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The National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers, FY2002-2003, Report 1: Overview of Services and Provider Characteristics

Research to Practice 35

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Originally published: 8/2004

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Findings in Brief

Who received services from community rehabilitation providers?

What services did individuals receive from community rehabilitation providers?

What was the service and setting mix of community rehabilitation providers?

Introduction

This is the first in a series of Research to Practice briefs based on the FY2002-2003 National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRPs) funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. This brief presents findings on people with developmental disabilities in employment services and characteristics of the community rehabilitation organizations that provide those services. Forthcoming briefs will discuss people with developmental disabilities and non-work services and the community rehabilitation organizations that provide those services; past and current trends of community rehabilitation providers and the people who use their services; and the relationships among funding sources, service mix, and CRP characteristics.

Findings

1. Who Received Services from Community Rehabilitation Providers?

Of the 54,833 people supported on a selected date by CRPs in both employment and non-work day services, 38,298 or 70% were identified as having developmental disabilities.

Three group models of employment had higher than average percentages of individuals with developmental disabilities: sheltered work (91%), enclaves (84%), and mobile crews (87%) (see Figure 1). A significant majority of individuals supported by CRPs in congregate employment options were individuals with developmental disabilities. Individuals with developmental disabilities were relatively underrepresented (compared to their percentage of the total served by CRPs) in competitive employment (26%), transitional employment (23%), entrepreneurial opportunities (53%), and work center based employment (55%).

Figure 1

Distribution of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities by Service*

Figure 1. Distribution of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
by Service */**
Competitive Employment: 26%
Individual Supported Employment: 77%
Entrepreurism: 53%
Transitional Employment for people with mental illness: 23%
Enclaves: 84%
Mobile crews: 87%
Facility-based work: 91%
Work center based employment: 55%
Facility-based non-work: 74%
Facility-based non-work for Elderly: 71%
Community-based non-work: 86%
Community-based non-work for Elderly: 54%
Other types of non-work: 22%

* Individuals could be counted in more than one service. "Elderly" refers to persons aged 55 and above.

Average Number of People in Employment and Non-Work Services
CRPs served an annual average of 240 people with disabilities in employment programs and an annual average of 180 individuals in non-work programs. On a daily basis, CRPs served an average of 110 individuals in employment programs compared to an average of 61 in non-work programs.

CRP Organization Types
CRPs varied by type of organization, with 86% (218) existing as private nonprofit organizations. Five percent (13) were public or state sponsored, 6% (14) were public or locally sponsored, and 2% (6) were private, for-profit organizations. One percent of CRPs (3) reported belonging to a type of organization ("other") not included in this survey.

2. What Services Did Individuals with Developmental Disabilities Receive from Community Rehabilitation Providers?

Individuals with developmental disabilities were predominantly in sheltered employment or non-work services (see Table 1). CRPs reported serving 28,433 individuals with developmental disabilities in sheltered employment, day habilitation services, and non-work community integration supports. The largest number of individuals with developmental disabilities (13,887) was supported in sheltered work, followed by facility-based non-work services (7,458).

Of the 26% (9,865) of individuals with developmental disabilities working in integrated employment, the majority (6,633) were in individual competitive jobs (see Table 1). In the overall category of integrated employment, individual supported employment was the most frequently reported support model. Combined with competitive employment, individuals with developmental disabilities accounted for 51% of all people served in both service categories. Enclaves and mobile work crews continued to be significant models for employment of individuals with developmental disabilities. People with developmental disabilities accounted for 84% and 86% of all people working in enclaves and mobile crews, respectively.

Only 131 individuals with developmental disabilities were reported in transitional employment, a service model primarily developed for individuals with mental illness. Only 35 individuals were reported to be supported as entrepreneurs, including self-employment.

Table 1

Individuals Served in Employment and Non-Work Services on a Selected Date*

Type of service Total served
N= 54,833
Individuals with developmental disabilities
N= 38,298
Competitive Employment 6,712 1,720
Individual Supported Employment 6,373 4,913
Entrepreneurism 66 35
Enclaves 2,499 2,102
Mobile Crews 1,112 964
Facility-Based Work 15,314 13,887
Work Center Based Employment 3,312 1,822
Facility-Based Non-Work 10,092 7,458
Facility-Based Non-Work for Elderly (aged 55 and above) 1,082 766
Community-Based Non-Work 4,053 3,501
Community-Based Non-Work for Elderly (aged 55 and above) 598 320
Other 3,055** 679**

* Individuals could be counted in more than one service.
** These totals were based on very small numbers of CRPs (ten and three respectively) that reported data in these categories.

What Is an Enclave or Mobile Work Crew?
Enclaves and mobile work crews are models of supported employment where a small group of workers with disabilities receives continuous support and supervision from CRP personnel. Enclaves and mobile work crews have received increasing levels of criticism over recent years. Individuals employed in enclaves and work crews have on average lower wages and fewer opportunities for integration, and are more likely to be employed by the CRP than people in individual employment. Responses to this survey suggested that the average size of an enclave is six and the average size of a mobile work crew is five.

Total served Number of sites or crews Average size
Enclaves 2499 430 6
Mobile work crews 1112 231 5

3. What Was the Service and Setting Mix of CRPs?

The majority of CRPs provided both employment and non-work services. Sixty-nine percent (174) of the organizations offered both employment and non-work services. Of the remainder, 24% (62) only provided employment services and supports, compared to 7% (18) that provided non-work services only.

The majority of CRPs that provided employment services offered both integrated and sheltered employment. After almost a quarter of a century, integrated employment had not significantly replaced the model of sheltered employment. Sixty-five percent of CRPs (165) offered employment in both integrated and sheltered settings. Seventeen percent (43) provided employment only in integrated settings, and 11% (28) only provided sheltered employment.

The three employment services most likely to be provided by organizations were competitive employment, individual supported employment, and sheltered employment at 66%, 69%, and 71% respectively (see Figure 2). Other service models, including transitional employment, enclaves, mobile crews, and work center based employment, were much less prevalent. Entrepreneurial approaches were the least common, and only 14% of the CRPs reported providing supports in this area.

Figure 2

Percent of CRPs Providing Each Employment Service*

**Note that

* Providers that offered more than one service could be counted in more than one service category, and not all organizations offered all services.

Conclusion

The Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Amendments of 1984 and the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986 dramatically changed the landscape of day and employment supports for individuals with developmental disabilities by establishing a new paradigm for support. The implementation of supported employment significantly expanded the expectation that individuals with significant disabilities could be successful in the competitive labor market. Federal policy has continued to emphasize employment through regulation and legislation such as:

Despite these initiatives, data from CRPs on the employment of people with developmental disabilities suggest that there continues to be a bias toward sheltered and non-work services in funding and service delivery, including a substantial continuing investment in sheltered employment services.

A number of states have demonstrated the capacity to support higher percentages of people in integrated employment. In FY2001, eight state MR/DD agencies reported supporting more than 40% of individuals in day and employment services in integrated employment. Case studies of high-performing states have suggested that a variety of factors, including clarity of agency goals, policy regarding funding sheltered services, access to training and technical assistance, and long-term investment in developing a values base, contribute to higher levels of access to employment.

Data Collection and Methods

The Institute for Community Inclusion has conducted a series of national studies, funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, that focus on employment and non-work service trends for providers and people with developmental disabilities. The National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers covered the FY2002-2003 period and collected information from randomly chosen CRPs that provided employment and/or non-work services to individuals with disabilities. The sample of providers was developed at the Research and Training Center on Community Rehabilitation Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout with input from project staff, and was cross-referenced with lists from other sources including Goodwill, Inc., The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy, and CARF.

In the sample of 507 providers, there were 254 valid responses, resulting in a response rate of 50%. Not all organizations provided all services, and individuals who participated in more than one service could be counted in more than one service category. Also it should be noted that 60 of the 254 respondents completed a shorter version of the survey. This version was offered in our third round of follow-up telephone calls to increase the response rate. Both versions can be accessed online at www.communityinclusion.org. Finally, it is important to mention that in this survey, agencies were asked to report both annual and daily total numbers of people served in the different service settings.

Survey Definitions

Type of Service/Setting Work Non-Work
Community Integrated Employment:
A job in the community where most people to not have disabilities. Includes:
  • Competitive employment
  • Individual supported employment
  • Entrepreneurism (including self-employment)
  • Transitional Employment
  • Group supported employment including enclaves and mobile crews that meet the Rehabilitation Act definition
Community-based non-work:
A program where individuals engage in recreational, skill training, or volunteer activities in settings where most people do not have disabilities (e.g., community integration, community participation services).
Facility Sheltered work:
Employment in a facility where most people have disabilities, with continuous job-related supports and supervision. Includes:
  • Sheltered employment
  • Work center based employment
Sheltered non-work: A program whose primary focus is skill training, activities of daily living, recreation, and/or professional therapies (e.g., O.T., P.T.), in a facility where most people have disabilities (e.g., day activity, day habilitation).

A related Research to Practice brief, entitled The National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers, FY2002-2003 Report 2: Non-Work Services, presents findings that describe the role of non-work programs in CRPs' service mix, individuals' participation in non-work programs, and the activities and goals of non-work services. That publication is the second in a series of Research to Practice briefs on the FY2002-2003 National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers, which was funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities. It can be found online at www.communityinclusion.org.

The authors would like to thank Ann Downing, John Halliday, and Joe Marrone for their invaluable assistance with this work. Fred Menz and staff of the Research and Training Center on Community Rehabilitation Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout provided assistance in developing the sample used in this project.

For more information, contact:
Deborah Metzel, Ph.D.
Institute for Community Inclusion
UMass Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, Massachusetts 02125
617.287.4318 (v); 617.287.4350 (TTY)
deborah.metzel@umb.edu
www.communityinclusion.org

This publication will be made available in alternate formats upon request.

This document was supported in part by cooperative agreement #90ND0126 from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official Administration on Developmental Disabilities policy.

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities