TACE Presenter

Abby Cooper, President - Kennedy Douglas Consulting

Ms. Cooper designed and implemented the first community-based supported employment program in Washington State. She has also designed and administrated supported employment programs for individuals with chronic mental illness and individuals with multiple physical and cognitive disabilities. She designed and implemented training for parents and teachers of transition age students focusing on how to effectively use the adult service system in obtaining employment. She designed and implemented one of the seven RSA choice demonstration grants. As administrator of the Washington State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), she managed the Business Relations Team working with public and private employers, developed and managed the Division's systems, training criteria, and infrastructure for Ticket to Work. She started a unit that supervised, trained and supported seven benefits planners. She created training for the One–stops through out Washington State on understanding Work Incentives. She created Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for DVR customers using SSA reimbursement dollars. She currently is a full time consultant working on policies and issues to expand customized employment and individuals with disability to be economically self-sufficient. She served on Department of Labor's Think Tank on Customized employment.

She has published numerous articles ranging in topics from: Integrated Employment for people with severe physical disabilities, entrepreneurship and rehabilitation, the impact of informed choice on community providers, economic self-sufficiency and asset development for individuals with disabilities and the relationship of supported employment services on broader employment policy. Ms Cooper holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Management.