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Allison Cohen Hall

Research Associate

B.S., Special Education, Boston University
M.A. and Ph.D., Social Policy, Brandeis University

Allison Cohen Hall, Ph.D., conducts case study research that identifies promising practices for serving people with disabilities through the One-Stop system. Allison also works on projects that are part of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities-funded National Data Collection Project for Day and Employment Services, and the Center on State Systems and Employment. In addition, she is involved in a longitudinal data collection effort that measures organizational- and individual-level change in community rehabilitation provider agencies that are transitioning from sheltered employment to community-based employment. Before joining ICI, Allison worked as a policy analyst for the Massachusetts Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation. Her undergraduate work was in special education at Boston University, and her doctoral studies at the Brandeis University Heller School focused on disability policy.

ICI publications by Allison Cohen Hall

Employment Data Systems : Florida's Agency for Persons with Disabilities

The increasing emphasis on government accountability at the state and federal levels has increased interest in and use of outcome data. Moreover, research has found that high performing states in integrated employment generally have a clear and visible data collection system that provides individual outcome data (Hall et al, 2007). But what are the most important elements in designing and using a system? Stakeholders have raised questions regarding creating effective data collection systems, identifying variables with the most utility for influencing policy, and using data as a strategic planning tool. This series is intended to shed light on the successes and challenges of day and employment systems across several states and to provide strategies for other states as they examine their own data collection systems and their impact on their employment priorities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). (3/2011)

Iowa's Governance Group: Facilitating Partnerships That Support Integrated Employment

In 1998, five state agencies formed the Governance Group. Partner agencies included: Iowa Workforce Development, Department of Human Services, Department of Education, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Department of Human Rights. The group was developed in response to a Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) request for proposals that included an advisory group for systems change efforts to expand employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities. By 2000, the five original partners had expanded their efforts by agreeing to provide oversight and consultation to a Department of Labor (DOL) Work Incentive Grant and brought on two additional partners, the Department for the Blind and the Iowa Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities. (1/2011)

North Carolina: Using an Outcomes-based Long Term Vocational Services Funding Model

In North Carolina, counties have been consolidated into Local Management Entities (LMEs). These entities contract for services with community providers and provide oversight on access, utilization, best practices, and community collaborations. The Mecklenberg County LME established the Best Practices Community Committee, comprising service providers, individuals and family members, advocacy agencies, community partners, interested community volunteers, and LME staff. Sub-committees addressed several areas, including employment. Based on their recommendations, a pilot project that uses an outcome-based funding model for follow-along employment services was developed. (7/2009)

Mandatory Situational Assessments in Tennessee

Tennessee implemented it’s Employment First initiative in 2002 with a goal of making employment the first day service option for adults receiving supports from the Department of Mental Retardation Services. As part of the Employment First initiative, the state requires a periodic community-based work assessment for all individuals not currently employed in the community. State-contracted and independent individualized support coordinators ensure that individuals who are not in integrated employment participate in a community-based work assessment at least every three years. Since December 2005, employment providers can be trained in conducting situational job assessments and the importance of providing these opportunities. (7/2009)

Using Employment Data to Create Area-specific Employment Goals in Massachusetts

In 2002, the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) developed a contractual requirement that employment service provider performance be tracked through outcome measures. As a result, DDS shaped its employment data collection system to focus on what it viewed as key outcomes for measuring success around employment.  A confluence of factors including participation in the National Core Indicator project, a new Request for Responses (RFR) for Employment Support Services that emphasized performance measurement, and DDS’s intrinsic commitment to greater community employment supported the development of an employment data system that focused on individual outcomes. Data from this effort is now being used to help each area office create employment goals with their employment providers. (7/2009)

Select outside publications by Allison Cohen Hall

Hall, A. C., Timmons, J.C., Boeltzig, H., Hamner, D., Fesko, S. (2006). Maximizing competence through professional development: Increasing disability knowledge among One-Stop Career Center staff. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, 26(4), 355-367.

Cohen, A. (2000). Focus on the front-line: Perceptions of workforce issues among direct support workers and their supervisors. Boston, MA: Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation.

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