This brief is intended to provide State governments and external stakeholders with information about available Federal funding resources and technical assistance available to further state Employment First systems change efforts. The Federal government utilizes funding vehicles such as competitive grants, direct programmatic funding, demonstration projects, pilot initiatives, and increased Federal matching funds to help State and local governments prioritize strategies that lead to competitive, integrated employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
This document contains a 50-state analysis of current day/employment service rates under the Home and Community Based Services waiver.
Connecting the Dots: Using Federal Policy to Promote Employment First Systems-Change Efforts - 09/14/2015
Federal public policy has consistently promoted the vision that all individuals with disabilities have access to the supports they need to secure and sustain a job in the community, earn a livable wage, build assets, and advance socioeconomically. This focus reflects a growing national movement called Employment First, a systems change framework for improving service delivery systems that is centered on the premise that all youth and adults with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in competitive, integrated employment and community life. Under this approach, publicly-financed systems are urged to align policies, funding structures, and service delivery practices toward a commitment to competitive, integrated employment as the priority outcome of education and long-term supports and services for youth and adults with disabilities. Many states have formally committed to establishing an Employment First framework through official executive order or formal legislative action.
The following technical brief is the first in a four-part series, and provides an overview of Federal policy guidance and administrative regulations that support systems change efforts to enhance competitive, integrated employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities.
Federal Legal Framework that Supports Integrated Employment Outcomes of Youth and Adults with Significant Disabilities - 09/14/2015
Understanding the rights of individuals with disabilities and the responsibility of state and local entities to comply with the civil rights obligations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can provide a framework to support the implementation of Employment First initiatives in states. The following brief highlights various legal actions by Federal enforcement agencies that have significant implications for how states prioritize and deliver services for individuals with disabilities. These actions relate to the organization, financing, and provision of employment and long-term services and supports consistent with an Employment First framework, and reinforce the principle that competitive, integrated employment is a critical component for citizens with disabilities in developing a full and meaningful life in the community.
This technical brief is the second of a four-part series highlighting current Federal policies, regulations, resources, and the legal framework that collectively promote Employment First initiatives across the country.
Criteria for Performance Excellence in Employment First State Systems Change & Provider Transformation - 09/14/2015
A critical priority for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and other Federal agencies is to invest in systems-change efforts that result in increased competitive, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. This priority is reflected in the growing national movement called Employment First, a framework for systems change centered on the premise that all youth and adults with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in competitive, integrated employment and community life. Under this approach, state government entities are urged to align policies, regulatory guidance, and reimbursement structures to promote and support competitive, integrated employment as the priority option of publicly-financed day and employment services for all youth and adults with disabilities.