inclusion, inspired her to advance her career in the field of Supported Employment. Katherine’s efforts are now focused on transition, where she utilizes her strengths in individualization and relationship building to support students in their transition from school to employment.



Meet the Facilitators:

Cesilee Coulson, Executive Director, Wise

Cesilee Coulson is the Executive Director of the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment; Wise. She brings 25 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. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Oregon in Sports Psychology, an Executive Coaching certification from the Hudson Institute and a Somatic Coaching certification from the Strozzi Institute.

In January 2015, Cesilee was appointed by the U. S. Secretary of Labor to the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, which was created in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. She served as the Chair of the Committee on Capacity Building. The Final Report and Recommendations were submitted to the Secretary of Labor and Congress in September 2016.

Cesilee is currently serving as the Past President of the Community Employment Alliance, a Washington State Association of Employment providers and it the co-chair of the National TASH employment committee.

David Mank, Ph. D., Professor Emeritus at Indiana University

David Michael Mank, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. He is formerly the Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, Indiana’s University Center for Excellence on Disabilities.

As a writer and researcher, Dr. Mank has an extensive background in the education and employment for persons with disabilities. He has authored or coauthored dozens of articles and book chapters. His interests also include transition from school to work and community living.

Mank has worked on issues related to Competitive Integrated Employment for people with significant disabilities for many years and more recently with EconSys. His work has included developing the first free standing supported employment program in Oregon. He has worked on provider transformation (from sheltered work to competitive integrated employment) in a number of states across the country.

Mank is a member of the editorial boards of the Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (TASH), the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Journal of Disability Policy Studies. He is Associate Editor for the journal, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Collaboration for the Promotion of Self-Determination (CPSD).

In January 2015, Mank was appointed by the U. S. Secretary of Labor to the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, which was created in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. He was subsequently elected Chair of the Committee, which delivered its Final Report and Recommendations to the Secretary of Labor and Congress in September 2016.

*Supported employment is rooted in the firm belief that all people deserve respect, dignity, and self-determination. Here at Wise, we are committed to standing up for and embracing positive changes in policies and practices to stamp out oppression and discrimination in our institutions and systems. We are focused on our mission of inclusion and equitable employment for people with disabilities. With this in mind, we ask that all participants extend respect, humility and grace during our events. We strive to create a learning platform where we all leave with new ways of thinking, doing and moving supported employment forward.
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