In partnership with the Washington State Developmental Disability Administration, Wise hosts Wednesday webinars at no cost. 

Webinars take place on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm PST through May, 2024!

We are looking for new-to-Wise presenters for our Wise Webinar series. We offer competitive compensation and are looking for speakers on topics including: assistive technology, augmented communication, job development tools, job coaching and/or fading, employment planning, universal design, community inclusion, mental health & employment, accessibility, accommodations and DEI.  If you are interested in presenting a Wise Webinar, please complete this Webinar Proposal form and we’ll reach out to you!

Upcoming Sessions

3/6: Learn From MY Story: Encouraging Self Advocacy, Advocacy, and Interdependence

Jeff Grace has worked at the Washington State DDA for almost 40 years in a variety of roles.  In the past five years, he has finally gotten a chance to tell his story of a man who both experiences a disability and supports others through his job. He has worked with Chuck Goodwin to help others with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities share their stories.  In this webinar, Jeff and Chuck will share what they have learned from individuals on promoting self advocacy & advocacy, the give and take of relationships, the importance of making contributions, Independence, and most importantly interdependence in achieving their dreams.


Presenters: Jeff Grace & Chuck Goodwin


3/13: Unlocking Support: The Mentor's Role in Co-Creating Natural Support at the Workplace

In this webinar, you will learn about how the use of an in-house mentor can enhance natural support and workplace inclusion. You will be introduced to recent research about what a mentor is and what mentors themselves report as positive, but also challenging, aspects of the role. The concept of Workplace Inclusion Competence will be presented, and you’ll gain insight into why it’s important for this competence to be developed at the organizational level and as collective learning processes within the company. The lecture will also highlight the positive consequences of transitioning from a formal collaboration between an employment specialist and an employer to instead embrace co-creation with a mentor.


Presenter: Tonje Sanden Sannes

Tonje Sannes has a master degree in international social work from Nord University, Norway. She has also studied sociology at UC Berkeley, California, and philosophy at the University of Oslo, Norway. After several years of working as an employment specialist, she now works at the intersection of research and the field of practice with research dissemination, courses and lectures. Through her job at the Work Research Institute at Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway, she develops and gives courses on inclusion skill competence and Supported Employment. She also works on assignment for the Norwegian Administration of Labour and Welfare. She has extensive experience in giving lectures in various arrangements, including at conferences such as the 12th European Conference on Supported Employment, EUSE, in Lisbon, Portugal, the 13th European Conference on Supported Employment, EUSE, in Amsterdam, Netherland, and the world conference on Supported Employment (WASE) in Vancouver, Canada, in 2023.

3/20: Embracing Neurodiversity: Implementing Supportive Strategies for an Inclusive Workspace

In this webinar, participants will gain a comprehensive overview of neurodiversity and explore practical strategies for fostering an inclusive work environment. The session will begin with an exploration of the concept of neurodiversity, highlighting the diverse range of neurocognitive differences present in the workplace. Attendees will also gain insights into effective methods for establishing an inclusive work culture that respects and supports neurodivergent individuals. Participants will also learn about effective strategies for creating an inclusive work environment that values and supports neurodivergent individuals. This will include communication techniques, accommodations, and best practices for promoting collaboration and productivity among all team members. The goal of this session is to empower attendees to have the knowledge and tools needed to champion neurodiversity in their own workplaces, creating environments where all individuals can thrive and contribute their unique talents and perspectives.


Presenter: Silvia Gil

Description: Silvia is standing in front of a green bush. She is wearing a black blazer and black and white shirt. She has long blonde curly hair and is smiling at the camera.

Silvia Gil, M.S.Ed is the president and founder of Neuro Consulting Solutions, she builds the practice out of her conviction that employers could create environments designed to promote the well-being and productivity of all by bringing evidence-based awareness and supports to an underserved population. Before training and consulting for C-suite executives and top Fortune 500 companies, Silvia began her career as a special education teacher, where she fostered her passion and honed her skills for building effective student support.

These skills were further developed through her time working in a non-profit focused on neurodivergent individuals and building out inclusive programming in local businesses. In addition she partners with JPMorgan Chase to expand financial literacy programs to the neurodivergent community. She received her Master’s degree in special education from Florida International University. Having worked with non-profits and individual families, to fortune 500 companies, and premier academic institutions, Silvia understands the benefits companies and communities stand to gain by accommodating and embracing the neurodiverse population.

Silvia takes great pride in being a devoted mother to an extraordinary animal-loving daughter on the spectrum. Driven by her professional and personal commitment, she aims to secure equal access and opportunities for all individuals with autism and related disabilities.

3/37: Zines as Self-Expression and Self-Advocacy

In this session we will have a brief introduction to the creative small publishing format known as a zine (pronounced zeen). We’ll discuss how zines can be a useful medium for presenting important information that may otherwise be difficult to discuss verbally. We’ll also look at a format for creating zines that does not require any special equipment to produce. The session will culminate in an activity during which participants may create their own mini-zines.


Presenter: Andrew Coltrin

Image Description: Andrew Coltrin, white male with graying hair and glasses, smiling in his home office.

Andrew Coltrin is a writer, comics artist, and disabilities advocate when he’s not at his day job as a paraeducator for a large urban school district. For decades Andrew thought he was just weird, anxious and unexplainably broken until the DSM finally had an update that caught up with him. He was diagnosed as autistic in his late thirties. Since then he’s written several small publications designed to make the terminology and experiences of neurodivergent people accessible to everyone. His most popular publication is a glossary zine called A is for Autistic. Andrew has also led staff trainings about neurodiversity and has spoken on panels at the Interdisciplinary Autism Research Festival (2021) and the Tucson Zine Fest (2023).

Interested in learning more?

For more information, please email [email protected]

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