RRTC on Advancing Employment

This project is home to research, training, and outreach activities that promote employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Browse all our publications below, or click on the activities links under numbers 1–4.

We are funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research in the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The RRTC is a project of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Activities supported by the RRTC include:

(1) Choosing Work: Effective Knowledge Translation and Support for Individuals and Families

The goal of this line of research is to create a comprehensive information, outreach, and support framework for individuals and families that enables ready and timely access to information about employment throughout the lifespan. Research activities include a scoping literature review, online and in-person focus groups with individuals with IDD and their family members, and the development and testing of an intervention that promotes individual and family engagement in employment planning.

Contact: John Kramer (john.kramer@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

(2) Increasing the Effectiveness of Employment Consultants

This work will define a model for employment support that incorporates research, practice, job seeker support needs, organizational culture, and personal resources. Project partners and staff will implement an intervention to improve the quality of services provided by employment consultants through online training, data-based performance feedback, and facilitated peer-to-peer support.

Contact: Alberto Migliore (alberto.migliore@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

(3) Building Capacity and Supporting Organizational Transformation for Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs)

Project staff will develop a model framework and toolkit to support community rehabilitation providers in implementing an Employment First focus. The demonstration of an efficient, scalable strategy that enables CRPs to create change within their own organizations is a key feature of this research.

Contact: Jaimie Timmons (jaimie.timmons@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

(4) Policies and Practices of High-Performing State Employment Systems

This research strand will define the characteristics of a high-performing state system that promotes cross-agency and resource integration. The strand will also identify effective state practices and policies that lead to employment outcomes, and will and describe Employment First policy implementation and outcomes at both the national and state level.

Contact: Allison Hall (allison.hall@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

Project Team

John Butterworth, Principal Investigator: john.butterworth@umb.edu

Allison Hall, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director; Lead, Policy Strand: allison.hall@umb.edu

Cindy Thomas, Training and Technical Assistance Director: cindy.thomas@umb.edu

John Kramer, Lead, Individuals and Families Strand: john.kramer@umb.edu

Alberto Migliore, Lead, Employment Consultant Strand: alberto.migliore@umb.edu

Jaimie Timmons, Lead, Community Rehabilitation Provider Strand: Jaimie.timmons@umb.edu

Resources

Webinars

Organizational Transformation: From Workshops to Community Employment

Employment Support Professionals: Leaders for Change

Does All Mean All? Culturally Diverse Families and Access to Services

Financial Well-Being: Reframing the Conversation

Informed Choice and Employment First: What Does It Really Mean?

"44" SeriesOur webinar series takes a fresh look at issues and opportunities around employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). That’s why we call it "New Conversations About Integrated Employment." These webinars encourage creative thinking, and provoke reactions. Each conversation brings an original perspective to topics around IDD and employment. 

 

Publications

RRTC Fact Sheet

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Integrating Research, Training, and Knowledge Translation

Bringing Employment First to Scale: CRP Organizational Change

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Policy and State-level Strategies to Promote Employment

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Achieving Best Practice in Employment Supports

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Knowledge Translation for Individuals and Families

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Who are Employment Consultants? Characteristics of the workforce that connects jobseekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities to employment

The Truth Comes From Us: Supporting Workers with Developmental Disabilities

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Organizational Transformation: Guiding Principles for Community Providers

Project Partners

The Arc of the United States

Research and Training Center on Community living at the University of Minnesota

National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)

APSE (the Association of People Supporting Employment First)

44 Series - Ideal vs. Real

Access the recorded webinar here. Employment consultants are the backbone of direct service. Their efforts can bridge the gap between job seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and fulfilling jobs in the community. However, employment consultants' work isn't always given full recognition. And they face daily challenges. They must support job seekers, market agency services to employers, and balance job development tasks with administrative responsibilities.

How is guardianship status related to employment status for people with IDD? Findings from the National Core Indicators Adult Consumer Survey.

Read the brief here. This study examined data from a sample of 12,213 people with IDD who responded to the NCI Adult Consumer Survey in 2012–2013. The sample captures data from respondents in 26 states. The purpose of the study was to observe and describe different demographic characteristics among the respondents, and how those characteristics correlated to different outcomes. The findings of this study showed a correlation between legal guardianship and employment setting for individuals with IDD.

What is the relationship between gender and employment status for individuals with IDD? Findings from the National Core Indicators Adult Consumer Survey

Read the brief here. This study examined data from a sample of 12,213 people with IDD who responded to the NCI Adult Consumer Survey in 2012–2013. This sample captured data from 26 states. The purpose of the study was to observe and describe different demographic characteristics among the respondents, and how those characteristics correlate to different outcomes. Gender was one of the demographic categories included in the survey, and all respondents were categorized as male or female.

44 Series - Transformation to What? Getting Past the "Messy in the Middle" Stage

Watch the archive event here. Download the slides here. "All change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and so gorgeous at the end." -Robin Sharma

Have you and the individuals and families you support experienced this "messy" phase as your organization moves away from facility-based services to community employment? 

44 Series - Organizational Transformation: From Workshops to Community Employment II

Download the slides here. Watch the webinar here. This webinar was so popular, we decided to run it again! Provider agencies across the country are transitioning from segregated “sheltered” workshop options to supporting integrated community careers for people with disabilities. This process of organizational transformation can be both exciting and challenging for provider staff and the people they serve.

44 Series - Employment Support Professionals: Leaders for Change

Listen to the archived webinar here...Genni Sasnett, a human services consultant with extensive experience in disability employment, and Jill Eastman, an award-winning employment specialist at the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston, shared their perspectives about how employment support professionals can take a leadership role, and serve as civil rights change agents, while also empowering the people they serve to find fulfilling work and thr

44 Series - Does All Mean All? Culturally Diverse Families and Access to Services

Watch the archived webinar here...Researchers Judith Gross (University of Kansas) and Grace Francis (George Mason University) work intensively with Hispanic families in rural Kansas. They talked about the importance of engaging culturally and linguistically diverse families in services for their children with IDD. Judith and Grace discussed the barriers these families face, and offered strategies for professionals to help ensure full access to services.

44 Series - Financial Well-Being: Reframing the Conversation

Watch the archived webinar here. When looking for a new job, it’s logical to “do the math.” We consider what we need (food, housing, healthcare) and what we want (gym membership, car, vacation). We balance potential income against expenses. Finally, we evaluate whether a particular job will help us achieve our goals. Benefits can be a lifeline, but continuous reliance on them can limit people to a life in poverty.