This study provides an in-depth analysis on the concept of informed choice and how making informed choices can contribute to improved employment outcomes. This study will explore the legal and policy context for fostering informed choice for all individuals, and the impacts of systemic initiatives furthering meaningful informed choice.
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.
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.
(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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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 (email@example.com)
(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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- John Butterworth, Principal Investigator: email@example.com
- Allison Hall, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director; Lead, Policy Strand: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cindy Thomas, Training and Technical Assistance Director: email@example.com
- John Kramer, Lead, Individuals and Families Strand: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alberto Migliore, Lead, Employment Consultant Strand: email@example.com
- Jaimie Timmons, Lead, Community Rehabilitation Provider Strand: Jaimie.firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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" Series - Our 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.
- 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 Provider
- Bringing Employment First to Scale: From Sheltered Work to Competitive Integrated Employment
Making decisions is not just about our skills. It is essential to take a close look at the amount and variety of opportunities being presented to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Always ask, “Are these the same possibilities available to people without disabilities?” The system is eager to measure our capacity. We recommend focusing on assessing the ability of teachers and support staff to be effective communicators and providers of reasonable accommodations. A person’s capacity to teach as well as learn is fluid and changes all the time.
This document contains slides from a presentation given at The Arc Summer Leadership Institute in 2019. The information covers key lessons in organizational transformation that can help disability services providers implement best practices.
Click here to view and download the presentation slides
This document contains the slides from a presentation given at the APSE national conference in 2019. It presents statistics that illustrate the characteristics of relatively higher-performing state systems with regard to employment and community engagement outcomes for individuals with IDD.
Click here to view the presentation slides
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:
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.
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.
This brief covers some of the lessons learned in reviewing literature designed to engage with families about employment. It suggests some tips and strategies to use with families to increase effective involvement and collaboration.
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.
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.