Webinar: Inclusive Supported Employment (Law & Policy)

Year of Publication: 

This webinar is one of a series organised by North Dakota’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) and Nasjonalt kompetansemiljø om Utviklingshemming(NAKU). 

The topic for the webinar was International Law and Policy, specifically how it supports inclusive employment opportunities. It was facilitated by Brent Askvig, Professor of Special Education and Executive Director of Minot State University and Karl Elling Ellingsen, Director of NAKU.

It featured presentations from Rick Kane (CEO of Disability Employment Australia), Huw Davies (CEO of BASE), and Susie Rutkowski (Co-Director and Educational Specialist for Project SEARCH).

Rick Kane is the CEO for Disability Employment Australia, the professional organization representing, supporting and resourcing the disability employment sector throughout Australia.  He has worked in disability employment since 1996, beginning his career at the Salvation Army, moving on to be the Executive Officer at Workforce, and then working at WISE Employment for ten years as the Policy Advisor. Mr. Kane has seen multiple changes to the structure of disability employment, including the introduction of case-based funding, the adoption of different assessment models, and the program operate to a performance and compliance framework. Through it all, person-centered assistance, ongoing support and the Disability Service Standards have been integral to best practice and outcomes. His current work focus is government relations and policy development as it relates to best practices and continuous improvement increasing employment outcomes for people with disability in Australia. This includes engaging international perspectives. He represents the sector’s best practice in his work with government, disability advocates, employers and academics. 

Huw Davies is the chief executive of the BASE (British Association for Supported Employment), holding that position since 2008. He previously chaired the association from its formation in 2006 and chaired one of its predecessor associations, AfSE, from 2002 to 2006. He is one of the Vice-Presidents of the European Union of Supported Employment. Mr. Davies was previously the Regional Employment Team Coordinator for North West Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP). This strategic role supported the regional implementation of Government policy on mental health and employment. From 1993 to 2007, Huw was manager of Bury EST, a local authority supported employment agency that provided employment support for disabled jobseekers, care leavers, recovering drug misusers, minority ethnic communities and job retention projects.

Susie Rutkowski is the Co-Director and Educational Specialist for Project SEARCH, located at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. She is a nationally recognized transition expert with specific experience in program development in career technical education and job development for young adults with disabilities. She served as the Manager for Disability Education at Great Oaks Career Campuses for over twelve years. During that tenure she co-founded Project SEARCH, an international network of sites that seek to secure competitive employment for people with disabilities.