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Public Meeting Notice

Public Meeting Notice Subcommittee School Aged (14-22 year olds) Employment

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Posted: March 20, 2018 9:19 a.m.
  • Last Updated: July 12, 2018 11:45 p.m.


500 Harrison Avenue, 2nd Floor Conference Room 234, Boston, MA 02118

Overview of Subcommittee School Aged (14-22 year olds) Employment

Information on meeting for Subcommittee: School Aged (14-22 year olds) Employment

Meeting Minutes

14-22 years of age/Employment Sub-Committee Meeting

Present:  Toni Wolf (Co-Chair), Judith Ursitti (Co-Chair), Carolyn Kain, Amy Weinstock, Dianne Lescinskas, Lea Hill, Terri Farrell, Alana Green, Kevin Barrett, Glen Gabbard, Julia Landau, Kathleen Kelly, Ilyse Levine, Diane Campbell for Marisa McCarthy, Kellie Stigas for Michael Plansky, Jennifer Stewart, Greg Rosen and Margaret Van Gelder

Remote access:  Elana Aubrey, Michele Brait and Michael Weiner

Carolyn Kain stated that the meeting was subject to the Open Meeting Law and that the Sub-Committee members present would need to vote to approve the remote participation of some members because of their geographic location, whenever any members were utilizing video and/or tele-conferencing.  Remote access was approved unanimously by the subcommittee members present.   

The minutes from the 14-22/Employment meeting on January 24th were reviewed and Ms. Weinstock asked for one minor change to the minutes on page2.  The change was noted and with the change, the minutes were approved unanimously. 

Introduction of New Subcommittee Co-Chairs

Toni Wolf, Commissioner of MRC and Judith Ursitti, Director of State Government Affairs for Autism Speaks as the new Co-Chairs of this subcommittee led the discussion.  They discussed the large membership of this sub-committee and asked if there was active participation by all on the list - are there additional individuals that should be invited to join this committee?   The Co-Chairs will reach out to current subcommittee members and gage their continued interest and ability to actively participate.  Ms. Kain mentioned that she had recently reached out to the employer members (Pre-Et vendors) and they had responded that their absence recently was the result of time constraints.  Ms. Kain suggested that they still be involved when the topic of a meeting was primarily focused on employment.

Discussion of Sub-Committee Strategy for Next Six Months

The Chairs of this sub-committee discussed expectations and roles of the members and suggested a discussion on the purpose of the committee and what we are doing.    The members of the sub-committee had an opportunity to discuss the strategy for the next six months.  Ms. Landau read the language from the Autism Omnibus Law regarding this subcommittee.  The group then discussed the following issues;

  • Looking at current data to review the rise and prevalence of ASD in the past 30 years
  • The CDC is coming out with  a new report that includes data
  • Look at where individuals fall on the spectrum – that will help with looking at the types of support needed for employment
  • Break out the needs for individuals with ASD only and individuals with ASD and IDD
  • Employers will want to know and understand the skill set of ASD and how to support
  • We should look at both sides – Employers and Employees (in terms of training and support)
  • Look at 3 areas:  1. Data, 2. Review previous working group writing from the 2013 report, 3. Plan of Action  - what is our role in these 3 areas
  • The Autism Commission is looking to the sub-committees to come up with up to three (3) recommendations for their review by the September Autism Commission meeting
  • Look at what is working now for employment and ASD:  DELL, Brooks Pharmacy, HMEA and expand on what they are already doing
  • Resource Mapping – Developing an Inventory of what is out there now to support individuals with ASD in employment
  • Data will help us to do a gap analysis, best practices and next steps on how to close the gaps – we need numbers and trends of where people will be in 3-5 years
  • MRC ends employment support after 90 days – there is a need for ongoing support due to the unique challenges of ASD and the system wasn’t developed with these needs in mind
  • DDS provides more ongoing support
  • Many individuals struggle with college  - difficulties with residential life, academics, and social situations
  • Vocational training is also important – not everyone wants to go to college – more internship focus during school years
  • We should look at the Labor Market – what are the skill sets needed in today’s market
  • Being employable is just one sub-set of transition – there are other demensions such as health, quality of relationships, and being happy
  • DMH is changing some criteria and will likely service kids over 18  in their child service division
  • How has the Omnibus Law impacted employment
  • MRC is changing their Pre ETs program and will be collecting more data
  • Can 688 data be sorted by disability – Ms. Green from DESE will ask if 688 data can be sorted by disability without any privacy issues – the DESE data goes back to 2003 – it was asked if the data could also be broken down by socio-economic status?
  • DESE – what data is available on post- secondary students in college
  • Data on employment and unemployment rates for people with ASD – Drexel Report has some of that data and is state specific
  • Addressing linguistic and cultural barriers

It was suggested that this sub-committee break into smaller groups to work on these issues.  The two topics that emerged from the discussion were 1) Data and 2) Inventory of what exists in terms of employment opportunities.  The two groups were formed and members from this subcommittee volunteered to sit on one of the working groups.

Data Collection Group – Jennifer Stewart, Carolyn Kain, Amanda Green, Teri Farrell

Ms. Kain said that she had previously collected data from DESE, MRC, DDS and MassHealth.  That data is in the Autism Commission’s annual report.

Inventory of Employment Opportunities Group – Toni Wolf, Kathy Kelly, Ilyse Levine, Julia Landau, Judith Ursitti, Kellie Stigas and Amy Weinstock

  • The inventory group should reach out to ICI and David D’Arcangelo from Mass Office on Disability (MOD)

Ms. Kain will send the Transition Subcommittee Report from the 2013 Autism Commission Report to the members of this subcommittee.  It was also asked that Ms. Kain send out the Appendix with data from the most recent Autism Commission Report.

Ms. Ursitti would still like for this subcommittee to focus on training but feels it is important to first focus on employment.  She will put Training on the agenda at a later date. 


Ms. Ursitti asked about the timeline to come up with new recommendations for the Autism Commission to review and include in the next report.  Ms. Kain responded that the recent organizational memo that went out to the Commission members specified the timeline, and that because the commission meets quarterly and the Commission will need one meeting to review and discuss which recommendations it wanted to include in the annual report the sub-committees would need to have their recommendations ready for submission to the Autism Commission by its meeting in September.

The subcommittee agreed to cancel their meeting in May to allow the 2 new working groups to meet and work on their delegated priorities.  The meeting that was scheduled for June 20th was also cancelled because of scheduling conflicts, and Ilyse Levine will send out a doodle poll to the subcommittee members to schedule a new meeting date in June.

With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.


Tuesday April 24, 2018

  1. Introduction of new subcommittee co-chairs
  2. Discussion of subcommittee strategy for next six months
    • Membership of subcommittee and roles
    • Specific goals and related timelines
      • Training
      • Employment
      • Other