What our new center is about: People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can work and want to work--yet the majority don’t have jobs. State and national policies exist to increase employment, but systems have not aligned to make integrated employment a priority. To meet this need, the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at UMass Boston is hosting a new rehabilitation research and training center, or RRTC. It’s called the RRTC on Advancing Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Because change is critical at multiple levels, the RRTC integrates four focus areas:
- individual and family knowledge and engagement,
- effective employment supports,
- organizational change for community rehabilitation providers, and
- state-level policy and strategy.
What is Employment First?
States that adopt an Employment First policy focus on employment in individual integrated jobs in the typical labor market as the preferred option for all citizens with disabilities. This means that employment is the priority for funding, individual planning, and the supports an individual receives.
ThinkWork! at the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston, "Integrating Research, Training, and Knowledge Translation (Bringing Employment First to Scale, Issue No. 1)" (2015). All Institute for Community Inclusion Publications. 18.