Oliver Lyons

Oliver Lyons, MA, Research Associate. His work focuses on increasing the effectiveness of employment consultants who work with individuals with IDD, and building capacity and supporting community rehabilitation providers with organizational transformation. He is a core member of the community life engagement (CLE) team at the Institute for Community Inclusion, having played a pivotal role in the development and testing of the Community Life Engagement Toolkit which aims to assist providers to improve the quality of their CLE services and has authored many briefs and articles related to the topic. Additionally, in collaboration with the National Center for College Students with Disabilities he has  coordinated the development of an online database of disability resources available at colleges nationwide. Oliver also has many years of experience with both quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods.

Using data-enabled performance feedback and guidance to assist employment consultants in their work with job seekers: An experimental study

The success of job seekers with disabilities in achieving their employment goals depends in large part on the quality of employment supports that they receive from employment consultants. This article describes a study testing the effectiveness of data-enabled performance feedback to assist employment consultants in implementing standards of effective employment supports.

Strengthening Employment Services for Job Seekers With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Download the brief here. Strengthening the effectiveness of employment services for job seekers with disabilities is key for improving their employment outcomes and their financial self-sufficiency. The purpose of this brief is to examine the quality of employment services available to job seekers with disabilities, and to offer recommendations for improvement. Findings are from a longitudinal study that involved 61 employment 37 employment programs in 17 states.

A Model of Employment Supports for Job Seekers with Intellectual Disabilities

Interviews with 16 employment consultants-triangulated with job seekers, family members, and supervisors-revealed a model of employment supports aligned with the elements described in the literature, although with an added emphasis on (a) building trust as a key element starting from day one; (b) a circular process converging on the job match; (c) and flexible intensity of supports.

LOQW: Using Staff Networks to Build Community Membership

LOQW (Learning Opportunities/Quality Works) is a community skills training, service coordination, and employment services provider in northeast Missouri. LOQW operates several satellite offices in addition to its main office in Monroe City, MO. One of these satellite offices is located in Hannibal, MO, a city with a population of less than 18,000. But being located in a small city does have its advantages. One advantage is that a majority of the Hannibal staff has lived there for their entire lives, and they have countless connections in the area.

Using Mobile Communication Technology at SEEC

SEEC (Seeking Equality, Empowerment, and Community) is a Maryland-based provider of employment, community living, and community development supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Because SEEC has no central facility, having ways to maintain contact between staff and management is paramount. From prepaid cell phones in 2005 to outfitting every staff member with a tablet or a laptop today, SEEC has embraced mobile communication since it started its conversion.

Essential Elements in Organizational Transformation: Findings From a Delphi Panel of Experts

The findings from Institute for Community Inclusion’s (ICI’s) Delphi Process on Organizational Transformation can guide providers as they work to transform their services. These findings support the prioritization of goals and the development of key action areas that have proven successful.
In this brief, we will:
1. share ten essential elements in organizational transformation ranked in their order of importance according to ICI’s Delphi process, and
2. offer a set of considerations to providers as they move their organizational transformation efforts forward.

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Who are Employment Consultants? Characteristics of the workforce that connects jobseekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities to employment

In 1987, the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston began a series of surveys aimed at providing a longitudinal description of the characteristics and service delivery provided by Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs)(Domin & Butterworth, 2012). Despite direct support staff comprising one of the nation’s largest labor market segments, there has been very little research into the wages and stability of that workforce (Bogenschutz, Hewitt, Nord, & Hepperlen, 2014).