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Office of Disability Employment Policy

ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Integrated Employment Toolkit

Research Support for State of Washington's Pursuit of Integrated Employment

Integrated Employment - Shared Advantages

Washington provides a notable example of a state that has which has adopted policy and promoted practice that advance integrated employment options for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. There is considerable research that supports the direction Washington has taken.

Individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities benefit from integrated employment

— Cimera (2010) found that supported employment is cost-efficient from the workers' perspective. Individuals receiving supported employment services from state vocational rehabilitation agencies realized, on average, a net monthly gain of $475 when they became employed.

Families support integrated employment as an outcome for family members with disabilities

— Migliore et. al. (2007) report that the majority of individuals with disabilities and their families prefer integrated employment to segregated employment. Further, 82 percent of the individuals in segregated employment surveyed believe they can perform tasks in a community employment setting given the appropriate supports.

Community Employment Agencies Can Increase Integrated Employment Capacity

— Evidence abounds that community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) can and do transition from predominantly segregated services to predominantly (and sometimes fully) community-integrated services for clients across the range of disabilities (i.e., Becker et al., 2001; Brooks-Lane, Hutcheson, & Revell, 2005; Fesko & Butterworth, 2001; Murphy & Rogan, 1995; Oldman et al., 2005)

Employers Embrace It

— Luecking, et al. (2006) report that employers are not only willing to customize job assignments as an accommodation for workers with significant disabilities, but also find distinct benefit to their operations benefit when doing so.

Washington leads the way

— Compared to all other states, individuals receiving supported employment services in Washington experience the highest earnings relative to lost disability and support benefits (Cimera, 2010).


Brooks-Lane, N., Hutcheson, S., and Revell, G. (2005) Supporting consumer directed employment outcomes, Journal of Vocational
, 23(2) (2005), 123-134.

Cimera, R. (2010). The national cost-efficiency of supported employees with intellectual disabilities: The worker's perspective. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 33, 123-131.

Fesko, S. and Butterworth, J. (2001) Conversion to Integrated Employment: Case Studies of Organizational Change. Boston MA: Institute for Community Inclusion Children's Hospital University Massachusetts Boston.

Luecking, R., Cuozzo, L. & Buchanan, L. (2006). Demand-side workforce needs and the potential for job customization, Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling 37, 5-13.

Migliori, A, Mank, D., Grossi, T. and Rogan, P. (2007). Integrated employment or sheltered workshops: Preferences of adults with intellectual disabilities, their families, and staff, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 26, 5-19.

Murphy, S. and Rogan P. (1995). Closing the Shop: Conversion from Sheltered to Integrated work. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Oldman, J., Thomson, L. Calsaferri, K., KimL. and Bond, G. (2005). A case report of the conversion of sheltered employment to evidence-based supported employment in Canada, Psychiatric Services , 56, 1436-1440.