Richmond Times-Dispatch (By Madyson Fitzgerald) - In the main lab on the first floor of Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Centerin Chesterfield County, machines beeped and whirred with activity as hospital staff worked late Tuesday morning. It was a busy scene. One staffer was preparing specimens to be transferred to Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital in Henrico County. Wearing a blue medical gown and mask with hair pulled into a ponytail was Xander Ferguson, 18, who was putting the tracking information on the vials. In the lab, he can usually be found filing slides, making COVID-19 kits, and scanning lab specimens.
Customized Competitive integrated employment (CIE) has been established as the preferred goal for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) seeking employment. When compared to employment in segregated settings, CIE has shown more positive impacts on the lives of individuals. A recent study that examined the impact of competitive integrated employment on economic, psychological, and physical health outcomes for individuals with I/DD revealed some key findings.
Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) has been well established in research and policy as the preferred outcome for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the United States. However, without greater documentation and accurate assessment of the impact of CIE to improve the lives of individuals with IDD, we risk greatly undervaluing this key life experience. Subsequently, this miscalculates the public policy related to CIE by not more fully investigating in its promotion.
Start on success: A school and business collaboration model offering work-based learning for students with disabilities - Students connect what they learn in high school to the world of work. The opportunity to work provides high school students a valuable learning experience. They find a purpose for coming to school. For students with disabilities (SWD), a college and career readiness gap exists.
The Center on Self-Employment researched and summarized self-employment policies for the 50 States plus the District of Columbia. In total, 73 State VR Agencies were included in this research: 29 Combined VR Agencies, 22 General VR Agencies, and 22 Blind VR Agencies.
This paper represents the background and impetus behind the policy review, summarizes the findings, and offers initial considerations and recommendations for state VR policymakers. The report identified four key opportunities that VR agencies can pursue to increase equitable access to self-employment services.