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Working in the Community: the Status and Outcomes of People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Integrated Employment - an update

NCI Data Brief

Originally published: 10/2012

Please note: This is a 2014 updated version

Employment is a critical need for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). 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 ID/DD, the outcomes have been difficult to achieve. Rates of integrated employment among people with ID/DD receiving services are low and have remained essentially unchanged for the past ten years. Fortunately, the need to improve employment outcomes among people with disabilities receiving public support is being recognized by state and federal policymakers. Systems change efforts are underway in 25 states to address this issue through participation in the State Employment Leadership Network, a collaborative community of practice assisting state developmental disabilities agencies in changing their systems to improve employment outcomes.

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National Core Indicators (NCI) data provide an important window on the employment and employment outcomes of people with ID/DD receiving services. This Special Issue Data Brief describes the employment status of individuals supported by state ID/DD agencies and compares participating states in terms of proportions of service recipients in different types of community employment. These data have not been published before.