Contracts with Industry, implemented in the 1990s as the Natural Supports Initiative, is a program option that allows the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD) to contract directly with businesses to provide job coaching supports that become a part of the natural workplace. Individuals participating in this program are employed by a business and are paid minimum wage or better.
How are services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities funded in your state? In other states? Across the country? How is this changing and evolving? Learn about funding in the resources below.
Alabama has piloted the Gaining Access To Employment project, a collaborative effort between the state’s Department of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities (MH/DD) and its Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). Through this project, known as Project GATE, the two agencies work together to help local service providers use funds to support integrated employment opportunities. MH/DD and VR have a long history of partnering, including joint efforts on a supported employment workgroup, due to the strong relationships between colleagues at each department.
Progressive Employment Concepts (PEC), a community rehabilitation provider with several locations in northern California, was founded in 1995 to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to find employment in their communities. PEC currently supports 90 people in individual jobs. A core belief at PEC is that everyone it serves is job- ready and can work in competitive employment in their communities.
The SSA/VR reimbursement program is the process by which public vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies submit claims to the Social Security Administration (SSA). In effect since 1983, the procedure enables the VR system to receive reimbursement for the costs expended assisting SSI recipients and SSDI beneficiaries to enter and sustain employment above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level.
As state developmental disability service systems strive to balance myriad challenges, the inevitable question of funding must be addressed. Through State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) events, member states have regularly expressed the need for additional analysis and insights related to rates, reimbursement, and funding issues. This series of Funding Summaries is intended to shed light on the complexities as well as successes experienced by state systems across the country.
Originally published 4/2008
In FY2004, the average expenditure per person for integrated employment as reported by state Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MR/DD) agencies was $6,251 (Table 1). This figure has increased steadily since the mid-1990s indicating that states have slowly begun allocating additional resources towards integrated employment. However, growth in expenditures is likely a result of changes in federal law as opposed to changes in the amount of state dollars available to fund integrated employment.
Originally published 2/2005
The VR system has the flexibility to purchase a wide array of services to support an employment outcome, including vocational evaluation, vocational training and postsecondary education, transportation, supported employment, interpreters, and adaptive equipment. VR services include core counseling and guidance provided by a VR counselor as well as services that are purchased based on an individual employment plan.
Originally published 5/2003