Profiles four promising practices of vocational rehabilitation in Missouri, Utah, Washington State, and West Virginia that advance employment opportunities for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities.

Four programs are reviewed:

  • “The Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) piloted a process for referring individuals with developmental disabilities, who receive day habilitation services from community rehabilitation provider agencies and who are interested in employment, to the Missouri state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program to access services and supports necessary to obtain community employment” (p.5).
  • “The Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR), Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD), and the Utah state legislature created House Bill 31 to find a pilot project that provided long-term supported employment for 100 individuals with disabilities in fiscal years 2007 and 2008” (p.5).
  • The School-to-Work project in King County, Washington, “is a collaborative effort between 17 school districts in King County, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), 15 employment service providers, the King County Work Training program, and the King County Developmental Disabilities Division (KCDDD) …. [And] effectively streamlines transition services provided by DVR, KCDDD, and Washington employment vendors to improve employment outcomes for students” (p.6).
  • In West Virginia, “The Student Transition to Employment Project (STEP) provides training for teachers and aides from various county schools to become certified vendors with the West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (WVDRS)…. [which allows for a smoother transition from school to work for students with developmental disabilities” (p.6)

(Abstractor: Authors and Website staff)

Full publication title: Case Studies of Emerging/Innovative Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Practices in Improving Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Major Findings & Recommendations

To advance opportunities for person’s with IDD the authors make the following recommendations: • “State IDD agency and VR agency leadership should clearly promote a shared expectation of integrated employment for persons with IDD” (p.10). • “Engage elected officials and policy makers in the quest to remedy policy and budgetary entanglements that create barriers for persons with IDD and to create initiatives to address private sector needs” (p.10). • “Agencies should monitor wages, hours worked, and competitive employment placement and make the necessary corrections to reduce disparities and raise expectations for ‘better jobs’” (p.10). • “VR agencies should look toward efforts at ‘early intervention’ and partner with schools and the IDD agencies to work with youth and families to influence the decision to pursue competitive employment”(p.11). • “Build partnerships among public agency partners and vendors” (p.11). • “Move beyond partnerships of memorandums of understanding and alignment of values to blending and/or braiding funds and resources” (p.11). • “Engage the business community and advance demand side strategies that identify ‘better jobs’ with career progression and higher wages should be inclusive of people with IDD” (p.11). (Abstractor: Authors and Website staff)