Service Provider Promising Practices

Given the national landscape and the emphasis on community employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD), this webpage focuses on service providers engaged in practices that reflect individual integrated employment as a priority outcome. By spreading the word about these promising practices, we hope to maximize the capacity of providers to present integrated employment as the preferred option for their customers.

We are always looking for new provider promising practices! If you know of innovative initiatives, strategies, or activities occurring at a provider near you, and you would like to nominate a practice, please contact: Dowload our Service Provider Promising Practices brochure here.

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Below are all of our Service Provider Promising Practices for browsing. You can also find specific themes by clicking on these links:

  • Agency Culture - A shared philosophical belief that integrated employment should be the preferred outcome and that opportunities for employment should be available to everyone interested in working.

  • Services and service innovation - Optimum use of the resources available to encourage creative employment support strategies; openness to risk-taking and the organizational flexibility to take action when innovation emerges.

  • Customer focus and engagement - A consistent emphasis on the needs of customers including individuals, families, schools, employers and other community partners.

  • Communication of goals and expectations - Practices that exemplify shared, multi-level, multi-stakeholder communication as the norm, as well as timely and appropriate communication of core organizational values and message.

  • Partnerships and collaboration - Emphasis on multi-stakeholder relationships and outreach.

  • Employment performance measurement - Collection and use of data as a strategic planning tool and for self-assessment to further goals, monitor success and implement changes.

  • Staff Qualifications and Knowledge - Staff training and opportunities for professional development in evidence-based job placement strategies, up-to-date knowledge of local employment and disability resources, service innovations, employment programs and legislation.

  • Community Life Engagement - how providers support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to access and participate in their communities outside of employment as part of a meaningful day. 

  • Strategic goals and operating procedures - Policies and goals that clearly communicate expansion of integrated employment as a priority.

Opportunity Over Adversity: How MRCI Transformed to Individualized, Community-based Supports During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A Minnesota-based provider, MRCI, implemented a five-year plan in 2017 to transform itself from providing facility-based day and employment services to community-based supports. This brief covers how in March 2020 MRCI used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to modify and accelerate their transformation efforts.

Leveraging Natural Supports for Essential Workers During COVID-19 (Massachusetts)

This promising practice outlines how the Institute for Community Inclusion’s Employment Services Team (EST) has been able to leverage natural supports for essential workers during the Covid-19 outbreak. The EST’s core strategy of cultivating of natural supports at the time of job placement has enabled staff to continue to easily provide any necessary supplemental support remotely.

Penn-Mar Human Services: Creating their “2020 Strategic Plan”

At the beginning of the transformation process, Penn-Mar recognized the importance of robust strategic planning to understand what the organization needed to do differently to transform. Therefore, Penn-Mar created the 2020 Strategic Plan, a 5-year plan to help focus the organization, and to strategize about how to achieve their objectives. The 2020 Strategic Plan outlines Penn-Mar’s goal to close its

Work Inc.: Developing a Community Liaison Program to Address Holistic Needs

Leadership at Work Inc., a provider in the Boston area, thought about the holistic approach to providing individual supports even before their agency’s transformation began. Work Inc. designed its community liaisons program to have three components: volunteerism, with the intention of identifying employment opportunities and contributing to the community; recreation, “because everyone wants to have fun”; and instruction, with a focus on skill-building and identifying interests and talents. In designing and implementing the program, Work Inc.

Arc of Westchester: Annual Employer Appreciation Breakfast

The Arc of Westchester was established in in New York State in 1949 as a day school for children with developmental disabilities. It has since grown to over 800 hundred employees serving over 2000 individuals throughout Westchester county supporting children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization’s vision is a world where the population that they serve enjoy fulfilled lives and an inspired future while the mission focuses on strengthening families and encouraging personal choices, abilities and interests.

The Arc of Westchester: Creative Partnership with Mercy College

The Arc of Westchester benefits from an agency culture that values innovative partnerships. In fact, an agency leader explained that the organization “will work with anybody who is willing to sit and talk.” This collaborative spirit led to a creative endeavor with Mercy College, a four-year school offering degrees in Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Health and Natural Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Within Health and Natural Sciences are departments such as nursing, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and nutrition.