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Publications related to Direct support professionals

Effective Career Development Strategies for Young Artists with Disabilities

The Institute Brief 24

One potential arena of employment for young people with disabilities is the arts. This brief reports on effective strategies that 47 young artists with disabilities used to gain access to arts-related experiences in order to further their educational and career pathways. Across program years 2002–2005, these young artists, all aged 16 to 25, were finalists in the VSA arts/ Volkswagen of America, Inc. Program, an arts competition that was intended to showcase their talents and accomplishments. As part of the overall evaluation, we were able to identify career development strategies based on a review of finalists’ program applications. This brief is mainly targeted at visual artists, although the strategies may also apply to other groups of artists.

Teaching Networking Skills: Paving a Way to Jobs and Careers (Teaching manual)

This curriculum is for trainers working with individuals with limited work experience; its goal is to help those job seekers to become engaged in career and job exploration through Networking. It is designed for professionals working with school-to-work transition-age youth, however it has broad applicability to others with limited work experience. This curriculum give students opportunities to practice and put into use networking skills such as: identifying their own network, approaching people, talking about their skills and interests, learning about what employers look for, exploring careers and job options, and exhibiting good business etiquette. Activities vary to accommodate diverse learning styles, and trainers can select lessons that fit the needs of their groups.

One-Stop Collaborations: The Key to Expanding Your Workforce Connections

MassWorks 6, 2008

Finding ways to collaborate with the mainstream workforce system can not only expand the opportunities for the people you serve but position your organization as a valuable resource to the workforce development system.

Quality Employment Services: Where Research and Practice Meet

MassWorks 5, 2007

Providing quality employment services to people with disabilities requires a substantial commitment of time, energy, and resources. Given this investment and our obligation to individuals with disabilities, we as providers must deliver the most effective services possible.

Increasing Placement Through Professional Networking

Institute Brief 23

The national percentage of people of working age with disabilities who are employed continues to hover around 37%, compared with 80% for their peers without disabilities (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). However, according to the Harris Poll (2004), 67% of people with disabilities who are not currently working would like to be (Dixon, Kurse, & Van Horn, 2003). In the late 1990s, a Presidential Task Force began work on improving the employment rate for adults with disabilities, a national priority that was further supported by the New Freedom Initiative of 2001, creating a bipartisan effort. Despite these initiatives, the rate of employment for people with disabilities has not increased.

Minimum Wage Increase: A Guide for Disability Service Providers (UPDATED 2009)

Institute Brief 22

This publication provides guidance to service providers regarding the increase in minimum wage, with a particular focus on assisting consumers with questions and concerns they may have regarding the impact on their public benefits.

AccessICI: What Do Employers Want?

The ICI Podcast

The debut of ICI's podcast features an interview with employer liaisons Diane Loud and Rick Kugler, discussing ways to reach employers.

Creating Effective Business Partnerships: What Businesses Want Human Service Agencies to Know

MassWorks 4

While the primary customer of employment services for people with disabilities is the job seeker, placement services can only succeed if they meet the needs of business. This issue of MassWorks examines the “demand side” of job development. With a list of resources.

CommonHealth

MassWorks 3

The issue of the MassWorks newsletter discusses MassHealth CommonHealth and the options it offers working people with disabilities.

When Existing Jobs Don't Fit: A Guide to Job Creation

Institute Brief 17

Successful job development for people with disabilities is about meeting the specific and often unique needs of each job seeker. Job creation is a way to modify or restructure existing jobs or bring together a combination of job tasks that fill the work needs of an employer while capitalizing on the skills and strengths of workers with significant disabilities. This is the second issue in the new ICI Professional Development Series.

More Than Just a Job: Person-Centered Career Planning

Institute Brief 16

Sometimes counselors think that person-centered career planning has to involve a big meeting, or is only for people with the most significant disabilities. The first issue in the new ICI Professional Development Series lays out the principles of listening to job seekers to help them shape and achieve their career goals.

Networking: A Consumer Guide to an Effective Job Search

Tools for Inclusion 7

Based on an ICI training workshop, this brief teaches job seekers with disabilities how to become more proactive in their job search.

Support through Mentorship: Accessible Supervision of Employees with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Institute Brief Issue No. 29 July 2013

Effective supervision of employees with intellectual or developmental disabilities can be challenging for businesses that may not have experience in hiring people with diverse support requirements. This is largely due to the relatively low participation rates of people with disabilities in the workforce. This is, thankfully, changing as more businesses are seeing the value of diversifying their workforce, which includes hiring people with diverse cognitive abilities like people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Quality Employment Practices

The Institute Brief, Issue No. 25

It has been known for decades that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including those with significant impairment or who have behaviors that others find challenging, can work when they are given appropriate supports (Smith, Belcher, & Juhrs, 1995). It is also clear that individuals with ASD can benefit from employment. Benefits include improved emotional state, greater financial gain, decreased anxiety, greater self-esteem, and greater independence (Mawhood & Howlin, 1999; Hurlbutt & Chalmers, 2004). Nonetheless, employment outcomes for individuals with ASD have traditionally been poor (Bilstedt, Gilberg, & Gilberg, 2005; Howlin, Goode, Hutton, & Rutter, 2004). Even those who do find work are often underemployed or do not hold onto jobs for a long period of time (Mawhood & Howlin, 1999).

Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Considerations for Employers

The National Center on Workforce Development/Adult (NCWD/A), funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), undertook a one-year project that examined practices and strategies implemented by U.S. companies seeking to recruit and retain older workers. This brief presents themes that emerged from phone conversations with employees at 18 companies in 13 states. Five of those companies subsequently participated in more in-depth, in-person visits. NCWD/A staff held phone conversations with human resource or diversity program representatives; during in-person visits, researchers had discussions with a wide range of informants, from company leadership to frontline supervisors/managers and older workers themselves. This brief presents the motivational factors that drove companies to focus on older workers, the cultural contexts of businesses that have undertaken these practices, and the range of recruitment and retention practices and initiatives they used. Researchers offer suggestions to employers on the relevance of the findings to their own workplace practices, initiatives, and cultures.

Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Application to People with Disabilities

The National Center on Workforce Development/Adult (NCWD/A), funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), undertook a one-year project that examined practices and strategies implemented by U.S. companies seeking to recruit and retain older workers. This brief presents themes that emerged from phone conversations with employees at 18 companies in 13 states. Five of those companies subsequently participated in more in-depth, in-person visits. NCWD/A staff held phone conversations with human resource or diversity program representatives; during in-person visits, researchers had discussions with a wide range of informants, from company leadership to frontline supervisors/managers and older workers themselves. This brief identifies strategies that can benefit both older workers and workers with disabilities. It describes each strategy that companies discussed in relation to older workers and makes a case for its effectiveness in employing workers with disabilities, offering action steps employers can take. The brief ends with recommendations for the disability community to better support businesses to employ people with disabilities. Including these practices in business operations will position employers to become more reflective of their diverse communities and the customers they strive to serve.

Self-Determination: A Fundamental Ingredient of Employment Support

Tools for Inclusion 22

Persons with disabilities should direct their own job searches, from determining their interests and goals to researching employment opportunities to starting a new job. Doing so increases their sense of empowerment and can contribute to their employment success. Employment professionals have a facilitating role to play in the process. Job seeker self-determination practices should drive employment services' coordination, funding, and implementation.

Rent Freeze Basics for Public and Subsidized Housing Tenants Who Go to Work: A Guide for Mass. Community Service Providers

Resource Guide 11

For some tenants, rent freeze incentive policies can minimize the impact that increased earnings will have on rent. Under a rent freeze, when an eligible tenant gets a job after a period of unemployment, the rent will stay flat-- that is, not go up-- for a period of time. This companion guide explains the policies and eligibility guidelines.

The 30-Day Placement Plan: A Road Map to Employment (updated 2011)

Institute Brief 21

There are many steps to finding and getting the right job, and this process can be challenging. Many job seekers have found that breaking the job search down into a series of small, workable tasks makes the process much more manageable. It also gives the job seeker a sense of accomplishment when each task is completed. A 30-Day Placement Plan is one way to keep tasks in order.

Developing Community Partnerships to Reach Underserved Diverse Populations

MassWorks 2

This issue of MassWorks highlights an innovative approach to enhancing services for individuals from diverse communities. Community partnerships can provide a unique opportunity to improve services for individuals from diverse racial, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds.

Making Networking Easier for Job Seekers: A Guide

Institute Brief 20

Networking is considered the most effective way to find a good job. However, sometimes people find networking difficult. This brief addresses common reasons why people might not be comfortable and offers possible solutions. Particular concern is paid to differences between cultures.

Massachusetts Launches the Disability Program Navigator Initiative

MassWorks 1

This March ICI debuted a newsletter for Massachusetts disability, employment, and workforce professionals. It can be hard to find time to exchange resources and collaborate. MassWorks has information we hope will help you do your job. The first issue highlights the new disability program navigator initiative at Career Centers.

Show Me the Money: Flexible Funding for Job Success

This web publication shares success stories and suggestions to help people with disabilities use flexible funding to find and keep the jobs they want.

Making It Easier to Go to Work: What the Changes at Social Security Mean to You

Tools for Inclusion 17

Recent changes to Social Security reduce the financial consequences of working for people who receive benefits. This publication explains the changes and how they impact people with disabilities who want to work.

One-Stop Career Centers: Serving People with Disabilities

OneStops.info Brief 1

Why should a One-Stop Career Center serve people with disabilities? What are the requirements? What resources are available to help? This article provides guidelines and success stories for One-Stops in their quest for better services for all customers.

Access for All: A Resource Manual for Meeting the Needs of One-Stop Customers with Disabilities

Resource Guide 6

This comprehensive manual is designed to enhance the ability of One-Stop Career Centers to meet the needs of people with disabilities, and provides practical information on a variety of topics, including etiquette; job development and accommodations; working with the disability service system; legal guidelines; and extensive resources.

Effective Customer Service Delivery in Employment Support: Finding a Common Ground Between Guided and Self-Directed Service Delivery

Research to Practice 26

An ICI study analyzed the experiences of individuals who successfully found jobs through agencies and discovered five characteristics of effective employment services. This brief describes guided and self-directed approaches and provides recommendations for agency staff.

Stories of Success: Using Networking and Mentoring Relationships in Career Planning for Students with Disabilities and Their Families

Tools for Inclusion 12

This brief gives examples of how students and families have successfully used networking and mentoring to learn about jobs and find employment, and gives students tools to build and use their personal networks throughout the career planning process.

One-Stop Centers: A Guide for Job Seekers with Disabilities

Tools for Inclusion 10

General information about the One-Stop system and answers to specific questions individuals with disabilities may have about One-Stop services.

Demystifying Job Development: Field-Based Approaches to Job Development for People with Disabilities

Resource Guide

Developing new job opportunities remains one of the most difficult tasks for employment professionals. This book provides the core strategies to successfully place people with disabilities in quality community jobs, highlighting social inclusion and natural supports, and focusing on what each person wants to do and can do now, rather than on what they need to change to become "job ready."

Helpful Hints: How to Fill Out a Winning PASS Application

Tools for Inclusion 9

This brief uses the story of one career woman to illustrate how to apply for and use a PASS (Plan for Achieving Self Support), a Social Security program that allows people receiving SSI to maintain benefits as they start working.

Understanding the SSI Work Incentives

Tools for Inclusion 8

Information about Social Security Administration programs that can help people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to retain benefits that can support and ensure long-term employment.

Asumiendo la realidad: VIH y cancer en el lugar de trabajo

Research to Practice - Issue #21S

Los avances en el tratamiento médico del cáncer y del VIH han permitido que cada vez más gente que los padece continúe trabajando o vuelva a trabajar. El presente informe presenta las experiencias vividas por personas que padecen alguna de estas enfermedades, describe las semejanzas y contrastes que se detectaron al estudiar estas experiencias e incluye algunas recomendaciones.

Working It Out: Workplace Experiences of Individuals with HIV and Individuals with Cancer

Research to Practice 21

This brief describes the experiences of individuals with these illnesses, underlines similarities and differences between the two groups, and provides strategies for disclosure, support, and personal advocacy in the workplace.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title 1: Employment

Tools for Inclusion 5

Brief overview of the concepts and scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act, plus resource lists.

The Americans with Disabilities Act: General Overview

Tools for Inclusion 2

Brief overview of the concepts and scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act, plus resource lists.

Disability Organizations' Perspectives on the Needs of Youth with Disabilities Who Are Runaway or Homeless

Research to Practice 16

Findings from a national survey of state-level disability organizations on issues regarding runaway or homeless youth who have disabilities.

Building Authentic Visions: How to Support the Focus Person in Person Centered Planning

Research to Practice 15

This brief summarizes research on behavior during a planning session that increased or decreased participation of the focus person. Recommendations challenge team members to think about how their own behavior influences the focus person's participation.

Shared Responsibility: Job Search Practices from the Consumer and Staff Perspective

Research to Practice 2

A review of a national study of the job search practices used by community rehabilitation providers and independent living centers, focusing on the relationship between these practices and employment outcomes such as job satisfaction, wages, and hours.

Moving On: Planning for the Future

Manual

ICI's transition guide for students, parents, and educators. Transition from high school includes numerous areas of life. This guide provides a detailed introduction to what lies ahead and resources to get students started in the transition process.

Employment Advisory Boards: The Ultimate Community Resource

Institute Brief 8

Strategies for establishing links to the business community and relationships with prospective employers through the development of employment advisory boards.

Going To Work: A Guide to Social Security Benefits and Employment for Young People with Disabilities (2011 Edition)

Resource Guide

The purpose of this booklet is to give families and professionals working with young people some practical, hands-on information about work incentives. We also hope that young people themselves will read this booklet and use the information to help them make the best choices when they go to work.

WIA is Now WIOA: What the New Bill Means For People with Disabilities

With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Congress has reauthorized the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), including the Rehabilitation Act, through 2020. Commenting on the bill’s passage, President Obama stated that the bill "will help workers, including workers with disabilities, access employment, education, job- driven training, and support services that give them the chance to advance their careers and secure the good jobs of the future."

An Accessibility Guide to Community Technology Centers in Massachusetts

Resource Guide

The product of the study is this guide about the accessibility of community technology centers (CTCs) that participated in this survey. This guide includes general information about each center, and the facility, programmatic and technology accessibility and accommodations provided to assist people with disabilities.

Getting the Most from the Public Vocational Rehabilitation System

Tools for Inclusion 19

Every state has a vocational rehabilitation agency that is designed to help individuals with disabilities meet their employment goals. Vocational rehabilitation agencies assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for, get, keep, or regain employment. This publication answers questions frequently asked by individuals with disabilities. For consumers.

Making Experiential Education Accessible for Students with Disabilities

Institute Brief 19

College students with disabilities enter with less work experience and have a harder time finding jobs than their nondisabled peers. Experiential education-- mentoring, internships, job shadowing, and so on-- can create a bridge to graduation and employment. However, that requires college professionals to consider access issues for all students. A new Institute Brief provides basic disability awareness information, suggests ways to create welcoming career offices, and offers ideas to increase access to experiential education.

Guide to Accessible Transportation in Bristol and Plymouth Counties (Massachusetts)

Resource Guide 7

This guide concentrates on transportation operating through the Greater Attleboro/Plymouth/Onset and New Bedford/Fall River areas of Southeastern Massachusetts. Thirty-five private transportation providers, four public transit providers, three paratransit providers, and two commuter rail systems are included, as well as nine hotels/motels. The information was compiled by Donna Kulpa as part of the Barbara Wilensky Gopen Memorial Fellowship.

Taking the Mystery Out of Customer Service

Institute Brief 18

With the current emphasis on universal access to employment services for all members of the community, the workforce development field needs to evaluate service delivery. A "mystery shopper" program is one of many evaluation tools available to ensure continuous quality improvement and customer satisfaction. This technique allows organizations to collect data on the experiences of One-Stop Career Center customers from the customer perspective. The brief includes a sample shopper questionnaire.

Four Strategies to Find a Good Job: Advice from Job Seekers with Disabilities

Tools for Inclusion 18

An ICI study with job seekers revealed four strategies that can make it easier to find a job.

A Common Path: Navigating Your Way to Successful Negotiations in the Workplace

Tools for Inclusion 16A

Asking for job accommodations can feel intimidating, especially if an individual has decided not to disclose his or her disability. The good news is that this negotiation can be, in fact, rewarding and empowering. The Working It Out Together project asked experts for tactics to create win-win situations.

Evaluating Your Agency and Its Services: A Checklist for Job Seekers with Disabilities

Tools for Inclusion 16

It is important to evaluate employment services and decide if you are getting the results that you are looking for. You should have high expectations! If you are currently using an agency for help with employment, this checklist can help you make sure you are getting what you need.

Starting with Me: A Guide to Person-Centered Planning for Job Seekers

Tools for Inclusion 14

A person-centered approach can help individuals with disabilities make satisfying job choices. This brief guides job seekers through a three-stage career development process that includes assessing their interests, researching the job market, and marketing themselves to potential employers.

Time Limits, Exemption, and Disclosure: TANF Caseworkers and Clients with Disabilities

Research to Practice 24

Findings show that welfare caseworkers experience unique challenges when supporting welfare recipients with disabilities, including time limit pressures and conflict over exemptions. The brief includes a resource list for caseworkers.

Self-Determination and Struggle in the Lives of Adolescents

Research to Practice 23

As students of all ability levels move into adulthood, they seek to define themselves and develop goals for the future. This study identifies four categories of students and offering targeted suggestions for support.

Moving On: Planning for the Future (Video)

Video 3

This video outlines a step-by-step process for transition planning.

Consejos Utiles: Como diligenciar un PASS que de resultados

El PASS es un programa ofrecido por la Social Security Administration (Administración de Seguridad Social) para ayudar a las personas que reciben SSI (Ingresos Suplementarios de Seguridad Social). El presente documento utilizará la historia de Daniela para ilustrar el PASS en mayor detalle.

Redes de Contactos: Una Herramienta Eficaz Para Quienes Buscan Empleo

Buscar trabajo es difícil. En promedio se necesita hacer entre 10 y 20 llamadas para conseguir una entrevista y entre 7 y 10 entrevistas para conseguir un empleo. La formación y utilización de redes de contactos ayuda enormemente a acelerar este proceso.

Barriers to Transition Planning for Parents of Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs

Research to Practice 19

An examination of the transition planning experiences and concerns of family members of young adults with special health care needs.

The Most Important Member: Facilitating the Focus Person's Participation in Person Centered Planning

Research to Practice 14

This brief summarizes research that explored the participation of young people in person centered planning, and gives specific recommendations to assist facilitators in maximizing student participation.

Responding to the Needs of Youth with Disabilities Who Are Runaway or Homeless

Research to Practice 7

Results from a national survey of Family Youth and Service Bureau-funded agencies regarding their knowledge of the needs of youth with disabilities who are runaways, homeless, or at risk for running away.

Trends in Supported Employment: The Experiences of 94 Community Rehabilitation Service Providers from 1986 - 1991

Research to Practice 4

A follow-back study (data from 1986 and 1991) examined service patterns of community rehabilitation providers for supported employment, competitive employment, and sheltered workshops.

Building Community Connections: Designing a Future That Works

Manual

This networking training manual outlines a curriculum that teaches individuals with disabilities to use their contacts in a job search. Topics covered include tapping the hidden job market, using networks to find a job and develop careers, creating a mutually beneficial relationship with potential employers, dealing with disclosure, and working with service providers.

Facilitating Workplace Supports

Video

Illustrates strategies to increase the involvement of family, friends, and coworkers in providing workplace support to individuals with disabilities across four major stages of the employment experience: the job search, job design, learning the job, and connecting to workplace culture.

Utilizing All Your Resources: Individuals with and Without Disabilities Volunteering Together

Resource Guide 1

This manual discusses strategies for enabling individuals with and without disabilities to volunteer together in their communities for fun and civic service. Topics covered include recruiting, training, and coordinating volunteers; handling challenges; and managing liability.

More Like a Dance: Whole Life Planning for People with Disabilities

Manual/Video

A useful reference on using person-centered planning to assist young adults in making the transition from school to adulthood. This system emphasizes the involvement of family, friends, and community members, with the student driving the process. The video shows the whole life planning process in action by depicting key aspects of the process and the experiences of three students.

Employing People with Disabilities: Small Business Concerns and Recommendations

Research to Practice 18

Survey results from Massachusetts small businesses regarding hiring and employing people with disabilities.

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities