This is the first in a series of Research to Practice briefs based on the FY2002-2003 National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. This brief presents findings on people with developmental disabilities in employment services and characteristics of the community rehabilitation organizations that provide those services.
Dana Scott Gilmore
Where do individuals with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (DD) work, and what types of jobs do they have? How many hours do they work, what do they earn, and who pays their wages? Do they have access to health care benefits and paid time off? This Research to Practice brief provides answers to those and other questions. It is the first in a series of brief products that present findings from the FY2004-2005 National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers Individual Employment Outcomes Survey funded by the U.S. Administration on Developmental Disabilities.
This fact sheet summarizes data on integrated employment (supported and competitive) and facility-based employment activities (sheltered workshops) from two national surveys of community rehabilitation providers (CRPs). These surveys were part of an ongoing national data collection project that addresses trends in day and employment services for people with disabilities.
In 2002 and 2003, the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) conducted a national survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) that was funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. The goal was to identify major trends in employment and non-work services for people with developmental disabilities. Since CRPs are key partners in implementing disability-related employment policy, including TWWIIA and WIA, researchers were interested in the extent to which organizations participated in these initiatives.
The proportion of individuals participating in non-work programs has grown noticeably over the past decade. Despite the push toward integrated employment for people with developmental disabilities in many states, non-work day programs continue to be a substantial component of the service mix. Butterworth et al. (1999: 23) suggest that "services are becoming increasingly individualized and differentiated... traditional service categories may not be sufficient to capture the full range of how individuals with developmental disabilities are spending their day."
Washington stakeholders report that the state’s focus on employment started in the late 1970s with values-based training based on the Program Analysis of Social Services (PASS-3) model.These workshops were widely attended over several years, and many of today’s key players in state and county services participated as leaders.
Employment for people with severe disabilities was legitimized in P.L. 99457. However, some states have made more progress than others in helping individuals with disabilities achieve successful employment outcomes. This is the first in a series of publications highlighting the findings from the case studies in three states--New Hampshire, Washington, and Colorado--that have been recognized as high performers in integrated employment.
Between 1988 and 1996, the number of individuals supported by state mental retardation/developmental disabilities (MR/DD) agencies who participated in some type of community employment increased by 200% (Butterworth, Gilmore, Kiernan, Schalock, 1999). Despite this increase, many agree that outcomes in community employment are in great need of improvement and vary widely among states. The purpose of this report is to highlight the successful practices of states that have been identified as "high-performers" in integrated employment for people served by state MR/DD agencies.
King County's program to employ people with disabilities in county jobs is an example of Washington's commitment to the use of innovative approaches to increase integrated employment. In 1989, a training resource funded by Washington State and the county Division of Developmental Disabilities, O'Neill and Associates, submitted a grant application to the Rehabilitation Services Administration to develop public sector jobs for people with developmental disabilities within the state.
The past twenty years have seen an increasing emphasis on community-based services and equal access to employment for all individuals, including those with the most significant disabilities. The question is, to what extent have changes in philosophy translated into changes for state agencies and the people they serve?