In 2006, a new Maine law mandated the creation of a waiver program that promotes the expansion of supported employment programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). As a result, state funding for sheltered workshops was reduced for seven workshops and approximately 220 individuals throughout Maine.
Staff training and development
What are some of the best ways to train staff who support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities? You'll find a variety of approaches and suggestions for staff training and development in the resources below.
Sponsored by Wisconsin's Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) through the use of Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funds, Wisconsin's
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.
After the adoption of the Employment First policy in Oregon in 2010, state administrators identified the critical role of case managers for people on the support services waiver, and acknowledged the need for their buy-in and investment in the Employment First agenda. The case managers’ knowledge of the individuals they serve, the conversations they have with individuals and their families, and their knowledge of the community are critical to each individual’s success in finding employment, as well as to the forward movement of the Employment First initiative.
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.
In the mid-1980s, the state of Washington was awarded a five-year federal systems change grant to kick-start their supported employment efforts via the Washington State Employment Initiative. Funding from this grant was used to develop training on best practices and to generate high-quality integrated employment supports among agencies.
Case management services in Missouri’s Division of Developmental Disabilities underwent a shift from a state structure to a regional structure. Within this structure, 12 regions each serve approximately 12–15 counties. Each region has a technical assistance (TA) position designed to support each of the designated priority work areas. These include self-determination, family supports, individual supports and services, Employment First, and accessible housing.
New England Business Associates (NEBA), a community rehabilitation provider (CRP) in Springfield, Massachusetts, provides individualized employment services to local youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This organization sets itself apart from other employment providers in many ways, from its appearance, to the attitudes of its staff, to the manner in which it provides services.
Over the last five years, LCS, a provider in Racine, Wisconsin, has developed the capacity of its staff to expand integrated employment service options. LCS has hired and retained staff who are passionate about integrated employment, and has invested in supporting them to deliver high-quality integrated employment services.
Through state-of-the-art training and other resources, LCS has navigated internal and external challenges to building staff competencies, and has solidified its mission of sustaining highly qualified staff.