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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.

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.

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.

Integrated Employment Outcomes Through Person-to-Person Technical Assistance: New Hampshire

New Hampshire implemented an innovative technical assistance model that promoted organizational change to expand individual employment opportunities. This person-to-person change began at the micro level but "trickled up" through organizations across the state.

Shifting Resources Away from Sheltered Workshops in Vermont

Over six years, regulations in Vermont gradually restricted and eventually prohibited the use of state funds for sheltered workshops or enclaves. Concurrent with the change in funding regulations, the state worked with providers to convert the remaining sheltered workshops in Vermont.

Employment First! Making Integrated Employment the Preferred Outcome in Tennessee

The goal of Employment First was to make employment the first day service option for adults receiving supports funded by DMRS, Medicaid, or the state.

Case Studies of Local Boards and One-Stop Centers: Strategies for Maximizing Staff Competence When Supporting Job Seekers with Disabilities

Case Studies 12

This series of products offers practical solutions for Local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers as they strive to serve all customers, including those with disabilities. One-Stops that effectively serve job seekers with disabilities spend energy and resources on staff development and training, although even with these efforts there continue to be concerns about One-Stop staff members' understanding of disability issues and employment.

Creative Involvement of Community-Based Disability Organizations

Case Studies 11

This series of products offers practical solutions for Local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers as they strive to serve all customers, including those with disabilities. WIA facilitates partnerships to improve service delivery. Although the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency is the only mandated disability partner, community-based organizations can also work with One-Stops.

Case Studies of Local Boards and One-Stop Centers: Levels of Involvement of State VR Agencies with Other One-Stop Partners

Case Studies 10

This series of products offers practical solutions for Local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers as they strive to serve all customers, including those with disabilities. Although WIA's requirements for VR participation are clear, the parameters are flexible. Defining the role of VR has had its challenges, but there are numerous examples of VR agencies working creatively to establish effective partnerships.

Case Studies of Local Boards and One-Stop Centers: Tackling Fiscal Issues

Case Studies 9

This series of products offers practical solutions for Local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers as they strive to serve all customers, including those with disabilities. In addition to service delivery, WIA encourages One-Stop partners to share in the operating costs of the One-Stop. While the potential benefits are clear, the practicalities can be complex. This brief shares some of the strategies that One-Stop partners have used to address this challenge.

State Agency Systems Collaboration at the Local Level: Gluing the Puzzle Together, The Staff Perspective

Research to Practice 34

Some states acknowledge the benefits of interagency collaboration but have trouble putting it into action. ICI researchers worked with local offices to help them improve the One-Stop Career Center network for people with disabilities. This brief gives an "in the trenches" view of tools that worked.

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.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Focus on Accessibility

Case Studies 6

The many changes mandated by WIA create opportunities and challenges. These lessons from the field offer practical solutions for state and local entities and are intended to stimulate discussion, creativity, and thoughtful planning among members of the workforce and disability communities.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Focus on Leadership

Case Studies 7

The many changes mandated by WIA create opportunities and challenges. These lessons from the field offer practical solutions for state and local entities and are intended to stimulate discussion, creativity, and thoughtful planning among members of the workforce and disability communities.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Focus on Merging Cultures

Case Studies 8

The many changes mandated by WIA create opportunities and challenges. These lessons from the field offer practical solutions for state and local entities and are intended to stimulate discussion, creativity, and thoughtful planning among members of the workforce and disability communities.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Focus on Involving People with Disabilities

Case Studies 5

The many changes mandated by WIA create opportunities and challenges. These lessons from the field offer practical solutions for state and local entities and are intended to stimulate discussion, creativity, and thoughtful planning among members of the workforce and disability communities.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Focus on Co-location

Case Studies 4

The many changes mandated by WIA create opportunities and challenges. These lessons from the field offer practical solutions for state and local entities and are intended to stimulate discussion, creativity, and thoughtful planning among members of the workforce and disability communities.

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.

Collaboration Between Medicaid and Other State Agencies- Findings from the National Survey of State Systems and Employment for People with Disabilities

Research to Practice 31

Many state Medicaid agencies are playing a greater role in multi-agency efforts to promote employment for people with disabilities. This brief uses data from the National Survey of State Systems and Employment for People with Disabilities to explore the varieties of collaboration Medicaid agencies are using and the agencies they are collaborating with.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Spotlight on Maine

Case Studies 3

The implementation of WIA requires major organizational change for employment and training agencies. These publications highlight findings from case studies in three states and identify how states have begun to collaborate and the subsequent impact on people with disabilities.

One-Stop Career Centers and the New Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program: Access for All in Workforce Development

OneStops.info Brief 2

This edition of OneStops.info gives an overview of the major provisions in the final regulations implementing the Ticket to Work program, and describes the factors a One-Stop may want to consider before determining whether and how to get involved in this new program.

Selecting a Payment System Under the Ticket to Work

The Ticket to Work program gives VR agencies several payment options. An agency's choice of payment systems is an important one, with significant financial implications. This white paper analyzed the experiences of New England states to develop guidelines for VR agencies.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Spotlight on Kentucky

Case Studies 1

The implementation of WIA requires major organizational change for employment and training agencies. These publications highlight findings from case studies in three states and identify how states have begun to collaborate and the subsequent impact on people with disabilities.

Case Studies on the Implementation of the Workforce Investment Act: Spotlight on Minnesota

Case Studies 2

The implementation of WIA requires major organizational change for employment and training agencies. These publications highlight findings from case studies in three states and identify how states have begun to collaborate and the subsequent impact on people with disabilities.

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.

Developing Interagency Agreements: Four Questions to Consider

Institute Brief 14

Recent legislation emphasizes collaboration between state agencies. A good interagency agreement is one tool that can assist collaboration and promote systems change. Researchers offer four important considerations for an effective agreement and a worksheet for agency personnel.

The Extent of Consumer-Directed Funding by MR/DD State Agencies in Day and Employment Services

Research to Practice 30

Individual control over service delivery and life choices is well established as a value in supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. One strategy for expanding choice is mechanisms that allow consumers to direct their funding. This brief reports on the prevalence of these options in state MR/DD agencies for 1999.

Postsecondary Education as a Critical Step Toward Meaningful Employment: Vocational Rehabilitation's Role

Research to Practice 29

Research shows that access to postsecondary education makes an enormous difference in the employability of people with disabilities. This brief focuses on the rehabilitation outcomes of people who received education supports from Vocational Rehabilitation agencies.

National Day and Employment Service Trends in MR/DD Agencies

Research to Practice 28

To what extent have changes in philosophy translated into changes for state agencies and the people they serve? This brief analyzes MR/DD agencies' day and employment service trends from 1988 to 1999 and discusses relevant trends in policy and legislation.

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.

WIA and One-Stop Centers: Opportunities and Issues for the Disability Community

Institute Brief 13

This brief gives a basic overview of the act and examines its impact on the lives of people with disabilities as well as the systems and organizations that assist them.

A Benefit-Cost Analysis Model for Social Service Agencies

Monograph 26

Public policy demands that we look not only at the effectiveness of social service programs, but also at their efficiency-- the extent to which a program's benefits outweigh its costs. This monograph presents a benefit-cost analysis model that considers both monetary and non-monetary factors.

The Successes and Struggles of Closing a Facility-Based Employment Service

Research to Practice 20

A brief overview of findings from the Conversion to Integrated Employment monographs.

Bridges to Inclusion: Supports for Youth At-Risk with Disabilities

Roses and Thorns from the Grassroots: A Series Highlighting Organizational Change in Massachusetts

This brief reports what ICI learned during a collaborative project with Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a Boston-based agency that serves runaway, homeless, and other at-risk youth. The collaboration included research, staff training, youth training, and case consultation.

Working Together to Convert the Last Sheltered Workshop in Vermont to Individualized Supports

Vermont's Division of Disability and Aging Services and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation worked with a local service provider to convert its congregate day services to community employment.

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.

Innovations in Employment Supports: Colorado's State Division of Developmental Services

Research to Practice 39

Between the years of 1985 and 1996 Colorado experienced significant growth in integrated employment for people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Several factors were consistently highlighted as contributing to Colorado's employment outcomes during this period.

Job Networking in Diverse Communities

Research to Practice 37

While individuals with disabilities face many obstacles when seeking employment, there are usually additional challenges for those from diverse cultures. To address this issue, ICI formed partnerships with community immigrant organizations to teach networking techniques to job seekers.

What Do Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services Cost?

Data Note 1, 2005

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) system can purchase a wide array of services to support employment. The February, 2005 Data Note summarizes the cost per VR case in fiscal year 2003. Costs varied widely according to disability type.

Case Studies of Local Boards and One-Stop Centers: Underutilization of One-Stops by People with Significant Disabilities

Case Studies 13

This series of products offers practical solutions for Local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers as they strive to serve all customers, including those with disabilities. Existing data indicates that people with disabilities underutilize One-Stops. The disproportionately high rate of unemployment among people with disabilities makes this a critical issue. However, many One-Stops have created successful strategies to improve access.

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.

The New England Council News, Special Edition: Tapping the Underutilized Workforce

Developed with The New England Council, this newsletter focuses on an issue for the future that businesses need to start thinking about today: tapping the underutilized workforce. Demographic trends mean that companies will soon be looking for qualified workers in the future. Even now, sectors such as health care are experiencing shortages. People with disabilities can be a significant source of qualified workers. The newsletter includes success stories from companies and their employees with disabilities.

From the Field

By combining financial resources, the Minnesota Rehabilitation Services and Department of Mental Health created the Coordinated Employability Projects to expand employment services for people with mental illnesses. Two members of the team discuss the value of this collaboration and present challenges, strategies, and outcomes that have strengthened activities between their two agencies.

The Applicability of the ADA to Personal Assistance Services in the Workplace

Policy Brief 10

This policy brief addresses whether providing personal assistance services in the workplace is a reasonable accommodation as defined in the ADA, and if so, under which circumstances.

High-Performing States in Integrated Employment

Research to Practice 32

Despite recent improvements, community employment outcomes vary widely across states. This report highlights successful practices of states that were identified as "high performers" in integrated employment for people served by state MR/DD agencies.

Conversion to Integrated Employment: Case Studies of Organizational Change Volume 3

Research Report 30

Case studies of organizations that closed a sheltered workshop or segregated program and replaced it with integrated employment or other community-based activities for individuals with disabilities. These monographs analyze the change process to help other agencies pursue a similar goal.

Provisions in the Final Regulations Governing the State VR Program Describing the Interplay with WIA and TWWIIA

Policy Brief 7

This brief describes the provisions of the final regulation regarding the responsibilities of Vocational Rehabilitation in the statewide workforce investment system and the relationship between VR and the Ticket to Work.

Characteristics of Effective Employment Services: The Consumers' Perspective

Monograph 31

This monograph reports findings from a study investigating the experiences of people with disabilities who used a state agency to find a job. Researchers found five key components to effective service delivery: agency culture, consumer-directedness, access to resources, quality personnel, and coordinated services.

Work Status Trends for People with Mental Retardation, FY 1985 to FY 1998

Research to Practice 25

National trends regarding extended employment (sheltered workshops) and competitive employment outcomes from state Vocational Rehabilitation systems between 1985 and 1998.

People with Disabilities: Having a Voice in the Creation of the New Workforce Investment System

Tools for Inclusion 11

This publication informs people with disabilities and advocates about the opportunities available for input into WIA implementation at the state and local level.

The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program and Established Under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999

Policy Brief 3

A description of the major provisions in Title I of the Act, which created the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.

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."

Provisions in the Workforce Investment Act Describing the Interplay Between Workforce Investment Systems and Vocational Rehabilitation Programs

Policy Brief 1

This brief identifies the sections in Title I of the Workforce Investment Act that specifically reference the state VR program, individuals with disabilities, and organizations representing individuals with disabilities.

Quality Employment Services: Will You Know It When You See It?

Institute Brief 11

Guidelines and steps for people with disabilities to evaluate agencies in order to receive services that best meet their individual needs.

Columbia MetroWest Human Services: A Study of Persistence, Planning, and Producing Change

A case study of an organization that underwent a major transformation resulting in greatly expanded opportunities for individually focused employment and community support for people with developmental disabilities.

Grant Development and Decision-Making: Comparison of Funding Agencies and Community-Based Minority Organizations

Research to Practice 17

This report compares the perspectives of government funding agencies and community-based minority organizations on grant development and decision-making, and gives recommendations on how these groups can work together effectively to fund disability programs.

Mass Bay Employment Services (a service of Bay Cove Human Services, Inc.): A Story of Leadership, Vision, and Action Resulting in Employment for People with Mental Illness

The story of an organization, working with people with serious mental illness, that made enormous strides in a very short time in moving from a non-employment-oriented day program to one that had employment as its primary goal.

Conversion to Integrated Employment: Case Studies of Organizational Change, Volume 1

Monograph 21

Case studies of organizations that closed a sheltered workshop or segregated program and replaced it with integrated employment or other community-based activities for individuals with disabilities. These monographs analyze the change process to help other agencies pursue a similar goal.

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.

Negotiating the Landscape: The Path to Employment for Individuals with Disabilities in the TANF System

Monograph

This monograph examines the impact of welfare reform on individuals with disabilities in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families system. Study findings map a path from welfare to work, describe variations on this path for individuals with disabilities, and consider a range of supports to address barriers.

From Paper to Action: State-Level Interagency Agreements for Supported Employment of People with Disabilities

Monograph 32

The second of three studies conducted that investigated the extent and role of interagency agreements between state agencies that fund and provide supported employment supports and services for people with significant disabilities.

Final Regulations Implementing the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program (The Ticket to Work Program)

Policy Brief 8

This brief describes the provisions of the final regulation regarding the responsibilities of Vocational Rehabilitation in the statewide workforce investment system and the relationship between VR and the Ticket to Work.

Recreation in the Community

Institute Brief 12

Recommendations from community recreation providers on how to include youth with disabilities in recreation programs.

Conversion to Integrated Employment: Case Studies of Organizational Change, Volume 2

Monograph 22

Case studies of organizations that closed a sheltered workshop or segregated program and replaced it with integrated employment or other community-based activities for individuals with disabilities. These monographs analyze the change process to help other agencies pursue a similar goal.

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.

Necesidades Laborales de Individuos con VIH/SIDA

Research to Practice - Issue #11S

Los asuntos de índole laboral se han vuelto cada vez más importantes para los individuos con VIH/SIDA. Distintas situaciones y relaciones laborales se pueden ver afectadas a medida que los individuos con VIH/SIDA reaccionan a la realidad de su diagnóstico e intentan responder simultáneamente a demandas laborales y de salud. El pesente informe resume las experiencias laborales de individuos con VIH/SIDA en el contexto del sistema actual de provisión de tales servicios.

Necesidades Laborales de Individuos con VIH/SIDA: Proveedores de Servicios Opinan

Research to Practice - Issue #10S

Los individuos con VIH/SIDA a menudo se enfrentan a desafíos cuando se ocupan de cuestiones laborales relacionadas con su estado de salud. El presente informe resume las experiencias de las Organizaciones de Servicios Relacionados con el SIDA y de los servicios de rehabilitación vocacional en la prestación de servicios relacionados con el empleo a individuos con VIH/SIDA.

Doing It Better: Better Practices in Employment for a State/County Department of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities

Monograph 16

These monographs reflect what ICI has learned about practices that influence employment outcomes for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (Doing it Better) and people with psychiatric disabilities (Managing Employment with Care). They are designed with funders and program administrators in mind and include recommendations for program design, outcome indicators, and monitoring.

Managing Employment with Care: Better Practices in Employment for a State/County Department of Mental Health

Monograph 17

These monographs reflect what ICI has learned about practices that influence employment outcomes for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (Doing it Better) and people with psychiatric disabilities (Managing Employment with Care). They are designed with funders and program administrators in mind and include recommendations for program design, outcome indicators, and monitoring.

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities