Between the years of 1985 and 1996 Colorado experienced significant growth in integrated employment for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MR/DD). Several factors were consistently highlighted as contributing to Colorado's employment outcomes during this period. These included:
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.
The past thirty years have seen considerable growth in community-based services and supports for adults with developmental disabilities. One category of community-based day supports, integrated employment, has been clearly defined and widely implemented for years. However, another emerging model, community-based non-work (CBNW), is used in a number of states but is less clearly defined and understood.
Tennessee implemented its Employment First initiative in 2002 with a goal of making employment the first day service option for adults receiving supports from the Department of Mental Retardation Services. As part of the Employment First initiative, the state requires a periodic community-based work assessment for all individuals not currently employed in the community.
The following report represents an expansion of the data collection activities mandated by a 2012 Administration of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Prior to 2012, the AIDD funded data projects, Access to Integrated Employment, Family and Individual Information Systems project (FISP), Residential Information Systems Project (RISP) and the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities only collected data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia.