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 (email@example.com)
(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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(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 (email@example.com)
- John Butterworth, Principal Investigator: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Allison Hall, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director; Lead, Policy Strand: email@example.com
- Cindy Thomas, Training and Technical Assistance Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Kramer, Lead, Individuals and Families Strand: email@example.com
- Alberto Migliore, Lead, Employment Consultant Strand: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jaimie Timmons, Lead, Community Rehabilitation Provider Strand: Jaimie.email@example.com
- 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
The findings from Institute for Community Inclusion’s (ICI’s) Delphi Process on Organizational Transformation can guide providers as they work to transform their services. These findings support the prioritization of goals and the development of key action areas that have proven successful.
In this brief, we will:
1. share ten essential elements in organizational transformation ranked in their order of importance according to ICI’s Delphi process, and
2. offer a set of considerations to providers as they move their organizational transformation efforts forward.
Family engagement is key to successful employment and life planning, with parents and siblings often leading their family members with disabilities on the path to employment through their own role modeling and encouragement.
The current emphasis on integrated employment for people with IDD is accelerating the organizational transformation from sheltered workshops to community-based supports, creating both opportunities and challenges for local service providers. These providers need guidance on how to transform to community-based supports while maintaining high standards. This presentation shared findings from the Institute for Community Inclusion’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Advancing Employment for Individuals with IDD.
In 1987, the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston began a series of surveys aimed at providing a longitudinal description of the characteristics and service delivery provided by Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs)(Domin & Butterworth, 2012). Despite direct support staff comprising one of the nation’s largest labor market segments, there has been very little research into the wages and stability of that workforce (Bogenschutz, Hewitt, Nord, & Hepperlen, 2014).
A key area of focus for our Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) is organizational transformation, leading to improved employment outcomes for those served by community provider organizations.
Inclusion is a birthright and work is a human right. Every American has the right to work in their community without any kind of discrimination. People with disabilities can work and handle a job. We know what we are doing. We know how to speak up and speak out for ourselves.
With the persistently low competitive employment rate for working-age people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), a main focus area for the field of disability research has been on the interaction between the individual and the service system. Yet we know much less about the interaction between systems and families around employment.