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

2016 State Population.
0.25%
Change from
2015 to 2016
6,811,779
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-0.65%
Change from
2015 to 2016
390,729
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.41%
Change from
2015 to 2016
150,647
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
9%
Change from
2015 to 2016
38.56%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.69%
Change from
2015 to 2016
80.03%

General

2014 2015 2016
Population. 6,745,408 6,794,422 6,811,779
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 399,206 393,251 390,729
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 141,899 137,985 150,647
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,086,555 3,127,728 3,148,274
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.55% 35.09% 38.56%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 79.05% 79.48% 80.03%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.80% 4.90% 3.70%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 22.10% 21.30% 20.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.20% 10.10% 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 367,361 368,682 368,426
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 405,785 416,436 418,169
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 626,311 636,792 640,774
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,607 64,532 59,931
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 89,305 86,040 97,268
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 3,492 2,696 2,035
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 24,825 26,372 27,305
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 22,825 22,867 22,852
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 35,825 31,478 33,111

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 8,703 9,125 9,461
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.20% 5.40% 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 205,642 205,060 202,428

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,502 2,605 2,740
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,331 7,239 7,451
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 20,914 21,104 20,891
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.00% 12.30% 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 9.40% 10.60% 8.90%
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). 6.30% 7.30% 7.00%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,742 1,805 1,678
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. 1,163 1,239 1,312
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)

2013 2014 2015
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. 75 53 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 51 36 48
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% 68.00% 75.00%
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. 0.76 0.53 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
7,724
7,148
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 32 36 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 590 510 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,356 1,168 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,886 1,794 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,322 3,152 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 538 488 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 34.40% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 9,774 12,086 14,410
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 325,203 325,918 323,295
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. 148 146 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $36,370,000 $44,606,000 $49,329,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $29,554,000 $26,014,000 $14,045,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $145,886,000 $146,000,000 $165,158,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $37,018,000 $44,292,000 $62,484,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00% 36.00% 38.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 2,631 3,731 5,261
Number of people served in facility based work. 3,065 2,564 1,112
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 8,507 8,741 8,963
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 67.80 85.10 91.60

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 61.07% 61.86% 62.34%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.67% 14.43% 14.05%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.82% 6.86% 6.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.46% 100.00% 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). 42.05% 48.94% 53.83%
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). 77.00% 82.00% 81.31%
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). 88.73% 90.16% 93.74%
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). 34.94% 33.06% 27.48%

 

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

2015 2016 2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2 1 2
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 16 10
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 48 27 31
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 2 1 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 52 45 44
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 71 9 10
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 2,550 800
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 4,563 1,979 2,284
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 65 17 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4,699 4,555 3,111

 

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 Mentoring Program/Employment First Initiative

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

Blending/ Braiding 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)
DEI/DRC

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)

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) 

School to Work Transition

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)

Career Pathways

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)

Work Incentives & Benefits

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)

Employer Engagement

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

511

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)

Mental Health

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)

Displaying 11 - 20 of 49

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)

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

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 - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
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 11 - 16 of 16

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

IEP Process Guide - 06/01/2001

Transition planning is more effective when the planning is an integral part of the student’s IEP and the student’s program. Transition planning is required under Federal law and becomes a major Team focus when a student reaches fourteen years of age.

The Team is required to write IEPs that prepare students with disabilities for independence and employment and other post-school activities. The commitment of students, parents, educators, adult agency staff and community members is required to help students reach their visions and be active participants and contributors to society.

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

“Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary”

~~“The goal of the Massachusetts K-12 public education system is to prepare all students for success after high school. This means that all students will be prepared to successfully complete credit-bearing college courses or certificate or workplace training programs, enter economically viable career pathways, and engage as active and responsible citizens in our democracy. Our work is to broaden students’ opportunities and close gaps so that all students, regardless of background, are ready for the world that awaits them after high school….

At the high school level, we will ensure that all students have multiple high-quality pathways to educational and career opportunities after secondary school. These pathways will include enhanced early college opportunities, expanded access to career-technical education, and career development opportunities that link to workforce skill needs.”

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

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “Secondary Transition” Policy

“For Massachusetts students receiving special education services, Secondary Transition is a time that begins when they turn 14 (or earlier, if the IEP team agrees). From age 14 until they graduate or turn 22, students on IEPs receive transition services from their public school districts. Transition services are defined by federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) as a "coordinated set of activities…designed to be within a results oriented process,…to facilitate the student's movement from school to post-school activities." Transition services are based on the individual student's needs, taking into account his/her strengths, preferences, and interests. These services help young adults to live, work, participate in the community, and go on to further education or training as independently as possible when they leave high school.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

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

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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 - 9 of 9

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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 - 7 of 7

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

MassOptions (Balancing Incentives Program)

“MassOptions connects elders, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers with agencies and organizations that can best meet their needs. Learn more about MassOptions, the network of partners and State agencies and how to contact them here.”

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

2016 State Population.
0.25%
Change from
2015 to 2016
6,811,779
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-0.65%
Change from
2015 to 2016
390,729
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.41%
Change from
2015 to 2016
150,647
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
9%
Change from
2015 to 2016
38.56%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.69%
Change from
2015 to 2016
80.03%

State Data

General

2014 2015 2016
Population. 6,745,408 6,794,422 6,811,779
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 399,206 393,251 390,729
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 141,899 137,985 150,647
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,086,555 3,127,728 3,148,274
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.55% 35.09% 38.56%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 79.05% 79.48% 80.03%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.80% 4.90% 3.70%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 22.10% 21.30% 20.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.20% 10.10% 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 367,361 368,682 368,426
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 405,785 416,436 418,169
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 626,311 636,792 640,774
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,607 64,532 59,931
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 89,305 86,040 97,268
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 3,492 2,696 2,035
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 24,825 26,372 27,305
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 22,825 22,867 22,852
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 35,825 31,478 33,111

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 8,703 9,125 9,461
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.20% 5.40% 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 205,642 205,060 202,428

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,502 2,605 2,740
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,331 7,239 7,451
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 20,914 21,104 20,891
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.00% 12.30% 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 9.40% 10.60% 8.90%
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). 6.30% 7.30% 7.00%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,742 1,805 1,678
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. 1,163 1,239 1,312
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)

2013 2014 2015
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. 75 53 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 51 36 48
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% 68.00% 75.00%
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. 0.76 0.53 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
7,724
7,148
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 32 36 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 590 510 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,356 1,168 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,886 1,794 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,322 3,152 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 538 488 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 34.40% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 9,774 12,086 14,410
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 325,203 325,918 323,295
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. 148 146 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $36,370,000 $44,606,000 $49,329,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $29,554,000 $26,014,000 $14,045,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $145,886,000 $146,000,000 $165,158,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $37,018,000 $44,292,000 $62,484,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00% 36.00% 38.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 2,631 3,731 5,261
Number of people served in facility based work. 3,065 2,564 1,112
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 8,507 8,741 8,963
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 67.80 85.10 91.60

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 61.07% 61.86% 62.34%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.67% 14.43% 14.05%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.82% 6.86% 6.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.46% 100.00% 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). 42.05% 48.94% 53.83%
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). 77.00% 82.00% 81.31%
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). 88.73% 90.16% 93.74%
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). 34.94% 33.06% 27.48%

 

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

2015 2016 2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2 1 2
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 16 10
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 48 27 31
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 2 1 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 52 45 44
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 71 9 10
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 2,550 800
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 4,563 1,979 2,284
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 65 17 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4,699 4,555 3,111

 

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 Mentoring Program/Employment First Initiative

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

Blending/ Braiding 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)
DEI/DRC

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)

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) 

School to Work Transition

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)

Career Pathways

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)

Work Incentives & Benefits

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)

Employer Engagement

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

511

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)

Mental Health

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)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 11 - 20 of 49

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)

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

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 - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
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 11 - 16 of 16

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

IEP Process Guide - 06/01/2001

Transition planning is more effective when the planning is an integral part of the student’s IEP and the student’s program. Transition planning is required under Federal law and becomes a major Team focus when a student reaches fourteen years of age.

The Team is required to write IEPs that prepare students with disabilities for independence and employment and other post-school activities. The commitment of students, parents, educators, adult agency staff and community members is required to help students reach their visions and be active participants and contributors to society.

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

“Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary”

~~“The goal of the Massachusetts K-12 public education system is to prepare all students for success after high school. This means that all students will be prepared to successfully complete credit-bearing college courses or certificate or workplace training programs, enter economically viable career pathways, and engage as active and responsible citizens in our democracy. Our work is to broaden students’ opportunities and close gaps so that all students, regardless of background, are ready for the world that awaits them after high school….

At the high school level, we will ensure that all students have multiple high-quality pathways to educational and career opportunities after secondary school. These pathways will include enhanced early college opportunities, expanded access to career-technical education, and career development opportunities that link to workforce skill needs.”

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

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “Secondary Transition” Policy

“For Massachusetts students receiving special education services, Secondary Transition is a time that begins when they turn 14 (or earlier, if the IEP team agrees). From age 14 until they graduate or turn 22, students on IEPs receive transition services from their public school districts. Transition services are defined by federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) as a "coordinated set of activities…designed to be within a results oriented process,…to facilitate the student's movement from school to post-school activities." Transition services are based on the individual student's needs, taking into account his/her strengths, preferences, and interests. These services help young adults to live, work, participate in the community, and go on to further education or training as independently as possible when they leave high school.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

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

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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 - 9 of 9

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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 - 7 of 7

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

MassOptions (Balancing Incentives Program)

“MassOptions connects elders, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers with agencies and organizations that can best meet their needs. Learn more about MassOptions, the network of partners and State agencies and how to contact them here.”

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

2016 State Population.
0.25%
Change from
2015 to 2016
6,811,779
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-0.65%
Change from
2015 to 2016
390,729
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.41%
Change from
2015 to 2016
150,647
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
9%
Change from
2015 to 2016
38.56%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.69%
Change from
2015 to 2016
80.03%

State Data

General

2014 2015 2016
Population. 6,745,408 6,794,422 6,811,779
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 399,206 393,251 390,729
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 141,899 137,985 150,647
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,086,555 3,127,728 3,148,274
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 35.55% 35.09% 38.56%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 79.05% 79.48% 80.03%
Overall unemployment rate. 5.80% 4.90% 3.70%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 22.10% 21.30% 20.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 10.20% 10.10% 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 367,361 368,682 368,426
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 405,785 416,436 418,169
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 626,311 636,792 640,774
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,607 64,532 59,931
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 89,305 86,040 97,268
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 3,492 2,696 2,035
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 24,825 26,372 27,305
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A N/A N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 22,825 22,867 22,852
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 35,825 31,478 33,111

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 8,703 9,125 9,461
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.20% 5.40% 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 205,642 205,060 202,428

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2014 2015 2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,502 2,605 2,740
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,331 7,239 7,451
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 20,914 21,104 20,891
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 12.00% 12.30% 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 9.40% 10.60% 8.90%
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). 6.30% 7.30% 7.00%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A N/A N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,742 1,805 1,678
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. 1,163 1,239 1,312
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)

2013 2014 2015
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. 75 53 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 51 36 48
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% 68.00% 75.00%
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. 0.76 0.53 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2015 2016 2017
Total Number of people served under VR.
7,724
7,148
N/A
Number of people with visual impairments served under VR. 32 36 N/A
Number of people with communicative (hearing loss, deafness) impairments served under VR. 590 510 N/A
Number of people with physical impairments served under VR. 1,356 1,168 N/A
Number of people cognitive impairments served under VR. 1,886 1,794 N/A
Number of people psychosocial impairments served under VR. 3,322 3,152 N/A
Number of people with mental impairments served under VR. 538 488 N/A
Percentage of overall closures into employment under VR. 34.40% N/A N/A
Number of employment network (EN) and vocational rehabilitation (VR) tickets assigned. 9,774 12,086 14,410
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 325,203 325,918 323,295
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. 148 146 N/A

 

IDD OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $36,370,000 $44,606,000 $49,329,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $29,554,000 $26,014,000 $14,045,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $145,886,000 $146,000,000 $165,158,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $37,018,000 $44,292,000 $62,484,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 29.00% 36.00% 38.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 2,631 3,731 5,261
Number of people served in facility based work. 3,065 2,564 1,112
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 8,507 8,741 8,963
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 67.80 85.10 91.60

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2013 2014 2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 61.07% 61.86% 62.34%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.67% 14.43% 14.05%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.82% 6.86% 6.81%
Percent of youth with IEPs aged 16 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals (Indicator 13). 99.46% 100.00% 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). 42.05% 48.94% 53.83%
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). 77.00% 82.00% 81.31%
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). 88.73% 90.16% 93.74%
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). 34.94% 33.06% 27.48%

 

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

2015 2016 2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2 1 2
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 16 10
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 48 27 31
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 2 1 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 52 45 44
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 71 9 10
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 0 2,550 800
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 4,563 1,979 2,284
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 65 17 17
Total reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding entities. 4,699 4,555 3,111

 

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 Mentoring Program/Employment First Initiative

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

Blending/ Braiding 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)
DEI/DRC

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)

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) 

School to Work Transition

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)

Career Pathways

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)

Work Incentives & Benefits

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)

Employer Engagement

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

511

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)

Mental Health

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)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 11 - 20 of 49

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)

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

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 - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
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 11 - 16 of 16

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

IEP Process Guide - 06/01/2001

Transition planning is more effective when the planning is an integral part of the student’s IEP and the student’s program. Transition planning is required under Federal law and becomes a major Team focus when a student reaches fourteen years of age.

The Team is required to write IEPs that prepare students with disabilities for independence and employment and other post-school activities. The commitment of students, parents, educators, adult agency staff and community members is required to help students reach their visions and be active participants and contributors to society.

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

“Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary”

~~“The goal of the Massachusetts K-12 public education system is to prepare all students for success after high school. This means that all students will be prepared to successfully complete credit-bearing college courses or certificate or workplace training programs, enter economically viable career pathways, and engage as active and responsible citizens in our democracy. Our work is to broaden students’ opportunities and close gaps so that all students, regardless of background, are ready for the world that awaits them after high school….

At the high school level, we will ensure that all students have multiple high-quality pathways to educational and career opportunities after secondary school. These pathways will include enhanced early college opportunities, expanded access to career-technical education, and career development opportunities that link to workforce skill needs.”

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

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “Secondary Transition” Policy

“For Massachusetts students receiving special education services, Secondary Transition is a time that begins when they turn 14 (or earlier, if the IEP team agrees). From age 14 until they graduate or turn 22, students on IEPs receive transition services from their public school districts. Transition services are defined by federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) as a "coordinated set of activities…designed to be within a results oriented process,…to facilitate the student's movement from school to post-school activities." Transition services are based on the individual student's needs, taking into account his/her strengths, preferences, and interests. These services help young adults to live, work, participate in the community, and go on to further education or training as independently as possible when they leave high school.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

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

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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 - 9 of 9

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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 - 7 of 7

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

MassOptions (Balancing Incentives Program)

“MassOptions connects elders, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers with agencies and organizations that can best meet their needs. Learn more about MassOptions, the network of partners and State agencies and how to contact them here.”

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

2016 State Population.
0.25%
Change from
2015 to 2016
6,811,779
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-0.65%
Change from
2015 to 2016
390,729
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.41%
Change from
2015 to 2016
150,647
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
9%
Change from
2015 to 2016
38.56%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.69%
Change from
2015 to 2016
80.03%

State Data

General

2016
Population. 6,811,779
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 390,729
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 150,647
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,148,274
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 38.56%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 80.03%
Overall unemployment rate. 3.70%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 368,426
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 418,169
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 640,774
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,931
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 97,268
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,035
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 27,305
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 22,852
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 33,111

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,461
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 202,428

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,740
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,451
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 20,891
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.90%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.00%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,678
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,312
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)

2015
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. 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 48
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. 75.00%
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. 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017
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. 14,410
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,295
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

2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $49,329,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $14,045,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $165,158,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $62,484,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 38.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 5,261
Number of people served in facility based work. 1,112
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 8,963
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 91.60

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.34%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.05%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.81%
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). 53.83%
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). 81.31%
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). 93.74%
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). 27.48%

 

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

2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 10
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 31
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 44
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 10
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 800
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 2,284
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. 3,111

 

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 Mentoring Program/Employment First Initiative

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

Blending/ Braiding 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)
DEI/DRC

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)

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) 

School to Work Transition

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)

Career Pathways

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)

Work Incentives & Benefits

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)

Employer Engagement

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

511

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)

Mental Health

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)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 11 - 20 of 49

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)

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

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 - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
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 11 - 16 of 16

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

IEP Process Guide - 06/01/2001

Transition planning is more effective when the planning is an integral part of the student’s IEP and the student’s program. Transition planning is required under Federal law and becomes a major Team focus when a student reaches fourteen years of age.

The Team is required to write IEPs that prepare students with disabilities for independence and employment and other post-school activities. The commitment of students, parents, educators, adult agency staff and community members is required to help students reach their visions and be active participants and contributors to society.

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

“Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary”

~~“The goal of the Massachusetts K-12 public education system is to prepare all students for success after high school. This means that all students will be prepared to successfully complete credit-bearing college courses or certificate or workplace training programs, enter economically viable career pathways, and engage as active and responsible citizens in our democracy. Our work is to broaden students’ opportunities and close gaps so that all students, regardless of background, are ready for the world that awaits them after high school….

At the high school level, we will ensure that all students have multiple high-quality pathways to educational and career opportunities after secondary school. These pathways will include enhanced early college opportunities, expanded access to career-technical education, and career development opportunities that link to workforce skill needs.”

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

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “Secondary Transition” Policy

“For Massachusetts students receiving special education services, Secondary Transition is a time that begins when they turn 14 (or earlier, if the IEP team agrees). From age 14 until they graduate or turn 22, students on IEPs receive transition services from their public school districts. Transition services are defined by federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) as a "coordinated set of activities…designed to be within a results oriented process,…to facilitate the student's movement from school to post-school activities." Transition services are based on the individual student's needs, taking into account his/her strengths, preferences, and interests. These services help young adults to live, work, participate in the community, and go on to further education or training as independently as possible when they leave high school.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

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

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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 - 9 of 9

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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 - 7 of 7

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
Displaying 1 - 1 of 1

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
Displaying 11 - 11 of 11

MassOptions (Balancing Incentives Program)

“MassOptions connects elders, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers with agencies and organizations that can best meet their needs. Learn more about MassOptions, the network of partners and State agencies and how to contact them here.”

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

2016 State Population.
0.25%
Change from
2015 to 2016
6,811,779
2016 Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
-0.65%
Change from
2015 to 2016
390,729
2016 Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64).
8.41%
Change from
2015 to 2016
150,647
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities).
9%
Change from
2015 to 2016
38.56%
2016 Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities).
0.69%
Change from
2015 to 2016
80.03%

State Data

General

2016
Population. 6,811,779
Number of people with disabilities (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 390,729
Number of people with disabilities who are employed (all disabilities, ages 18-64). 150,647
Number of people without disabilities who are employed (ages 18-64). 3,148,274
Percentage of working age people who are employed (all disabilities). 38.56%
Percentage of working age people who are employed (NO disabilities). 80.03%
Overall unemployment rate. 3.70%
Poverty Rate (all disabilities). 20.90%
Poverty Rate (NO disabilities). 9.10%
Number of males with disabilities (all ages). 368,426
Number of females with disabilities (all ages). 418,169
Number of Caucasians with disabilities (all ages). 640,774
Number of African Americans with disabilities (all ages). 59,931
Number of Hispanic/Latinos with disabilities (all ages). 97,268
Number of American Indians/Alaska Natives with disabilities (all ages). 2,035
Number of Asians with disabilities (all ages). 27,305
Number of Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders with disabilities (all ages). N/A
Number of with multiple races disabilities (all ages). 22,852
Number of others with disabilities (all ages). 33,111

 

SSA OUTCOMES

2016
Number of SSI recipients with disabilities who work. 9,461
Percentage of SSI recipients with disabilities who work relative to total SSI recipients with disabilities. 5.70%
Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) recipients/workers with disabilities. 202,428

 

MENTAL HEALTH OUTCOMES

2016
Number of mental health services consumers who are employed. 2,740
Number of mental health services consumers who are part of the labor force (employed or actively looking for employment). 7,451
Number of adults served who have a known employment status. 20,891
Percentage of all state mental health agency consumers served in the community who are employed. 13.10%
Percentage of supported employment services evidence based practices (EBP). 8.90%
Percentage of supported housing services evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Percentage of assertive community treatment services evidence based practices (EBP). 7.00%
Percentage of medications management evidence based practices (EBP). N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported employment services. 1,678
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) supported housing services. N/A
Number of evidence based practices (EBP) assertive community treatment services. 1,312
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)

2015
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. 64
Total number of people with a disability that is a substantial barrier to work who entered unsubsidized employment. 48
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. 75.00%
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. 0.71

 

VR OUTCOMES

2017
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. 14,410
Number of eligible ticket to work beneficiaries. 323,295
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

2015
Dollars spent on day/employment services for integrated employment funding. $49,329,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based work funding. $14,045,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for facility-based non-work funding. $165,158,000
Dollars spent on day/employment services for community based non-work funding. $62,484,000
Percentage of people served in integrated employment. 38.00%
Number of people served in community based non-work. 5,261
Number of people served in facility based work. 1,112
Number of people served in facility based non-work. 8,963
Number supported in integrated employment per 100,000 individuals in the general state population. 91.60

 

EDUCATION OUTCOMES

2015
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class 80% or more of the day (Indicator 5a). 62.34%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served inside the regular class less than 40% of the day (Indicator 5b). 14.05%
Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served in separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements (Indicator 5c). 6.81%
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). 53.83%
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). 81.31%
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). 93.74%
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). 27.48%

 

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

2017
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 2
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 10
Number of 14(c) certificate-holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 31
Number of 14(c) certificate holding patient workers. 1
Total Number of 14(c) certificate holding entities. 44
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate-holding businesses. 10
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14 (c) certificate holding school work experience programs (SWEPs). 800
Reported number of people with disabilities working under 14(c) certificate holding community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). 2,284
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. 3,111

 

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 Mentoring Program/Employment First Initiative

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

Blending/ Braiding 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)
DEI/DRC

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)

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) 

School to Work Transition

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)

Career Pathways

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)

Work Incentives & Benefits

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)

Employer Engagement

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

511

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)

Mental Health

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)

Policies and Initiatives

Displaying 11 - 20 of 49

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)

Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement

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 - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
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 11 - 16 of 16

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

IEP Process Guide - 06/01/2001

Transition planning is more effective when the planning is an integral part of the student’s IEP and the student’s program. Transition planning is required under Federal law and becomes a major Team focus when a student reaches fourteen years of age.

The Team is required to write IEPs that prepare students with disabilities for independence and employment and other post-school activities. The commitment of students, parents, educators, adult agency staff and community members is required to help students reach their visions and be active participants and contributors to society.

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

“Massachusetts ESSA Plan: Executive Summary”

~~“The goal of the Massachusetts K-12 public education system is to prepare all students for success after high school. This means that all students will be prepared to successfully complete credit-bearing college courses or certificate or workplace training programs, enter economically viable career pathways, and engage as active and responsible citizens in our democracy. Our work is to broaden students’ opportunities and close gaps so that all students, regardless of background, are ready for the world that awaits them after high school….

At the high school level, we will ensure that all students have multiple high-quality pathways to educational and career opportunities after secondary school. These pathways will include enhanced early college opportunities, expanded access to career-technical education, and career development opportunities that link to workforce skill needs.”

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

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “Secondary Transition” Policy

“For Massachusetts students receiving special education services, Secondary Transition is a time that begins when they turn 14 (or earlier, if the IEP team agrees). From age 14 until they graduate or turn 22, students on IEPs receive transition services from their public school districts. Transition services are defined by federal law (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA) as a "coordinated set of activities…designed to be within a results oriented process,…to facilitate the student's movement from school to post-school activities." Transition services are based on the individual student's needs, taking into account his/her strengths, preferences, and interests. These services help young adults to live, work, participate in the community, and go on to further education or training as independently as possible when they leave high school.”

Systems
  • Department of Education
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Greater Boston Employment Collaborative - 01/01/2018

“The Greater Boston Employment Collaborative (GBEC) is a vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, workforce development entities, and employers working towards one common goal - to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

GBEC works with employers across the Greater Boston Area to connect them with a largely untapped market of qualified job candidates. Our pool of candidates includes individuals from 30 towns from Belmont to Winthrop, who experience either a mental illness, a developmental disability, or in some cases, a physical disability. Job candidates have a range of interests, skills, and level of education, but all share one common trait – the commitment and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer.

GBEC is an initiative of Riverside Community Care funded by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Mass Commission for the Blind.”

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

Regional Employment Collaboratives - 01/01/2018

“Massachusetts is home to a number of collaborative efforts to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. With funding from the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health, these collaboratives are growing in size and scope.

 

Riverside Community Care is supporting the expansion of the Central Massachusetts Employment Collaborative, as well as the relaunch of the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative and the Greater Merrimack Valley Employment Collaborative (formerly the Merrimack Valley Partnership). New collaboratives are also being launched in the Northeast and in the Hampden and Franklin/Hampshire area.

 

Employer liaisons will be working with each of these collaboratives. All of the collaboratives have a cross-disability focus, and welcome membership from the full range of employment service providers in their region.”

Systems
  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships

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 - 9 of 9

Building Capacity for Serving People with Disabilities Through the One-Stop System: Boston, MA - 05/16/2018

“The Quincy Career Center One-Stop in Massachusetts has implemented a number of strategies to improve their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Included in these is a Disability Program Navigator, funded by DOL Employment & Training Administration, who assists the One-Stop staff to better serve customers with disabilities by providing information and resources that address specific customer needs. The navigator also ensures that staff is trained in disability matters so they can more effectively serve customers. Additionally, the One-Stop has two Disability Employment Specialists who are subcontracted to offer onsite, very intensive and customized career services to eligible customers with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging

MassMATCH - 01/01/2018

“MassMATCH is the Commonwealth's initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer's Hands. It is one of 56 state-level AT Act programs in the United States. The MassMATCH mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life's activities.

 

Through partnerships with community-based organizations, MassMATCH is currently creating new AT programs and working to coordinate AT services throughout the Commonwealth. Please let us know what you think. Our success at developing these resources and getting them "in consumers' hands" depends, in part, on hearing from you—consumers, families, advocates, and professionals. Contact us with feedback or with an upcoming AT event you'd like us to help promote. Join our email alerts list. Also consider joining the AT Advisory Council. Help us to effectively steward this community/government partnership. Our goal is to improve access to assistive technology so that persons with disabilities can live, work, study, play, and participate independently in all aspects of our communities.

 

MassMATCH is funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and managed by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). No official endorsement by ACL/HHS of any product, commodity, or service mentioned in this website is intended or should be inferred.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships
  • Resource Leveraging
Citations

Transition Pathway Services Project - 07/01/2017

“The Transition Pathway Services (TPS) Model Demonstration is 5-year federal grant that the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) received from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Education. The TPS aims to improve career and academic planning skills so that high school students with disabilities will be successful in achieving competitive integrated employment and post-secondary outcomes upon completion of their secondary education. MRC and partners will provide work based learning experiences and a menu of services to students. Through a person centered collaborative team based approach, students’ career goals are thoughtfully planned and supported.”

Systems
  • Other
Topics
  • School-to-Work Transition

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 - 7 of 7

2017 Employment Matters! Conference - 05/17/2017

A conference on “the latest […] efforts to advance employment and economic opportunities for Massachusetts citizens with disabilities.”

Systems
  • Department of Workforce Development
Topics
  • Data Sharing

MA DDS Training - Earnings and Benefits: 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 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
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Memorandum and Order Re: Defendant TharpeRobbins Company’s Motion for Summary Judgement - 11/01/2016

~~“On March 10, 2015, defendant filed a notice of removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332, 1441(a) and 1446. (Docket Entry # 1). Federal jurisdiction is based on the parties’ diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), as plaintiff is a citizen of Massachusetts, defendant is incorporated in NorthCarolina and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. (Docket Entry # 1) Plaintiff filed a second amended complaint (Docket Entry #31) on September 25, 2016 setting out the following claims: wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Count I);1 disability discrimination in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B (“chapter 151B”), section 4 (Count II); and disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 (Count III).(Docket Entry # 31). On October 8, 2015, defendant filed an answer to the second amended complaint. (Docket Entry # 32). In the answer defendant set out the following counterclaims against plaintiff: misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93, section two (Count I); misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II); conversion (Count III); breach of contract (Count IV); violation of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A for unfair and deceptive practices (Count V); and violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq. (Count VI).[…]

CONCLUSION In accordance with the foregoing discussion, defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry # 40) is DENIED as to Count II for disability discrimination in violation of chapter 151B and Count III for disability discrimination in violation of the ADA. The deadline to file dispositive motions has passed and there shall be no extensions. This court will conduct a status conference on November 28, 2016 at 2:45 p.m. to set a trial date.”

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  • Other
Topics
  • Employer Engagement
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MassOptions (Balancing Incentives Program)

“MassOptions connects elders, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers with agencies and organizations that can best meet their needs. Learn more about MassOptions, the network of partners and State agencies and how to contact them here.”

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