Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date



Training and Technical Assistance, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, I/DD, Developmental Disabilities, Employment, Access to Integrated Employment, ThinkWork


Organization Development | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work | Sociology | Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling


In 2006, a new Maine law mandated the creation of a waiver program that promotes the expansion of supported employment programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). As a result, state funding for sheltered workshops was reduced for seven workshops and approximately 220 individuals throughout Maine. These individuals received funding under the new waiver program for community supports and supported employment services. As a result, Maine’s Department of Health and Human Service’s (DHHS) Office of Adults with Cognitive and Physical Disabilities (OACPD) developed a comprehensive work plan. A pilot project, which was included in this plan, focused on those agencies that were scheduled to transition from offering sheltered employment to only integrated employment. The pilot project is a collaborative effort between OACPD, Maine’s Developmental Disabilities Council, a self-advocacy group called Speaking Up for Us, Portland Goodwill, and the University of Southern Maine (USM) Muskie School of Public Service. It helps individuals in sheltered workshops to prepare for the transition into community work. Utilizing a train-the-trainer model, It’s Your Life: Building Connections Through Work trains persons with ID/ DD who are successfully employed in integrated settings to mentor and support others. This training enables those already employed to provide practical information and support to those individuals who, upon the closing of their workshop, may choose to be employed in their communities as well.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.