Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Employment Regional Symposiums: Opening the Door to Employment for People with Disabilities

Opening the Door to Employment for People with Disabilities

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is inviting leadership professionals from: Administrative Entities (AEs), Support Coordination Organizations (SCOs), Providers of Supported Employment Services and Day Habilitation, and Providers of Community Participation Support (CPS) to attend a 1-day Employment Symposium. These Symposiums will be held regionally across the Commonwealth on April 25, May 4, and May 12 from 10 AM to 3 PM, with a boxed lunch provided.

The goals of the Regional Employment Symposium are to:

  1. Provide a platform for networking, information/resource sharing and best practices for employer engagement.
  2. Identify strategies for engaging employers on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities using a dual-customer approach.
  3. Initiate an improvement process by creating goals and best practices to reach and increase employment rates for people with disabilities.


10:00 AM – 10:30 AM       Opening Remarks by Kristin Ahrens, ODP Deputy Secretary, and Ryan Hyde, Executive Director for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM       Panel discussion featuring an individual from that region with lived employment experience along with their support team that got them to competitive integrated employment

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM       Small group discussions to network, share experiences of engaging in community integrated employment, resources, and tools

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM          Lunch

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM            Keynote address: Cultivating Relationships with Employers by Stephen Martynuska. Stephen is a Consultant from Sheetz Inc.

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM            Small group discussion with the opportunity to report out to the larger group on takeaways from the day as well as sharing resources and tools for engaging employers.

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM            Closing remarks/wrap-up by Kristin Ahrens and Ryan Hyde 

Please register for the location nearest you. Only register for one session. You must complete a Demographics Form before selecting the session you wish to attend. Please identify any dietary restrictions or allergies on your Demographics Form. Also please indicate if you need accommodation(s) as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Reasonable efforts will be made to meet the need.

DateVenueRegistration Closes
April 25,2023
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
PaTTAN Central
6340 Flank Road
Harrisburg, PA 17112
April 18, 2023
May 4, 2023
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
PaTTAN West 
3190 William Pitt Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
April 28, 2023
May 12, 2023
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Bucks County Community College
275 Swamp Road
Newtown, PA 18940
May 6, 2023

Click here To register.

There is a limited number of seats at each location, and they will be filled on a first come, first served basis. In addition to your initial registration confirmation, you will receive an email with specific instructions about the location of the symposium one week prior to your scheduled event. As a reminder please be respectful of others, if you are not feeling well the day of the event, do not attend. Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask and maintain respectful distance from others so that everyone can participate and feel comfortable.

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