Arkansas Disability Employment Initiative


State Policies & Initiatives: 
Systems-Change Funding

Project Description: The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services will build upon the success of their Disability Employment Navigator Initiative utilizing multiple models and strategies, including Integrated Resource Teams, customized employment, and Guideposts for Success. Their primary focus will be on integrating youth aged 14 to 24 into education and employment. Arkansas recognizes the coming shortages of a skilled labor force which they feel can be filled through engagement of youth with disabilities during their formative years with a view to long‐term economic self‐sufficiency. Arkansas will be establishing an Employment Network Outreach Specialist, in addition to Disability Resource Coordinators, to reach out‐of school and at‐risk youth as well as linking these youth to in‐depth benefit planning and work incentive information. Arkansas will incorporate individual assessment tools, such as Individual Educational/Employment Plans (IEPs), as part of career exploration and identification of educational and employment pathways. Integrated Resource Team approaches will include guidance counselors, career mentors, vocational rehabilitation specialists, community work incentives coordinators, parents/legal guardians, and others needed to assure individual success. Project design includes “real world” experience opportunities, such as summer youth employment under the Workforce Investment Act and job shadowing and mentoring from prospective employers and networking. Educational opportunities will also be explored and pursued according to the interests and skills of the youth.



  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Department of Education
  • Customized Employment
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Date Enacted: