Working in the Community: The Status and Outcomes of People with IDD in Integrated Employment - an Update

Employment is a critical need for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The recognition of the pivotal role that work can play in the lives of people with IDD is driving many state developmental disabilities agencies to adopt "Employment First" policies that prioritize employment in integrated settings as the preferred day service alternative. The need for this policy shift is clear. While few policymakers, providers, families or advocates fail to recognize the benefits of employment for people with ID/DD, the outcomes have been difficult to achieve. Rates of integrated employment among people with ID/DD receiving services are low and have remained essentially unchanged for the past ten years. Fortunately, the need to improve employment outcomes among people with disabilities receiving public support is being recognized by state and federal policymakers. Systems change efforts are underway in 25 states to address this issue through participation in the State Employment Leadership Network, a collaborative community of practice assisting state developmental disabilities agencies in changing their systems to improve employment outcomes.


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