Watch the recorded webinar here. Genni Sasnett, a human services consultant with extensive experience in disability employment, and Jill Eastman, an award-winning employment specialist at the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston, shared their perspectives about how employment support professionals can take a leadership role, and serve as civil rights change agents, while also empowering the people they serve to find fulfilling work and thrive in their careers.
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.
Inclusion is a birthright and work is a human right. Every American has the right to work in their community without any kind of discrimination. People with disabilities can work and handle a job. We know what we are doing. We know how to speak up and speak out for ourselves.
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.
Sponsored by Wisconsin's Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) through the use of Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funds, Wisconsin's Job Development Mentors Project (JDMP) pairs three seasoned job developers with four community-based employment support providers that cover 12 counties throughout the state.
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.