This brief is the second 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 looks at the interagency collaboration and partnership element in depth. Interagency partnership and collaboration includes interagency agreements and relationships, provider collaboration, and outreach to stakeholders to ensure that integrated employment is a shared goal.
Interagency collaboration and partnership
One agency alone may not have much power to effect change. But when agencies combine their resources--financial and otherwise--results can be greatly amplified. Learn about how agencies form and sustain robust partnerships in these resources.
Margaret Van Gelder is the director of employment and family support at the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, or DDS. In this conversation, Margaret talks about the Massachusetts Blueprint for Success, and what competitive employment has meant for job seekers and employers.
In October 2011, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities awarded grants to lead agencies in six states: California, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, and Wisconsin. Two additional states, Alaska and Tennessee, received grants in October 2012. These states proposed activities to spur improved employment and post-secondary outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
This is the third in a series of briefs on the findings from a Delphi process conducted by the Employment Learning Community in 2013–2014. More information on the Employment Learning Community and the Delphi process can be found in Brief #1 (Introduction, Values, and Overall Themes). This brief focuses on the panel’s recommendations related to collaboration across state systems, which was the second-highest overarching priority identified by the Delphi panel for improving employment outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Self-employment has emerged as a viable option for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). To meet increased self-employment demands, Maryland's Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), in collaboration with the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), adapted services offered through the Reach Independence through Self Employment (RISE) program. The RISE program, funded by DORS, provides technical assistance and financial support to people starting their own businesses.
The Northeast Region Supported Employment Project was developed by the North Shore area office of the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services in 2007. This pilot program, open to any individual with ID/DD who wanted to work, emphasized a person- centered planning approach to achieving the individuals' goals for employment in the community. The project emphasized the individual's choice of employment providers, collaboration with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), and use of an independent facilitator to support career and life planning.
Beginning in 2006, the Shoreline Public School District in King County, Washington partnered with Shoreline Community College to offer an off-campus transition program for young adults with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) residing in the Shoreline School District. While participants are still in high school, the Community Based Transition Program offers a structured transitional step between their traditional day and post-secondary education as well as employment in the community.
In 2002, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) developed a contractual requirement that employment service provider performance be tracked through outcome measures. As a result, DDS shaped its employment data collection system to focus on what it viewed as key outcomes for measuring success around employment.
In Colorado, counselors from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are housed on-site in Community Centered Board offices so they can provide direct services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The goal of the project was to serve 240 customers with ID/DD and provide 134 successful employment outcomes over a two-year period. Streamlined services and enhanced communication emerged through a unique collaborative effort between the two entities.
Vermont's Division of Disability and Aging Services (DDAS) and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) worked with a local service provider to convert its congregate day services to community employment.