June 4, 2020 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
This is an online event
Zoom / Webinar
Beth Mckenney

Wise Webinar a Day Series: 

Leveraging Culture to Enhance Services for Minorities with Disabilities

Please join us on Thursday, June 4th for our webinar, Leveraging Culture to Enhance Services for Minorities with Disabilities” with Amy Gonzalez.

This session will allow provider staff and other direct support professionals to learn about supporting minorities with disabilities holistically. By helping support staff better understand the intricacies of a person’s culture and how to leverage the uniqueness of every person supported by taking diversity into consideration when service planning.


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

  • Learn how culture can be leveraged as a tool when supporting minorities with disabilities.
  • Understand how misperceptions can lead to unsuccessful services.
  • Debunk basic cultural misperceptions when serving individuals with diverse racial backgrounds.


*Please note: Wise maintains registration and attendance records for our events and training programs. Attendees that fully participate in events and/or complete training programs will receive a certificate to document  full participation as back up for billing purposes.  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.

There are no refunds for those that do not attend the scheduled webinar. If you do miss the webinar, we will provide you with a code to access the next webinar free. 

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

Amy Gonzalez

Amy M. Gonzalez has dedicated her 18-year career to the socioeconomic advancement of people with disabilities. For the first 11 years of her career, she worked primarily with the Hispanic population through direct service. Later, she transitioned to higher-level policy roles, at both the state and federal levels.  A nationally recognized expert in the field, Amy has worked in an array of systems, providing her a holistic understanding of the barriers that people with disabilities experience. Her experience in direct service includes serving as a former Case Manager at an American Job Center (AJC) to at-risk youth, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to Texans with disabilities, and extensive job development, coaching and employer negotiation to help clients achieve their employment goals. Amy increased internship and employment opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities at a post-secondary education program called Next Steps at Vanderbilt. She also developed job club curriculum as a form of follow-along support for actively employed students. Amy’s direct service experience has been frequently used while developing policy and advocating for systems change both at the state and federal level.

During Amy’s tenure as the State Director of Employment and Day Services at the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, she managed the state’s Employment First initiative. She developed the Employment First Task Force, which was comprised of cross-systems stakeholders from the following state agencies: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), Department of Labor (DOL), Health, Education, Mental Health, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Medicaid, and the Council on Developmental Disabilities. Additional partners were the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, providers, self-advocates, the state protection and advocacy agency and employers. The Task Force established a successful strategic marketing campaign, which educated the community through the sharing of success stories. She also created and maintained partnerships with providers across the state that resulted in the transformation of their service delivery system. Through those partnerships, she was able to support one of the largest providers in West Tennessee (SRVS Industries) in closing their sheltered workshop, which resulted in a multitude of persons moving from segregated services to competitive integrated employment. In the following years, she increased provider participation, who then gradually changed their service systems. She provided customized employment and discovery training to staff from I/DD, VR, Labor, and the Education system, disseminating knowledge in best practices for obtaining employment. Amy created the Tennessee Employment First Community of Practice webinar series that fostered a learning environment to the Tennessee provider community. Amy also analyzed and provided detailed recommendations on the proposed waiver definitions and rates for the Employment and Community First CHOICES 1115 waiver, which launched in 2016. A critical priority for Amy is family engagement so she partnered with the Arc Tennessee and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center to develop parent coalitions as a strategy to engage families in a valuable manner. By the end of her time in Tennessee, parent coalitions had been established in every region of the state. Amy collaborated with a variety of stakeholders from the Task Force to solidify various Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) which lead to more streamlined services for youth with disabilities transitioning from school to work.

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