Our Ability Podcast: What is Your Dream Your Team

Our Ability Podcast
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Our Ability Podcast: What is Your Dream Your Team

Our Ability Podcast

Our Ability talks to the “Your Dream, Your Team” group! Yourdreamyourteam.com is a website designed to be used by anyone and everyone who cares about the education, career, and financial outcomes of young people who have disabilities. It shows job seekers with disabilities how to turn people they trust into a team that supports them along their career journey and puts them in charge. It has everything they need to manage their team, including recommendations on who to invite, what to talk about, and when to meet. It also provides tools that other members of the team (parents, teachers, case manager, bosses…) can use to help keep the team person-centered and focused on career outcomes.

The collaborative work group of the following organizations who created the Your Dream, Your Team website included staff from Change Impact, CDO Workforce, Hempstead Works, and Tompkins Workforce New York.  insight, guidance, and content came from an even longer list of amazing contributors from organizations like the New York State Department of Labor, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), New York State Office of Children and Family Services, New York State Commission for the Blind, New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, New York State Office of Mental Health, New York State Council on Children and Families, New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, and New York State Business Leadership Network. Full acknowledgements are available online–the list of people to thank is huge! It was funded 100% through a U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration grant. The total cost of the Disability Employment Initiative Round 8 program is 2.5 million dollars.
  • Alan Sessions is a Disability Resource Coordinator with the CDO Workforce New York providing employment and training services to youth with disabilities. Alan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Otsego Chamber. Alan worked for the NYS Department of Labor for 38 years and held a variety of positions including U.I. Claims Examiner, Labor Services Rep, and Business Services Rep. Since 2015 Alan has been working with youth who have stopped-out of college and is currently focusing his energies on facilitating young workers transition from unemployment to employment. He has expanded work experience sites in the healthcare and manufacturing industries.
  • Maria Lombardi is a Disability Resource Coordinator at HempsteadWorks. Her career with HempsteadWorks began as a Career Counselor. Her experience at DOOR as a Disability Resource Coordinator and Certified Work Incentives Practitioner began in 2014 working with adults with disabilities, and has now expanded to serving youth with disabilities ages 14 -24. Her mission and that of her team is to ensure that all participants are aware of the resources and support system that is available to help them reach their goals and achieve their dreams.

  • Kathy DeAngelo is a Certified Benefits and Work Incentives Planner for CDO Workforce in upstate New York, providing advocacy for Social Security beneficiaries who are seeking assistance to return to employment. She has worked in positions both at the Department of Social Services and at Otsego County Office of Employment and Training, cultivating a unique perspective leading to her nationally recognized success in the role of Disability Resource Coordinator and Sr. Employment & Training Counselor.

  • Grateful to whoever first said “advocrat,” Mary McLaughlin is currently a community nag/resource for universal accessibility and go-to person for goofy titles (on her resume, it says “Disability Resource Coordinator at Tompkins Workforce New York”). She has wanted to improve the human experience for decades but never saw this path coming.