Individual control over service delivery and life choices is well established as a value in supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. One policy-based strategy for expanding individual control is the use of mechanisms that provide for consumer direction of funding resources. This manuscript reports on the prevalence of consumer-directed funding for day and employment services, and the mechanisms that states are using to implement consumer-directed funding.
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.
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."
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.
Originally published 5/2003