Program Objectives |

  • Name the reasons that transgender and gender nonbinary individuals seek mental health services
  • Recall statistics surrounding suicide for transgender and gender nonbinary individuals and identify risk factors that affect these statistics
  • Interpret protective factors for transgender and gender nonbinary individuals regarding suicide
  • Translate the implications that risk factors and protective factors have for transgender and gender nonbinary individuals to services provided
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Summary of Presentation

Many transgender and gender nonbinary individuals are seeking services related to mental health concerns and/or transition services. There are various risks factors and statistics surrounding the concept of suicide with these individuals. Career assessment professionals should be familiar with transgender, gender nonbinary individuals, and the topic of suicide. The purpose of this webinar is to provide participants with further information on this important topic.

Dana M. Cea, pronouns she/her or they/them, is a volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a mental health professional, a survivor of suicide loss, and a current doctoral student at East Carolina University. She focuses her research on mental health and suicide, the LGBTQ+ community, youth, and autism spectrum disorder. Dana lives with mental health disorders, her spouse, and their three dogs. Contact her at



Trauma -informed Career Evaluation

Program Objectives |

This program is designed to provide participants with:

  • Learners will learn about the foundational ACEs Study and engage with the ACEs assessment.
  • Learners will identify the impacts of trauma on the brain.
  • Learners will select practices to implement a trauma-sensitive lens to their work.
  • Learners will increase their own self-awareness and how that plays a role on their relationships with those they evaluate.
  • Learners will be able to implement resiliency strategies in their work to promote individual growth for their clients.


Christina Eagle is a  transition coordinator for Arlington Public Schools at the Arlington Career Center.  She has her undergraduate degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities. She earned her first Master’s degree in Special Education with an Emphasis in Severe Disabilities. She has a second Master’s degree in Transition Services for Secondary Special Education at George Washington University. She has been teaching for the past 15 years. She has experiences at all levels of instruction, including  preschool, elementary, high school, and post-secondary levels. She is passionate about using data to plan for students’ futures, advocating for work based learning, and empowering students with self-determination skills. She implemented transition assessment in to Arlington County. Christina has experience working with students who have experienced trauma. She works with a trauma-sensitive lens to help students build plans for their futures and utilize their community resources.


Tools, Techniques, and Technologies for Bridging the Gap Across Transition

Program Objectives |

This program is designed to provide participants with:

  • An understanding of the strong value proposition for the hiring of youth with disabilities
  • An understanding of how to empower these youth with knowledge as they transition to work, training, or post-secondary educational opportunities
  • Knowledge of tools and techniques to support youth during the disclosure and accommodation processes
  • Knowledge of the JAN Workplace Accommodation Toolkit and Mobile Accommodation Solution technologies

Summary of Presentation

Empowering youth with disabilities with tools, techniques, and technologies ensures their successful transition to work, training, or post-secondary educational opportunities. Supporting these youth through this transition holds the promise of independence for their lifetime. Awaiting these youth is a new world of opportunity. Many businesses now understand the value proposition of hiring people with disabilities. This understanding has resulted in businesses having the policy, practices, and personnel in place to facilitate accommodation during the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes.

In this webcast, Louis Orslene, Associate Director of the Job Accommodation Network, will provide participants with the disability value proposition and a strategy for identifying businesses that are disability inclusive. Participants will also come away with an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of youth with disabilities during the transition period. This knowledge enables professionals to support youth to bridge the transition gap. Louis will also provide participants with tools, techniques, and technologies to empower youth with disabilities during transition.

Name: Lou Orslene

Contact Information: or 800-526-7234 Ext. 135

The Change Process Model and It’s Implications for Career Assessment and Vocational Evaluation Practice

Learning Objective:

As a result of this training, the participant will be able to:

  • identify the 5 stages of the change process model
  • identify the 10 change processes
  • determine appropriate strategies and vocational recommendations to engage consumers who are at each particular stage of change


What does the change process model have to do with vocational evaluation and career assessment?  In vocational evaluation and career assessment we assist individuals in making CHANGES in their lives by helping them determine a career path, training, and/or education. This session will help you gain the skills to determine your client’s readiness for change and adjust your assessment interventions and recommendations accordingly. Various members of the VECAP board have heard Sue Cooper speak and she comes highly recommended!


Susan T. Cooper has a Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from The George Washington University. She also completed coursework in the Master of Arts in Teaching program in Urban Education at John Carroll University. She is a Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Specialist at the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services, where she has worked for 25 years. Her caseload specialty is working with individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.

Making the Connections and Raising Expectations- Evaluating and Preparing for Innovative, STEM Employment

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to utilize methods to assess the interests, skills, and abilities of their clients.
  • Participants will be able to refer clients to an employer that matches their skills and interests for career exploration.
  • Participants will be able to identify their client’s barriers and challenges to workplace experiences.
  • Participants will be able to identify workplace accommodations for their clients.
  • Participants will be able to evaluate the goals and aspirations of their clients

Summary of Presentation

STEM careers – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – are the jobs of the future. As science and technology continue to expand into every facet of our lives, STEM fields represent a rapidly increasing percentage of US employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be more than 9 million STEM-related jobs by 2022.

How can youth with disabilities access careers in this rapidly growing field? Real-world exposure to exciting tech-driven industries! STEMSkills Summer Camp helps youth build a future in innovative STEM-related fields by providing hands-on skills development, workplace culture training, and career exposure in partnership with high-performing tech companies.

People with disabilities can access high-demand, higher wage STEM industries when we implement the right approaches and supports – to both career seeker and employer. Through partnership with businesses, provider agencies, universities, and Vocational Rehabilitation, we can elevate expectations and help set youth on a path to STEM success!


STEMSkills founder Eric Duer is on a mission to create lasting career opportunities for youth with disabilities by building partnerships with technology-forward, innovative companies. For the past 6 years, Eric has been developing experiences for diverse youth with a variety of abilities, helping them secure jobs, while at the same time understanding the needs of business owners. Eric is captivated with finding employment opportunities for young people in STEM-driven fields, and has been highly effective in helping youth develop relevant skills for the jobs of the future.

In addition to STEMSkills, Eric has worked for a leader in transition, Fairfax County Public Schools, as an Employment and Transition Representative. He holds a M.Ed. in Special Education Transition from George Washington University, a B.A. in Education from Concordia University-Portland, and a B.A. in History from the University of Oregon. Eric also owned and operated a small business with 10 employees for many years.