This archived webinar from May, 2020 features the stories of self-advocates employed to conduct research on transition practices. These researchers shared how social distancing and the use of technology have affected their work and other parts of their lives, such as staying in touch with family, friends, and support staff.
As states focus on expanding integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and phase out sheltered work, they are finding a need to concurrently examine day services and supports that promote Community Life Engagement (CLE, see yellow box to the right for a detailed definition). These supports can be a wrap-around to ensure individuals’ engagement in the community is maintained and they continue to receive sufficient levels of support, despite fluctuations in job status and hours.
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 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.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a set of work incentives for Supplemental Security income (SSI) beneficiaries. Work incentive employment supports help SSI recipients go to work by minimizing the risk of losing their SSI or Medicaid benefits (Social Security Administration, 2018). One such incentive, the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS), allows approved individuals to set aside earned or unearned income and resources to achieve an employment goal.
The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) partnered with The Arc of the United States to identify ten elements of successful organizational transformation to competitive integrated employment. They asked four providers who successfully closed sheltered workshops to provide implementation strategies that they used according to each of the ten elements. Based on the information gathered from these providers, the attached brief will:
Download the report here. Access the latest information about employment and economic self-sufficiency for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Both national and state-level statistics are included.
This brief is the third in a series focusing on Employment First implementation as it relates to one of the seven elements within the High-Performing States in Integrated Employment model. As states undergo implementation of their policies, it is important to understand how state agencies have built employment knowledge and capacity.