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.
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
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
Kramer, J. (2018). Family Experiences in Engaging in Employment: How Do We Improve Outcomes? In Society for the Study of Social Problems 2018 Annual Meeting (p. 22). Philadelphia, PA: Society for the Study of Social Problems. Retrieved from https://www.sssp1.org/index.cfm/pageid/1780/fuseaction/ssspsession2.sin… Schedule/
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.
This brief is the first in a series focusing on Employment First implementation as it relates to one of the seven elements within the High-Performing States in Integrated Employment model. It examines the background of circumstances under which Employment First efforts began in seven states, and introduces each state’s values, mission, and goals around increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. States may use the lessons in this brief to develop an Employment First policy, or to evolve existing efforts.
In concert with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) identified potential topical areas for policy white papers that influence employment outcomes and services for individuals served by state intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) agencies. This is the third white paper in a series of five.
Analysis to describe the relationship between state employment system characteristics and employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
To better understand higher-performing state employment systems.
Download the slides here. In conjunction with The Arc of the United States, this powerpoint offers ten essential elements necessary for successful organizational transformation, along with strategies for implementing each element.
Interviews with employment consultants reveal 5 key elements for supporting job seekers with disabilities. This brief describes 5 key elements for supporting job seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in finding individual paid employment:
Self-advocates with intellectual disabilities describe Employment First efforts in their states, and why those efforts are important.
Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered asked leaders in the self-advocacy movement to describe the impact of Employment First in their states. The authors spoke with 21 peer leaders across the country and asked, “What does Employment First mean?”
Key findings and quotes