FCIC - Florida Center for Inclusive Communities
Program Areas: Employment, header graphic


Employee with disability looks at document with coworker.

The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) is providing leadership in a variety of local and national research, training, and program development efforts. The following staff leaders provide contributions to the field of employment: Tammy Smith and Brenda Clark.

FCIC offers a large array of training and technical assistance in order to build capacity around effective transition and customized employment within the state. The activities described below provides state of the art training and technical assistance to job seekers, families, community rehabilitation providers, school districts, and state agencies involved with employment supports, services, policy development and implementation for people with disabilities. The FCIC employment activities have strong collaborations with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Florida Department of Education/Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Agency for Persons with Disabilities and Social Security Administration.

For more information, contact Brenda Clark at 813-974-2581.

Programs & Activities

Alliance for Full Participation (AFP)

The Alliance for Full Participation was founded in 2003 by a consortium of national organizations in the developmental disability community. The Alliance came together to make the promise of integration, productivity, independence and quality of life a reality for all people with developmental disabilities. In 2009, they announced their new campaign, “Real Jobs – It’s Everybody’s Business,” and their goal of doubling the employment rate for people with developmental disabilities by 2015. For more information contact The Alliance for Full Participation.

Collaborative on Discovery & Innovation in Employment (CODIE)

CODIE is funded by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council to build the capacity of competitively selected school professionals and community action teams to use the Discovery process in supporting youth and adults with disabilities in achieving customized employment. CODIE trains county-based teams, provide technical assistance to teams as to the use the DPG process, and has developed learning collaborative to support teams in achieving optimal transition and employment outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD). CODIE staff members provide systematic training, mentoring, and ongoing technical assistance to ensure that teams can implement the Discovery process with fidelity to the values, procedures, and intent of the model. For more information, please contact Brenda Clark.


FYI Transition

School-to-Adult Life - career advice for students with disabilities who are getting ready to graduate, and information and resources for families, and transition professionals who support those who are getting ready to graduate.  This website portal is designed to provide information to guide decision making about a student’s transition from a Florida high school to post-school adult life. This site also features web courses, student learning games, family social networking, interactive animation, discussion board, success stories, student mini-courses, and frequently asked questions.

The Learning Academy at USF

The Learning Academy at the University of South Florida is a 30 week program designed to provide a structured employment-focused curriculum for individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, between the ages of 18-25 after they have graduated from high school. Participants engage in multiple career assessment activities to identify their strengths, skills, talents, interest and learn how they translate to work. Real life experiences and expectations through internships and peer mentoring complement the class work to provide generalization of skills and support personalized goals. For more information, please contact Susan Richmond.

Materials & Resources

FCIC Resources

FCIC Road Map, cover image

FCIC Transition Resource Information and Planning (TRIP) Sheets

Transition Resource Information and Planning (TRIP) sheets are the first of a series to provide students and their families belief that employment is possible for persons with developmental disabilities. These sheets specifically target middle school students so the students and their families can relate to the images and plain language. The sheets give some promising strategies for students and parents to learn as much as possible about the student. Planning guided by the student interest, preferences and priorities helps to identify careers that are the best match and focuses the students vision for possibilities of life after high school.


FCIC Road Map for Non Readers, cover image

FCIC Transition Resource Information and Planning (TRIP) Sheets — For Non-Readers

This companion document was designed to reach middle school students who are non-readers.


FCIC Family Guide image

Start Exploring for Tomorrow: A Family Guide for Vocational Planning

Active family involvement is important for preparing your child beginning at age 10 for life after high school. This Family Guide for Vocational Planning includes suggested activities that families can engage in to help children gain skills that will be beneficial in future paid jobs and for independent living. These activities support children to learn more about careers, improve skills related to goals, and better understand their own preference. The guide is rooted in the belief that all children have the ability to find jobs and careers that are not only within the scope of their abilities, but are aligned with their interest, preferences, and priorities which are principles and values of Discovery person centered planning process and customized employment planning. The guide also has a glossary of transition and supported employment terms, and listing of Florida and national resources for navigating transition and employment.

FCIC Fact Sheet cover image

FCIC Employment Programs and Resources

Interested in Employment? FCIC has a variety of resources to assist individuals with disabilities to find meaningful employment. Read about FCIC’s employment programs and resources by clicking on the link.


FCIC Fact Sheet cover image

FCIC Fact Sheet: The Discovery Process. A Path to Employment for All

This fact sheet provides information about cusomized employment, the Discovery process, and the components needed to make the process sucessful.

FCIC Fact Sheet cover image

FCIC Fact Sheet: Everyone Can Work! Customized Employment

This fact sheet provides information about customized employment as well as the resources available at FCIC's Center for Self-Employment and other projects.

FCIC Fact Sheet cover image

FCIC Fact Sheet: Inclusion Works for All

This fact sheet provides information about inclusion, self-determination, and the supports needed to ensure inclusion happens.

Florida Provider Network logo

Everybody Works, Everybody Wins!

The Florida Center for Inclusive Communities partnered with SSA's Florida Work Incentives Coordinator Marlene Ulisky to develop Everybody Works, Everybody Wins!, a flyer targeted to youth with disabilities and their families. The Florida Department of Education has request that Florida public schools distribute it to students via Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meetings.

Florida Provider Network logo

Florida Provider Network Archived Newsletters

Volume Highlight Article(s)

April 2010

Job Site Fading Why Job Coaches Find It Difficult to Leave Job Sites

February 2010

On-the-Job Skill Training of Workers with Disabilities

December 2009

Finding and Hiring Quality Staff for Employment and Transition Services

August 2009

Solving Problem Relationships for Workers with Disabilities

October 2009

The Employment Consultant’s Relationship  With Employers

May 2009

What Does It Take to Be an Employment Specialist?

March 2009

Situational Assessments:  Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

January 2009

Help Workers with Disabilities “Fit In” by Observing Workplace Culture

November 2008

Helping to Correct Supported Employee Performance Errors On-the-Job

Employment as Public Policy: Research Shows Large Support Employment Cost Advantages

September 2008

Job Analysis and Job Design

September 2007

Helping Job Seekers Prepare for Hiring Interviews

July 2007

Informing Strategies for Training Job-Related Tasks

May 2007

Disclosure of Disability in the Job Development Process

March 2007

On-the-Job Support Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

January 2007

Self-Determination and the Employment of People with Disabilities

November 2006

Assistance Not Assessment Getting at the Heart of Small Business Feasibility

July 2006

Study:  Hiring Yields Business Advantages

Customers Want Businesses to Hire People with Disabilities

May 2006

Informed Choice:  Supporting Decision-Making in Employment

March 2006

Career Planning-Building Solid Employment

Other Resources

 ICI's National Report on Employment Services and Outcomes 2011, cover

ICI's National Report on Employment Services and Outcomes 2011

ICI's National Report on Employment Services and Outcomes is now available. The book provides national and state level statistics spanning a twenty-year period. Its sources include several data sets that address the status of employment and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with ID/DD.

 ICI's National Report on Employment Services and Outcomes 2011, cover

Adversity Breeds Innovation (The Able Trust)

In Adversity Breeds Innovation, The Able Trust encourages employers to consider the benefits of hiring a person with a disability.

 ICI's National Report on Employment Services and Outcomes 2011, cover

Agency for Persons with Disabilities Providers’ Scorecard

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities has developed a Supported Employment scorecard that focuses on some of the most important indicators that help people with developmental disabilities get and retain jobs.

 ICI's National Report on Employment Services and Outcomes 2011, cover

Study of Employer Attitudes (The Able Trust)

In 2003 The Able Trust partnered with the Milbank Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation to conduct a study of business employers in Florida concerning their policies, practices, and attitudes related to hiring persons with disabilities.

Related Links

This page includes links to both internal (FCIC) and external (non-FCIC) websites. External links are selected and reviewed when the page is published. However, the FCIC is not responsible for the content of external websites. The FCIC website does not accept submissions or requests.

Florida Links

Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD)

The agency supports persons with developmental disabilities in living, learning, and working in their communities.  APS provides services to Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, Prader-Willi syndrome, and spina bifida.  APD also provides assistance in identifying the needs of people with developmental disabilities for supports and services.

APD Supported Employment Services: Review of Supported Employment Services offered through the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to their customers.

Department of Education, BEESS

The Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services administers programs for students with disabilities. Additionally, the bureau coordinates student services throughout the state and participates in multiple inter-agency efforts designed to strengthen the quality and variety of services available to students with special needs.

Disability Rights Florida

Disability Rights Florida is the designated protection and advocacy system for individuals with disabilities in the State of Florida. Their mission is to advance the quality of life, dignity, equality, self-determination, and freedom of choice of persons with disabilities through collaboration, education, advocacy, as well as legal and legislative strategies.

Students with Disabilities : School and Work: This site provides information and resources to assist students in special education and their supports to understand the IDEA federal law, how to apply it and when to apply it to most effectively assist the students with what skills they will need to live in the community and plan for how those skills will be acquired. There are many ideas, services and technologies for people with disabilities and planning can put them within reach.

Florida Alliance for Assistance Services and Technology FAAST

FAAST is a non-profit organization funded by the US Department of Education through the Assistive Technology Act of 2004, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), and the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Online Resource Library: Quick access to information on a wide range of assistive services – FAAST's online resource library. Employment Resources and Self‐Help Guide for Individuals with Disabilities

Florida APSE

APSE is the only national organization with an exclusive focus on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  APSE leads in the advancement of equitable employment for people with disabilities.

Florida Business Leadership Network (BLN)

The primary purpose of the Florida Business Leadership Network (FBLN) is to promote diversity policies that include people with disabilities and hiring practices that target candidates with disabilities. The FBLN serves as an information clearinghouse by providing employers with disability employment resources and local FBLN chapters with general information and networking opportunities for sharing best practices.

Florida Developmental Disabilities Council  (FDDC)

The Developmental Disabilities Council is a non -profit organization that receives federal assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Developmental Disabilities. The mission of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc., is to advocate and promote meaningful participation in all aspects of life for Floridians with developmental disabilities.

The Able Trust

Created by the Florida Legislature in 1990 (FS 413.615), the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, parent organization of The Able Trust, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public/private partnership. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities successful opportunities for employment.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that works with people who have physical or mental disabilities to prepare for, gain or retain employment. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers.

Supported Employment: Supported Employment is a unique employment service for individuals with the most significant disabilities who require ongoing support services to succeed in competitive employment.

School-to-Work Transition: The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’ school-to-work transition supports and services helps students enter training, continue education, and/or work after leaving high school and provides information about what transition services and supports offer, who provides the services, who is eligible for the services, and how to apply for the services.


National Links

Americans with Disabilities Act Information Line

The U.S. Department of Justice provides information about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) through a toll-free ADA Information Line. For general ADA information, answers to specific technical questions, free ADA materials, or information about filing a complaint, call 800-514-0301.

Earned Income Tax Credit: Connect your Social Network

Now it's easier to spread the word about the Earned Income Tax Credit. As IRS partners and tax preparers, you can share the latest EITC news and information with your social network.

Job Accommodation Network

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides free consulting services for individuals with physical or intellectual limitations that affect employment. Services include one-on-one consultation about job accommodation ideas, requesting and negotiating accommodations, and rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related laws.

Office of Disability Employment Policy

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership on disability employment policy by developing and influencing the use of evidence-based disability employment policies and practices, building collaborative partnerships, and delivering authoritative and credible data on employment of people with disabilities.


Employment Webinar Series

Join us on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 5:00pm – 6:00pm EST for an opportunity to participate in a series of webinars geared to build capacity on an array of employment related topics. The webinars are a tool used to share information and resources for self–advocates, family members, and other community partners to make informed choices and decisions about services, supports, policies, and best practices to ensure their requests and service provisions are based on individual goals and outcomes. The webinars are FREE and registration is not necessary to participate. Recent (2015) webinars are listed below.

A searchable archive of previous years presentations can be found HERE.


Coping with the Employment Process: Effective Relaxation and Stress Management Techniques

Join the webinar Presenter: Lydia Abrams, LCSW
Date: Sep 16, 2015 Duration: 51 min

Everyone experiences feelings of stress at times while in the workplace. Regardless of individual abilities, special needs, work responsibilities, personalities, or how long we have worked at a particular job – we all get stressed at various times throughout our career. How do we know when we are stressed and what can we do about it? Lydia Abrams will help attendees identify signs of stress, triggers of stress that can occur during various stages of the employment process, effective relaxation techniques, and will guide listeners in a relaxation exercise. Q&A welcome at the end of the presentation.

Navigating the Workplace with Invisible Disabilities

Presenter: Jaime Sagona and Kimberly Spire-Oh
Date: Aug 19, 2015 Duration: TBD

Individuals with invisible disabilities--such as epilepsy, anxiety, ADHD, Asperger's, and others--face a number of unique challenges in the realms of education, employment, housing, and accessing public services and businesses in the community. We will discuss some of these challenges and practical solutions for addressing them, while giving an overview of the laws that protect the rights of those with invisible disabilities. Some of the topics we will touch on include IEPs and 504 plans in the school setting; revealing disabilities and reasonable accommodations in the workplace; housing issues, such as assistance and comfort animals; and access issues at businesses and agencies. We will also have a segment for Q &A.

Essential Skills for Employment: Developing Soft Skills For Workplace Success

Join the webinarPresenter: Shari Wilson, M.Ed./C.A.S. Independent Living Coordinator Self-Reliance, Inc. Center for Independent Living
Date: June 17, 2015 Duration: 39 min

Many youth experience challenges as they transition from the classroom to the workplace. For youth with disabilities, who face higher unemployment rates than their peers without disabilities, often experience additional challenges as they transition to the workplace. The webinar will focus on a few behaviors that are keys to success in any workplace. The demonstration of these behaviors may help job seekers and employees overcome some of the challenges and open doors to employment possibilities. Therefore it is important that youth with disabilities are exposed to and experience how to demonstrate these expected workplace behaviors. The presenter will share tips on the importance of the following six “soft skills”: Communication, Teamwork Networking, Enthusiasm and attitude, Professionalism Problem solving/critical thinking skills. The presenter will also share effective strategies and tips to help job seekers gain more confidence and awareness about the impact of each area. Webinar attendees will learn how these six areas are also useful to help you succeed in education, job training, independent living, community participation, and, ultimately, in the workplace.

An Introduction to Florida’s Coordinated Transportation System

Join the webinarPresenter: John Irvine, Project Manager, Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged
Date: May 20, 2015 Duration: 50 min

The Commission is an independent state agency tasked by the Governor and Legislature to coordinate and provide transportation disadvantaged services for persons with disabilities, older adults, persons who are low income, and children-at-risk. Transportation disadvantaged services are available in all of Florida’s 67 counties. The webinar presentation and handouts, will explain how Florida’s Coordinated Transportation System works and how to access transportation services. The presenter will review the: history of the Commission, Local Coordinating Board, Designated Official Planning Agency, Purchasing Agencies, Community Transportation Coordinator, Transportation Operators, and Transportation Disadvantaged Riders.

Delta Airlines FCIC Presentation

Join the webinarPresenters: J.R. Harding, Ed.D, and David Martin, MEd. MA.
Date: April 15, 2015 Duration: 64 min

Description: Join Delta Air Lines Disability Advisory Board presenters David Martin and Dr. JR Harding for an entertaining and enlightening informational session about air travel for persons with disabilities. This presentation is intended to educate individuals with disabilities and their families about:

“The Travel Ribbon”: what to expect from the arrival at the curb to picking up your bags at your destination (and everything in between)

How to plan and prepare for air travel domestically and internationally

How Delta Air Lines is proactively taking care of and including their customers with disabilities in the air travel experience.

Delta’s goal and commitment is to providing a quality air travel experience for people with disabilities. Recognizing that air travel is a partnership, Delta wants to provide the tools necessary for a person with a disability to manage their own experience, and level the field so they can focus on why they are traveling.

The Highs and Lows of Everyday Life…Having a Child with Special Needs

Join the webinarPresenter: Staar Fields
Date: March 18, 2015 Duration: 45 min

Description: The presenter will give 10 of her best tips to keep it all together!  Staar Fields and her husband Quentin have a beautiful son Gabriel, who has recently been diagnosed with autism. He was born at 1lb 10oz, and is now 6 years old. Grace (Gabriel's twin) only lived for six days,” said Staar.  Staar states “The loss was of course devastating, but has become an inspiration to her because challenges come to make you stronger.” She further shares with others that, “You are not your circumstances, because the rest of your life can be the best of your life if you don't give up when it gets hard.”

She has spent the past 15 years as a motivational speaker and now running the Staar Fields Foundation which helps children with autism and special needs.  She currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida, is a full-time mother, works as a sales director with Mary Kay, Inc., and is a spokesperson for children with special needs and at risk teenage girls.

Staar has made hundreds of guest appearances including opening up for Yolanda Adams, The Legendary Manhattans, The Autism Speaks Walk for over 2500 people, The March of Dimes Walk for over 5,000 people, and most recently for the Governor of Florida at a Disabilities summit for over 10,000 attendees.

Self-Advocacy in the Workplace

Join the webinarPresenter: Richard Chapman, MA, Amanda Baker, BS and Amy Woodard, MSW
Date: February 18, 2015 Duration: 54 min

Description: Your voice matters in the workplace!  During this webinar, participants will learn answers to the following questions: What is Self-advocacy? Why self-advocacy in the workplace is important? From the unique perspective of a self-advocate and employment support consultant, participants will hear strategies self-advocates may use to identify their workplace goals, plan to advocate for support, accomplish their goals in the workplace. This is a webinar designed to ensure self-advocates are a part of the conversation and their issues and concerns are discussed. 

What’s Due? What’s New? – IRS Tax Season 2015

Join the webinarPresenter: Margaret O’Malley, IRS
Date: January 21, 2015 Duration: 61 min

Description: The presentation will provide an overview of the upcoming 2015 federal income tax filing season, including filing options and deadlines. It will also include a description of work-related tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Credit for Child and Dependent Care Expenses. Other tax items of interest to persons with disabilities will be explained. Two new provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision and the Premium Tax Credit, will also be discussed.


Job Devel. Modules

Man trying on many hats. Reads: What's your fit? Success comes in many sizes.Collaborative on Discovery and Innovation in Employment (CODIE): Training Modules in Customized Job Development

Provided by: Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC) & Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc. (FDDC)
Author: Dale DiLeo, Training Resource Network

These customized job development modules for individuals with developmental disabilities provide teachers, family members, support professionals, and individuals with disabilities with critical information on the following:

  • Identify potential jobs that are a match to the job seeker/employee.
  • Approach potential employers.
  • Help the employee be successful on the job.
  • Address the needs of both the job seeker and the employer.
Module Topics:
  1. Overview of Customized Employment and Discovery
  2. The Vocational Profile
  3. Developing the Plan for Customized Employment
  4. Developing a Job Portfolio
  5. Researching and Visiting Targeted Businesses
  6. Marketing Tools to Support Job Development
  7. Negotiating with Employers and Meeting the Job Seeker
  8. Job Analysis
  9. Ongoing Job Support

Coming Soon!
Teacher Inservice Credits

We will be offering teachers information about a follow-up activity that can be conducted after completing the modules to apply for inservice training credit.

Each module ranges from 15-25 minutes to complete. Many of the modules include a short quiz or learning check to help the participant reflect on what was learned.

Certificate of Completion available after successful completion of all modules.

Note: The modules must be completed in sequential order. Once you have completed all modules, you will be able to go back to review any of them again.

First Time Registration Instructions

You only need to register with our system once to access any of our FCIC online webinars and modules.

  1. Click on the link below.
  2. Create a log in (email address) and password. (Be sure to enter your email address correctly.)
  3. An automated confirmation email will be sent to your email, containing the login link used to view the modules.
  4. Add the email address admin@acrobat.com to your email safe-list.

Already Registered with Us?

Already registered with FCIC's online system? Click on the button below to log in.

DD Council These modules were sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.