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Developmental Services (DS) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Developmental Disabilities Services

Employment rate among people age 18 to 64 who are served by Developmental Disabilities Services HCBS


Story Behind the Curve

The growth in the employment rate for people with ID/DD who receive HCBS is due to several factors. Each designated and specialized service agency had individualized employment rate targets within the larger context of striving for a 45% statewide employment rate. This individualized approach provided tangible and feasible benchmarks while recognizing that each organization has unique circumstances associated with increasing the number of people employed. DAIL's Supported Employment Specialists provided technical assistance via regular meetings with each agency to review progress and offer help. DAIL's ability to access Vermont Department of Labor's (VTDOL) database allowed DAIL to identify every employed person served by the providers. In some cases, the utilization of the VTDOL data base actually increased the employment rate as it picked up workers beyond what providers' data system had available for employment rates. In addition, four transition age youth educational options; SUCCEED, College Steps, Think College, and Project Search had a significant influence on the growth in employment with each achieving a high employment rate for their students upon graduation. DAIL, in partnership with the post-secondary education programs, was able to expand this service through the addition of a campus-based program at Lyndon State College and the expansion of Vermont Project Search from two to three Vermont licensed programs (Burlington, Rutland, Springfield). This growth has tremendously broadened the menu of employment supports for transition aged youth with developmental disabilities. DAIL and the Agency of Education (AOE) co-hosted a well-attended system development event during 2016 that convened education, employment and intake staff from across the state for the purpose of designing tighter collaboration and cooperative systems to serve transition age youth with developmental disabilities.


Designated Agency (DA) and Specialized Services Agency Supported Employment Coordinators and Directors; DDSD Supported Employment Specialist (Jennie Masterson); DVR Supported Employment Specialist (Betsy Choquette); UVM Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI/UVM) faculty(Bryan Dague); Vermont businesses, regional VR Counselors, Post-Secondary college support programs (Think College, Succeed, College Steps Program).

What Works
  • Ongoing support and technical assistance from DAIL Supported Employment Specialists.
  • Quarterly Supported Employment Coordinators' Meetings to share resources, ideas, and cross mentor.
  • Connecting youth to Project Search Industry based training and to post-secondary college course work.
Notes on Methodology

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) data that makes up this outcome is supplied by the Vermont Department of Labor and has a six months lag time in its availability. They there is a further delay during which time the agencies and VR and DDSD review the data. Therefore, Calendar Year 2016 data will not be available until Spring 2017.

Action Plan
  • Develop Youth Transition regional teams to come together quarterly and provide an annual team development day for statewide stakeholders.
  • DAIL continues to provide a CCV based online Supported Employment certification course to provide training to first year agency Supported Employment Specialists that is in the process of being assessed by several Supported Employment Programs.
  • Develop sustainability of the three Project Search sites in Vermont. Work with the post-secondary programs to assure continuation of the six Vermont college campus-based programs (Castleton University, Johnson State College, Lyndon State College, St. Michael's College, Southern Vermont College, University of Vermont).
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