Promoting Integrated Employment

Lessons Learned From States’ Efforts to Transform Their Employment Service Systems for People With Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

Although federal policies and initiatives have evolved in recent years to promote integrated employment, em-ployment rates are consistently low, particularly among workers with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDDs). Integrated employment is defined as participation in competitive employment in which people with disabilities work alongside people without disabilities for at least minimum wage. To achieve the end goal of making integrated employment the preferred outcome for individuals with significant disabilities, states are transforming their employment service systems by changing their payment rates, policies, and services and supports infrastructure.

This issue brief describes five states’ efforts to increase integrated employment among individuals with IDDs, discusses barriers that have hindered states’ progress toward expanding integrated employment outcomes, and highlights lessons learned that can help other states advance their efforts transforming their employment service systems. This analysis is based on discussions with officials in the District of Columbia, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Washington. These states were selected because they are taking steps to increase integrated employment outcomes among individuals with IDDs. One of these states had made steady progress in sup-porting individuals in integrated employment