Employment Services Coordinator, Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, University of South Florida
Ms. Benito is the coordinator of FCIC community supports and is mom to two transition age sons with autism, one in high school and one in community college. She has more than 15 years of experience in areas of transition, inclusion, post-secondary education individual support model; person centered planning, positive behavior supports, customized employment planning, service systems navigation, leadership, team building, and strategic planning. She is a board member of the Association for Positive Behavior Supports. Nila directed a 2010 Think College planning grant resulting in a consortium of more than 60 partners who worked together to develop a statewide strategic plan for inclusive PSE for individuals with IDD in Florida.
She frequently presents on implementing DPG at national and state conferences and web events. While Nila was a member of the FDDC (2000-2008), she played a key role in the coordination of the Florida's systems change Partner in Transition project. This project was the venue where customized employment was first introduced to Florida's interagency county teams. Nila was appointed as chairperson to Governor Jeb Bush's 2004 Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) on Inclusive Community Living, Lifelong Transition, and Employment of Persons with Developmental Disabilities. The task force proposed strategies to state policy makers that were designed to expand and improve competitive, integrated employment, transition services, and community living opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities through the provision of consumer-directed services and supports and enhanced community participation. APD, BEESS, and VR have since worked to implement several of the BRTF's transition and employment recommendations and continue to do so today.