Building an Evidence-Based, Holistic Approach to Advancing Integrated Employment

Allison Cohen Hall, John Butterworth, Jean Winsor, John Kramer, Kelly Nye-Lengerman, Jaimie Timmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


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 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 remains elusive for the majority of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The number of individuals supported in integrated employment by state agencies has remained stagnant for the past 15 years, participation in nonwork services has grown rapidly, and individual employment supports have not been implemented with fidelity. This article presents preliminary findings from activities completed by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Advancing Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and discusses a framework for organizing state and federal investments in research, practice, and systems change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalResearch and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The article was developed with support from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), grant #90RT5028. NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this manuscript do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • employment
  • intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • systems change


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