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Office of Disability Employment Policy

ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Integrated Employment Toolkit

  1. 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

    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.

    Read more about Policymakers
  5. 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.

  • Q&A: Researchers

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    1. What evidence indicates that individuals with disabilities want to work in community-based employment and are
    capable of doing so?
    Title Author Resource
    People's Situations and Perspectives Eight Years after Workshop Conversion Stephen T. Murphy, Patricia M. Rogan, Mary Handley, Charles Kincaid, and Joanna Royce-Davis pdf file PDF

    This study draws on interviews with 16 subjects who were involved with a service provider that had transitioned to community-based employment eight years previously. Individuals recount their initial reactions to entering community-based employment, the process of finding the right job to fit their interests and abilities, and the support or lack of support from provider staff. It ends with an analysis of the provider transition.

    Integrated Employment or Sheltered Workshops: Preferences of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Their Families, and Staff Alberto Migliore, David Mank, Teresa Grossi, and Patricia Rogan pdf file PDF

    This study examines the capacity and inclination of persons with disabilities to pursue community-based employment, according to the perceptions of workshop staff, families, and consumers themselves. It finds that the majority of respondents affirmed community-based employment as a positive outcome, provided the right supports are present.

    The Quest for Ordinary Lives: The Integrated Post-School Vocational Functioning of 50 Workers with Significant Disabilities Lou Brown, Betsy Shiraga, and Kim Kessler pdf file PDF

    This paper reports on the vocational paths taken by 50 adults with significant disabilities in Madison, Wisconsin. Their experiences can inform the job and social supports that schools, adult service providers, and families provide.

    2. What outcomes can be expected when individuals with disabilities leave facility-based programs and become competitively employed?
    Title Author Resource
    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.

    3. What is the impact of earning wages on benefits for individuals with disabilities? Do increased earnings do more harm
    than good to individuals with disabilities, i.e., are earnings offset by loss of benefits?
    Title Author Resource
    Labor Force Participation and Income of Individuals with Disabilities in Sheltered and Competitive Employment: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses of Seven States during the 1980s and 1990s Peter D. Blanck, Helen A. Schartz, Kevin M. Schartz, James Conroy, and Amanda Fullerton pdf file PDF

    This study compares outcomes for workers with disabilities in sheltered employment and integrated employment and for workers who have transitioned from the former to the latter. It finds that while only a few transition into integrated employment settings, when they do it resulted in substantial gains in earned income.

    Customized Employment Q&A: Addressing Concerns Related to Losing Social Security and Health Care Benefits Virginia Commonwealth University and the Institute for Community Inclusion pdf file PDF

    This fact sheet answers common questions about SSDI/SSI/CDB eligibility, how to maintain Medicaid and other benefit coverage when going to work, how and what to report to the SSA when you go to work, and work supports and incentives.

    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 is the relationship between funding mechanisms and service capacity, with regard to disability
    employment services?
    Title Author Resource
    Extended Employment Support: Analysis of Implementation and Funding Issues Michael West, Angela Johnson, Alicia Cone, Ana Hernandez, and Grant Revell pdf file PDF

    The study examines the provision of extended employment support for consumers in supported employment, particularly how it is shaped by vocational rehabilitation and non-vocational rehabilitation sources of funding.

    Outcomes-Based Funding for Vocational Services and Employment of People with Mental Health Conditions Lauren B. Gates, Suzanne W. Klein, Sheila H. Akabas, Robert Myers, Marian Schawager, and Jan Kaelin-Kee pdf file PDF

    This study examines outcomes from a performance-based contracting demonstration project in New York state during 2000 to 2002. It finds positive employment results are associated with outcomes-based funding and addresses possible causes.

    Training and Technical Assistance for Providers (T-TAP) Final Report Virginia Commonwealth University and the Institute for Community Inclusion pdf file PDF

    This report covers outcomes from the Training and Technical Assistance for Providers project of 2002-2007 in which 15 community employment agencies received support in evolving their programs to provide community-based employment. The impact of this project extends beyond those 15 agencies because of the materials and mentor and peer networks it produced.

    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.

    A Review of State-and Organizational Level Barriers and Strategies When Considering the Transition to an Integrated Employment Service Model Virginia Commonwealth University, Economic Systems and ICF International pdf file PDF

    This study investigates the issues and barriers that affect the transition of CRPs from facility-based employment programs to integrated employment services and identifies replicable strategies for addressing those issues and barriers at the state- or systems-level and at the organizational level.

    5. What are the evidence-based integrated employment practices?
    Title Author Resource
    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.

    Supported Employment Outcomes of a Randomized Controlled Trial of ACT and Clubhouse Models Cathaleene Macias, Charles F. Rodican, William A. Hargreaves, Danson R. Jones, Paul J. Barreira, and Qi Wang pdf file PDF

    This paper compares two approaches to delivering supported employment services - assertive community treatment (ACT) and the clubhouse model - on service engagement, retention, and employment outcomes.

    A Review of 21st Century Research into the Development of Supported Employment Programs: Major Findings, Debates, and Dilemmas Gerald Foeman pdf file PDF

    This paper is a literature review of research on supported employment for consumers with developmental and/or psychiatric disabilities; including implementation, wrap-around services, and impact.