Since the introduction of supported employment in the Developmental Disabilities Act of 1984 and the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1986, there has been continued development and refinement of best practices in employment services and supports. Progress includes demonstration of creative outcomes for individuals with significant support needs, including customized jobs and self-employment, community rehabilitation providers that have shifted emphasis to integrated employment, and states that have made a substantial investment in Employment First policy and strategy. Despite these achievements, the promise of integrated employment has not been realized for many individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD). The number of individuals supported in integrated employment by state IDD agencies has remained stagnant over the past fifteen years, participation in non-work services has grown rapidly, and individual employment supports are not implemented with fidelity to a consistent model or expectations.
Responding to this need, the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Advancing Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is a research project housed at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. It is part of ICI’s ThinkWork! initiative, a group of projects promoting community employment for people with IDD.
ThinkWork! at the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston, "RRTC on Advancing Employment for Individuals with IDD: State of the Science Paper – State level strategy and policy" (2017). All Institute for Community Inclusion Publications. 78.