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

Resources

Webinars

 

Publications

 

Project Partners

Pushing the Integrated Employment Agenda: A Case Study of Maryland's High-Performing Employment System

This brief presents findings from RRTC strand 4.3, which is an ongoing multiple case study of higher-performing states. The purpose of the study is to learn about why higher-performing states have been successful, and to further test and refine the High Performing States Framework. Maryland is the first case study to emerge from the project. The brief provides a summary of how the Department of Education, the Department of Rehabilitative Services (MD's VR agency), and the Developmental Disabilities Administration (MD's IDD agency) reflect the elements of the High Performing States model.

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.

44 Series - What does choice really mean when we talk about employment?

Watch the recorded video here. The 44 series is an ongoing series of webinars (each about 44 minutes long, hence the name!) that address various topics related to integrated employment for individuals with IDD. In this edition to the series, originally presented on 11/27/18, speaker Liz Weintraub discussed issue of choice and self-direction in the job search process. She focused on challenges, risk, and empowerment for job seekers with disabilities. 

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.

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