Integrated Employment


In this fourth session of DC Advocacy Partners, participants will:

  • Be able to describe importance of employment both for individuals themselves and for the community.
  • Understand the vision and mission of Employment First Policy.
  • Be able to describe types of employment: competitive, supported, customized, sheltered, enclaves, entrepreneurial, volunteer, internships, apprenticeships, and virtual.
  • Be able to describe what natural supports are.
  • Be able to describe accommodations, adaptations, and assistive technology that can support employees.
  • Be able to conduct a discussion about the District’s budget process and proposed budget for disability programs.
  • Be able to construct public testimony and/or an elevator speech about the importance of employment for people with disabilities in DC. 

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Barbara Trader
Barb Trader is Executive Director of TASH, a progressive grassroots organization that advances inclusion and human rights of people with significant disabilities and support needs. Barb’s background is in recreation therapy, working in parks and recreation, public schools, and traumatic head and spinal cord injury rehabilitation. Her areas of expertise as a therapist are outdoor recreation, competitive sports, and connecting a-vocational interests to career choice. She has authored articles, book chapters, and launched national programs, and has served on the national leadership staff of VSA arts and Easter Seals.  

Mary Lou Meccariello
Mary Lou Meccariello, a native Washingtonian has more than 35 years of professional experience in the field of Disability, specializing in intellectual and developmental disabilities in the District of Columbia. As the current Executive Director of The Arc of the District of Columbia, Mrs. Meccariello oversees all operations of the 62 year old organization whose primary role is advocacy and supports to persons with disabilities and their families. She has played a key role in new program initiatives, service delivery, employer development and training, business development and legislative initiatives for persons with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities in the District of Columbia. 

Rebecca Salon
Rebecca S. Salon is a disability consultant, working locally on quality enhancement, employment and advocacy projects in DC and Maryland. She was previously the Director of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, where she worked for 20 years in positions that spanned all of its programs and projects. Rebecca has over 35 years of experience working with people with developmental disabilities of all ages, 25 of which have been in the District of Columbia.

Victoria Thomas
Victoria Thomas is a staff attorney at University Legal Services (ULS), the protection and advocacy program in the District of Columbia that represents and advocates on behalf of people with disabilities. The primary goal of her work is to ensure that DC residents with disabilities can access the services they need to live independently and can work, vote, and otherwise participate in the community. 

Partial List of Employment Organizations and Resources
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Employment articles from
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How to Development Natural Supports
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DDS Budget Overview
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From Awareness to Respect – by ADD Commissioner Sharon Lewis
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TASH Fact Sheet
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Who are they and what do they want? An essay on TASH
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TASH Membership Application
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Comparison Chart of Federal Investments
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Accses Position Paper: The Continuum of Approaches Necessary For Enhancing Employment Opportunities For Persons with The Most Significant Disabilities
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TASH Policy Statement on Sub-Minimum Wage
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There are 11 resources and activities listed in this homework assignment. For your homework assignment this month, select at least two of these to explore. You can of course select more, but the assignment is to explore and report back on two.
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Action Alert: Stop the Attack on the ADA! – ​April 24, 2012

Assistive Tech Expo – ​April 28, 2012
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HSC Pediatric Fair- ​June 9, 2012
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National Veterans Center Open House – May 10, 2012
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2012 ADD Technical Assistance Institute – June 19-20, 2012
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