Employment is a critical part of community inclusion for people with disabilities. For youth, a smooth transition from education to employment is equally essential. Securing and maintaining employment helps many people to achieve independence in their communities, but there are often barriers to accessing meaningful and integrated employment.
To address these challenges, ACL and its Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) administer a range of initiatives that aim to improve employment outcomes.
- ACL Profiles in Integrated Employment Blog Series - Case studies and promising practices from employment service providers across the country working with people with disabilities.
- AIDD Employment First Initiatives - Employment First refers to the idea that community-based, integrated employment is the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities. Learn about AIDD initiatives to promote competitive integrated employment.
- Partnerships in Integrated Employment System Change Grants seek to enhance collaboration across state systems in order to improve employment outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities, with a focus on youth and young adults.
- Community of Practice for Supporting Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities A community of practice is a group that share the same interest and collaborates consistently to share ideas and discuss solutions to challenges. This project seeks to build capacity, reform delivery systems, and improve strategies related to competitive integrated employment.
- Centers for Independent Living (CILs) - Supporting people with disabilities with transitions is one of five core services provided by community-based CILs across the country.
- Protection and Advocacy Systems (P&As) – P&As advocate for competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities and protect clients’ rights to be free from employment discrimination based on disability.
- State Councils on Developmental Disabilities – Councils promote competitive integrated employment through systems change and capacity building efforts. Several Councils support Project Search which provides internship opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities.
- Think College! is a project of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, funded in part by an AIDD Project of National Significance grant, dedicated to providing information about college options for people with disabilities.
- University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) – Many conduct research and support programs to promote integrated employment for people with developmental disabilities.
ACL, and our federal partners, also work to support the use of volunteers in Older Americans Act programs and to provide expanded opportunities for older adults and others to get involved in their communities.