Download the slides here. Presented at APSE 2016. Ever wonder how state systems are working to achieve new levels of integrated employment outcomes? While states have worked to build supports for more than five decades to meet the needs of their constituents, a different playing field has emerged in recent years.
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.
This is the seventh and final brief in our series 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 final priority area for policy and practice change: creating paths toward fairer wages for individuals with IDD.
This is the fifth 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 fourth priority area identified by the Delphi panel: improving policies and processes within state agencies related to employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
The Employment Learning Community (ELC) is an Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities-funded project that promotes systems change to improve competitive employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The ELC’s primary activities are technical assistance and peer-to-peer networking and information sharing through Communities of Practice (CoPs). Through a competitive process, seven states were selected as members of the ELC: District of Columbia, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.
The State of Pennsylvania’s Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) created a monthly newsletter called The Employment Update, which covers state- and nationwide news about the employment of people with disabilities, including intellectual/developmental disabilities. The Employment Update is sent via email to state agency contacts and a large stakeholder community, including individuals with disabilities, service providers, state associations, employers, advocacy groups, family members, representatives from academia and others.
Oklahoma’s Developmental Disabilities Services Division (DDSD) realized the need for increased attention towards the goal of community-based employment for individuals they served. Initially, rates were based on a vendor’s costs of providing direct services such as job development and job coaching. It became increasingly apparent that claims for vocational services oftentimes reflected staff activities (e.g., job development, client assessment, and service delivery documentation), which may have been occurring without the direct involvement of the service recipient.
Michigan's Department of Community Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Administration (MDCH) has expressed a strong desire to improve the state's employment outcomes among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Set against this desire is a major obstacle: Michigan is among the states hardest hit by the continuing economic recession, with the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
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.
At the national level, integrated employment has become an important policy priority. Greater expectations are being placed on those charged with delivering employment supports, and disability systems are responding. However, the promise of integrated employment has yet to be realized for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).