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Office of Disability Employment Policy

ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Integrated Employment Toolkit

  1. Employers

    Employers
    Companies of all sizes benefit from having a skilled workforce that is adaptable to meet business needs. Targeted technical assistance, existing business models, and other relevant resources to support the hiring of people with disabilities are available to help employers modernize their workforce and tap into a broader range of human capital. This section includes basic information about the process and the resources available.

    Read more about Employers
  2. Community Employment Agencies

    Community Employment Agencies
    Community Employment Agencies are critical resources for assisting job seekers with disabilities find integrated, community-based employment opportunities that reflect the individuals' preferences, skills and abilities. Whether agencies are already using a community-based employment approach or are considering developing the increased capacity to do so, this section highlights issues to consider and provides practical, applicable resources to support effective service delivery.

    Read more about Community Employment Agencies
  3. Individuals & Family Members

    Individuals and Family Members
    Finding a job of your choice or starting your own business is an exciting step in building a successful, satisfying career. Collected here are resources to help individuals with disabilities and their family members evaluate employment options and advocate for the one that fits them best.

    Read more about Family Members — Adult Read more about Family Members — Youth
  4. Policymakers

    Policymakers
    Well-aligned public policies promote integrated, community-based employment among both providers and customers. Several states and the Federal government have already identified integrated employment as the optimal choice for employment for people with disabilities. This section includes materials, tools and resources to support effective disability employment policy.

  5. Researchers

    Researchers
    This section includes research about integrated, community-based employment for people with disabilities with a special focus on evidence-based practices for its implementation. Articles and papers address organizational capacity and individual, community, and economic outcomes.

    Read more about Researchers

  • Q&A: Policymakers

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    1. What innovative policies are being implemented at the Federal and/or state levels to facilitate integrated employment outcomes?
    Title Author Resource
    Washington State County Guidelines Washington State Division of Developmental Disabilities pdf file PDF

    These guidelines were developed by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities for counties in Washington State to support the inclusion of people with disabilities into their communities. They address inclusion in the areas of education, housing, transportation, employment, and community activities. Guidelines include specific roles and strategies for county board/staff, employers, children's services, infrastructure agencies, and others.

    Washington State Working Age Adult Policy Washington State Division of Developmental Disabilities pdf file PDF

    This policy establishes employment supports as the primary use of employment/day program funds for working age adults and guidelines for Case Resource Managers (CRM) and counties to follow when authorizing and offering services to working age adults. This document also contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions on implementation.

    Critical Strategies for Implementing Supported Employment Deborah R. Becker, Stephen R. Baker, Linda Carlson, Laura Flint, Ruth Howell, Shannon Lindsay, Michael Moore, Steven Reeder, and Robert E. Drake pdf file PDF

    This resource reviews the strategies used by six states (Connecticut, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon, South Carolina, and Vermont) and the District of Columbia in implementing supported employment for people with disabilities in state systems. It addresses system integration, local service collaboration, transforming existing vocational services, agency staff development, heightening the visibility of supported employment, benefits counseling, use of outcome-based supervision, and fidelity reviews.

    The Leadership Challenge: Effective Communication and Collaboration for Achieving Systems Change The National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center webcast Webcast

    This National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Virtual Leadership Institute webinar explains how to develop leadership among stakeholders, including state and county agency staff and self-advocacy and parent groups, for the systems change necessary for integrated employment, and keys to successful cross-sector collaboration that makes it work. (01:39:11)

    Customized Employment - Employers and Workers: Creating a Competitive Edge The National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center pdf file PDF

    This report reviews the outcomes and lessons learned from two Office of Disability Employment Policy demonstration projects operating between 2001 and 2006. In the first, the Customized Employment Grant Initiative, local Workforce Investment Boards (LWIB) worked to build the capacity of local One-Stop Centers to provide customized employment services to persons with disabilities. The Workforce Action Grant Initiative supported community providers in partnering with their local workforce development system and LWIB to use customized employment strategies to increase employment participation.

    2. What are some funding structures that promote integrated employment services?
    Title Author Resource
    Washington State Working Age Adult Policy The Washington Division of Developmental Disabilities pdf file PDF

    This policy establishes employment supports as the primary use of employment/day program funds for working age adults and guidelines for Case Resource Managers (CRM) and counties to follow when authorizing and offering services to working age adults. This document also contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions on implementation.

    Blending and Braiding Resources to Support the Employment of People with Disabilities The National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Leadership Center webcast Webcast

    This National Technical Assistance and Research (NTAR) Virtual Leadership Institute webinar defines "blending" and "braiding" as strategies to use available resources in more coordinated and flexible ways to support customized employment. It reviews sources of funding that can be accessed within the vocational rehabilitation-supported employment process and explains how the strategies are used in the state of Virginia. (audio only, 01:29:19)

    Funding Consumer-Directed Employment Outcomes Fact Sheet Grant Revell pdf file PDF

    This fact sheet explains how the funding sources used by service providers and individuals with disabilities can support or hinder Customized Employment practices, specifically those that are directed by the consumer. It lists key characteristics of customer-oriented funding policy and gives examples of successful initiatives in New Hampshire and Oklahoma.

    State Employment Practices Funding for Employment 2008 The State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) pdf file PDF

    This State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) report reviews developmental disability service systems in five states (Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee) that are leading the way in finding innovative ways to modify their employment funding design to achieve the intended outcomes.

    Q&A on Customized Employment: Funding of Community-Integrated Employment Outcomes Nancy Brooks-Lane and Grant Revell pdf file PDF

    This brief explains how the Cobb-Douglas Counties Community Services Boards in Georgia refocused their efforts on Customized Employment and funding.

    3. What outcomes can be expected when individuals with disabilities leave facility-based programs and become competitively employed?
    Title Author Resource
    2010 Washington Employment Report The Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WiSe) pdf file PDF

    This report reviews the first five years of outcomes of Washington state's Employment First policy in the areas of public sector employment, private sector employment, self-employment, and systems change.

    Self-Employment Q&A: Self-Employment as a Customized Employment Outcome Katherine Inge, Pam Targett, and Cary Griffin pdf file PDF

    This brief explains how self-employment can be a successful employment outcome for persons with disabilities, allowing them to pursue their goals and dreams while contributing to the economy. It also addresses financial resources to help with business start-up.

    Successful Customized Employment Placement Videos Connect-Ability globe URL

    These videos share the stories of people with disabilities who work in a wide range of professions, from biological laboratory technician to staff attorney at a legal clinic to trucking company owner. (Approximately 00:03:00 each)

    The Cost-Efficiency of Supported Employment Programs: A Literature Review Robert E. Cimera pdf file PDF

    This literature review offers support for Customized Employment as a worthwhile public investment, with the monetary benefits outweighing the costs for both workers and taxpayers.

    The National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers, FY2004-2005 Report 1: Employment Outcomes of People with Developmental Disabilities in Integrated Employment Heike Boeltzig, Dana S. Gilmore, and John Butterworth pdf file PDF

    This study examined outcomes for people with developmental disabilities joining the mainstream workforce. It finds that they received higher wages than their peers engaged in group employment, were more likely to receive paid time off, and held placements in a wider variety of industries.

    WorkWORLD Profile Cases Virginia Commonwealth University Employment Support Institute globe URL

    These case studies show how individuals can enter the workforce while still maintaining important benefits or end assistance altogether and still attain self-sufficiency. A range of subsidies is addressed.

    4. What resources and coalitions are designed to promote integrated employment for individuals with disabilities?
    Title Author Resource
    The National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services Web Site globe URL

    NASDDS exists to help state agencies to build person-centered systems of services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The association offers regulatory guidance, technical assistance, and networking opportunities for its members.

    Washington Initiative for Supported Employment "Innovative Projects" Web Site globe

    This Web site showcases a range of innovative projects being used in Washington state to more fully integrate persons with disabilities in the community, in housing, and in employment.

    Community Leadership for Employment First in Oregon: A Call to Action The Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WiSe) pdf file PDF

    This paper recommends strategies for implementing Employment First in the state of Oregon, building off the Employment First Summit held in September 2010 and subsequent regional stakeholder meetings. It addresses challenges and opportunities at the state, community, and individual and family levels.

    Employment First Wisconsin: Working to Insure the Full Array of Employment Options and Supports for All Citizens Wisconsin APSE pdf file PDF

    This paper by Wisconsin APSE (formerly the Association for Persons in Supported Employment) captures key successes and next steps shared at a series of facilitated group discussions held in eight locations around the state in 2009. Topics include consumer and family education, the transition from high school to integrated employment, training for employment support providers, transportation, and funding.

    Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) State Team Scorecard The Alliance for Full Participation pdf file PDF

    The Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) State Team Scorecard can be used to measure a state's progress in eleven areas necessary for strongly supporting integrated employment.

    WorkWORLD Benefit Planning Decision Support System: Assisting People With Disabilities To Find Earnings And Work Incentive Solutions To Low Income and Health Care Problems While Benefiting Taxpayers And Government Policy Implementers Mark L. Hill, David J. Ruth, P. David Banks, James L. Troxell, Robert M. Carlson, Michael J. Hine, and Simone W. Jones pdf file PDF

    This software helps consumers understand how the rules that govern work incentives and benefits apply to them and make an informed decision about the decision to get a job. This product can also help policymakers understand how certain rules result in disincentives for employment.

    State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) Brochure and Accomplishments Report, Membership Year 2009-2010 The State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) pdf file PDF

    The State Employment Leadership Network is a joint program of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services that supports state agencies working to improve employment outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Accomplishments Report summarizes progress in seventeen member states in 2009-2010 in areas such as waiver service definitions, Employment First policies and strategies, funding and rate methodology changes, and sharing data across state agencies.

    5. What is the "Employment First Initiative" and how is it promoting integrated employment?
    Title Author Resource
    Q&As on State Employment First Policies The State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) pdf file PDF

    This brief reviews what states that have established Employment First policies have done to implement those policies, what resources are provided on the state level, what challenges have been encountered, and what other states should consider as they move towards implementing an Employment First policy. It addresses the specific goals that these states have set for increasing integrated employment.

    Establishing a National Employment First Agenda Bob Niemiec, Don Lavin, and Laura A. Owens pdf file PDF

    This document includes a collection of resources, publications, and state policy documents concerning Employment First policy and implementation.

    State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) "Employment First" Resource List The State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) pdf file PDF

    This document includes a collection of resources, publications, and state policy documents concerning Employment First policy and implementation.

    Workers First The National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) pdf file PDF

    This article speaks to meaningful employment as part of a full life and how Employment First policies across the country are making community-based employment the standard for people with disabilities. It highlights key provisions in policies currently under consideration across the country.

    Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services 2009 Request for Responses - Qualification of Providers for Employment and Day Supports The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services pdf file PDF

    This Request for Responses reflects the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Employment First approach to employment when contracting with service providers. It lists acceptable service options for both supported employment and group day services while articulating that the latter should be time-limited.

    Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Employment First Policy The State of Massachusetts pdf file PDF

    The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services Employment First Policy, passed in 2010, establishes integrated, consumer-directed employment as the optimal goal for employment of persons with disabilities in the state. It also establishes community-based activities as the ideal setting for non-work hours.

    Overview of California Assembly Bill 287 on Employment First The State of California pdf file PDF

    This overview of the California legislation explains how the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) Employment First Committee would support the development of an Employment First policy for the state.

    Kansas Employment First Initiative Flyer The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitative Services pdf file PDF

    This one-page flyer explains the values behind and goals of the Kansas Employment First initiative, including the recommendations made by the task team for implementing Employment First in Kansas based on other states' experiences.