Massachusetts

States - Big Screen

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusett's VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.72%
Change from
2014 to 2015
6,794,422
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.51%
Change from
2014 to 2015
393,251
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.84%
Change from
2014 to 2015
137,985
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.31%
Change from
2014 to 2015
35.09%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.54%
Change from
2014 to 2015
79.48%

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 6,692,824 6,745,408 6,794,422
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 389,873 399,206 393,251
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 136,199 141,899 137,985
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,023,909 3,086,555 3,127,728
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 34.93% 35.55% 35.09%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 77.88% 79.05% 79.48%
Overall unemployment rate. 6.70% 5.80% 4.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.40% 22.10% 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.60% 10.20% 10.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 366,064 367,361 368,682
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 416,140 405,785 416,436
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 639,602 626,311 636,792
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,987 59,607 64,532
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 86,968 89,305 86,040
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,575 3,492 2,696
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 23,662 24,825 26,372
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 21,465 22,825 22,867
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 34,470 35,825 31,478

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 8,339 8,703 9,125
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.00% 5.20% 5.40%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 203,672 205,642 205,060

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,215 2,502 2,605
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 11,283 7,331 7,239
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 19,175 20,914 21,104
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 11.60% 12.00% 12.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.50% 9.40% 10.60%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 5.80% 6.30% 7.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,590 1,742 18,005
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,083 1,163 1,239
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,126 10,735 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 97 75 53
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 64 51 36
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 66.00% 68.00% 68.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.96 0.76 0.53

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
6,260
7,724
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 33 32 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 503 590 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,170 1,356 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,574 1,886 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 2,560 3,322 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 420 538 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 37.70% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 8,229 9,774 12,086
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,535 325,203 325,918
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 135 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $34,969,000 $36,370,000 $44,606,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $36,940,000 $29,554,000 $26,014,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $134,766,000 $145,886,000 $146,000,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $35,274,000 $37,018,000 $44,292,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 26.00% 29.00% 36.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 2,433 2,631 3,731
Number of people served in facility based work. 3,085 3,065 2,564
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 7,882 8,507 8,741
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 56.80 67.80 85.10

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 59.20% 61.07% 61.86%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 15.00% 14.67% 14.43%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.90% 6.82% 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00% 99.46% 100.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 46.60% 42.05% 48.94%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 81.30% 77.00% 82.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 93.00% 88.73% 90.16%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 34.70% 34.94% 33.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 1 2 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 16
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 50 48 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 2 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 52 45
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 71 9
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 2,550
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 4,563 1,979
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 65 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 4,699 4,555

 

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

The MRC develops programs and services with the participation of providers in several forums.

  1. Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice annually.
  2. Quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.
  3. Periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs.
  4. Interagency and cross–disability agency councils.
  5. Task specific work teams.
  6. Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment first (MAAPSE) In partnership with MRC, CRP personnel actively participated in the process for competitive procurement, CIES, the disability employment pilot project work team and the mental health services work team. This included for the first time real pricing of community rehabilitation program services and performance reimbursement. (Page 251)

MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice a year; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams and the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE). (Page 299)

  • 6.   Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. (Page 302)
Customized Employment

No specific disability related information found

Braiding/Blending Resources
  • State–level coordination of youth–serving resources to drive local coordination
  • Models for braiding of funds to serve populations with highest need (and traditionally underserved)
  • Identification of new program models for ISY, OSY, and older youth. (Page 153)
Section 188/Section 188 Guide

WIOA NPRM at 20 CFR §678.800 requires that the state’s network of One–Stop Career Centers be certified by the Local Boards. WIOA further mandates that the State Board, in consultation with chief elected officials and Local Boards must establish objective criteria and procedures that Local Boards must use when certifying career centers. These new career center standards will further and be consistent with the Governor’s and State Board’s guidelines, guidance and vision. The new criteria will evaluate the one–stop career center delivery system for effectiveness in addressing business and job seeker needs in the enhanced Massachusetts demand–driven workforce delivery system. The new criteria will also ensure compliance with WIOA Section 188 nondiscrimination provisions and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In order to create and implement the One–Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA–mandated career center operator competitive selection process. (Page 142)

Every One–Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non–discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One–Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on–site monitoring at all 32 One–Stop locations, using the set of One–Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One–Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Page 143)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014–2015). (Page 96)

Franklin Hampshire Career Center works with a participant named “Eli”. Eli became a customer of the Career Center around January of this year, he has been working as a janitor with very limited hours, and he has maintained that job for a number of years. In interviewing Eli, he shared that he wanted a ‘career’ not just a job. He knew he wanted to go into a specific field.

The Career Center works with its partners because Eli is co–enrolled in Department of Mental health, a MRC and a member of a vocational rehabilitation Clubhouse model program. Eli enrolled in training under DEI and WIA funding. (Page 629)

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One–Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter–communication regarding clients. (Page 631)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

7. CareerAccess Initiative: MRC will closely follow the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community–driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MRC will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 302 & 314)

MRC passed this indicator again in FY 2014. Much effort has gone into assuring the accurate coding of the primary source of income of employed consumers both in and without the presence of other income such as SSA or other public benefits. MRC will continue to train staff in this area and validations have been added to the MRCIS case management system to avoid potential coding errors.

Standard and Indicator 2.1: Ratio of minorities served to non–minorities Actual: .94 Standard: .80 Result: PASS

MRC passed this indicator with a high score. MRC continues to make a strong commitment to achieve equality in service delivery. MRC counselors should be commended for their good work in dealing with the challenges and needs associated with diversity, and keeping it a priority. (Page 314)

Massachusetts has a number of programs for out-of-school youth that MCB works with to provide services for individual consumers. During the past year, MCB has been working closely with the Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD), a non-profit agency that empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. After a pilot in one region, MCB received a one-year grant of $43,000 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to provide the service statewide. MCB offers all transition-age students and out-of-school youth mentoring through the Partners for Youth with Disabilities Mentor Match program. The Mentor Match pairs youth and young adults with disabilities with adult mentors who best fit their personality, interests, and skills. MCB has identified and matched 34 mentors and 34 young consumers for the program. Participants in the pilot program suggested that the agency also include networking opportunities among all of the mentors and the consumers involved. In response to this suggestion, the provider has hired a mentoring events specialist and held 18 group events across the state during 2015. These events focus on topics such as goal setting, job search, stress management, and professional communication. Since the grant-funded program has been quite successful this year, MCB will fund it in future years for all interested consumers. Two MCB staff members have been invited to present a national webinar for VR professionals on this initiative. (Page 338)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

Follow closely the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community-driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MCB will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 396)

The Commonwealth has enacted a state law to prohibit the use of cash assistance, including TAFDC, in electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transactions at liquor stores, casinos, gambling casinos or gaming establishments, and retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, as well as other establishments not identified in Section 408(a)(12). Retailers face fines from $500 for a first offense, $500 to $2500 for a second offense and not less than $2500 for a third offense. See M.G.L. c. 18, § J. In addition, the Commonwealth has prohibited the use of cash assistance held on EBT cards to purchase alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, gambling, adult oriented material or performances and other items and services (See M.G.L. c. 18, § I). Clients who violate the purchasing provisions must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a second offense, the client is disqualified from benefits for two months and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a third offense, the client is disqualified from benefits permanently and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. (Page 445)

Benefits are provided to eligible applicants and recipients on a statewide basis. The standards for determining eligibility and the amount of assistance are established on an objective and equitable basis in accordance with the Department’s regulations. These standards are based on an individual’s income, assets, family size and circumstances. All Department activities are conducted in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the Massachusetts Constitution. The Department does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, creed, ancestry or Veteran’s status in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. An applicant/recipient has a right to a fair hearing as set forth in the Department’s regulations at 106 CMR 343.000, et seq. (Page 450)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

In addition, the Commonwealth has partnered with a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, funded through a large banking institution’s nonprofit foundation, to offer financial literacy and credit counseling workshops. These workshops are available to clients at no cost, statewide, to assist in their development of short and long-term financial planning. The workshop curriculum encompasses how clients reduce or eliminate fees associated with using their EBT cards or otherwise utilize their TAFDC benefits through direct deposit or direct vendor payments for rent, utilities, etc. While clients are instructed on how to better budget their TAFDC funds, they are also reminded of the prohibited items, services and establishments, identified under State law and the associated penalties. (Page 446) 

Benefits

b)  Low–Income, Low–Skilled: Many individuals who are homeless, receiving public assistance or public housing, CORI, or individuals with limited skills (LEP or lack of high school credentials etc.) face challenges that require multiple supports offered across a range of partners. The state is looking to develop curriculum for cross–training to ensure staff at multiple agencies can help an individual understand available resources, the impact of work on wages and public benefits (benefits counseling or “cliff effect” information for TANF–SNAP), and next steps to move along a career pathway. The adult education network of providers will contribute information on evidence–based models that support integrated education and training, career pathways, wrap–around/college and career readiness support services to assist staff in building supports that create positive outcomes for low–income, low–skilled populations. (Page 96)

State level policies that outline a referral process for out–of–school youth to the core programs to acquire access to literacy skills, secondary credential attainment, public benefits, and pre–employment transition services as required under WIOA will be operationalized. Local partners will also be encouraged to collaboratively leverage resources for the purposes of improving outcomes for out–of–school youth by pursuing joint applications for “sector” initiative, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand Adult Career Pathway model piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, and align programming with state workforces partners such as YouthWorks. (Page 172)

The MRC will ensure that its Area Offices will determine eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities and will provide PETS based on individual need. For those students eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the rehabilitation counselor, together with the student, will develop an IPE stating the vocational goal and the services necessary to achieve it. These services may include: vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, adaptive equipment, and benefits counseling. Required PETS activities are: job exploration counseling; work–based learning experiences; counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education; workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and instruction in self–advocacy. The ESE and the MRC will provide guidance for local MRC staff and school district personnel on transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and implementation of IEPs under section 614(d) of the IDEA. MRC develops IPEs for students with disabilities as soon as possible. (Page 248)

Additional Functions Performed: Incumbents perform the following: Supervise and monitor unit activities such as consumer evaluations and case maintenance to ensure effective service delivery and compliance with agency policies and standards. Establish and maintain program and unit information systems. Prepare and monitor program and/or unit budget and allocation of funds. Develop and implement policies and procedures for assigned units and programs in accordance with agency regulations and applicable laws. Determine service delivery hours and caseloads to staff consistent with agency policies and consumer needs. Assist in the development and implementation of consumer needs assessment programs. Promote agency services to ensure appropriate referrals to the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Coordinate state and federal compliance review audits; gather sample studies, conduct in-house reviews of cases for compliance and provide requested materials, information and evaluations to ensure agency compliance with federal, state and agency policies, procedures and regulations regarding vocational rehabilitation. Coordinate Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) referrals; act as office liaison on all matters related to SSI/SSDI consumers receiving benefage its from the Social Security Administration. Act as liaison regarding specific disabilities or special populations by attending meetings and providing information to counselors to ensure that the agency is reaching the specific populations, and to discuss current information on the target groups. Based on assignment, develop and negotiate contracts and grants with appropriate vendors; develop, negotiate and manage contract service budgets in order to assure program effectiveness and compliance with state and federal guidelines, policies and procedures. (Page 275)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age. (Page 282)

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. The agency and the council have developed new goals and priorities and plans for innovation and expansion based on the new law. MCB and the Rehabilitation Council are in full support of the Workforce Development Plan Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. The agency and the council are committed to the following paths to the realization of that vision: (Page 333)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

As stated in a previous section: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. This includes a formal commitment of funding from MCB for appropriate supported employment services and a commitment from DDS for funding of the long-term, ongoing employment support services when needed. The agreement also provides for cross-training of staff. (Page 401)

In addition, as also stated in previous sections: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. (Page 419)

The provisions of Section 408(a)(12) of the Social Security Act require States to maintain policies and practices as necessary to prevent assistance provided under the State program funded under this part from being used in any electronic benefit transfer transaction in any liquor store; any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment; or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment. (Page 445)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c)  Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

20. Specialized Service Centers: A specialized service center of a core partner is defined as a local service center providing specialized services to shared customers such as assistive technology, benefits counseling, and vocational counseling. (Page 626)

School to Work Transition

1. Continue to provide soft skill training to consumers: Soft skills training for VR staff has been completed by MRC Training Department. In addition, all area offices offer training in soft skills to all consumers, including transition aged individuals through job clubs and stand– alone programs open for all disability groups. Training is delivered using PowerPoint and includes opportunities to role play. Soft–skills training has been offered at the 2014 Consumer Conference as a stand–alone workshop and with a resume workshop at the 2015 Consumer Conference. Soft skill trainings have been offered in high schools to assist in the transition process from school to work. (Page 237)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age.

5. The most important job characteristics that MRC consumers indicated they are looking for in a job include a friendly job environment (95%), job satisfaction and personal interests (95%), earning a living wage (94%), an adequate number of hours worked per week (94%), vacation and other leave benefits (89%), and promotional opportunities (88%). (Page 282)

Report of Progress: The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. At least five participants have been hired, although some are still per diems. MCB intends to continue to expand Project Search to meet the needs of consumers who choose to participate in this kind of program. A new program is beginning this spring at the same worksites. MCB will consider other types of worksites such as hotels in the future if there is consumer interest. (Page 414)

Specific innovation and expansion (I&E) activities and initiatives include:  The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. (Page 420)

Data Collection

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One–Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One–Stop Employment System (MOSES) –– a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: 

  • Title I Adult
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs)
  • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response)
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)
  • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI)
  • Title I Youth  (Page 110)

A system for tracking the services provided to individuals jointly eligible for MRC and DDS services will be developed and implemented in order to assess the referrals, outcomes, impact and effectiveness of services provided to individuals who receive services as part of this MOA. Each MRC and DDS Area Office will be required to provide documentation on a regular basis.

This Memorandum of Agreement will be reviewed annually by the leadership of both agencies to identify areas for clarification, improvement, or additions to further promote collaboration and successful employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Page 261)

The Rehabilitation Council (MCB RC) has continued to review the consumer satisfaction studies conducted annually on a routine basis. The Council had in previous years provided input into the design of these studies as well as the design of the comprehensive needs assessment study. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB RC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey to be sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services, pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The MCB RC will work with the agency to develop a new comprehensive needs assessment methodology in line with the requirements and focus of WIOA on competitive integrated employment for the next scheduled comprehensive needs assessment (2017). (Page 333)

2% of the respondents were under age 18 and 1% aged 18-25. Their reported needs did not differ significantly from the other respondents. However, Congress, RSA, and MCB have clearly identified youth as an underserved group in light of their needs for pre-employment transition services and transition services. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 379)

The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 393)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

No specific disability related information found.

Career Pathways

The September forum was sponsored by SRC–General, SRC–Blind and the Department of Education. A panel discussed the federal and state initiatives designed to increase employability for students with disabilities, and how to maximize the positive impact of pre–employment transition services through effective collaboration. (Page 203)

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to: 

  1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand
  2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
  3. Assist individuals to achieve economic self–sufficiency through support services, labor–market driven credentialing, and employment
  4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Page 300)

The majority of MA-SCSEP participants seeks and obtains entry-level part-time jobs with a flexible schedule. Therefore, realistic expectations for this population is in creating career pathways that will enable these individuals to obtain entry-level positions and perhaps to move into higher skilled occupations with time. It is expected that entry-level positions in the service sector such as Home Care and Food Service will offer the most suitable jobs for MA-SCSEP participants. (Page 573)

In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local areas could consider the following areas for shared resources to:

a) Leverage resources collaboratively for the purpose of expanding access to credentials and work–based learning for low–skilled individuals (local partners can pursue joint applications for “sector” initiatives such as the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund or Workforce Training Fund, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand the ABE Career Pathway models piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, etc.)

b) Align and map out the supports for individuals from different programs along a career pathway to support long–term, credential attainment. (Page 614)

Employment Networks

Section identified but no detailed information specifically addressing disability or implementation.  (Page 329)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 42

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

MA Act to Promote Employment for People with Disabilities (HB 86 )

“The purpose of the State Use Act is to encourage and assist persons with disabilities to achieve maximum personal independence through useful and productive employment by ensuring an expanded and constant market for services delivered by persons with disabilities, thereby enhancing their dignity and capacity for self-support and minimizing their dependence on welfare and entitlements.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Funding Application - 06/12/2015

In consideration of the evidence for supported employment, specifically the Individual Placement and Support/Supported Employment Model (IPS/SE) developed by Becker and Drake of the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, DMH is embedding and integrating supported employment within its community-based services. IPS is a core component of CBFS services. All CBFS providers are required to provide IPS services and employment outcome data are collected from providers consistent with the IPS model."

“DMH continues to provide employment services through Clubhouses, which provide members with a range of career counseling, job search, training, support, and placement services for obtaining and maintaining permanent, supported, and transitional employment. Clubhouses also serve as multi¬service centers for DMH clients and other persons with serious mental illness living in the community."

Clients also receive employment services through DMH's Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), which are not employment programs per se but each PACT team does offer employment services within its mix of community-based client services. 

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA DDS Employment First Initiative - Progress Report - 01/09/2015

“For the operation of a pilot program to support individuals with disabilities transitioning from employment services offered at sheltered workshops to community-based employment or day support program services as part of the commonwealth's employment first initiative; provided, that the department may establish public/private partnerships with employers and non-profit organizations offering employment, job training, therapeutic day programs, recreational and other community-based day support services to individuals with disabilities; provided further, that such partnerships shall encourage the highest level of independence among individuals with disabilities as well as offering personalized day program planning and options to maximize community involvement and participation; and provided further, that the department shall issue [a] report, not later than December 31st, 2014, to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities regarding the effectiveness of the pilot program and recommendations to improve or expand the program as applicable.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Creating Conditions for Success: Blueprint Progress Report - 10/01/2014

To achieve integrated employment, the Blueprint’s architects constructed a plan to close sheltered workshops by June 30, 2015. Contingent on additional funding, participants in sheltered workshops would transition to individual or group employment and/or Community- Based Day Services (CBDS) once sheltered workshops closed. An estimated investment of

$26.7 million over a four-year period would be needed to provide supports to individuals leaving sheltered workshops and moving into integrated work and day settings.

The Blueprint rollout also included an 18 month capacity building initiative funded by DDS to build a foundation for employment success. The Department of Developmental Services committed to fund the following: (a) regional forums to brief and respond to questions from individuals and families about the Blueprint, (b) technical assistance and consultation to providers to redesign services, (c) staff development and training to build a knowledge base in delivering integrated employment supports, and (d) expansion of a cross-disability, interagency employment collaborative model in three regions of the state to more effectively engage employers. Furthermore, DDS remained dedicated to provide individuals the same number of hours of services and supports to maintain stability for families during a time of change.

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on efforts made to expand integrated employment in Massachusetts since Blueprint for Success was released in November 2013.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Employment First Policy - 08/01/2010

“This policy, known as the ‘Employment First’ policy, establishes that for working age adults served by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, integrated, individual employment is the preferred service option and optimal outcome. In the development of service plans and service delivery, assistance and supports for individual, integrated employment will be prioritized."

"It is recognized that full implementation of this policy will be a long-term process, requiring a general raising of expectations over time, by individuals served by the Department of Developmental Services, their families, as well as DDS and service provider staff concerning the ability of individuals to succeed in individual, integrated employment. This will require a consistent message across the DDS system regarding integrated employment as a priority; consistent actions that reinforce this message; and an infrastructure, including prioritizing and directing of resources, that supports this effort. This will also require a fundamental shift in thinking from a mind-set of integrated employment as an option for some individuals, to employment as a goal for all.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Massachusetts Model Employer Strategic Plan - 06/01/2009

“Addressing the significant under-employment of people with disabilities, including older workers aging into disability, is a priority within Governor Patrick’s economic development and jobs creation goals for the state; establishing the Commonwealth as a model employer of people with disabilities is an important step toward achieving that objective. This document provides a roadmap for change in the Executive Branch by setting forth a strategic plan addressing three over-arching goals:

Seek to increase the number of people with disabilities employed by the Executive Branch; Explore methods to ensure the successful retention and promotion of state workers with disabilities and older workers who age into disability; Foster an environment and a workforce able to support and facilitate the employment of people with disabilities.”
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Blueprint for Success: Partnerships - 11/01/2013

"In July 2013, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe appointed a group of disability providers, advocates and DDS leaders to examine day and employment support programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Employment Workgroup ‟s goal has been to develop a five-year plan to increase both inclusive employment opportunities and higher earning potential for individuals with ID, while phasing out the use of sheltered workshops.  The Workgroup has achieved consensus on the following plan, which is reflected in proposed changes, goals, recommendations, and timelines to achieve the desired outcomes.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Disability Employment Initiative - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Massachusetts was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

  In 2014 Massachusetts was awarded a Round 5 grant.  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits – About Us - 07/01/2009

~~Work Without Limits is an initiative of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit, whose mission is to create solutions that maximize employment opportunities and improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities served by public programs.Since its inception in 2009, Work Without Limits has worked alongside a multitude of stakeholders including employers, employment service providers, state agencies, individuals with disabilities, and family members to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Employers and businesses become members of Work Without Limits through the Massachusetts Business Leadership Network (MABLN). Community based organizations and state agencies become partners through formal memorandums of understanding that support a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship, and optimize employment programs, services and outcomes for those who are seeking them.

 

·     

·      ·     

·     

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Customized Employment Projects: Massachusetts

"This project proposes an approach to developing the capacity of the One-Stop Career Centers in Massachusetts to serve all individuals, with a specific focus on individual with significant disabilities who have traditionally been unemployed or underemployed and have not been users of the One-Stop system. Particular emphasis is placed on individuals who have the most limited employment participation including individuals who are in sheltered workshops, day habilitation or day treatment programs; are recipients of SSI or SSDI, are on waiting lists for services with state MR/DD agencies; or individuals who are exiting education services and are likely to enter those programs. Developing the capacity of One-Stop Career Centers to be responsive to this population established a clear benchmark that addresses the WIA value for universal access.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

MA Work Incentives Grant (Southern Essex)

“The North Shore Employment Consortium (NoSEC), led by the Southern Essex Workforce Investment Board, will address the need for full accessibility to employment and training services for all citizens. NoSEC partners are targeting this project for people with disabilities in the nineteen cities and towns of Southern Essex County, Massachusetts. NoSEC partners will institute a cultural paradigm shift towards improved physical and programmatic accessibility. This project will include a training/marketing program for employment service providers, employers, and disabled persons, and the community at large. The project will also focus on transportation needs of disabled persons seeking employment and on the creation of relevant internships for people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Department of Education – Transition Specialist Training Requirements - 09/22/2015

Staff who provide employment services must have subject matter knowledge of:

“Foundations and implementation of transition education and transition services;” “Individual transition assessment and system evaluation, including conducting, interpreting, and overseeing individualized formal and informal transition assessments;” “How to develop transition systems and supports which include best practices in postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, and community participation;” “Collaboration including strategies for active participation of students and families in IEP development, transition education and services, and support networks; development of partnerships with employers.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Employment First Technical Assistance - 11/01/2014

The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in conjunction with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The ARC of Massachusetts, released the [Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts...The blueprint outlines a plan to implement [Employment First]…in Massachusetts. To assist providers with the transformation from center based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, has established the Employment First Technical Assistance Center. Through this center, the ICI provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the blueprint.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days" - 01/01/2010

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA DDS Employment Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days"

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Webinar Archives

This page contains past webinar presentations sponsored by DDS in partnership with ICI.  Webinars contain information on disability employment, partnerships, accommodations, and work place supports.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Career Planning

~~“This is a page of links to information and training on career planning, particularly that which is  “person centered” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Citations

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Massachusetts HCBS Transition Plan - 12/01/2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule related to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Medicaid-funded long term services and supports provided in residential and non-residential home and community-based settings. The final rule took effect March 17, 2014. States are required to submit transition plans to CMS within one year of the effective date indicating how they intend to comply with the new requirements within a reasonable time period. If states amend or renew any of their currently operating waivers or state plan amendments prior to the effective date, that action serves as a trigger for the state to submit a transition plan for all its waivers under 1915(c), as well as any state plan amendments under 1915(i) or 1915(k) within 120 days of the amendment/renewal submission. The following is Massachusetts’ statewide transition plan pursuant to this requirement. The main focus of this Transition Plan is on residential supports offered through HCBS waivers.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration - 10/30/2014

“The MassHealth demonstration is a statewide multi-faceted health reform effort. The demonstration was initially implemented in July 1997, and has developed over time through amendments and renewals reflecting new priorities and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The demonstration authorizes Medicaid income eligibility for certain categorically eligible populations including pregnant women, parents or adult caretakers, infants, children and individuals with disabilities, and provides premium subsidies to qualifying individuals who are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) consistent with levels provided under the demonstration prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

The fifth renewal was approved October 30, 2014. It expires June 30, 2019.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living Waiver (1915c) - 07/01/2013

This waiver, "provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID"

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Adult Supports Waiver (0828.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Intensive Supports Waiver (0827.R01.00) [1915c] - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, day hab supplement, 24-hr self directed home sharing support, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transitional assistance services, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living (0826.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Residential Supports Waiver (1028.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides prevocational services, residential habilitation, supported employment, addiction services, assisted living, community crisis stabilization, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, residential family training, shared living 24-hr supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, transportation for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Community Living Waiver (1027.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides home health aide, homemaker, personal care, prevocational services, respite, supported employment, addiction services, adult companion, chore, community crisis stabilization, community family training, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, independent living supports, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, shared home supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, supportive home care aide, transportation, vehicle mods for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities”. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Large Tablet

Snapshot

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusett's VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.72%
Change from
2014 to 2015
6,794,422
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.51%
Change from
2014 to 2015
393,251
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.84%
Change from
2014 to 2015
137,985
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.31%
Change from
2014 to 2015
35.09%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.54%
Change from
2014 to 2015
79.48%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 6,692,824 6,745,408 6,794,422
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 389,873 399,206 393,251
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 136,199 141,899 137,985
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,023,909 3,086,555 3,127,728
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 34.93% 35.55% 35.09%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 77.88% 79.05% 79.48%
Overall unemployment rate. 6.70% 5.80% 4.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.40% 22.10% 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.60% 10.20% 10.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 366,064 367,361 368,682
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 416,140 405,785 416,436
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 639,602 626,311 636,792
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,987 59,607 64,532
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 86,968 89,305 86,040
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,575 3,492 2,696
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 23,662 24,825 26,372
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 21,465 22,825 22,867
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 34,470 35,825 31,478

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 8,339 8,703 9,125
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.00% 5.20% 5.40%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 203,672 205,642 205,060

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,215 2,502 2,605
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 11,283 7,331 7,239
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 19,175 20,914 21,104
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 11.60% 12.00% 12.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.50% 9.40% 10.60%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 5.80% 6.30% 7.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,590 1,742 18,005
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,083 1,163 1,239
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,126 10,735 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 97 75 53
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 64 51 36
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 66.00% 68.00% 68.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.96 0.76 0.53

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
6,260
7,724
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 33 32 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 503 590 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,170 1,356 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,574 1,886 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 2,560 3,322 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 420 538 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 37.70% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 8,229 9,774 12,086
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,535 325,203 325,918
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 135 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $34,969,000 $36,370,000 $44,606,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $36,940,000 $29,554,000 $26,014,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $134,766,000 $145,886,000 $146,000,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $35,274,000 $37,018,000 $44,292,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 26.00% 29.00% 36.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 2,433 2,631 3,731
Number of people served in facility based work. 3,085 3,065 2,564
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 7,882 8,507 8,741
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 56.80 67.80 85.10

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 59.20% 61.07% 61.86%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 15.00% 14.67% 14.43%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.90% 6.82% 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00% 99.46% 100.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 46.60% 42.05% 48.94%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 81.30% 77.00% 82.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 93.00% 88.73% 90.16%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 34.70% 34.94% 33.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 1 2 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 16
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 50 48 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 2 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 52 45
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 71 9
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 2,550
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 4,563 1,979
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 65 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 4,699 4,555

 

WIOA Proflie

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

The MRC develops programs and services with the participation of providers in several forums.

  1. Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice annually.
  2. Quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.
  3. Periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs.
  4. Interagency and cross–disability agency councils.
  5. Task specific work teams.
  6. Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment first (MAAPSE) In partnership with MRC, CRP personnel actively participated in the process for competitive procurement, CIES, the disability employment pilot project work team and the mental health services work team. This included for the first time real pricing of community rehabilitation program services and performance reimbursement. (Page 251)

MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice a year; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams and the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE). (Page 299)

  • 6.   Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. (Page 302)
Customized Employment

No specific disability related information found

Braiding/Blending Resources
  • State–level coordination of youth–serving resources to drive local coordination
  • Models for braiding of funds to serve populations with highest need (and traditionally underserved)
  • Identification of new program models for ISY, OSY, and older youth. (Page 153)
Section 188/Section 188 Guide

WIOA NPRM at 20 CFR §678.800 requires that the state’s network of One–Stop Career Centers be certified by the Local Boards. WIOA further mandates that the State Board, in consultation with chief elected officials and Local Boards must establish objective criteria and procedures that Local Boards must use when certifying career centers. These new career center standards will further and be consistent with the Governor’s and State Board’s guidelines, guidance and vision. The new criteria will evaluate the one–stop career center delivery system for effectiveness in addressing business and job seeker needs in the enhanced Massachusetts demand–driven workforce delivery system. The new criteria will also ensure compliance with WIOA Section 188 nondiscrimination provisions and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In order to create and implement the One–Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA–mandated career center operator competitive selection process. (Page 142)

Every One–Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non–discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One–Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on–site monitoring at all 32 One–Stop locations, using the set of One–Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One–Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Page 143)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014–2015). (Page 96)

Franklin Hampshire Career Center works with a participant named “Eli”. Eli became a customer of the Career Center around January of this year, he has been working as a janitor with very limited hours, and he has maintained that job for a number of years. In interviewing Eli, he shared that he wanted a ‘career’ not just a job. He knew he wanted to go into a specific field.

The Career Center works with its partners because Eli is co–enrolled in Department of Mental health, a MRC and a member of a vocational rehabilitation Clubhouse model program. Eli enrolled in training under DEI and WIA funding. (Page 629)

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One–Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter–communication regarding clients. (Page 631)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

7. CareerAccess Initiative: MRC will closely follow the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community–driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MRC will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 302 & 314)

MRC passed this indicator again in FY 2014. Much effort has gone into assuring the accurate coding of the primary source of income of employed consumers both in and without the presence of other income such as SSA or other public benefits. MRC will continue to train staff in this area and validations have been added to the MRCIS case management system to avoid potential coding errors.

Standard and Indicator 2.1: Ratio of minorities served to non–minorities Actual: .94 Standard: .80 Result: PASS

MRC passed this indicator with a high score. MRC continues to make a strong commitment to achieve equality in service delivery. MRC counselors should be commended for their good work in dealing with the challenges and needs associated with diversity, and keeping it a priority. (Page 314)

Massachusetts has a number of programs for out-of-school youth that MCB works with to provide services for individual consumers. During the past year, MCB has been working closely with the Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD), a non-profit agency that empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. After a pilot in one region, MCB received a one-year grant of $43,000 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to provide the service statewide. MCB offers all transition-age students and out-of-school youth mentoring through the Partners for Youth with Disabilities Mentor Match program. The Mentor Match pairs youth and young adults with disabilities with adult mentors who best fit their personality, interests, and skills. MCB has identified and matched 34 mentors and 34 young consumers for the program. Participants in the pilot program suggested that the agency also include networking opportunities among all of the mentors and the consumers involved. In response to this suggestion, the provider has hired a mentoring events specialist and held 18 group events across the state during 2015. These events focus on topics such as goal setting, job search, stress management, and professional communication. Since the grant-funded program has been quite successful this year, MCB will fund it in future years for all interested consumers. Two MCB staff members have been invited to present a national webinar for VR professionals on this initiative. (Page 338)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

Follow closely the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community-driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MCB will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 396)

The Commonwealth has enacted a state law to prohibit the use of cash assistance, including TAFDC, in electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transactions at liquor stores, casinos, gambling casinos or gaming establishments, and retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, as well as other establishments not identified in Section 408(a)(12). Retailers face fines from $500 for a first offense, $500 to $2500 for a second offense and not less than $2500 for a third offense. See M.G.L. c. 18, § J. In addition, the Commonwealth has prohibited the use of cash assistance held on EBT cards to purchase alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, gambling, adult oriented material or performances and other items and services (See M.G.L. c. 18, § I). Clients who violate the purchasing provisions must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a second offense, the client is disqualified from benefits for two months and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a third offense, the client is disqualified from benefits permanently and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. (Page 445)

Benefits are provided to eligible applicants and recipients on a statewide basis. The standards for determining eligibility and the amount of assistance are established on an objective and equitable basis in accordance with the Department’s regulations. These standards are based on an individual’s income, assets, family size and circumstances. All Department activities are conducted in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the Massachusetts Constitution. The Department does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, creed, ancestry or Veteran’s status in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. An applicant/recipient has a right to a fair hearing as set forth in the Department’s regulations at 106 CMR 343.000, et seq. (Page 450)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

In addition, the Commonwealth has partnered with a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, funded through a large banking institution’s nonprofit foundation, to offer financial literacy and credit counseling workshops. These workshops are available to clients at no cost, statewide, to assist in their development of short and long-term financial planning. The workshop curriculum encompasses how clients reduce or eliminate fees associated with using their EBT cards or otherwise utilize their TAFDC benefits through direct deposit or direct vendor payments for rent, utilities, etc. While clients are instructed on how to better budget their TAFDC funds, they are also reminded of the prohibited items, services and establishments, identified under State law and the associated penalties. (Page 446) 

Benefits

b)  Low–Income, Low–Skilled: Many individuals who are homeless, receiving public assistance or public housing, CORI, or individuals with limited skills (LEP or lack of high school credentials etc.) face challenges that require multiple supports offered across a range of partners. The state is looking to develop curriculum for cross–training to ensure staff at multiple agencies can help an individual understand available resources, the impact of work on wages and public benefits (benefits counseling or “cliff effect” information for TANF–SNAP), and next steps to move along a career pathway. The adult education network of providers will contribute information on evidence–based models that support integrated education and training, career pathways, wrap–around/college and career readiness support services to assist staff in building supports that create positive outcomes for low–income, low–skilled populations. (Page 96)

State level policies that outline a referral process for out–of–school youth to the core programs to acquire access to literacy skills, secondary credential attainment, public benefits, and pre–employment transition services as required under WIOA will be operationalized. Local partners will also be encouraged to collaboratively leverage resources for the purposes of improving outcomes for out–of–school youth by pursuing joint applications for “sector” initiative, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand Adult Career Pathway model piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, and align programming with state workforces partners such as YouthWorks. (Page 172)

The MRC will ensure that its Area Offices will determine eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities and will provide PETS based on individual need. For those students eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the rehabilitation counselor, together with the student, will develop an IPE stating the vocational goal and the services necessary to achieve it. These services may include: vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, adaptive equipment, and benefits counseling. Required PETS activities are: job exploration counseling; work–based learning experiences; counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education; workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and instruction in self–advocacy. The ESE and the MRC will provide guidance for local MRC staff and school district personnel on transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and implementation of IEPs under section 614(d) of the IDEA. MRC develops IPEs for students with disabilities as soon as possible. (Page 248)

Additional Functions Performed: Incumbents perform the following: Supervise and monitor unit activities such as consumer evaluations and case maintenance to ensure effective service delivery and compliance with agency policies and standards. Establish and maintain program and unit information systems. Prepare and monitor program and/or unit budget and allocation of funds. Develop and implement policies and procedures for assigned units and programs in accordance with agency regulations and applicable laws. Determine service delivery hours and caseloads to staff consistent with agency policies and consumer needs. Assist in the development and implementation of consumer needs assessment programs. Promote agency services to ensure appropriate referrals to the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Coordinate state and federal compliance review audits; gather sample studies, conduct in-house reviews of cases for compliance and provide requested materials, information and evaluations to ensure agency compliance with federal, state and agency policies, procedures and regulations regarding vocational rehabilitation. Coordinate Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) referrals; act as office liaison on all matters related to SSI/SSDI consumers receiving benefage its from the Social Security Administration. Act as liaison regarding specific disabilities or special populations by attending meetings and providing information to counselors to ensure that the agency is reaching the specific populations, and to discuss current information on the target groups. Based on assignment, develop and negotiate contracts and grants with appropriate vendors; develop, negotiate and manage contract service budgets in order to assure program effectiveness and compliance with state and federal guidelines, policies and procedures. (Page 275)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age. (Page 282)

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. The agency and the council have developed new goals and priorities and plans for innovation and expansion based on the new law. MCB and the Rehabilitation Council are in full support of the Workforce Development Plan Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. The agency and the council are committed to the following paths to the realization of that vision: (Page 333)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

As stated in a previous section: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. This includes a formal commitment of funding from MCB for appropriate supported employment services and a commitment from DDS for funding of the long-term, ongoing employment support services when needed. The agreement also provides for cross-training of staff. (Page 401)

In addition, as also stated in previous sections: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. (Page 419)

The provisions of Section 408(a)(12) of the Social Security Act require States to maintain policies and practices as necessary to prevent assistance provided under the State program funded under this part from being used in any electronic benefit transfer transaction in any liquor store; any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment; or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment. (Page 445)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c)  Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

20. Specialized Service Centers: A specialized service center of a core partner is defined as a local service center providing specialized services to shared customers such as assistive technology, benefits counseling, and vocational counseling. (Page 626)

School to Work Transition

1. Continue to provide soft skill training to consumers: Soft skills training for VR staff has been completed by MRC Training Department. In addition, all area offices offer training in soft skills to all consumers, including transition aged individuals through job clubs and stand– alone programs open for all disability groups. Training is delivered using PowerPoint and includes opportunities to role play. Soft–skills training has been offered at the 2014 Consumer Conference as a stand–alone workshop and with a resume workshop at the 2015 Consumer Conference. Soft skill trainings have been offered in high schools to assist in the transition process from school to work. (Page 237)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age.

5. The most important job characteristics that MRC consumers indicated they are looking for in a job include a friendly job environment (95%), job satisfaction and personal interests (95%), earning a living wage (94%), an adequate number of hours worked per week (94%), vacation and other leave benefits (89%), and promotional opportunities (88%). (Page 282)

Report of Progress: The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. At least five participants have been hired, although some are still per diems. MCB intends to continue to expand Project Search to meet the needs of consumers who choose to participate in this kind of program. A new program is beginning this spring at the same worksites. MCB will consider other types of worksites such as hotels in the future if there is consumer interest. (Page 414)

Specific innovation and expansion (I&E) activities and initiatives include:  The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. (Page 420)

Data Collection

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One–Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One–Stop Employment System (MOSES) –– a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: 

  • Title I Adult
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs)
  • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response)
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)
  • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI)
  • Title I Youth  (Page 110)

A system for tracking the services provided to individuals jointly eligible for MRC and DDS services will be developed and implemented in order to assess the referrals, outcomes, impact and effectiveness of services provided to individuals who receive services as part of this MOA. Each MRC and DDS Area Office will be required to provide documentation on a regular basis.

This Memorandum of Agreement will be reviewed annually by the leadership of both agencies to identify areas for clarification, improvement, or additions to further promote collaboration and successful employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Page 261)

The Rehabilitation Council (MCB RC) has continued to review the consumer satisfaction studies conducted annually on a routine basis. The Council had in previous years provided input into the design of these studies as well as the design of the comprehensive needs assessment study. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB RC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey to be sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services, pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The MCB RC will work with the agency to develop a new comprehensive needs assessment methodology in line with the requirements and focus of WIOA on competitive integrated employment for the next scheduled comprehensive needs assessment (2017). (Page 333)

2% of the respondents were under age 18 and 1% aged 18-25. Their reported needs did not differ significantly from the other respondents. However, Congress, RSA, and MCB have clearly identified youth as an underserved group in light of their needs for pre-employment transition services and transition services. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 379)

The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 393)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

No specific disability related information found.

Career Pathways

The September forum was sponsored by SRC–General, SRC–Blind and the Department of Education. A panel discussed the federal and state initiatives designed to increase employability for students with disabilities, and how to maximize the positive impact of pre–employment transition services through effective collaboration. (Page 203)

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to: 

  1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand
  2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
  3. Assist individuals to achieve economic self–sufficiency through support services, labor–market driven credentialing, and employment
  4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Page 300)

The majority of MA-SCSEP participants seeks and obtains entry-level part-time jobs with a flexible schedule. Therefore, realistic expectations for this population is in creating career pathways that will enable these individuals to obtain entry-level positions and perhaps to move into higher skilled occupations with time. It is expected that entry-level positions in the service sector such as Home Care and Food Service will offer the most suitable jobs for MA-SCSEP participants. (Page 573)

In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local areas could consider the following areas for shared resources to:

a) Leverage resources collaboratively for the purpose of expanding access to credentials and work–based learning for low–skilled individuals (local partners can pursue joint applications for “sector” initiatives such as the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund or Workforce Training Fund, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand the ABE Career Pathway models piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, etc.)

b) Align and map out the supports for individuals from different programs along a career pathway to support long–term, credential attainment. (Page 614)

Employment Networks

Section identified but no detailed information specifically addressing disability or implementation.  (Page 329)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 42

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

MA Act to Promote Employment for People with Disabilities (HB 86 )

“The purpose of the State Use Act is to encourage and assist persons with disabilities to achieve maximum personal independence through useful and productive employment by ensuring an expanded and constant market for services delivered by persons with disabilities, thereby enhancing their dignity and capacity for self-support and minimizing their dependence on welfare and entitlements.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Funding Application - 06/12/2015

In consideration of the evidence for supported employment, specifically the Individual Placement and Support/Supported Employment Model (IPS/SE) developed by Becker and Drake of the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, DMH is embedding and integrating supported employment within its community-based services. IPS is a core component of CBFS services. All CBFS providers are required to provide IPS services and employment outcome data are collected from providers consistent with the IPS model."

“DMH continues to provide employment services through Clubhouses, which provide members with a range of career counseling, job search, training, support, and placement services for obtaining and maintaining permanent, supported, and transitional employment. Clubhouses also serve as multi¬service centers for DMH clients and other persons with serious mental illness living in the community."

Clients also receive employment services through DMH's Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), which are not employment programs per se but each PACT team does offer employment services within its mix of community-based client services. 

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA DDS Employment First Initiative - Progress Report - 01/09/2015

“For the operation of a pilot program to support individuals with disabilities transitioning from employment services offered at sheltered workshops to community-based employment or day support program services as part of the commonwealth's employment first initiative; provided, that the department may establish public/private partnerships with employers and non-profit organizations offering employment, job training, therapeutic day programs, recreational and other community-based day support services to individuals with disabilities; provided further, that such partnerships shall encourage the highest level of independence among individuals with disabilities as well as offering personalized day program planning and options to maximize community involvement and participation; and provided further, that the department shall issue [a] report, not later than December 31st, 2014, to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities regarding the effectiveness of the pilot program and recommendations to improve or expand the program as applicable.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Creating Conditions for Success: Blueprint Progress Report - 10/01/2014

To achieve integrated employment, the Blueprint’s architects constructed a plan to close sheltered workshops by June 30, 2015. Contingent on additional funding, participants in sheltered workshops would transition to individual or group employment and/or Community- Based Day Services (CBDS) once sheltered workshops closed. An estimated investment of

$26.7 million over a four-year period would be needed to provide supports to individuals leaving sheltered workshops and moving into integrated work and day settings.

The Blueprint rollout also included an 18 month capacity building initiative funded by DDS to build a foundation for employment success. The Department of Developmental Services committed to fund the following: (a) regional forums to brief and respond to questions from individuals and families about the Blueprint, (b) technical assistance and consultation to providers to redesign services, (c) staff development and training to build a knowledge base in delivering integrated employment supports, and (d) expansion of a cross-disability, interagency employment collaborative model in three regions of the state to more effectively engage employers. Furthermore, DDS remained dedicated to provide individuals the same number of hours of services and supports to maintain stability for families during a time of change.

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on efforts made to expand integrated employment in Massachusetts since Blueprint for Success was released in November 2013.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Employment First Policy - 08/01/2010

“This policy, known as the ‘Employment First’ policy, establishes that for working age adults served by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, integrated, individual employment is the preferred service option and optimal outcome. In the development of service plans and service delivery, assistance and supports for individual, integrated employment will be prioritized."

"It is recognized that full implementation of this policy will be a long-term process, requiring a general raising of expectations over time, by individuals served by the Department of Developmental Services, their families, as well as DDS and service provider staff concerning the ability of individuals to succeed in individual, integrated employment. This will require a consistent message across the DDS system regarding integrated employment as a priority; consistent actions that reinforce this message; and an infrastructure, including prioritizing and directing of resources, that supports this effort. This will also require a fundamental shift in thinking from a mind-set of integrated employment as an option for some individuals, to employment as a goal for all.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Massachusetts Model Employer Strategic Plan - 06/01/2009

“Addressing the significant under-employment of people with disabilities, including older workers aging into disability, is a priority within Governor Patrick’s economic development and jobs creation goals for the state; establishing the Commonwealth as a model employer of people with disabilities is an important step toward achieving that objective. This document provides a roadmap for change in the Executive Branch by setting forth a strategic plan addressing three over-arching goals:

Seek to increase the number of people with disabilities employed by the Executive Branch; Explore methods to ensure the successful retention and promotion of state workers with disabilities and older workers who age into disability; Foster an environment and a workforce able to support and facilitate the employment of people with disabilities.”
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Blueprint for Success: Partnerships - 11/01/2013

"In July 2013, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe appointed a group of disability providers, advocates and DDS leaders to examine day and employment support programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Employment Workgroup ‟s goal has been to develop a five-year plan to increase both inclusive employment opportunities and higher earning potential for individuals with ID, while phasing out the use of sheltered workshops.  The Workgroup has achieved consensus on the following plan, which is reflected in proposed changes, goals, recommendations, and timelines to achieve the desired outcomes.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Disability Employment Initiative - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Massachusetts was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

  In 2014 Massachusetts was awarded a Round 5 grant.  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits – About Us - 07/01/2009

~~Work Without Limits is an initiative of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit, whose mission is to create solutions that maximize employment opportunities and improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities served by public programs.Since its inception in 2009, Work Without Limits has worked alongside a multitude of stakeholders including employers, employment service providers, state agencies, individuals with disabilities, and family members to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Employers and businesses become members of Work Without Limits through the Massachusetts Business Leadership Network (MABLN). Community based organizations and state agencies become partners through formal memorandums of understanding that support a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship, and optimize employment programs, services and outcomes for those who are seeking them.

 

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Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Customized Employment Projects: Massachusetts

"This project proposes an approach to developing the capacity of the One-Stop Career Centers in Massachusetts to serve all individuals, with a specific focus on individual with significant disabilities who have traditionally been unemployed or underemployed and have not been users of the One-Stop system. Particular emphasis is placed on individuals who have the most limited employment participation including individuals who are in sheltered workshops, day habilitation or day treatment programs; are recipients of SSI or SSDI, are on waiting lists for services with state MR/DD agencies; or individuals who are exiting education services and are likely to enter those programs. Developing the capacity of One-Stop Career Centers to be responsive to this population established a clear benchmark that addresses the WIA value for universal access.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

MA Work Incentives Grant (Southern Essex)

“The North Shore Employment Consortium (NoSEC), led by the Southern Essex Workforce Investment Board, will address the need for full accessibility to employment and training services for all citizens. NoSEC partners are targeting this project for people with disabilities in the nineteen cities and towns of Southern Essex County, Massachusetts. NoSEC partners will institute a cultural paradigm shift towards improved physical and programmatic accessibility. This project will include a training/marketing program for employment service providers, employers, and disabled persons, and the community at large. The project will also focus on transportation needs of disabled persons seeking employment and on the creation of relevant internships for people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Department of Education – Transition Specialist Training Requirements - 09/22/2015

Staff who provide employment services must have subject matter knowledge of:

“Foundations and implementation of transition education and transition services;” “Individual transition assessment and system evaluation, including conducting, interpreting, and overseeing individualized formal and informal transition assessments;” “How to develop transition systems and supports which include best practices in postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, and community participation;” “Collaboration including strategies for active participation of students and families in IEP development, transition education and services, and support networks; development of partnerships with employers.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Employment First Technical Assistance - 11/01/2014

The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in conjunction with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The ARC of Massachusetts, released the [Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts...The blueprint outlines a plan to implement [Employment First]…in Massachusetts. To assist providers with the transformation from center based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, has established the Employment First Technical Assistance Center. Through this center, the ICI provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the blueprint.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days" - 01/01/2010

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA DDS Employment Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days"

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Webinar Archives

This page contains past webinar presentations sponsored by DDS in partnership with ICI.  Webinars contain information on disability employment, partnerships, accommodations, and work place supports.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Career Planning

~~“This is a page of links to information and training on career planning, particularly that which is  “person centered” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Citations

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Massachusetts HCBS Transition Plan - 12/01/2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule related to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Medicaid-funded long term services and supports provided in residential and non-residential home and community-based settings. The final rule took effect March 17, 2014. States are required to submit transition plans to CMS within one year of the effective date indicating how they intend to comply with the new requirements within a reasonable time period. If states amend or renew any of their currently operating waivers or state plan amendments prior to the effective date, that action serves as a trigger for the state to submit a transition plan for all its waivers under 1915(c), as well as any state plan amendments under 1915(i) or 1915(k) within 120 days of the amendment/renewal submission. The following is Massachusetts’ statewide transition plan pursuant to this requirement. The main focus of this Transition Plan is on residential supports offered through HCBS waivers.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration - 10/30/2014

“The MassHealth demonstration is a statewide multi-faceted health reform effort. The demonstration was initially implemented in July 1997, and has developed over time through amendments and renewals reflecting new priorities and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The demonstration authorizes Medicaid income eligibility for certain categorically eligible populations including pregnant women, parents or adult caretakers, infants, children and individuals with disabilities, and provides premium subsidies to qualifying individuals who are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) consistent with levels provided under the demonstration prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

The fifth renewal was approved October 30, 2014. It expires June 30, 2019.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living Waiver (1915c) - 07/01/2013

This waiver, "provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID"

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Adult Supports Waiver (0828.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Intensive Supports Waiver (0827.R01.00) [1915c] - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, day hab supplement, 24-hr self directed home sharing support, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transitional assistance services, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living (0826.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Residential Supports Waiver (1028.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides prevocational services, residential habilitation, supported employment, addiction services, assisted living, community crisis stabilization, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, residential family training, shared living 24-hr supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, transportation for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Community Living Waiver (1027.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides home health aide, homemaker, personal care, prevocational services, respite, supported employment, addiction services, adult companion, chore, community crisis stabilization, community family training, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, independent living supports, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, shared home supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, supportive home care aide, transportation, vehicle mods for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities”. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Small Tablet

Snapshot

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusett's VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.72%
Change from
2014 to 2015
6,794,422
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.51%
Change from
2014 to 2015
393,251
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.84%
Change from
2014 to 2015
137,985
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.31%
Change from
2014 to 2015
35.09%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.54%
Change from
2014 to 2015
79.48%

State Data

General

2013 2014 2015
Population. 6,692,824 6,745,408 6,794,422
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 389,873 399,206 393,251
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 136,199 141,899 137,985
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,023,909 3,086,555 3,127,728
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 34.93% 35.55% 35.09%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 77.88% 79.05% 79.48%
Overall unemployment rate. 6.70% 5.80% 4.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.40% 22.10% 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.60% 10.20% 10.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 366,064 367,361 368,682
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 416,140 405,785 416,436
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 639,602 626,311 636,792
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,987 59,607 64,532
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 86,968 89,305 86,040
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,575 3,492 2,696
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 23,662 24,825 26,372
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 21,465 22,825 22,867
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 34,470 35,825 31,478

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 8,339 8,703 9,125
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.00% 5.20% 5.40%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 203,672 205,642 205,060

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,215 2,502 2,605
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 11,283 7,331 7,239
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 19,175 20,914 21,104
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 11.60% 12.00% 12.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.50% 9.40% 10.60%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 5.80% 6.30% 7.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,590 1,742 18,005
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,083 1,163 1,239
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A N/A N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 11,126 10,735 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.05 0.06 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2012 2013 2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 97 75 53
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 64 51 36
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 66.00% 68.00% 68.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.96 0.76 0.53

 

VR OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
6,260
7,724
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 33 32 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 503 590 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,170 1,356 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,574 1,886 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 2,560 3,322 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 420 538 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 37.70% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 8,229 9,774 12,086
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,535 325,203 325,918
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A N/A N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. 135 N/A N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $34,969,000 $36,370,000 $44,606,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $36,940,000 $29,554,000 $26,014,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $134,766,000 $145,886,000 $146,000,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $35,274,000 $37,018,000 $44,292,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 26.00% 29.00% 36.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 2,433 2,631 3,731
Number of people served in facility based work. 3,085 3,065 2,564
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 7,882 8,507 8,741
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 56.80 67.80 85.10

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2012 2013 2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 59.20% 61.07% 61.86%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 15.00% 14.67% 14.43%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.90% 6.82% 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00% 99.46% 100.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 46.60% 42.05% 48.94%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 81.30% 77.00% 82.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 93.00% 88.73% 90.16%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 34.70% 34.94% 33.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 1 2 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 0 16
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 50 48 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 2 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 52 45
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. N/A 71 9
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). N/A 0 2,550
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). N/A 4,563 1,979
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. N/A 65 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. N/A 4,699 4,555

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

The MRC develops programs and services with the participation of providers in several forums.

  1. Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice annually.
  2. Quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.
  3. Periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs.
  4. Interagency and cross–disability agency councils.
  5. Task specific work teams.
  6. Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment first (MAAPSE) In partnership with MRC, CRP personnel actively participated in the process for competitive procurement, CIES, the disability employment pilot project work team and the mental health services work team. This included for the first time real pricing of community rehabilitation program services and performance reimbursement. (Page 251)

MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice a year; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams and the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE). (Page 299)

  • 6.   Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. (Page 302)
Customized Employment

No specific disability related information found

Braiding/Blending Resources
  • State–level coordination of youth–serving resources to drive local coordination
  • Models for braiding of funds to serve populations with highest need (and traditionally underserved)
  • Identification of new program models for ISY, OSY, and older youth. (Page 153)
Section 188/Section 188 Guide

WIOA NPRM at 20 CFR §678.800 requires that the state’s network of One–Stop Career Centers be certified by the Local Boards. WIOA further mandates that the State Board, in consultation with chief elected officials and Local Boards must establish objective criteria and procedures that Local Boards must use when certifying career centers. These new career center standards will further and be consistent with the Governor’s and State Board’s guidelines, guidance and vision. The new criteria will evaluate the one–stop career center delivery system for effectiveness in addressing business and job seeker needs in the enhanced Massachusetts demand–driven workforce delivery system. The new criteria will also ensure compliance with WIOA Section 188 nondiscrimination provisions and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In order to create and implement the One–Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA–mandated career center operator competitive selection process. (Page 142)

Every One–Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non–discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One–Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on–site monitoring at all 32 One–Stop locations, using the set of One–Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One–Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Page 143)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014–2015). (Page 96)

Franklin Hampshire Career Center works with a participant named “Eli”. Eli became a customer of the Career Center around January of this year, he has been working as a janitor with very limited hours, and he has maintained that job for a number of years. In interviewing Eli, he shared that he wanted a ‘career’ not just a job. He knew he wanted to go into a specific field.

The Career Center works with its partners because Eli is co–enrolled in Department of Mental health, a MRC and a member of a vocational rehabilitation Clubhouse model program. Eli enrolled in training under DEI and WIA funding. (Page 629)

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One–Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter–communication regarding clients. (Page 631)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

7. CareerAccess Initiative: MRC will closely follow the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community–driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MRC will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 302 & 314)

MRC passed this indicator again in FY 2014. Much effort has gone into assuring the accurate coding of the primary source of income of employed consumers both in and without the presence of other income such as SSA or other public benefits. MRC will continue to train staff in this area and validations have been added to the MRCIS case management system to avoid potential coding errors.

Standard and Indicator 2.1: Ratio of minorities served to non–minorities Actual: .94 Standard: .80 Result: PASS

MRC passed this indicator with a high score. MRC continues to make a strong commitment to achieve equality in service delivery. MRC counselors should be commended for their good work in dealing with the challenges and needs associated with diversity, and keeping it a priority. (Page 314)

Massachusetts has a number of programs for out-of-school youth that MCB works with to provide services for individual consumers. During the past year, MCB has been working closely with the Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD), a non-profit agency that empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. After a pilot in one region, MCB received a one-year grant of $43,000 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to provide the service statewide. MCB offers all transition-age students and out-of-school youth mentoring through the Partners for Youth with Disabilities Mentor Match program. The Mentor Match pairs youth and young adults with disabilities with adult mentors who best fit their personality, interests, and skills. MCB has identified and matched 34 mentors and 34 young consumers for the program. Participants in the pilot program suggested that the agency also include networking opportunities among all of the mentors and the consumers involved. In response to this suggestion, the provider has hired a mentoring events specialist and held 18 group events across the state during 2015. These events focus on topics such as goal setting, job search, stress management, and professional communication. Since the grant-funded program has been quite successful this year, MCB will fund it in future years for all interested consumers. Two MCB staff members have been invited to present a national webinar for VR professionals on this initiative. (Page 338)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

Follow closely the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community-driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MCB will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 396)

The Commonwealth has enacted a state law to prohibit the use of cash assistance, including TAFDC, in electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transactions at liquor stores, casinos, gambling casinos or gaming establishments, and retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, as well as other establishments not identified in Section 408(a)(12). Retailers face fines from $500 for a first offense, $500 to $2500 for a second offense and not less than $2500 for a third offense. See M.G.L. c. 18, § J. In addition, the Commonwealth has prohibited the use of cash assistance held on EBT cards to purchase alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, gambling, adult oriented material or performances and other items and services (See M.G.L. c. 18, § I). Clients who violate the purchasing provisions must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a second offense, the client is disqualified from benefits for two months and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a third offense, the client is disqualified from benefits permanently and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. (Page 445)

Benefits are provided to eligible applicants and recipients on a statewide basis. The standards for determining eligibility and the amount of assistance are established on an objective and equitable basis in accordance with the Department’s regulations. These standards are based on an individual’s income, assets, family size and circumstances. All Department activities are conducted in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the Massachusetts Constitution. The Department does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, creed, ancestry or Veteran’s status in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. An applicant/recipient has a right to a fair hearing as set forth in the Department’s regulations at 106 CMR 343.000, et seq. (Page 450)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

In addition, the Commonwealth has partnered with a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, funded through a large banking institution’s nonprofit foundation, to offer financial literacy and credit counseling workshops. These workshops are available to clients at no cost, statewide, to assist in their development of short and long-term financial planning. The workshop curriculum encompasses how clients reduce or eliminate fees associated with using their EBT cards or otherwise utilize their TAFDC benefits through direct deposit or direct vendor payments for rent, utilities, etc. While clients are instructed on how to better budget their TAFDC funds, they are also reminded of the prohibited items, services and establishments, identified under State law and the associated penalties. (Page 446) 

Benefits

b)  Low–Income, Low–Skilled: Many individuals who are homeless, receiving public assistance or public housing, CORI, or individuals with limited skills (LEP or lack of high school credentials etc.) face challenges that require multiple supports offered across a range of partners. The state is looking to develop curriculum for cross–training to ensure staff at multiple agencies can help an individual understand available resources, the impact of work on wages and public benefits (benefits counseling or “cliff effect” information for TANF–SNAP), and next steps to move along a career pathway. The adult education network of providers will contribute information on evidence–based models that support integrated education and training, career pathways, wrap–around/college and career readiness support services to assist staff in building supports that create positive outcomes for low–income, low–skilled populations. (Page 96)

State level policies that outline a referral process for out–of–school youth to the core programs to acquire access to literacy skills, secondary credential attainment, public benefits, and pre–employment transition services as required under WIOA will be operationalized. Local partners will also be encouraged to collaboratively leverage resources for the purposes of improving outcomes for out–of–school youth by pursuing joint applications for “sector” initiative, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand Adult Career Pathway model piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, and align programming with state workforces partners such as YouthWorks. (Page 172)

The MRC will ensure that its Area Offices will determine eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities and will provide PETS based on individual need. For those students eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the rehabilitation counselor, together with the student, will develop an IPE stating the vocational goal and the services necessary to achieve it. These services may include: vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, adaptive equipment, and benefits counseling. Required PETS activities are: job exploration counseling; work–based learning experiences; counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education; workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and instruction in self–advocacy. The ESE and the MRC will provide guidance for local MRC staff and school district personnel on transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and implementation of IEPs under section 614(d) of the IDEA. MRC develops IPEs for students with disabilities as soon as possible. (Page 248)

Additional Functions Performed: Incumbents perform the following: Supervise and monitor unit activities such as consumer evaluations and case maintenance to ensure effective service delivery and compliance with agency policies and standards. Establish and maintain program and unit information systems. Prepare and monitor program and/or unit budget and allocation of funds. Develop and implement policies and procedures for assigned units and programs in accordance with agency regulations and applicable laws. Determine service delivery hours and caseloads to staff consistent with agency policies and consumer needs. Assist in the development and implementation of consumer needs assessment programs. Promote agency services to ensure appropriate referrals to the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Coordinate state and federal compliance review audits; gather sample studies, conduct in-house reviews of cases for compliance and provide requested materials, information and evaluations to ensure agency compliance with federal, state and agency policies, procedures and regulations regarding vocational rehabilitation. Coordinate Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) referrals; act as office liaison on all matters related to SSI/SSDI consumers receiving benefage its from the Social Security Administration. Act as liaison regarding specific disabilities or special populations by attending meetings and providing information to counselors to ensure that the agency is reaching the specific populations, and to discuss current information on the target groups. Based on assignment, develop and negotiate contracts and grants with appropriate vendors; develop, negotiate and manage contract service budgets in order to assure program effectiveness and compliance with state and federal guidelines, policies and procedures. (Page 275)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age. (Page 282)

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. The agency and the council have developed new goals and priorities and plans for innovation and expansion based on the new law. MCB and the Rehabilitation Council are in full support of the Workforce Development Plan Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. The agency and the council are committed to the following paths to the realization of that vision: (Page 333)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

As stated in a previous section: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. This includes a formal commitment of funding from MCB for appropriate supported employment services and a commitment from DDS for funding of the long-term, ongoing employment support services when needed. The agreement also provides for cross-training of staff. (Page 401)

In addition, as also stated in previous sections: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. (Page 419)

The provisions of Section 408(a)(12) of the Social Security Act require States to maintain policies and practices as necessary to prevent assistance provided under the State program funded under this part from being used in any electronic benefit transfer transaction in any liquor store; any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment; or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment. (Page 445)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c)  Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

20. Specialized Service Centers: A specialized service center of a core partner is defined as a local service center providing specialized services to shared customers such as assistive technology, benefits counseling, and vocational counseling. (Page 626)

School to Work Transition

1. Continue to provide soft skill training to consumers: Soft skills training for VR staff has been completed by MRC Training Department. In addition, all area offices offer training in soft skills to all consumers, including transition aged individuals through job clubs and stand– alone programs open for all disability groups. Training is delivered using PowerPoint and includes opportunities to role play. Soft–skills training has been offered at the 2014 Consumer Conference as a stand–alone workshop and with a resume workshop at the 2015 Consumer Conference. Soft skill trainings have been offered in high schools to assist in the transition process from school to work. (Page 237)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age.

5. The most important job characteristics that MRC consumers indicated they are looking for in a job include a friendly job environment (95%), job satisfaction and personal interests (95%), earning a living wage (94%), an adequate number of hours worked per week (94%), vacation and other leave benefits (89%), and promotional opportunities (88%). (Page 282)

Report of Progress: The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. At least five participants have been hired, although some are still per diems. MCB intends to continue to expand Project Search to meet the needs of consumers who choose to participate in this kind of program. A new program is beginning this spring at the same worksites. MCB will consider other types of worksites such as hotels in the future if there is consumer interest. (Page 414)

Specific innovation and expansion (I&E) activities and initiatives include:  The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. (Page 420)

Data Collection

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One–Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One–Stop Employment System (MOSES) –– a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: 

  • Title I Adult
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs)
  • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response)
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)
  • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI)
  • Title I Youth  (Page 110)

A system for tracking the services provided to individuals jointly eligible for MRC and DDS services will be developed and implemented in order to assess the referrals, outcomes, impact and effectiveness of services provided to individuals who receive services as part of this MOA. Each MRC and DDS Area Office will be required to provide documentation on a regular basis.

This Memorandum of Agreement will be reviewed annually by the leadership of both agencies to identify areas for clarification, improvement, or additions to further promote collaboration and successful employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Page 261)

The Rehabilitation Council (MCB RC) has continued to review the consumer satisfaction studies conducted annually on a routine basis. The Council had in previous years provided input into the design of these studies as well as the design of the comprehensive needs assessment study. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB RC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey to be sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services, pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The MCB RC will work with the agency to develop a new comprehensive needs assessment methodology in line with the requirements and focus of WIOA on competitive integrated employment for the next scheduled comprehensive needs assessment (2017). (Page 333)

2% of the respondents were under age 18 and 1% aged 18-25. Their reported needs did not differ significantly from the other respondents. However, Congress, RSA, and MCB have clearly identified youth as an underserved group in light of their needs for pre-employment transition services and transition services. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 379)

The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 393)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

No specific disability related information found.

Career Pathways

The September forum was sponsored by SRC–General, SRC–Blind and the Department of Education. A panel discussed the federal and state initiatives designed to increase employability for students with disabilities, and how to maximize the positive impact of pre–employment transition services through effective collaboration. (Page 203)

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to: 

  1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand
  2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
  3. Assist individuals to achieve economic self–sufficiency through support services, labor–market driven credentialing, and employment
  4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Page 300)

The majority of MA-SCSEP participants seeks and obtains entry-level part-time jobs with a flexible schedule. Therefore, realistic expectations for this population is in creating career pathways that will enable these individuals to obtain entry-level positions and perhaps to move into higher skilled occupations with time. It is expected that entry-level positions in the service sector such as Home Care and Food Service will offer the most suitable jobs for MA-SCSEP participants. (Page 573)

In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local areas could consider the following areas for shared resources to:

a) Leverage resources collaboratively for the purpose of expanding access to credentials and work–based learning for low–skilled individuals (local partners can pursue joint applications for “sector” initiatives such as the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund or Workforce Training Fund, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand the ABE Career Pathway models piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, etc.)

b) Align and map out the supports for individuals from different programs along a career pathway to support long–term, credential attainment. (Page 614)

Employment Networks

Section identified but no detailed information specifically addressing disability or implementation.  (Page 329)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 42

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

MA Act to Promote Employment for People with Disabilities (HB 86 )

“The purpose of the State Use Act is to encourage and assist persons with disabilities to achieve maximum personal independence through useful and productive employment by ensuring an expanded and constant market for services delivered by persons with disabilities, thereby enhancing their dignity and capacity for self-support and minimizing their dependence on welfare and entitlements.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Funding Application - 06/12/2015

In consideration of the evidence for supported employment, specifically the Individual Placement and Support/Supported Employment Model (IPS/SE) developed by Becker and Drake of the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, DMH is embedding and integrating supported employment within its community-based services. IPS is a core component of CBFS services. All CBFS providers are required to provide IPS services and employment outcome data are collected from providers consistent with the IPS model."

“DMH continues to provide employment services through Clubhouses, which provide members with a range of career counseling, job search, training, support, and placement services for obtaining and maintaining permanent, supported, and transitional employment. Clubhouses also serve as multi¬service centers for DMH clients and other persons with serious mental illness living in the community."

Clients also receive employment services through DMH's Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), which are not employment programs per se but each PACT team does offer employment services within its mix of community-based client services. 

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA DDS Employment First Initiative - Progress Report - 01/09/2015

“For the operation of a pilot program to support individuals with disabilities transitioning from employment services offered at sheltered workshops to community-based employment or day support program services as part of the commonwealth's employment first initiative; provided, that the department may establish public/private partnerships with employers and non-profit organizations offering employment, job training, therapeutic day programs, recreational and other community-based day support services to individuals with disabilities; provided further, that such partnerships shall encourage the highest level of independence among individuals with disabilities as well as offering personalized day program planning and options to maximize community involvement and participation; and provided further, that the department shall issue [a] report, not later than December 31st, 2014, to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities regarding the effectiveness of the pilot program and recommendations to improve or expand the program as applicable.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Creating Conditions for Success: Blueprint Progress Report - 10/01/2014

To achieve integrated employment, the Blueprint’s architects constructed a plan to close sheltered workshops by June 30, 2015. Contingent on additional funding, participants in sheltered workshops would transition to individual or group employment and/or Community- Based Day Services (CBDS) once sheltered workshops closed. An estimated investment of

$26.7 million over a four-year period would be needed to provide supports to individuals leaving sheltered workshops and moving into integrated work and day settings.

The Blueprint rollout also included an 18 month capacity building initiative funded by DDS to build a foundation for employment success. The Department of Developmental Services committed to fund the following: (a) regional forums to brief and respond to questions from individuals and families about the Blueprint, (b) technical assistance and consultation to providers to redesign services, (c) staff development and training to build a knowledge base in delivering integrated employment supports, and (d) expansion of a cross-disability, interagency employment collaborative model in three regions of the state to more effectively engage employers. Furthermore, DDS remained dedicated to provide individuals the same number of hours of services and supports to maintain stability for families during a time of change.

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on efforts made to expand integrated employment in Massachusetts since Blueprint for Success was released in November 2013.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Employment First Policy - 08/01/2010

“This policy, known as the ‘Employment First’ policy, establishes that for working age adults served by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, integrated, individual employment is the preferred service option and optimal outcome. In the development of service plans and service delivery, assistance and supports for individual, integrated employment will be prioritized."

"It is recognized that full implementation of this policy will be a long-term process, requiring a general raising of expectations over time, by individuals served by the Department of Developmental Services, their families, as well as DDS and service provider staff concerning the ability of individuals to succeed in individual, integrated employment. This will require a consistent message across the DDS system regarding integrated employment as a priority; consistent actions that reinforce this message; and an infrastructure, including prioritizing and directing of resources, that supports this effort. This will also require a fundamental shift in thinking from a mind-set of integrated employment as an option for some individuals, to employment as a goal for all.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Massachusetts Model Employer Strategic Plan - 06/01/2009

“Addressing the significant under-employment of people with disabilities, including older workers aging into disability, is a priority within Governor Patrick’s economic development and jobs creation goals for the state; establishing the Commonwealth as a model employer of people with disabilities is an important step toward achieving that objective. This document provides a roadmap for change in the Executive Branch by setting forth a strategic plan addressing three over-arching goals:

Seek to increase the number of people with disabilities employed by the Executive Branch; Explore methods to ensure the successful retention and promotion of state workers with disabilities and older workers who age into disability; Foster an environment and a workforce able to support and facilitate the employment of people with disabilities.”
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Blueprint for Success: Partnerships - 11/01/2013

"In July 2013, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe appointed a group of disability providers, advocates and DDS leaders to examine day and employment support programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Employment Workgroup ‟s goal has been to develop a five-year plan to increase both inclusive employment opportunities and higher earning potential for individuals with ID, while phasing out the use of sheltered workshops.  The Workgroup has achieved consensus on the following plan, which is reflected in proposed changes, goals, recommendations, and timelines to achieve the desired outcomes.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Disability Employment Initiative - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Massachusetts was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

  In 2014 Massachusetts was awarded a Round 5 grant.  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits – About Us - 07/01/2009

~~Work Without Limits is an initiative of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit, whose mission is to create solutions that maximize employment opportunities and improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities served by public programs.Since its inception in 2009, Work Without Limits has worked alongside a multitude of stakeholders including employers, employment service providers, state agencies, individuals with disabilities, and family members to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Employers and businesses become members of Work Without Limits through the Massachusetts Business Leadership Network (MABLN). Community based organizations and state agencies become partners through formal memorandums of understanding that support a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship, and optimize employment programs, services and outcomes for those who are seeking them.

 

·     

·      ·     

·     

 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Customized Employment Projects: Massachusetts

"This project proposes an approach to developing the capacity of the One-Stop Career Centers in Massachusetts to serve all individuals, with a specific focus on individual with significant disabilities who have traditionally been unemployed or underemployed and have not been users of the One-Stop system. Particular emphasis is placed on individuals who have the most limited employment participation including individuals who are in sheltered workshops, day habilitation or day treatment programs; are recipients of SSI or SSDI, are on waiting lists for services with state MR/DD agencies; or individuals who are exiting education services and are likely to enter those programs. Developing the capacity of One-Stop Career Centers to be responsive to this population established a clear benchmark that addresses the WIA value for universal access.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

MA Work Incentives Grant (Southern Essex)

“The North Shore Employment Consortium (NoSEC), led by the Southern Essex Workforce Investment Board, will address the need for full accessibility to employment and training services for all citizens. NoSEC partners are targeting this project for people with disabilities in the nineteen cities and towns of Southern Essex County, Massachusetts. NoSEC partners will institute a cultural paradigm shift towards improved physical and programmatic accessibility. This project will include a training/marketing program for employment service providers, employers, and disabled persons, and the community at large. The project will also focus on transportation needs of disabled persons seeking employment and on the creation of relevant internships for people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Department of Education – Transition Specialist Training Requirements - 09/22/2015

Staff who provide employment services must have subject matter knowledge of:

“Foundations and implementation of transition education and transition services;” “Individual transition assessment and system evaluation, including conducting, interpreting, and overseeing individualized formal and informal transition assessments;” “How to develop transition systems and supports which include best practices in postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, and community participation;” “Collaboration including strategies for active participation of students and families in IEP development, transition education and services, and support networks; development of partnerships with employers.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Employment First Technical Assistance - 11/01/2014

The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in conjunction with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The ARC of Massachusetts, released the [Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts...The blueprint outlines a plan to implement [Employment First]…in Massachusetts. To assist providers with the transformation from center based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, has established the Employment First Technical Assistance Center. Through this center, the ICI provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the blueprint.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days" - 01/01/2010

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA DDS Employment Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days"

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Webinar Archives

This page contains past webinar presentations sponsored by DDS in partnership with ICI.  Webinars contain information on disability employment, partnerships, accommodations, and work place supports.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Career Planning

~~“This is a page of links to information and training on career planning, particularly that which is  “person centered” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Citations

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Massachusetts HCBS Transition Plan - 12/01/2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule related to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Medicaid-funded long term services and supports provided in residential and non-residential home and community-based settings. The final rule took effect March 17, 2014. States are required to submit transition plans to CMS within one year of the effective date indicating how they intend to comply with the new requirements within a reasonable time period. If states amend or renew any of their currently operating waivers or state plan amendments prior to the effective date, that action serves as a trigger for the state to submit a transition plan for all its waivers under 1915(c), as well as any state plan amendments under 1915(i) or 1915(k) within 120 days of the amendment/renewal submission. The following is Massachusetts’ statewide transition plan pursuant to this requirement. The main focus of this Transition Plan is on residential supports offered through HCBS waivers.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration - 10/30/2014

“The MassHealth demonstration is a statewide multi-faceted health reform effort. The demonstration was initially implemented in July 1997, and has developed over time through amendments and renewals reflecting new priorities and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The demonstration authorizes Medicaid income eligibility for certain categorically eligible populations including pregnant women, parents or adult caretakers, infants, children and individuals with disabilities, and provides premium subsidies to qualifying individuals who are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) consistent with levels provided under the demonstration prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

The fifth renewal was approved October 30, 2014. It expires June 30, 2019.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living Waiver (1915c) - 07/01/2013

This waiver, "provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID"

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Adult Supports Waiver (0828.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Intensive Supports Waiver (0827.R01.00) [1915c] - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, day hab supplement, 24-hr self directed home sharing support, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transitional assistance services, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living (0826.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Residential Supports Waiver (1028.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides prevocational services, residential habilitation, supported employment, addiction services, assisted living, community crisis stabilization, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, residential family training, shared living 24-hr supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, transportation for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Community Living Waiver (1027.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides home health aide, homemaker, personal care, prevocational services, respite, supported employment, addiction services, adult companion, chore, community crisis stabilization, community family training, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, independent living supports, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, shared home supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, supportive home care aide, transportation, vehicle mods for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities”. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Phablet

Snapshot

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusett's VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.72%
Change from
2014 to 2015
6,794,422
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.51%
Change from
2014 to 2015
393,251
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.84%
Change from
2014 to 2015
137,985
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.31%
Change from
2014 to 2015
35.09%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.54%
Change from
2014 to 2015
79.48%

State Data

General

2015
Population. 6,794,422
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 393,251
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 137,985
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,127,728
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.09%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 79.48%
Overall unemployment rate. 4.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 368,682
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 416,436
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 636,792
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 64,532
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 86,040
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,696
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 26,372
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 22,867
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 31,478

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,125
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.40%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 205,060

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,605
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,239
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 21,104
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 10.60%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 18,005
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,239
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 53
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 36
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 68.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.53

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 12,086
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 325,918
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $44,606,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $26,014,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $146,000,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $44,292,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 36.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 3,731
Number of people served in facility based work. 2,564
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 8,741
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 85.10

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 61.86%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.43%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 48.94%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 82.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 90.16%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 33.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 16
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 45
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 9
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 2,550
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 1,979
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4,555

 

WIOA Proflie

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

The MRC develops programs and services with the participation of providers in several forums.

  1. Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice annually.
  2. Quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.
  3. Periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs.
  4. Interagency and cross–disability agency councils.
  5. Task specific work teams.
  6. Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment first (MAAPSE) In partnership with MRC, CRP personnel actively participated in the process for competitive procurement, CIES, the disability employment pilot project work team and the mental health services work team. This included for the first time real pricing of community rehabilitation program services and performance reimbursement. (Page 251)

MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice a year; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams and the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE). (Page 299)

  • 6.   Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. (Page 302)
Customized Employment

No specific disability related information found

Braiding/Blending Resources
  • State–level coordination of youth–serving resources to drive local coordination
  • Models for braiding of funds to serve populations with highest need (and traditionally underserved)
  • Identification of new program models for ISY, OSY, and older youth. (Page 153)
Section 188/Section 188 Guide

WIOA NPRM at 20 CFR §678.800 requires that the state’s network of One–Stop Career Centers be certified by the Local Boards. WIOA further mandates that the State Board, in consultation with chief elected officials and Local Boards must establish objective criteria and procedures that Local Boards must use when certifying career centers. These new career center standards will further and be consistent with the Governor’s and State Board’s guidelines, guidance and vision. The new criteria will evaluate the one–stop career center delivery system for effectiveness in addressing business and job seeker needs in the enhanced Massachusetts demand–driven workforce delivery system. The new criteria will also ensure compliance with WIOA Section 188 nondiscrimination provisions and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In order to create and implement the One–Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA–mandated career center operator competitive selection process. (Page 142)

Every One–Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non–discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One–Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on–site monitoring at all 32 One–Stop locations, using the set of One–Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One–Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Page 143)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014–2015). (Page 96)

Franklin Hampshire Career Center works with a participant named “Eli”. Eli became a customer of the Career Center around January of this year, he has been working as a janitor with very limited hours, and he has maintained that job for a number of years. In interviewing Eli, he shared that he wanted a ‘career’ not just a job. He knew he wanted to go into a specific field.

The Career Center works with its partners because Eli is co–enrolled in Department of Mental health, a MRC and a member of a vocational rehabilitation Clubhouse model program. Eli enrolled in training under DEI and WIA funding. (Page 629)

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One–Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter–communication regarding clients. (Page 631)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

7. CareerAccess Initiative: MRC will closely follow the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community–driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MRC will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 302 & 314)

MRC passed this indicator again in FY 2014. Much effort has gone into assuring the accurate coding of the primary source of income of employed consumers both in and without the presence of other income such as SSA or other public benefits. MRC will continue to train staff in this area and validations have been added to the MRCIS case management system to avoid potential coding errors.

Standard and Indicator 2.1: Ratio of minorities served to non–minorities Actual: .94 Standard: .80 Result: PASS

MRC passed this indicator with a high score. MRC continues to make a strong commitment to achieve equality in service delivery. MRC counselors should be commended for their good work in dealing with the challenges and needs associated with diversity, and keeping it a priority. (Page 314)

Massachusetts has a number of programs for out-of-school youth that MCB works with to provide services for individual consumers. During the past year, MCB has been working closely with the Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD), a non-profit agency that empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. After a pilot in one region, MCB received a one-year grant of $43,000 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to provide the service statewide. MCB offers all transition-age students and out-of-school youth mentoring through the Partners for Youth with Disabilities Mentor Match program. The Mentor Match pairs youth and young adults with disabilities with adult mentors who best fit their personality, interests, and skills. MCB has identified and matched 34 mentors and 34 young consumers for the program. Participants in the pilot program suggested that the agency also include networking opportunities among all of the mentors and the consumers involved. In response to this suggestion, the provider has hired a mentoring events specialist and held 18 group events across the state during 2015. These events focus on topics such as goal setting, job search, stress management, and professional communication. Since the grant-funded program has been quite successful this year, MCB will fund it in future years for all interested consumers. Two MCB staff members have been invited to present a national webinar for VR professionals on this initiative. (Page 338)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

Follow closely the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community-driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MCB will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 396)

The Commonwealth has enacted a state law to prohibit the use of cash assistance, including TAFDC, in electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transactions at liquor stores, casinos, gambling casinos or gaming establishments, and retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, as well as other establishments not identified in Section 408(a)(12). Retailers face fines from $500 for a first offense, $500 to $2500 for a second offense and not less than $2500 for a third offense. See M.G.L. c. 18, § J. In addition, the Commonwealth has prohibited the use of cash assistance held on EBT cards to purchase alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, gambling, adult oriented material or performances and other items and services (See M.G.L. c. 18, § I). Clients who violate the purchasing provisions must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a second offense, the client is disqualified from benefits for two months and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a third offense, the client is disqualified from benefits permanently and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. (Page 445)

Benefits are provided to eligible applicants and recipients on a statewide basis. The standards for determining eligibility and the amount of assistance are established on an objective and equitable basis in accordance with the Department’s regulations. These standards are based on an individual’s income, assets, family size and circumstances. All Department activities are conducted in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the Massachusetts Constitution. The Department does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, creed, ancestry or Veteran’s status in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. An applicant/recipient has a right to a fair hearing as set forth in the Department’s regulations at 106 CMR 343.000, et seq. (Page 450)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

In addition, the Commonwealth has partnered with a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, funded through a large banking institution’s nonprofit foundation, to offer financial literacy and credit counseling workshops. These workshops are available to clients at no cost, statewide, to assist in their development of short and long-term financial planning. The workshop curriculum encompasses how clients reduce or eliminate fees associated with using their EBT cards or otherwise utilize their TAFDC benefits through direct deposit or direct vendor payments for rent, utilities, etc. While clients are instructed on how to better budget their TAFDC funds, they are also reminded of the prohibited items, services and establishments, identified under State law and the associated penalties. (Page 446) 

Benefits

b)  Low–Income, Low–Skilled: Many individuals who are homeless, receiving public assistance or public housing, CORI, or individuals with limited skills (LEP or lack of high school credentials etc.) face challenges that require multiple supports offered across a range of partners. The state is looking to develop curriculum for cross–training to ensure staff at multiple agencies can help an individual understand available resources, the impact of work on wages and public benefits (benefits counseling or “cliff effect” information for TANF–SNAP), and next steps to move along a career pathway. The adult education network of providers will contribute information on evidence–based models that support integrated education and training, career pathways, wrap–around/college and career readiness support services to assist staff in building supports that create positive outcomes for low–income, low–skilled populations. (Page 96)

State level policies that outline a referral process for out–of–school youth to the core programs to acquire access to literacy skills, secondary credential attainment, public benefits, and pre–employment transition services as required under WIOA will be operationalized. Local partners will also be encouraged to collaboratively leverage resources for the purposes of improving outcomes for out–of–school youth by pursuing joint applications for “sector” initiative, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand Adult Career Pathway model piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, and align programming with state workforces partners such as YouthWorks. (Page 172)

The MRC will ensure that its Area Offices will determine eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities and will provide PETS based on individual need. For those students eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the rehabilitation counselor, together with the student, will develop an IPE stating the vocational goal and the services necessary to achieve it. These services may include: vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, adaptive equipment, and benefits counseling. Required PETS activities are: job exploration counseling; work–based learning experiences; counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education; workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and instruction in self–advocacy. The ESE and the MRC will provide guidance for local MRC staff and school district personnel on transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and implementation of IEPs under section 614(d) of the IDEA. MRC develops IPEs for students with disabilities as soon as possible. (Page 248)

Additional Functions Performed: Incumbents perform the following: Supervise and monitor unit activities such as consumer evaluations and case maintenance to ensure effective service delivery and compliance with agency policies and standards. Establish and maintain program and unit information systems. Prepare and monitor program and/or unit budget and allocation of funds. Develop and implement policies and procedures for assigned units and programs in accordance with agency regulations and applicable laws. Determine service delivery hours and caseloads to staff consistent with agency policies and consumer needs. Assist in the development and implementation of consumer needs assessment programs. Promote agency services to ensure appropriate referrals to the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Coordinate state and federal compliance review audits; gather sample studies, conduct in-house reviews of cases for compliance and provide requested materials, information and evaluations to ensure agency compliance with federal, state and agency policies, procedures and regulations regarding vocational rehabilitation. Coordinate Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) referrals; act as office liaison on all matters related to SSI/SSDI consumers receiving benefage its from the Social Security Administration. Act as liaison regarding specific disabilities or special populations by attending meetings and providing information to counselors to ensure that the agency is reaching the specific populations, and to discuss current information on the target groups. Based on assignment, develop and negotiate contracts and grants with appropriate vendors; develop, negotiate and manage contract service budgets in order to assure program effectiveness and compliance with state and federal guidelines, policies and procedures. (Page 275)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age. (Page 282)

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. The agency and the council have developed new goals and priorities and plans for innovation and expansion based on the new law. MCB and the Rehabilitation Council are in full support of the Workforce Development Plan Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. The agency and the council are committed to the following paths to the realization of that vision: (Page 333)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

As stated in a previous section: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. This includes a formal commitment of funding from MCB for appropriate supported employment services and a commitment from DDS for funding of the long-term, ongoing employment support services when needed. The agreement also provides for cross-training of staff. (Page 401)

In addition, as also stated in previous sections: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. (Page 419)

The provisions of Section 408(a)(12) of the Social Security Act require States to maintain policies and practices as necessary to prevent assistance provided under the State program funded under this part from being used in any electronic benefit transfer transaction in any liquor store; any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment; or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment. (Page 445)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c)  Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

20. Specialized Service Centers: A specialized service center of a core partner is defined as a local service center providing specialized services to shared customers such as assistive technology, benefits counseling, and vocational counseling. (Page 626)

School to Work Transition

1. Continue to provide soft skill training to consumers: Soft skills training for VR staff has been completed by MRC Training Department. In addition, all area offices offer training in soft skills to all consumers, including transition aged individuals through job clubs and stand– alone programs open for all disability groups. Training is delivered using PowerPoint and includes opportunities to role play. Soft–skills training has been offered at the 2014 Consumer Conference as a stand–alone workshop and with a resume workshop at the 2015 Consumer Conference. Soft skill trainings have been offered in high schools to assist in the transition process from school to work. (Page 237)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age.

5. The most important job characteristics that MRC consumers indicated they are looking for in a job include a friendly job environment (95%), job satisfaction and personal interests (95%), earning a living wage (94%), an adequate number of hours worked per week (94%), vacation and other leave benefits (89%), and promotional opportunities (88%). (Page 282)

Report of Progress: The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. At least five participants have been hired, although some are still per diems. MCB intends to continue to expand Project Search to meet the needs of consumers who choose to participate in this kind of program. A new program is beginning this spring at the same worksites. MCB will consider other types of worksites such as hotels in the future if there is consumer interest. (Page 414)

Specific innovation and expansion (I&E) activities and initiatives include:  The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. (Page 420)

Data Collection

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One–Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One–Stop Employment System (MOSES) –– a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: 

  • Title I Adult
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs)
  • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response)
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)
  • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI)
  • Title I Youth  (Page 110)

A system for tracking the services provided to individuals jointly eligible for MRC and DDS services will be developed and implemented in order to assess the referrals, outcomes, impact and effectiveness of services provided to individuals who receive services as part of this MOA. Each MRC and DDS Area Office will be required to provide documentation on a regular basis.

This Memorandum of Agreement will be reviewed annually by the leadership of both agencies to identify areas for clarification, improvement, or additions to further promote collaboration and successful employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Page 261)

The Rehabilitation Council (MCB RC) has continued to review the consumer satisfaction studies conducted annually on a routine basis. The Council had in previous years provided input into the design of these studies as well as the design of the comprehensive needs assessment study. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB RC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey to be sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services, pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The MCB RC will work with the agency to develop a new comprehensive needs assessment methodology in line with the requirements and focus of WIOA on competitive integrated employment for the next scheduled comprehensive needs assessment (2017). (Page 333)

2% of the respondents were under age 18 and 1% aged 18-25. Their reported needs did not differ significantly from the other respondents. However, Congress, RSA, and MCB have clearly identified youth as an underserved group in light of their needs for pre-employment transition services and transition services. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 379)

The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 393)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

No specific disability related information found.

Career Pathways

The September forum was sponsored by SRC–General, SRC–Blind and the Department of Education. A panel discussed the federal and state initiatives designed to increase employability for students with disabilities, and how to maximize the positive impact of pre–employment transition services through effective collaboration. (Page 203)

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to: 

  1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand
  2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
  3. Assist individuals to achieve economic self–sufficiency through support services, labor–market driven credentialing, and employment
  4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Page 300)

The majority of MA-SCSEP participants seeks and obtains entry-level part-time jobs with a flexible schedule. Therefore, realistic expectations for this population is in creating career pathways that will enable these individuals to obtain entry-level positions and perhaps to move into higher skilled occupations with time. It is expected that entry-level positions in the service sector such as Home Care and Food Service will offer the most suitable jobs for MA-SCSEP participants. (Page 573)

In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local areas could consider the following areas for shared resources to:

a) Leverage resources collaboratively for the purpose of expanding access to credentials and work–based learning for low–skilled individuals (local partners can pursue joint applications for “sector” initiatives such as the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund or Workforce Training Fund, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand the ABE Career Pathway models piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, etc.)

b) Align and map out the supports for individuals from different programs along a career pathway to support long–term, credential attainment. (Page 614)

Employment Networks

Section identified but no detailed information specifically addressing disability or implementation.  (Page 329)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 42

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

MA Act to Promote Employment for People with Disabilities (HB 86 )

“The purpose of the State Use Act is to encourage and assist persons with disabilities to achieve maximum personal independence through useful and productive employment by ensuring an expanded and constant market for services delivered by persons with disabilities, thereby enhancing their dignity and capacity for self-support and minimizing their dependence on welfare and entitlements.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Funding Application - 06/12/2015

In consideration of the evidence for supported employment, specifically the Individual Placement and Support/Supported Employment Model (IPS/SE) developed by Becker and Drake of the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, DMH is embedding and integrating supported employment within its community-based services. IPS is a core component of CBFS services. All CBFS providers are required to provide IPS services and employment outcome data are collected from providers consistent with the IPS model."

“DMH continues to provide employment services through Clubhouses, which provide members with a range of career counseling, job search, training, support, and placement services for obtaining and maintaining permanent, supported, and transitional employment. Clubhouses also serve as multi¬service centers for DMH clients and other persons with serious mental illness living in the community."

Clients also receive employment services through DMH's Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT), which are not employment programs per se but each PACT team does offer employment services within its mix of community-based client services. 

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
Topics
  • Mental Health
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA DDS Employment First Initiative - Progress Report - 01/09/2015

“For the operation of a pilot program to support individuals with disabilities transitioning from employment services offered at sheltered workshops to community-based employment or day support program services as part of the commonwealth's employment first initiative; provided, that the department may establish public/private partnerships with employers and non-profit organizations offering employment, job training, therapeutic day programs, recreational and other community-based day support services to individuals with disabilities; provided further, that such partnerships shall encourage the highest level of independence among individuals with disabilities as well as offering personalized day program planning and options to maximize community involvement and participation; and provided further, that the department shall issue [a] report, not later than December 31st, 2014, to the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means and the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities regarding the effectiveness of the pilot program and recommendations to improve or expand the program as applicable.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Creating Conditions for Success: Blueprint Progress Report - 10/01/2014

To achieve integrated employment, the Blueprint’s architects constructed a plan to close sheltered workshops by June 30, 2015. Contingent on additional funding, participants in sheltered workshops would transition to individual or group employment and/or Community- Based Day Services (CBDS) once sheltered workshops closed. An estimated investment of

$26.7 million over a four-year period would be needed to provide supports to individuals leaving sheltered workshops and moving into integrated work and day settings.

The Blueprint rollout also included an 18 month capacity building initiative funded by DDS to build a foundation for employment success. The Department of Developmental Services committed to fund the following: (a) regional forums to brief and respond to questions from individuals and families about the Blueprint, (b) technical assistance and consultation to providers to redesign services, (c) staff development and training to build a knowledge base in delivering integrated employment supports, and (d) expansion of a cross-disability, interagency employment collaborative model in three regions of the state to more effectively engage employers. Furthermore, DDS remained dedicated to provide individuals the same number of hours of services and supports to maintain stability for families during a time of change.

The purpose of this report is to provide an update on efforts made to expand integrated employment in Massachusetts since Blueprint for Success was released in November 2013.

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Segregated Day & Employment Services
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Employment First Policy - 08/01/2010

“This policy, known as the ‘Employment First’ policy, establishes that for working age adults served by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, integrated, individual employment is the preferred service option and optimal outcome. In the development of service plans and service delivery, assistance and supports for individual, integrated employment will be prioritized."

"It is recognized that full implementation of this policy will be a long-term process, requiring a general raising of expectations over time, by individuals served by the Department of Developmental Services, their families, as well as DDS and service provider staff concerning the ability of individuals to succeed in individual, integrated employment. This will require a consistent message across the DDS system regarding integrated employment as a priority; consistent actions that reinforce this message; and an infrastructure, including prioritizing and directing of resources, that supports this effort. This will also require a fundamental shift in thinking from a mind-set of integrated employment as an option for some individuals, to employment as a goal for all.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Massachusetts Model Employer Strategic Plan - 06/01/2009

“Addressing the significant under-employment of people with disabilities, including older workers aging into disability, is a priority within Governor Patrick’s economic development and jobs creation goals for the state; establishing the Commonwealth as a model employer of people with disabilities is an important step toward achieving that objective. This document provides a roadmap for change in the Executive Branch by setting forth a strategic plan addressing three over-arching goals:

Seek to increase the number of people with disabilities employed by the Executive Branch; Explore methods to ensure the successful retention and promotion of state workers with disabilities and older workers who age into disability; Foster an environment and a workforce able to support and facilitate the employment of people with disabilities.”
Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Blueprint for Success: Partnerships - 11/01/2013

"In July 2013, the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Commissioner Elin Howe appointed a group of disability providers, advocates and DDS leaders to examine day and employment support programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). The Employment Workgroup ‟s goal has been to develop a five-year plan to increase both inclusive employment opportunities and higher earning potential for individuals with ID, while phasing out the use of sheltered workshops.  The Workgroup has achieved consensus on the following plan, which is reflected in proposed changes, goals, recommendations, and timelines to achieve the desired outcomes.”

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Disability Employment Initiative - 10/01/2012

The Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) is a three-year federal grant program that improves education, training, employment opportunities, and employment outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed, and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits. In 2012, Massachusetts was awarded a Round 3 DEI grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Training Administration. 

  In 2014 Massachusetts was awarded a Round 5 grant.  
Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

Work Without Limits – About Us - 07/01/2009

~~Work Without Limits is an initiative of the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit, whose mission is to create solutions that maximize employment opportunities and improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities served by public programs.Since its inception in 2009, Work Without Limits has worked alongside a multitude of stakeholders including employers, employment service providers, state agencies, individuals with disabilities, and family members to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Employers and businesses become members of Work Without Limits through the Massachusetts Business Leadership Network (MABLN). Community based organizations and state agencies become partners through formal memorandums of understanding that support a mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship, and optimize employment programs, services and outcomes for those who are seeking them.

 

·     

·      ·     

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Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Customized Employment Projects: Massachusetts

"This project proposes an approach to developing the capacity of the One-Stop Career Centers in Massachusetts to serve all individuals, with a specific focus on individual with significant disabilities who have traditionally been unemployed or underemployed and have not been users of the One-Stop system. Particular emphasis is placed on individuals who have the most limited employment participation including individuals who are in sheltered workshops, day habilitation or day treatment programs; are recipients of SSI or SSDI, are on waiting lists for services with state MR/DD agencies; or individuals who are exiting education services and are likely to enter those programs. Developing the capacity of One-Stop Career Centers to be responsive to this population established a clear benchmark that addresses the WIA value for universal access.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Provider Transformation
  • Resource Leveraging

MA Work Incentives Grant (Southern Essex)

“The North Shore Employment Consortium (NoSEC), led by the Southern Essex Workforce Investment Board, will address the need for full accessibility to employment and training services for all citizens. NoSEC partners are targeting this project for people with disabilities in the nineteen cities and towns of Southern Essex County, Massachusetts. NoSEC partners will institute a cultural paradigm shift towards improved physical and programmatic accessibility. This project will include a training/marketing program for employment service providers, employers, and disabled persons, and the community at large. The project will also focus on transportation needs of disabled persons seeking employment and on the creation of relevant internships for people with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Department of Education – Transition Specialist Training Requirements - 09/22/2015

Staff who provide employment services must have subject matter knowledge of:

“Foundations and implementation of transition education and transition services;” “Individual transition assessment and system evaluation, including conducting, interpreting, and overseeing individualized formal and informal transition assessments;” “How to develop transition systems and supports which include best practices in postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment (including supported employment), independent living, and community participation;” “Collaboration including strategies for active participation of students and families in IEP development, transition education and services, and support networks; development of partnerships with employers.”  
Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA Employment First Technical Assistance - 11/01/2014

The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS), in conjunction with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The ARC of Massachusetts, released the [Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts...The blueprint outlines a plan to implement [Employment First]…in Massachusetts. To assist providers with the transformation from center based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, has established the Employment First Technical Assistance Center. Through this center, the ICI provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the blueprint.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Provider Transformation
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days" - 01/01/2010

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

 
Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA DDS Employment Planning Guide - "School Days to Pay Days"

“DDS created this booklet to provide helpful information to families of young adults with intellectual disabilities in their transition from school to work. The mission of the Department is to support individuals with intellectual disabilities to fully and meaningfully participate in their communities as valued members.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Department of Education
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

MA Webinar Archives

This page contains past webinar presentations sponsored by DDS in partnership with ICI.  Webinars contain information on disability employment, partnerships, accommodations, and work place supports.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Customized Employment
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Career Planning

~~“This is a page of links to information and training on career planning, particularly that which is  “person centered” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Citations

No Enforcement have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 11

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Massachusetts HCBS Transition Plan - 12/01/2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule related to Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) for Medicaid-funded long term services and supports provided in residential and non-residential home and community-based settings. The final rule took effect March 17, 2014. States are required to submit transition plans to CMS within one year of the effective date indicating how they intend to comply with the new requirements within a reasonable time period. If states amend or renew any of their currently operating waivers or state plan amendments prior to the effective date, that action serves as a trigger for the state to submit a transition plan for all its waivers under 1915(c), as well as any state plan amendments under 1915(i) or 1915(k) within 120 days of the amendment/renewal submission. The following is Massachusetts’ statewide transition plan pursuant to this requirement. The main focus of this Transition Plan is on residential supports offered through HCBS waivers.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MassHealth Section 1115 Demonstration - 10/30/2014

“The MassHealth demonstration is a statewide multi-faceted health reform effort. The demonstration was initially implemented in July 1997, and has developed over time through amendments and renewals reflecting new priorities and the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. The demonstration authorizes Medicaid income eligibility for certain categorically eligible populations including pregnant women, parents or adult caretakers, infants, children and individuals with disabilities, and provides premium subsidies to qualifying individuals who are enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) consistent with levels provided under the demonstration prior to the Affordable Care Act.”

The fifth renewal was approved October 30, 2014. It expires June 30, 2019.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living Waiver (1915c) - 07/01/2013

This waiver, "provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID"

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Adult Supports Waiver (0828.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Intensive Supports Waiver (0827.R01.00) [1915c] - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, residential hab, respite, day hab supplement, 24-hr self directed home sharing support, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transitional assistance services, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Community Living (0826.R01.00) - 07/01/2013

Provides center based day supports, group supported employment, individualized home supports, live-in caregiver, respite, day hab supplement, adult companion, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, chore, community based day supports, family training, home mods and adaptations, individual goods and services, individual supported employment, individualized day supports, OT, peer support, PT, specialized medical equipment and supplies, speech therapy, stabilization, transportation, vehicle mods for individuals w/ID ages 22 - no max age.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Residential Supports Waiver (1028.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides prevocational services, residential habilitation, supported employment, addiction services, assisted living, community crisis stabilization, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, residential family training, shared living 24-hr supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, transportation for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA MFP Community Living Waiver (1027.R00.00) - 04/01/2013

Provides home health aide, homemaker, personal care, prevocational services, respite, supported employment, addiction services, adult companion, chore, community crisis stabilization, community family training, community psychiatric support and treatment, day services, home accessibility adaptations, independent living supports, individual support and community habilitation, medication administration, OT, peer support, PT, shared home supports, skilled nursing, specialized medical equipment, speech therapy, supportive home care aide, transportation, vehicle mods for aged individuals 65 no max age, and physically disabled individuals ages 18-64.

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

MA Medicaid Infrastructure Grant - 10/01/2000

“The Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Program is authorized under Section 203 of the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The… program provides funding to states for Medicaid infrastructure development that will build supports for people with disabilities who would like to be employed. States are encouraged to use grant funding to implement and develop the optional working disabled eligibility group (Medicaid buy-in), increase the availability of statewide personal assistance services, form linkages with other state and local agencies that provide employment related supports, and create a seamless infrastructure that will maximize the employment potential of all people with disabilities”. 

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

States - Phone

Snapshot

With a commitment to advancing competitive, integrated employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, the state's slogan of "Make It In Massachusetts!" is one inclusive of all state residents.

State VR Rates and Services

A list of services offered by this state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency, along with the standard rates paid for the performance of those services.

PDF icon Massachusett's VR Rates and Services

2015 State Population.
0.72%
Change from
2014 to 2015
6,794,422
2015 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-1.51%
Change from
2014 to 2015
393,251
2015 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-2.84%
Change from
2014 to 2015
137,985
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
-1.31%
Change from
2014 to 2015
35.09%
2015 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.54%
Change from
2014 to 2015
79.48%

State Data

General

2015
Population. 6,794,422
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 393,251
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 137,985
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,127,728
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.09%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 79.48%
Overall unemployment rate. 4.90%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 21.30%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 368,682
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 416,436
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 636,792
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 64,532
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 86,040
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,696
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 26,372
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 22,867
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 31,478

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2015
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,125
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.40%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 205,060

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2015
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,605
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,239
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 21,104
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.30%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 10.60%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.30%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 18,005
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,239
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) medications management. N/A

 

WAGNER PEYSER OUTCOMES

2015
Number of registered job seekers with a disability. 10,668
Proportion of registered job seekers with a disability. 0.07

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES (ADULTS)

2014
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work served by Job Training and Partnership Act/Workforce Investment Act programs. 53
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 36
Percentage of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment relative to total the number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work. 68.00%
Incidence rate of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 0.53

 

VR OUTCOMES

2016
Total Number of people served under VR.
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 12,086
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 325,918
Total number of ID closures using supported employment services with or without Title VI-B funds expended (VI-C prior to 2002). N/A
Total number of ID competitive labor market closures. N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2014
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $44,606,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $26,014,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $146,000,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $44,292,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 36.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 3,731
Number of people served in facility based work. 2,564
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 8,741
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 85.10

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2014
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 61.86%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.43%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.86%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 100.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14a). 48.94%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14b). 82.00%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school (Indicator 14c). 90.16%
Percentage of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were competitively employed within one year of leaving high school (Subset of Indicator 14). 33.06%

 

ABILITYONE/JWOD PROGRAM

2014
Number of overall agency blind and SD hours. 1,027,032
Number of overall total blind and SD workers. 2,087
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (products). 19,211
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (services). 361,707
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD hours (combined). 380,918
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (products). 39
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (services). 611
Number of AbilityOne blind and SD workers (combined). 650
AbilityOne wages (products). $73,375
AbilityOne wages (services). $5,474,864

 

WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION: 14(c) CERTIFICATE-HOLDING ENTITIES OUTCOMES

2016
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 1
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 16
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 27
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 45
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 9
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 2,550
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 1,979
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4,555

 

WIOA Profile

WIOA Profile

 

The material cited below is taken directly from each state’s plan for WIOA implementation. These sections of the state plan were selected because of their relevance to youth and adults with disabilities. However, all programs and services under WIOA must be physically and programmatically accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program (EFSLMP)

The MRC develops programs and services with the participation of providers in several forums.

  1. Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice annually.
  2. Quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers.
  3. Periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs.
  4. Interagency and cross–disability agency councils.
  5. Task specific work teams.
  6. Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment first (MAAPSE) In partnership with MRC, CRP personnel actively participated in the process for competitive procurement, CIES, the disability employment pilot project work team and the mental health services work team. This included for the first time real pricing of community rehabilitation program services and performance reimbursement. (Page 251)

MRC and community providers collaborate in developing programs and services in such forums as: Statewide Rehabilitation Council that meets twice a year; quarterly meetings with representatives of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers; periodic district wide meetings with community rehabilitation programs, interagency and cross disability agency councils; task specific work teams and the Massachusetts Association of People Supporting Employment First (MAAPSE). (Page 299)

  • 6.   Research Best Practices Models to Increase Employment of Individuals with Disabilities: Based on public comments regarding innovative employment programs, MRC will research best practice models designed to increase the employment rate of individuals with disabilities in Massachusetts. MRC will find out more about the suggested models including: the practices of North Dakota, South Dakota, Alaska, and Wyoming, which have achieved increased results of 50% employment rates of individuals with disabilities; Innovative youth employment models from Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky; and the RespectAbility Disability Employment First Planning Tool, among others. (Page 302)
Customized Employment

No specific disability related information found

Braiding/Blending Resources
  • State–level coordination of youth–serving resources to drive local coordination
  • Models for braiding of funds to serve populations with highest need (and traditionally underserved)
  • Identification of new program models for ISY, OSY, and older youth. (Page 153)
Section 188/Section 188 Guide

WIOA NPRM at 20 CFR §678.800 requires that the state’s network of One–Stop Career Centers be certified by the Local Boards. WIOA further mandates that the State Board, in consultation with chief elected officials and Local Boards must establish objective criteria and procedures that Local Boards must use when certifying career centers. These new career center standards will further and be consistent with the Governor’s and State Board’s guidelines, guidance and vision. The new criteria will evaluate the one–stop career center delivery system for effectiveness in addressing business and job seeker needs in the enhanced Massachusetts demand–driven workforce delivery system. The new criteria will also ensure compliance with WIOA Section 188 nondiscrimination provisions and the Americans with Disabilities Act. In order to create and implement the One–Stop Certification process and policy under WIOA, the Massachusetts State Board created the Career Center Standards and Process Workgroup (CCS&P). The CCS&P Workgroup is comprised of a statewide diverse group of workforce professionals, representatives of core and other partner programs, including Vocational Rehabilitation, representatives of targeted customer groups, and business representatives. The group is in the process of rolling out Massachusetts’ inaugural statewide career center standards in the areas of cost effectiveness, integrated services, accessibility, effective leadership, performance and responsiveness to the demand driven model. Accessibility standards include the examination of systems to ensure staff knowledge of and compliance with Section 188 of WIOA. The standards exceed WIOA mandates and will become a core driver of change through the WIOA–mandated career center operator competitive selection process. (Page 142)

Every One–Stop Career Center in Massachusetts is currently fully accessible and in compliance with WIA Section 188 regulations on non–discrimination. As stated above, the certification process for One–Stop Career Centers and the state guidelines for local WIOA plan submissions both address matters pertaining to physical and programmatic accessibility. The Massachusetts DCS Field Management and Oversight unit conducts on–site monitoring at all 32 One–Stop locations, using the set of One–Stop Career Center Quality Assurance Standards. Further, the Massachusetts Department of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) conducts an accessibility review for any new leases or lease renewal activities based on ADA guidelines. Policy dictates that if any deficiencies are identified that One–Stops are informed in writing of the findings and given a deadline for when corrections need to be completed. There are no outstanding issues currently. (Page 143)

DEI/Disability Resource Coordinators

Over the years, Massachusetts has won several Disability Employment Initiative grants and other resources through USDOL Office of Disability and Employment Policy to strengthen the system’s capacity to support individuals with disabilities. The Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) III Grant administered through a partnership with five Career Centers, Work without Limits, and the Institute for Community Inclusion. Grant supports programs aimed at improving employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. Of the 535 individuals who have enrolled in the program, 292 (55%) have achieved employment (2014–2015). (Page 96)

Franklin Hampshire Career Center works with a participant named “Eli”. Eli became a customer of the Career Center around January of this year, he has been working as a janitor with very limited hours, and he has maintained that job for a number of years. In interviewing Eli, he shared that he wanted a ‘career’ not just a job. He knew he wanted to go into a specific field.

The Career Center works with its partners because Eli is co–enrolled in Department of Mental health, a MRC and a member of a vocational rehabilitation Clubhouse model program. Eli enrolled in training under DEI and WIA funding. (Page 629)

The Disability Resource Coordinator from the One–Stop Career Center has presented at the staff meeting of both Mass Rehab, as well as the Department of Developmental Services. MRC has made numerous referrals to the DEI program that we have been able to assist with tuition/training and job placement. As a direct result of the Regional Meetings, we have increased awareness of the DEI Grant, as well as our Center services and have streamlined the process of inter–communication regarding clients. (Page 631)

Other State Programs/Pilots that Support Competitive Integrated Employment

7. CareerAccess Initiative: MRC will closely follow the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community–driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MRC will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 302 & 314)

MRC passed this indicator again in FY 2014. Much effort has gone into assuring the accurate coding of the primary source of income of employed consumers both in and without the presence of other income such as SSA or other public benefits. MRC will continue to train staff in this area and validations have been added to the MRCIS case management system to avoid potential coding errors.

Standard and Indicator 2.1: Ratio of minorities served to non–minorities Actual: .94 Standard: .80 Result: PASS

MRC passed this indicator with a high score. MRC continues to make a strong commitment to achieve equality in service delivery. MRC counselors should be commended for their good work in dealing with the challenges and needs associated with diversity, and keeping it a priority. (Page 314)

Massachusetts has a number of programs for out-of-school youth that MCB works with to provide services for individual consumers. During the past year, MCB has been working closely with the Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD), a non-profit agency that empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. After a pilot in one region, MCB received a one-year grant of $43,000 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) to provide the service statewide. MCB offers all transition-age students and out-of-school youth mentoring through the Partners for Youth with Disabilities Mentor Match program. The Mentor Match pairs youth and young adults with disabilities with adult mentors who best fit their personality, interests, and skills. MCB has identified and matched 34 mentors and 34 young consumers for the program. Participants in the pilot program suggested that the agency also include networking opportunities among all of the mentors and the consumers involved. In response to this suggestion, the provider has hired a mentoring events specialist and held 18 group events across the state during 2015. These events focus on topics such as goal setting, job search, stress management, and professional communication. Since the grant-funded program has been quite successful this year, MCB will fund it in future years for all interested consumers. Two MCB staff members have been invited to present a national webinar for VR professionals on this initiative. (Page 338)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

Follow closely the CareerAccess initiative. CareerAccess is a community-driven proposed program to reform the current Social Security Administration’s Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) rules so that young adults with disabilities can work and achieve their full potential without risking losing their disability benefits. If the proposal is adopted by the Social Security Administration, MCB will help its consumers take full advantage of the program as part of their individual plans for employment. (Page 396)

The Commonwealth has enacted a state law to prohibit the use of cash assistance, including TAFDC, in electronic benefit transfer (EBT) transactions at liquor stores, casinos, gambling casinos or gaming establishments, and retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, as well as other establishments not identified in Section 408(a)(12). Retailers face fines from $500 for a first offense, $500 to $2500 for a second offense and not less than $2500 for a third offense. See M.G.L. c. 18, § J. In addition, the Commonwealth has prohibited the use of cash assistance held on EBT cards to purchase alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, gambling, adult oriented material or performances and other items and services (See M.G.L. c. 18, § I). Clients who violate the purchasing provisions must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a second offense, the client is disqualified from benefits for two months and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. For a third offense, the client is disqualified from benefits permanently and must pay the Commonwealth back for the prohibited purchase. (Page 445)

Benefits are provided to eligible applicants and recipients on a statewide basis. The standards for determining eligibility and the amount of assistance are established on an objective and equitable basis in accordance with the Department’s regulations. These standards are based on an individual’s income, assets, family size and circumstances. All Department activities are conducted in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the Massachusetts Constitution. The Department does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, creed, ancestry or Veteran’s status in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. An applicant/recipient has a right to a fair hearing as set forth in the Department’s regulations at 106 CMR 343.000, et seq. (Page 450)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c) Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

Financial Literacy /Economic Advancement

In addition, the Commonwealth has partnered with a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, funded through a large banking institution’s nonprofit foundation, to offer financial literacy and credit counseling workshops. These workshops are available to clients at no cost, statewide, to assist in their development of short and long-term financial planning. The workshop curriculum encompasses how clients reduce or eliminate fees associated with using their EBT cards or otherwise utilize their TAFDC benefits through direct deposit or direct vendor payments for rent, utilities, etc. While clients are instructed on how to better budget their TAFDC funds, they are also reminded of the prohibited items, services and establishments, identified under State law and the associated penalties. (Page 446) 

Benefits

b)  Low–Income, Low–Skilled: Many individuals who are homeless, receiving public assistance or public housing, CORI, or individuals with limited skills (LEP or lack of high school credentials etc.) face challenges that require multiple supports offered across a range of partners. The state is looking to develop curriculum for cross–training to ensure staff at multiple agencies can help an individual understand available resources, the impact of work on wages and public benefits (benefits counseling or “cliff effect” information for TANF–SNAP), and next steps to move along a career pathway. The adult education network of providers will contribute information on evidence–based models that support integrated education and training, career pathways, wrap–around/college and career readiness support services to assist staff in building supports that create positive outcomes for low–income, low–skilled populations. (Page 96)

State level policies that outline a referral process for out–of–school youth to the core programs to acquire access to literacy skills, secondary credential attainment, public benefits, and pre–employment transition services as required under WIOA will be operationalized. Local partners will also be encouraged to collaboratively leverage resources for the purposes of improving outcomes for out–of–school youth by pursuing joint applications for “sector” initiative, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand Adult Career Pathway model piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, and align programming with state workforces partners such as YouthWorks. (Page 172)

The MRC will ensure that its Area Offices will determine eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities and will provide PETS based on individual need. For those students eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, the rehabilitation counselor, together with the student, will develop an IPE stating the vocational goal and the services necessary to achieve it. These services may include: vocational guidance, work evaluation, skills training at a college or community rehabilitation program, adaptive equipment, and benefits counseling. Required PETS activities are: job exploration counseling; work–based learning experiences; counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education; workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living; and instruction in self–advocacy. The ESE and the MRC will provide guidance for local MRC staff and school district personnel on transition planning for students with disabilities that facilitates the development and implementation of IEPs under section 614(d) of the IDEA. MRC develops IPEs for students with disabilities as soon as possible. (Page 248)

Additional Functions Performed: Incumbents perform the following: Supervise and monitor unit activities such as consumer evaluations and case maintenance to ensure effective service delivery and compliance with agency policies and standards. Establish and maintain program and unit information systems. Prepare and monitor program and/or unit budget and allocation of funds. Develop and implement policies and procedures for assigned units and programs in accordance with agency regulations and applicable laws. Determine service delivery hours and caseloads to staff consistent with agency policies and consumer needs. Assist in the development and implementation of consumer needs assessment programs. Promote agency services to ensure appropriate referrals to the Vocational Rehabilitation Division. Coordinate state and federal compliance review audits; gather sample studies, conduct in-house reviews of cases for compliance and provide requested materials, information and evaluations to ensure agency compliance with federal, state and agency policies, procedures and regulations regarding vocational rehabilitation. Coordinate Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) referrals; act as office liaison on all matters related to SSI/SSDI consumers receiving benefage its from the Social Security Administration. Act as liaison regarding specific disabilities or special populations by attending meetings and providing information to counselors to ensure that the agency is reaching the specific populations, and to discuss current information on the target groups. Based on assignment, develop and negotiate contracts and grants with appropriate vendors; develop, negotiate and manage contract service budgets in order to assure program effectiveness and compliance with state and federal guidelines, policies and procedures. (Page 275)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age. (Page 282)

WIOA and its state plan requirements have been discussed at each quarterly meeting of the Rehabilitation Council since its enactment. The agency and the council have developed new goals and priorities and plans for innovation and expansion based on the new law. MCB and the Rehabilitation Council are in full support of the Workforce Development Plan Vision: All Massachusetts residents will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses’ demands and sustains a thriving economy. The agency and the council are committed to the following paths to the realization of that vision: (Page 333)

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind has always had a good relationship with MassHealth, the program that provides Medicaid services in Massachusetts. About 20% of the agency’s consumers benefit from the program. MassHealth services have been key comparable benefits that have enabled many VR consumers to reach their vocational goals. The agency‘s state-funded Deaf-Blind Extended Supports Program also works closely with MassHealth to provide services under the Home and Community-Based waiver that can provide the underpinning of vocational outcomes in some cases. (Page 347)

As stated in a previous section: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. This includes a formal commitment of funding from MCB for appropriate supported employment services and a commitment from DDS for funding of the long-term, ongoing employment support services when needed. The agreement also provides for cross-training of staff. (Page 401)

In addition, as also stated in previous sections: The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) have over the years worked cooperatively with MCB and provided extended services to a number of legally blind persons that have been provided supported employment services by MCB. During 2015 and 2016, MCB has collaborated with the DDS on plans to expand services to mutual consumers that includes an initiative to better identify consumers who could benefit from supported employment services and are not receiving them at this time. A new Memorandum of Agreement that includes provisions for use of joint agency resources to ensure quality service delivery and long term supports for supported employment was executed in November, 2015. (Page 419)

The provisions of Section 408(a)(12) of the Social Security Act require States to maintain policies and practices as necessary to prevent assistance provided under the State program funded under this part from being used in any electronic benefit transfer transaction in any liquor store; any casino, gambling casino, or gaming establishment; or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment. (Page 445)

Most participants reside in subsidized housing and rely on Medicare and/or Medicaid for medical insurance needs. They are looking for positions that will not result in the reduction of these important benefits. It is a well-known phenomenon frequently called the “cliff effect.” When individual relying on public assistance increase his/her earnings so they rise above the official poverty level, they then begin to lose eligibility for earned income tax credit, childcare subsidies, healthcare coverage, SNAP etc. even though they are not yet self-sufficient. Many SCSEP participants refuse higher earnings to avoid losing these public benefits. (Page 574)

c)  Creation and implementation of workshops for job seekers with disabilities at One–Stop Career Centers covering specific resources, SSI and VR benefits counseling, pre– and post–employment support services offered through VR, job fairs, employer industry panels job seekers, etc. (Offered at various sites.) (Page 615)

20. Specialized Service Centers: A specialized service center of a core partner is defined as a local service center providing specialized services to shared customers such as assistive technology, benefits counseling, and vocational counseling. (Page 626)

School to Work Transition

1. Continue to provide soft skill training to consumers: Soft skills training for VR staff has been completed by MRC Training Department. In addition, all area offices offer training in soft skills to all consumers, including transition aged individuals through job clubs and stand– alone programs open for all disability groups. Training is delivered using PowerPoint and includes opportunities to role play. Soft–skills training has been offered at the 2014 Consumer Conference as a stand–alone workshop and with a resume workshop at the 2015 Consumer Conference. Soft skill trainings have been offered in high schools to assist in the transition process from school to work. (Page 237)

4. The most important and needed VR services listed by consumers were job placement (89%), career counseling (84%), supported employment (80%), benefits planning (78%), ongoing supports to assist in retaining employment (74%), On–the–Job Training or Job Coaching (71%), and College Education (68%). School to work transition, obtaining a high school diploma, and college education were the most needed services by consumers of transition age.

5. The most important job characteristics that MRC consumers indicated they are looking for in a job include a friendly job environment (95%), job satisfaction and personal interests (95%), earning a living wage (94%), an adequate number of hours worked per week (94%), vacation and other leave benefits (89%), and promotional opportunities (88%). (Page 282)

Report of Progress: The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. At least five participants have been hired, although some are still per diems. MCB intends to continue to expand Project Search to meet the needs of consumers who choose to participate in this kind of program. A new program is beginning this spring at the same worksites. MCB will consider other types of worksites such as hotels in the future if there is consumer interest. (Page 414)

Specific innovation and expansion (I&E) activities and initiatives include:  The development of increased training opportunities for transition-age consumers who are not going to college continues to be a major focus area. During FFY 2015, MCB worked with Project SEARCH, an initiative that began in Cincinnati, Ohio to develop a program tailored for MCB consumers in Massachusetts. Project Search is a nine-month school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. MCB has chosen two providers: the Carroll Center for the Blind and the Polus Center for Social and Economic Development. The agency was able to recruit two large hospitals as worksites. Nine MCB consumers just completed working at the work sites with the goal of identifying career objectives and gaining work experience. There was a job coach at each work site to provide hands-on training and support to the participants. Project Search has had a 70% job placement rate in its programs in Ohio and other states. (Page 420)

Data Collection

Data Collection and Reporting Systems for Core WIOA programs The primary workforce development programs are administered by the Department of Career Services (DCS) within the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and operate through the State’s network of One–Stop Career Centers. DCS manages the Massachusetts One–Stop Employment System (MOSES) –– a client/server application and database that serves as the unified management information, client tracking, case management and reporting system used by staff at career centers and other workforce development service providers in Massachusetts. The application is distributed through a Citrix interface providing users with flexibility for data entry and report access. MOSES collects information and tracks data through the MOSES database for the following programs: 

  • Title I Adult
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  • National Dislocated Worker Grants (formerly NEGs)
  • Title I Dislocated Worker (inc. Rapid Response)
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)
  • Disability Employment Initiative Grants (DEI)
  • Title I Youth  (Page 110)

A system for tracking the services provided to individuals jointly eligible for MRC and DDS services will be developed and implemented in order to assess the referrals, outcomes, impact and effectiveness of services provided to individuals who receive services as part of this MOA. Each MRC and DDS Area Office will be required to provide documentation on a regular basis.

This Memorandum of Agreement will be reviewed annually by the leadership of both agencies to identify areas for clarification, improvement, or additions to further promote collaboration and successful employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. (Page 261)

The Rehabilitation Council (MCB RC) has continued to review the consumer satisfaction studies conducted annually on a routine basis. The Council had in previous years provided input into the design of these studies as well as the design of the comprehensive needs assessment study. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB RC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey to be sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services, pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The MCB RC will work with the agency to develop a new comprehensive needs assessment methodology in line with the requirements and focus of WIOA on competitive integrated employment for the next scheduled comprehensive needs assessment (2017). (Page 333)

2% of the respondents were under age 18 and 1% aged 18-25. Their reported needs did not differ significantly from the other respondents. However, Congress, RSA, and MCB have clearly identified youth as an underserved group in light of their needs for pre-employment transition services and transition services. The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 379)

The data collection for the latest comprehensive needs assessment study was completed before the new requirements for inclusion of need for pre-employment transition services were added. The MCB SRC agreed with the agency‘s proposal for a separate needs assessment survey that has been sent out for parents to fill out for this population (age 14-22) about their educational services and pre-employment transition services, transition services and vocational services. The analysis of this needs assessment survey will be integrated with the comprehensive needs assessment. In addition, a similar needs assessment survey is being conducted with Teachers of the Visually Impaired. Preliminary analysis of these two surveys indicates that there is a clear need for pre-employment transition services. (Page 393)

Small business/Entrepreneurship

No specific disability related information found.

Career Pathways

The September forum was sponsored by SRC–General, SRC–Blind and the Department of Education. A panel discussed the federal and state initiatives designed to increase employability for students with disabilities, and how to maximize the positive impact of pre–employment transition services through effective collaboration. (Page 203)

All Massachusetts residents, including individuals with disabilities, will benefit from a seamless system of education and workforce services that supports career pathways for individuals and leads to a more informed, educated, and skilled workforce, which meets the Commonwealth‘s businesses‘ demands and sustains a thriving economy. To achieve this vision, Massachusetts will engage businesses to understand their needs and develop an integrated education and workforce system that supports career pathways to prepare residents with foundation, technical, professional skills and information and connections to postsecondary education and training. MRC will work with its core workforce partners to: 

  1. Design career pathways across partners aligned with business demand
  2. Improve foundation skills and transition to postsecondary education and training for individuals with barriers to employment
  3. Assist individuals to achieve economic self–sufficiency through support services, labor–market driven credentialing, and employment
  4. Meet the needs of job seekers and businesses who engage in the public workforce system (including partner programs) (Page 300)

The majority of MA-SCSEP participants seeks and obtains entry-level part-time jobs with a flexible schedule. Therefore, realistic expectations for this population is in creating career pathways that will enable these individuals to obtain entry-level positions and perhaps to move into higher skilled occupations with time. It is expected that entry-level positions in the service sector such as Home Care and Food Service will offer the most suitable jobs for MA-SCSEP participants. (Page 573)

In order to implement the elements of a career pathway model in the region that require shared program design, service delivery, staffing or infrastructure costs, local areas could consider the following areas for shared resources to:

a) Leverage resources collaboratively for the purpose of expanding access to credentials and work–based learning for low–skilled individuals (local partners can pursue joint applications for “sector” initiatives such as the Workforce Competitiveness Trust Fund or Workforce Training Fund, expanded use of federal On–the–Job Training funding, expand the ABE Career Pathway models piloted in regions, “pathways” funding on specific populations and career pathways, etc.)

b) Align and map out the supports for individuals from different programs along a career pathway to support long–term, credential attainment. (Page 614)

Employment Networks

Section identified but no detailed information specifically addressing disability or implementation.  (Page 329)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 1 - 10 of 42

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Employment Services Program - 01/01/2017

~~“The Employment Services Program (ESP) funds employment and training services for recipients of TAFDC. The program provides education, occupational skills and employment support services to clients. Administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), ESP providers contract for services throughout Massachusetts. ESP helps recipients meet the employment/training requirements of TAFDC. ESP offers multiple services including:•Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES) helps clients find work by offering education and skills training, job development and placement.•Young Parents Program serves pregnant or parenting TAFDC clients between the ages of 14 and 21 who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Services include counseling, education, life and parenting skills and job training and placement services. The program aims to help youth attain a diploma or GED and to assist them in securing employment through vocational education and training.” 

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Proposed Adoption “101 CMR 359.00 Rates for Home and Community Based Services Waivers” - 01/01/2017

“101 CMR 359.00 governs the payment rates, effective January 1, 2017, for services in four Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers purchased by a governmental unit. The four HCBS Waivers are: Acquired Brain Injury Non-Residential Habilitation (ABI-N) Waiver, Acquired Brain Injury ResidentialHabilitation (ABI-RH) Waiver, Money Follows the Person Community Living (MFP-CL)Waiver, and Money Follows the Person Residential Supports (MFP-RS) Waiver. Listed below are the waiver services available in each waiver.”

Systems
  • Medicaid Agencies
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)

Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) Pathways to Employment for Youth Grant Awarded to Massachusetts - 09/19/2016

“Purpose: To notify Local Workforce Development Boards, One-Stop Career Center Operators and other workforce investment partners that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,500,000 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to operate the Massachusetts Disability Employment Initiative Pathways to Employment for Youth (DEI Pathways for Youth) Project.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

Administrative Advisory SPED 2017-1: Guidance Regarding the WIOA Prohibition on Contracting with Entities for the Purpose of Operating a Program Under Which a Youth with a Disability is Engaged in Subminimum Wage Employment - 09/19/2016

“This advisory provides guidance in accordance with the regulations recently promulgated under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, specifically 34 CFR § 397.31. This regulation states: ‘“Neither a local educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(1), nor a State educational agency, as defined in § 397.5(b)(2), may enter into a contract or other arrangement with an entity, as defined in § 397.5(d), for the purpose of operating a program for a youth under which work is compensated at a subminimum wage.’”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • 14(c)/Income Security

MA DDS Training Program - “Spring 2017 Comprehensive Employment Supports Training Series” - 06/01/2016

~~“This six-day, 36-hour training series incorporates state-of-the-art practices in career planning, job development, job coaching and support. This series includes full-day sessions that will be held between April 18 and May 25, 2017. It is expected that registrants will attend all six training days.”

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

MA DDS Training - Training for Massachusetts Employment Support Professionals Using Social Security Work Incentives - 06/01/2016

Many job seekers worry about losing their benefits when going to work. This training will provide an overview of the impact of earnings on Social Security benefits. Topics include the differences between SSI and SSDI, SSA Work Incentives, how to keep medical benefits while working, how to explain benefits to job seekers, families and other stakeholders, and resources available to assist job seekers with benefit planning issues.

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability
  • Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

Inclusive Employment and Career for Boston Youth with Disabilities - 10/24/2015

“Young people with disabilities, like all youth, have dreams, interests and talents that can take them on a pathway to a successful and fulfilling adulthood. But the very low rates of employment for people with disabilities speaks to the many barriers they will face on that journey. With the right supports from family, schools, employers and others, they can not only avoid a life of poverty and dependence but can also achieve the satisfaction of feeling valued in their work while bringing value to their place of work.

In Boston, the community has come together to take the first step. Through the Workforce Development Task Force of the Boston Special Education Transition (B-SET) project (a project of Massachusetts Advocates for Children), 70 organizations joined forces to develop a comprehensive Action Plan to guide a strategic approach for change and a Resource Guide to help youth and families navigate the system of services. The Plan contains an executive summary, a goal area “dashboard” with the many action steps already underway or recommended, and a useful chart that shows the key pathways Boston youth take from school to employment.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
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Massachusetts HB 4047 - 08/05/2014

"There shall be within the authority, the achieving a better life experience program for the purposes of administering ABLE accounts established to encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities.  Under the program, a person may make contributions to an ABLE account to meet the qualified disability expenses of the designated beneficiary of the account."

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Asset Development / Financial Capability

MA Act to Promote Employment for People with Disabilities (HB 86 )

“The purpose of the State Use Act is to encourage and assist persons with disabilities to achieve maximum personal independence through useful and productive employment by ensuring an expanded and constant market for services delivered by persons with disabilities, thereby enhancing their dignity and capacity for self-support and minimizing their dependence on welfare and entitlements.” 

Systems
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

No Executive Orders have been entered for this state.

Displaying 1 - 10 of 13

Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council “State Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2017” - 08/19/2017

~~“Employment:The number of people served in integrated employment has risen gradually and steadily since 1990. The integrated employment rate in MA for 2014 for state ID/DD agencies was 36% (19% nationally). Integrated employment funding for MA state ID/DD agencies decreased between 2011 and 2012. However in 2014, funding increased to $44,606,312. In 2014, there were 5,739 participants in MA ID/DD agency- employment programs. The gap in employment between individuals with and without disabilities in 2013 was 42.1% between people with any disability and 50.2% between people with a cognitive disability.The MA Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) and the MA Commission for the Blind (MCB) provide vocational rehabilitation (VR) services for the state. MRC’s mission is to “promote equality, empowerment and independence with individuals with disabilities. These goals are achieved through enhancing and encouragingperson choice and the right to succeed or fail in the pursuit of independence and employment in the community.” 

Systems
  • Other

“Work Without Limits joins Partners for Youth with Disabilities to mentor community college students with disabilities” - 02/15/2017

~~“UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, a statewide network dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities, is linking with Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) to offer e-mentoring to Massachusetts community college students with disabilities….While higher education often improves employment opportunities, college graduates continue to face barriers when seeking employment, which can lead to unemployment or underemployment.

“We are honored to join Partners for Youth with Disabilities and Business Leadership Networks in four other states to launch this exciting new e-mentoring model,” said Kathleen Petkauskos, Work Without Limits director. “We are committed to increasing the employment rate among individuals with disabilities, and believe that mentoring plays an important role.”

Massachusetts is one of five states that will be participating in the professional mentoring program. The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation and is expected to offer e-mentoring to 330 young adults across the five states.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Employer Engagement

Community Based Employment - 01/01/2017

~~“The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.” 

Systems
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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