Employment Learning Community

The Employment Learning Community (ELC) assists states in improving systems and services to increase inclusive, competitive employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Major activities:

The ELC has three key components:

The Delphi panel has identified emerging and promising practices that inform the work of the ELC. Browse ELC products and webinars below. You can find ELC webinars here. You can browse the Delphi Panel Briefs here.

You can also download specific briefs by clicking on the following links:

Brief 1: Introduction, Values and Major Themes

Brief 2: Transition from School to Work

Brief 3: Collaboration Across Agencies

Brief 4: Education and Training for Job Seekers

Brief 5: Processes Within State Agencies

Brief 6: Generation and Use of Data and Evidence

Brief 7: Paths Toward Fair Wages

Two to three communities of practice are convened annually. Participants engage in time-limited but intensive work on issues that support their state-level systems-change efforts, and lead to the development of products that can be used by other states.

Communities of practice are open to any state that has an active consortium or coalition working to improve employment opportunities for individuals with IDD. These groups focus on topics such as employer engagement, funding and rate structures, and transition from high school to life in the community.

Five to ten states receive technical assistance to develop and support a state-level consortium that will assist in local employment systems change. Each state has an ELC liaison who will provide technical assistance to the consortium and facilitate peer learning across the project.

New states can join the ELC at any time. Current states are:

  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Washington DC

Project Partners

The ELC is led by the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, with funding from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Our project partners include the National Association of State Directors of Development Disabilities Services and Debra Luecking.

Project Team

Karen Flippo, Program Director
karen.flippo@umb.edu
617-287-4344

Jennifer Sulewski, Research Associate
jennifer.sulewski@umb.edu
617-287-4356

Cindy Thomas, Project Director
cindy.thomas@umb.edu
617-287-4312

Resources

Communities of Practice Webinars

The Employment Learning Community is funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Realizing Successful Transition, School to Careers

The discussion of this CoP concentrated on actions that positively influence the path from high to school to employment using Wisconsin and Tennessee as examples.  Debra Luecking facilitated the conversation with guest commentators Nancy Molfenter, Wisconsin Department of Education, Janet Shouse, Tennessee Works and Blake Shearer, Tennessee Department of Public Instruction.  The conversation included raising the expectations of families, partnering with schools and the importance of early work experiences for youth with IDD.

Delphi Panel Findings #7: Paths Toward Fair Wages

This is the seventh and final brief in our series on the findings from a Delphi process conducted by the Employment Learning Community in 2013–2014. More information on the Employment Learning Community and the Delphi process can be found in Brief #1 (Introduction, Values, and Overall Themes). This brief focuses on the final priority area for policy and practice change: creating paths toward fairer wages for individuals with IDD.

Read the brief here...

Delphi Panel Findings #6: Generation and Use of Data and Evidence

This is the sixth in a series of briefs on the findings from a Delphi process conducted by the Employment Learning Community in 2013–2014. More information on the Employment Learning Community and the Delphi process can be found in Brief #1 (Introduction, Values, and Overall Themes). This brief focuses on how data and evidence can support integrated employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). This was the fifth overarching theme among the Delphi panel’s recommendations.

Delphi Panel Findings #5: Processes Within State Agencies

This is the fifth in a series of briefs on the findings from a Delphi process conducted by the Employment Learning Community in 2013–2014. More information on the Employment Learning Community and the Delphi process can be found in Brief #1 (Introduction, Values, and Overall Themes). This brief focuses on the fourth priority area identified by the Delphi panel: improving policies and processes within state agencies related to employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Delphi Panel Findings #4: Education and Training for Job Seekers

This is the fourth in a series of briefs on the findings from a Delphi process conducted by the Employment Learning Community in 2013–2014. More information on the Employment Learning Community and the Delphi process can be found in Brief #1 (Introduction, Values, and Overall Themes). This brief focuses on the role of education and training for job seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), which was the third-ranked overarching priority among the Delphi panel members.

Delphi Panel Findings #3: Collaboration Across Agencies

This is the third in a series of briefs on the findings from a Delphi process conducted by the Employment Learning Community in 2013–2014. More information on the Employment Learning Community and the Delphi process can be found in Brief #1 (Introduction, Values, and Overall Themes). This brief focuses on the panel’s recommendations related to collaboration across state systems, which was the second-highest overarching priority identified by the Delphi panel for improving employment outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).