State policy

Enacting changes to state policies is a slow and complex process. But this kind of systems change can be transformative when it creates opportunities for people with disabilities to engage with and contribute to their communities. Learn more about state policy and systems change in these resources.

Building an Evidence-Based, Holistic Approach to Advancing Integrated Employment

Since the introduction of supported employment in the Developmental Disabilities Act of 1984 and the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986, there has been continued development and refinement of best practices in employment services and supports. Progress includes creative outcomes for individuals with significant support needs including customized jobs and self-employment, community rehabilitation providers that have shifted emphasis to integrated employment, and states that have made a substantial investment in Employment First policy and strategy.

State Employment First Policies #2: Engaging Stakeholders in Development and Implementation

Download here. 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. 

Research to Practice: State Employment First Policies: State Definitions, Goals and Values

This brief is the first 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 examines the background of circumstances under which Employment First efforts began in seven states, and introduces each state’s values, mission, and goals around increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. States may use the lessons in this brief to develop an Employment First policy, or to evolve existing efforts.

Multi-System Collaboration: Supporting Individuals from Pre-employment Through Employment and Community Engagement Across the Life Course

In concert with the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) identified potential topical areas for policy white papers that influence employment outcomes and services for individuals served by state intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) agencies. This is the third white paper in a series of five.

Download the brief here...

State Employment First Policies #1: State Definitions, Goals and Values

This brief is the first 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 examines the background of circumstances under which Employment First efforts began in seven states, and introduces each state’s values, mission, and goals around increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. States may use the lessons in this brief to develop an Employment First policy, or to evolve existing efforts. Findings include: