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State Intellectual and Developmental Disability Agencies' Funding for Employment Services

Data Note No. 33, 2011


Originally published: 7/2011

Source: The National Survey of State Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Day and Employment Services (Institute for Community Inclusion, State Data Project)

The National Survey of State Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Day and Employment Services is a longitudinal study commissioned by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities to analyze community-based day and employment service trends between FY1988 and FY2009 for individuals with IDD and closely related conditions. The survey is administered to state IDD agencies and is designed to provide the following information: trends in the number of people served in integrated employment, facility-based employment, and facility-based and community-based non-work programs; trends in the number of individuals waiting for services; funding sources that are being used to support day and employment services; and the allocation of funds across day and employment services.

Employment has been identified as a priority outcome in federal policy and state employment-first initiatives, and by individuals with IDD. Members of Self Advocates Becoming Empowered have issued a call to increase access to integrated employment and eliminate facility-based work (2009). In many states, the IDD agency and/or statewide advocacy coalitions have developed and implemented employment-first initiatives (State Employment Leadership Network, 2011). However, there is limited data available on the cost of integrated employment services compared to facility-based work services to guide the implementation of these initiatives.

States vary in their ability to report on the services they provide to individuals and the amount of funding allocated to employment and non-work services. To better understand the cost of employment services, three fiscal years' worth of data from 17 states1 on the following variables were analyzed: expenditures for integrated employment services, expenditures for facility-based work services, total number of individuals who received integrated employment services, and total number of individuals who received facility-based work services. While not a random sample of states, these states demonstrate the national variability in integrated employment services, with service percents ranging from 5% to 88% and total state funding allocations for integrated employment ranging from $479,000 to $94,200,000 (FY2009 data).

Results for these 17 states from the three most recent fiscal years (2007, 2008, and 2009) found that only 21% of individuals supported by these state IDD agencies received integrated employment services (average across the three years), while a slightly larger number of individuals in these states (24% average across the three years) were engaged in facility-based work. The remaining individuals received non-work services.

Results also show that, for these 17 states, the percentage of IDD agency funds spent on facility-based work services is more than double the percentage allocated to integrated employment (Table 1). The per-person cost2 for each service for each fiscal year was tabulated for the 17 states (Table 2). The average cost per person indicates that for these states, integrated employment was the least costly employment service per person, and that facility-based work services were on average significantly more costly to provide.

While these data do not account for possible differences in support needs between individuals who receive integrated employment services and facility-based work services, they do suggest that integrated employment services are more cost-effective compared to facility-based work. In addition, if more individuals are to be supported in jobs in the community, a greater percentage of overall funding needs to be allocated towards integrated employment services and away from facility-based work and other non-work services.

Table 1. Percent of Total IDD Agency Funding Spent per Employment Service per Year
2007 2008 2009
Integrated Employment Services 11% 12% 12%
Facility-Based Work Services29%28%27%

Table 2. Average Annual Employment Service Spending per Person per Year
Integrated Employment Services$7,650$8,090$8,490
Facility-Based Work Services$16,200$16,200$17,200


Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (2009). SABE Policy Statement on Employment. Retrieved from http://sabeusa.org/?catid=179

State Employment Leadership Network. (2011). "Employment First" Resource List. Retrieved from www.seln.org/images/stories/emp_first_resources_June_2011.pdf

Suggested Citation

Winsor, J. E., & Smith, F. A. (2011). State Intellectual Disability and Developmental Disabilities Agencies Funding for Employment Services. DataNote Series, Data XXXIII. Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for Community Inclusion.

This is a publication of StateData.info, funded in part by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (#90DN0216).