RRTC on Advancing Employment

This project is home to research, training, and outreach activities that promote employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Browse all our publications below, or click on the activities links under numbers 1–4.

We are funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research in the Administration for Community Living in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The RRTC is a project of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Activities supported by the RRTC include:

(1) Choosing Work: Effective Knowledge Translation and Support for Individuals and Families

The goal of this line of research is to create a comprehensive information, outreach, and support framework for individuals and families that enables ready and timely access to information about employment throughout the lifespan. Research activities include a scoping literature review, online and in-person focus groups with individuals with IDD and their family members, and the development and testing of an intervention that promotes individual and family engagement in employment planning.

Contact: John Kramer (john.kramer@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

(2) Increasing the Effectiveness of Employment Consultants

This work will define a model for employment support that incorporates research, practice, job seeker support needs, organizational culture, and personal resources. Project partners and staff will implement an intervention to improve the quality of services provided by employment consultants through online training, data-based performance feedback, and facilitated peer-to-peer support.

Contact: Alberto Migliore (alberto.migliore@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

(3) Building Capacity and Supporting Organizational Transformation for Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs)

Project staff will develop a model framework and toolkit to support community rehabilitation providers in implementing an Employment First focus. The demonstration of an efficient, scalable strategy that enables CRPs to create change within their own organizations is a key feature of this research.

Contact: Jaimie Timmons (jaimie.timmons@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

(4) Policies and Practices of High-Performing State Employment Systems

This research strand will define the characteristics of a high-performing state system that promotes cross-agency and resource integration. The strand will also identify effective state practices and policies that lead to employment outcomes, and will and describe Employment First policy implementation and outcomes at both the national and state level.

Contact: Allison Hall (allison.hall@umb.edu)

Find presentations and publications from this project here...

Project Team

John Butterworth, Principal Investigator: john.butterworth@umb.edu

Allison Hall, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director; Lead, Policy Strand: allison.hall@umb.edu

Cindy Thomas, Training and Technical Assistance Director: cindy.thomas@umb.edu

John Kramer, Lead, Individuals and Families Strand: john.kramer@umb.edu

Alberto Migliore, Lead, Employment Consultant Strand: alberto.migliore@umb.edu

Jaimie Timmons, Lead, Community Rehabilitation Provider Strand: Jaimie.timmons@umb.edu

Resources

Webinars

Organizational Transformation: From Workshops to Community Employment

Employment Support Professionals: Leaders for Change

Does All Mean All? Culturally Diverse Families and Access to Services

Financial Well-Being: Reframing the Conversation

Informed Choice and Employment First: What Does It Really Mean?

"44" SeriesOur webinar series takes a fresh look at issues and opportunities around employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). That’s why we call it "New Conversations About Integrated Employment." These webinars encourage creative thinking, and provoke reactions. Each conversation brings an original perspective to topics around IDD and employment. 

 

Publications

RRTC Fact Sheet

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Integrating Research, Training, and Knowledge Translation

Bringing Employment First to Scale: CRP Organizational Change

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Policy and State-level Strategies to Promote Employment

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Achieving Best Practice in Employment Supports

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Knowledge Translation for Individuals and Families

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

The Truth Comes From Us: Supporting Workers with Developmental Disabilities

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Organizational Transformation: Guiding Principles for Community Providers

B
ringing Employment First to Scale: From Sheltered Work to Competitive Integrated Employment

Project Partners

The Arc of the United States

Research and Training Center on Community living at the University of Minnesota

National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)

APSE (the Association of People Supporting Employment First)

Research Study Flyer - Join the Charting the LifeCourse Family Group!

Download the flyer here...

  1. Are you the parent or guardian of youth/young adult between the ages of 12 and 18 who has an intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)?
  2. Do you check your Facebook account at least weekly?
  3. Do you wonder about the future for your youth/young adult including employment and daily living? Are you interested in learning how to take steps to make your vision a reality?

If so, the Family Life Course Group might be for you!

State of the Science as a Knowledge Translation Strategy

Download full brief here or read on for summary. To synthesize our findings to date, the ThinkWork team at ICI developed 3 draft papers that captured the core themes from our RRTC on Advancing Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (IDD). We asked experts in the field to weigh in on these papers, and then broadly disseminated the papers to multiple audiences.

Bringing Employment First to Scale: Support Coordination Strategies that Impact Employment Outcomes and Services for Individuals Served by State Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Agencies

Download brief here. Leadership from NASDDDS and ICI worked together to determine topics for a series of white papers on policies that influence employment outcomes for individuals with IDD. This white paper is the third in a series of five. It provides an overview of strategies that support coordinators, or case managers, use to influence employment outcomes for individuals with IDD who are receiving state funded services.

Building an Evidence-Based, Holistic Approach to Advancing Integrated Employment

Since the introduction of supported employment in the Developmental Disabilities Act of 1984 and the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986, there has been continued development and refinement of best practices in employment services and supports. Progress includes creative outcomes for individuals with significant support needs including customized jobs and self-employment, community rehabilitation providers that have shifted emphasis to integrated employment, and states that have made a substantial investment in Employment First policy and strategy.

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.

Different states, common issues: Moving mountains one service at a time

Download article here. In an ever-evolving landscape, states are working to achieve new levels of integrated employment outcomes. While state have been building supports for more than five decades to meet the needs of their constituents, a different playing field has emerged in recent years. This is a result of new regulations, requests from advocates and families, shifting expectations and fluctuating state budgets.

Different states, common issues: Moving mountains one service at a time

Download article here. In an ever-evolving landscape, states are working to achieve new levels of integrated employment outcomes. While state have been building supports for more than five decades to meet the needs of their constituents, a different playing field has emerged in recent years. This is a result of new regulations, requests from advocates and families, shifting expectations and fluctuating state budgets.

Families and Employment of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Results from a Scoping Study

Download the article here. Purpose: Recent policy changes expanding community employment for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD) and awareness of the important role of family members as facilitators of these opportunities motivated this scoping review of the literature on family engagement with the IDD service system.