Home : Staff : Jean E. Winsor :

Decline in the Provision of Facility-Based Work Services for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Data Note No. 35, 2011


Originally published: 11/2011

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 trends in community-based day and employment services between FY1988 and FY2009 for individuals with IDD and closely related conditions.

Facility-based work services are vocational services provided in settings where the majority of people have a disability and receive continuous job-related supports and supervision. Facility-based work services are also referred to as sheltered work, work activity services, or extended employment programs.

In 2001, the Rehabilitation Services Administration formally eliminated sheltered employment as a successful outcome for clients of state vocational rehabilitation agencies. Since then, IDD agencies have been among the few state-level agencies that have continued to authorize and fund facility-based work outcomes. Several factors may influence participation in facility-based work for individuals with IDD, including state IDD agency funding and policy priorities, growth in community integration service options, selection of services at transition by individuals and their families, and the priority placed on integrated employment outcomes by state systems.

Data over the past ten years from 17 states1 demonstrate that the percentage of individuals reported by state IDD agencies that have received facility-based work services declined from 36.0% in FY1999 to 26.4% in FY2009. The number of individuals reported in facility-based work also declined during this period (Table 1). However, there was not a corresponding increase in integrated employment outcomes in these states, and the percentage of people reported in integrated employment declined slightly, from 26.1% to 24.2%.2 During this same time period, non-work services have continued to grow at the expense of integrated employment. The percentage of individuals receiving non-work services increased from 41.8% in FY1999 to 50.4% in FY2009, an increase of more than 30,000 individuals in these 17 states. These data demonstrate that despite the decrease in facility-based work services, state IDD agencies need to place a greater emphasis on integrated employment outcomes.

Table 1. Distribution of individuals by service
Number Served Percentage by Service
Year Total served Integrated employment Facility-based work Non-work services Integrated employment Facility-based work Non-work services
1999 168,419 43,999 60,660 70,396 26.1% 36.0% 41.8%
2001 169,511 42,445 57,069 74,812 25.0% 33.7% 44.1%
2004 183,583 41,484 53,864 90,993 22.6% 29.3% 49.6%
2007 186,023 43,483 53,626 93,285 23.4% 28.8% 50.1%
2008 187,370 48,999 54,089 95,679 26.2% 28.9% 51.1%
2009 200,345 48,405 52,951 101,002 24.2% 26.4% 50.4%

1States were included in this analysis if they provided data on the number served in integrated and facility-based work and non-work services between 1999 and 2009. The states were: AL, CT, IN, MA, NC, NH, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, VA, VT, WA, and WY.

2Beginning in 2007, the number and percentage of people in integrated employment is inflated slightly by the inclusion of the state of Washington. Because of the implementation of the Working Age Adult Policy in 2006, approximately 2,000 individuals are included in integrated employment who are on a pathway to employment but are not yet working for pay. The authors assume that in all states a small percentage of individuals who are reported in integrated employment services are looking for work or otherwise between jobs and not working for pay, but this gap is larger in Washington.

Suggested Citation

Winsor, J. E., & Migliore, A. (2011). Decline in the provision of facility-based work services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Data Note Series, Data Note 35. 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).

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities