Improving employment outcomes has been identified as a priority by self-advocates, states agencies, the National Governor’s Association, and federal policy makers. The recognition of the pivotal role that work can play in the lives of people with IDD is driving many state developmental disabilities agencies to adopt “Employment First” policies that prioritize employment in integrated settings as the preferred day service alternative. The need for this policy shift is clear. While few policymakers, providers, families or advocates fail to recognize the benefits of employment for people with IDD, the outcomes have been difficult to achieve. Rates of integrated employment among people with IDD receiving services are low and have remained essentially unchanged for the past ten years. Fortunately, state and federal policymakers recognize the need to improve employment outcomes: 30 states now participate in the State Employment Leadership Network, a collaborative community of practice assisting state developmental disabilities agencies in changing systems to improve employment outcomes.
National Core Indicators (NCI) data provide an important window on the employment and employment outcomes of people with IDD receiving services. This Special Issue Data Brief updates the Brief from October 2012 and describes the employment status of individuals supported by state IDD agencies and compares participating states in terms of proportions of service recipients in different types of community employment.
Download a copy of the brief