ThinkWork State-of-the-Science (SoS) 2017

Defining the employment research agenda

Welcome to our State-of–the Science webpage!

The RRTC on Advancing Employment for People with Intellectual/ Developmental Disabilities, housed at the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston, is convening a State-of-the-Science initiative. Towards that end, we are hosting a variety of listening sessions, both in-person and online, with multiple stakeholders, to share findings and gather feedback on what we know, what more we need to learn, and where we are headed.

Our partners in this initiative include The Arc U.S., Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, the University of Minnesota, and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS). This effort represents a deliberate attempt to involve multiple stakeholders in agenda-setting that will inform the course of future research and promote the knowledge translation that is necessary to move research findings into everyday practice.

Defining the Employment Research Agenda

This fall, we're sharing research about how to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities. And we want you to join the discussion. Join us for our kick-off webinar on Tuesday, August 29, at 3PM Eastern. You can register here.

SoS Themes and Working Papers

Our menu of events will be based on three themes that capture the essence of our work to advance employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Meaningful engagement and involvement of individuals and families


Provider staff and agency capacity to deliver quality services


State policy and practices to support above the efforts above

We are developing several different types of products that address these themes and frame the discussion as we move through this SoS initiative. These papers will evolve as we gather feedback throughout this process. Read accessible versions of the papers here:

  1. Engaging Families Accessible Version 

  2. Organizational capacity (focusing on community employment providers) 

  3. Policies of states that are good at helping people with IDD find jobs 

Follow the State of the Science using #TWSoS2017 on Twitter and Facebook


Allison Cohen Hall, Project Director, RRTC on Advancing Employment for Individuals with IDD

Delivering the most effective employment supports: Organizational design and capacity building

Download the brief here. This brief aims to share information learned from two studies: 1) interviews with employment consultants; and 2) a Delphi process to determine what characteristics are most critical for organizational transformation from facility-based to community-based integrated employment for people with IDD. The relationship between study findings will be explored and a relational model will be introduced.