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Bettering Lives in Long Beach

Long Beach Community of Practice Kickoff Event

Date: Monday, August 14th, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: The Pike Long Beach Hyatt at 285 Bay Street, Long Beach, CA 90802
Contact: Philip Kahn-Pauli, [email protected] or 240-483-4134

On Monday, August 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., we gathered a wide selection of local stakeholders in order to learn about the challenges facing people with disabilities in Long Beach. We met at the Pike Long Beach Hyatt at 285 Bay Street, Long Beach, CA 90802. This was a FREE event and refreshments will be provided.

This was the first of a series of meetings to recruit and empower local leaders to advance new opportunities for education, training, and employment in the community.

Why is this important?

There are more than 46,000 working age adults with disabilities living in Long Beach itself, but only 9,000 have jobs. Likewise, each year more than 600 students with disabilities leave the Long Beach Unified School District. These young people face serious challenges entering the workforce, furthering their education and becoming independent. That may seem like big challenges, but there are even bigger opportunities to succeed.

Why should you attend?

This is the first meeting of what we hope will become a transformative group of engaged local leaders. This meeting is the start of a new process for supporting and empowering people with disabilities in Long Beach. This meeting is the chance to get in on the ground floor. You don’t even have to stay for the whole day. You can come and go as needed, depending on your schedule. 

How will this support my own work?

This day-long event is designed to convene local leaders and build new personal and professional connections. Far too often there are huge gaps between the private, public and nonprofit sectors. As such, our invitation list ranges from the Mayor’ Office to leading local businesses, from educators to community service providers. Most important of all, we want local self-advocates sharing their stories! 

What’s on the agenda for the meeting?

There are four key topics on tap for our discussion on Monday, August 14.

  • 9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Breakfast and Professional Networking
  • 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Getting To Know You! Personal Introductions
  • 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Early Intervention and Diagnosis for Children with Disabilities
    • Identifying disabilities and supporting children early on in life is essential to improve long-term outcomes.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Networking Break
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – School to Work Transitions
    • Lunch will be served during this session. There are a lot of programs and successful models for empowering youth with various disabilities to find a job, become independent and further their education.
  • 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Networking Break
  • 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Public/Private Partnerships
    • We will talk about how public and private leaders can collaborate to open more jobs to qualified people with disabilities.
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Employer Engagement
    • We will talk about how we ca persuade local businesses that hiring people with disabilities is good for their bottom line.

Do you need any accommodations?

We want this to be an inclusive event, open to all who are interested in connecting, sharing and learning. If you have an accommodation request or need further support to attend, please contact us immediately!

What’s next after this?

How often have we gone to big meetings where nothing really changed afterward? We do not want that to happen and so we want find local folks who are really passionate about these issues. Everyone who gets involved with this project will have the chance to sign up for a issue specific working group where we can debate key ideas, learn from each other and start talking next steps to move this process forward.

What if you can’t attend or you have a scheduling conflict?

Not a problem at all! If you have a scheduling conflict, let us know! We would happy to invite you to our next event. Better yet, tell a friend! Do you have a friend or a colleague who would be interested in participating? Please share this email with them and tell them to check out our project website at

Would you like to know more?

If have more detailed questions about the event, please contact Philip Pauli at [email protected] or 240-483-4134. We cannot wait to start collaborating!

Meet the Author

Philip Pauli

Philip Kahn-Pauli is the Policy and Practices Director of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. He works with state leaders to develop solutions for youth with disabilities, support job seekers with disabilities and open pathways into the workforce. To reach him, email [email protected]

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