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.

State Agency Promising Practice: The Tennessee Employment Consortium (TEC) - A Statewide Collaboration for Change

The Tennessee Employment Consortium (TEC) is a statewide organization focused on increasing the number of Tennesseans in integrated employment. The consortium comprises volunteers from the state's Division of Mental Retardation Services (DMRS) and Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, the ARC of Tennessee, the Center on Disability and Employment at the University of Tennessee, community rehabilitation providers (CRPs), family members, and other stakeholders.

State Agency Promising Practice: Wisconsin’s Community Conversations - Building a Youth Employment Coalition Through Structured Opportunities to Communicate

Wisconsin’s Developmental Disabilities Services agency and Vocational Rehabilitation agency, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities and Wisconsin’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, implemented a series of community conversations to build dialogue and create a coalition around employment for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Through this initiative, a range of community members came together in structured forums to discuss ways to improve integrated employment outcomes for youth.

State Agency Promising Practice: Connecticut Showcases Creative Jobs with “Employment Idol”

In 2007, the State of Connecticut’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS) partnered with the self-advocacy group People First of Connecticut to develop Employment Idol, an innovative project for promoting employment as the preferred outcome for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (ID/DD) in the state. Spinning off the concept of the popular television show American Idol, Connecticut’s Employment Idol showcases the employment success stories of a select group of individuals with ID/DD.

State Agency Promising Practice: Nevada’s Regional Forums - Creating a Shared Responsibility for Improving Employment

The Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities sought to engage community stakeholders and acquire knowledge to further the employment agenda by funding three regional summits. Using the State Employment Leadership Network's (SELN)* self- assessment preliminary findings as a basis, the summit steering committee created a framework for summit participants.

State Agency Promising Practice: New Hampshire - Translating Research into a Position Statement About Integrated Employment

New Hampshire's Bureau of Developmental Services, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, other state and local service providers, advocates, and families are committed to increasing the employment rate and the quality of employment outcomes for people with developmental disabilities. These stakeholders met to craft an employment position statement.

State Agency Promising Practice: Project GATE in Alabama - Creative Sequencing of Funding

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.

State Agency Promising Practice: Integrated Employment Outcomes Through Person-to-Person Technical Assistance: New Hampshire

New Hampshire implemented an innovative technical assistance model that promoted organizational change to expand individual employment opportunities. This person-to-person change began at the micro level but "trickled up" through organizations across the state.

In 2000, realizing that the state's growth in integrated employment had stalled, the Bureau of Developmental Services invested aggressively in expanding its intervention strategy by recruiting a community provider to work directly through the bureau.

State Agency Promising Practices: The Maine Employment Curriculum - Delivering Best Practices for Employment Support Professionals

The University of Maine’s Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS), along with the Maine Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services (BDS) and the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, developed the Maine Employment Curriculum (MEC). The comprehensive curriculum fosters best practices in employment supports for people with disabilities statewide by using a cadre of trainers who are supported by the Maine Employment Curriculum project staff.

Iowa's Governance Group: Facilitating Partnerships That Support Integrated Employment

1998, five state agencies formed the Governance Group. Partner agencies included: Iowa Workforce Development, Department of Human Services, Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Department of Human Rights. The group was developed in response to a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) request for proposals that included an advisory group for systems change efforts to expand employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities.