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)

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(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)

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(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

Key Findings and Lessons Learned from Research on Integrated Employment for individuals with IDD

This presentation highlights key findings and lessons learned from the RRTC on Advancing Employment for People with IDD (2014-2019). ICI staff discuss a “knowledge to action” agenda that applies empirical data towards the development of strategies to positively impact the employment outcomes of individuals with IDD and their families.

Using data-enabled performance feedback and guidance to assist employment consultants in their work with job seekers: An experimental study

The success of job seekers with disabilities in achieving their employment goals depends in large part on the quality of employment supports that they receive from employment consultants. This article describes a study testing the effectiveness of data-enabled performance feedback to assist employment consultants in implementing standards of effective employment supports. Findings show that the intervention group reported an improvement in job seekers’ work hours, earnings and time to hire compared to the control group.

Informed Decision Making: It Takes More Than Practice

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.

Key Elements of Organizational Transformation: Lessons Learned from the Provider Transformation Network

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

The Numbers and the Stories Behind Them: Higher Performing State Employment Systems

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

A Roadmap to Competitive Integrated Employment: Strategies for Provider Transformation

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:

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 1st case study to emerge from the project.

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.