Dr. James Williams

Dr. James Williams is the National Pre-ETS and Chief Operating Officer at Bloom Consulting in Austin. TX. He is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Advanced Certified Autism Specialist, and an Adjunct Professor of Education at St. Edward’s University, George Mason University, and Northwestern College.
He obtained his Bachelor’s in Special Education from Sam Houston State University, his Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and his Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. He is also a certified Special Education Teacher with experience in public and private education and social services. Dr. Williams has provided services to individuals with disabilities, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders, across the lifespan for the past 14
years. He continues to use his professional and personal experience with Autism as a catalyst to inspire and educate others to believe in the incredible possibilities for adults and children with disabilities when they receive the appropriate support and accommodations.

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Collaborative Pre-Employment Transition Services for Students with Autism: Practices and Partnerships

9:10 a.m. - 10:25 a.m.


Using a collaborative and solution-focused approach, the presenters will focus on innovative practices which may be used by educators and administrators to build Pre-ETS program partnerships & amp; services through collaboration with providers, employers, and vocational rehabilitation agencies designed to meet the unique needs of students with Autism. All five Pre-ETS domains will be covered including Career Exploration, Work-Based Learning, Counseling on Post- Secondary Training, Work Readiness, and Self-Advocacy for 14-22-year-old students with disabilities. This information will be infused with the lead presenter’s unique professional and personal experience with Autism and his work in the fields of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. In addition, they will include examples of past, current, and future Pre-ETS partnerships they have created and how similar programs can be replicated throughout Texas.

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Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid During Post-Secondary Transition Planning/Evaluation

1:40 p.m. - 2:55 pm

Using an engaging and transparent style, the presenters will discuss how to identify, understand, and avoid the top ten mistakes made during post-secondary transition planning and evaluation based upon research and practitioner experience. Domains to be considered include post-secondary employment, education, and independent living for students with and without disabilities. This information will be infused with the lead presenter’s unique professional and personal experience with Autism Spectrum Disorder and his work in the fields of Special Education, Educational Leadership, Rehabilitation Counseling, Vocational Evaluation, and Supported Employment. The presenters will provide attendees with concise information, strategies, and suggestions designed to facilitate an understanding of the essential components of high-quality transition planning/evaluation regardless of their academic, intellectual, social, or behavioral functioning. In addition, they will include actual case studies, vocational evaluation tools, and situations faced when evaluating and serving transition age students in their practice. In contrast to the top ten mistakes, they will emphasize the best practice to use to make sure the student is meaningfully involved and at the center of the process. Lastly, in connection to the top ten mistakes made, the findings and recommendations of the lead presenter’s dissertation, which focused on understanding the relationship between successful employment outcomes and parent demographics, behaviors, and expectations, will be discussed.

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