DPW News

PolicyWorks Welcomes New Member

Nancy Wells is an advocate for individuals with disabilities in her profession, community, and her family. She is the parent of two adult daughters on the autism spectrum. Throughout their life, Mrs. Wells has worked to be an informed parent on the issues that are barriers and in contrast the goals that lead to a fulfilling, independent life for her children and others.

Once her children were grown, Mrs. Wells received her master’s in a dual degree program, Community Counseling/Marriage, and Family Therapy, from John Brown University. She became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 2010.

She is the owner of Nancy Wells Counseling, holds a specialty license in technology-assisted distance counseling and is a board-certified cognitive specialist. She has a general practice but works mainly with individuals with disabilities and their families.

AbleTalks, a non-profit serving autistic adults (21+) was created by Mrs. Wells is AbleTalks focuses on a triad of needs related to continuing education, mental health supports, and work/life maneuvering. The goal of AbleTalks is to allow individuals to become experts of their own lives. It is also free to its participants.

Mrs. Wells has served on the Arkansas Legislative Task for on Autism since 2015. She is a board member for Journey to Independence, a nonprofit that connects individuals with meaningful employment. She volunteers with the Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center, Arkansas Support Network, and Lifestyles, Inc. Mrs. Wells has lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas for over 40 years and consistently finds new opportunities for making new connections. She is also enjoying the recent move of both daughters back to the area.

A headshot of Nancy Wells. She is wearing a black and white striped shirt. She is smiling and looking at the camera.

DC Board Meeting

The PolicyWorks, Inc Board of Directors held their annual in-person Board meeting in Washington, D.C. on July 26. The Board and staff participated in a discussion about current activities and long-range planning for the future.

The primary discussion focused on strategic planning and goal setting for the next program year. PolicyWorks from across the country participated remotely, with principal staff on site. This an annual in-person meeting is a tradition that is truly valuable to PolicyWorks and its Board and staff.

A large group of people crowded around s table at a board meeting. Most people have lap tops open.

Rod Reed Elected as Vice President

Rod Reed was elected Vice President of the PolicyWorks Board of Directors on June 26, 2019, Rod is a resident of Vero Beach, Florida and has a rich background in finance and is an entrepreneur.

Rod serves on both the Administrative Team and the Program Development Committee. His focus is working to ensure the long-range stability of PolicyWorks by diversifying our funding bases.

A headshot of Rod Reed. He is wearing a black suit jacket, a red tie and a white shirt.

Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0

We had another exciting event at the Silicon Valley Computer History Museum. LinkedIn’s team was there presenting and taking pictures of the participants. We have excellent representation from the industry and we had great representation from the California Department of Rehabilitation.

A large group of people crowded around s table at LCA 2.0 workshop.

 This was the launch of the extended services which will include a six-month mentoring circle and an LCA 2.0 Online Gallery of information about our participants, products produced by our participants for employers and other participants to check out and other information that will be helpful to participants as they continue to build their resumes and portfolios and to develop products that highlight either skills. JD Michaels and Derek Shields are leading this new initiative.

A selfie of David and Steve.

WINTAC at Work

Our Peer Mentoring Pilot Project is growing. There are new states who are working with PolicyWorks to develop a state peer mentoring program include: Maine, Maryland, Virginia, General and Blind Agencies, Arkansas Blind, and General agencies, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Washington.

PolicyWorks’ staff are working to help each state develop their own unique program and we are tailoring the training to fit each state’s design needs.

LCA 2.0 Goes to Hollywood

LCA 2.0 Partners Tari Hartman Squire and Derek Shields hosted another fabulous event, this time at the Hollywood Film Academy. This event included partners with Exceptional Minds, Inclusion Films, California Department of Rehabilitation Services and a number of high-profile performers and studios.

Derek with a large group of people all siting around table.

Over 100 young people with disabilities of all types joined the 12-hour event and participated in the Summits activities. As always, these activities included panels featuring industry leaders, individuals interested in serving as mentors and other professionals. Barbara did her workshop on “Self-Disclosure” and “Using Your Disability as A Competitive Edge”.

There was an evening reception which included all the day’s participants and allowed for lively discussion and the development of connections. There will be five additional LCA 2.0 Summits across the country. New York City, NY; Silicon Valley, CA; San Diego, CA, and Hollywood, CA are a few places we’ll be traveling.