Employment is a critical part of community inclusion for both older adults and people with disabilities. When they don’t have opportunities to work, we all miss out. For youth with disabilities, a smooth transition from education to employment is essential. Securing and maintaining employment helps many people to achieve independence in their communities, but there are often barriers to accessing meaningful and integrated employment.

Employment in integrated settings at competitive wages offer a direct pathway to greater independence and self-sufficiency. Employers benefit from a larger and more diverse talent pool when hiring. And as a nation we benefit when people with disabilities and older adults have the chance to contribute as colleagues, business owners, and taxpayers.

At ACL, we are working with our partners across federal government, with states and communities, and with older adults and people with disabilities to create more opportunities for competitive, integrated employment. Learn more about our initiatives below.

Employment Resources

ACL has compiled resources on employment for people with disabilities and their families, employers, service providers and educators, and states and policy-makers.

ACL Employment Initiatives


Key Findings and Lessons Learned from Research on Integrated Employment for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Webinar hosted by ThinkWork! a project of the  Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

This presentation highlights key findings and lessons learned from the NIDILRR-funded RRTC on Advancing Employment for People with IDD (2014-2019). ICI staff discuss a “knowledge to action” agenda that applies empirical data towards the development of strategies to positively impact the employment outcomes of individuals with IDD and their families. Presenters share findings from their intervention research related to family engagement, implementation of employment supports, provider transformation, and state level policy analyses with higher performing employment systems.

Watch the recorded video here.

Rethinking Employment Services and Supports During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has required many organizations to serve as innovators, inventors, partners, and problem-solvers. In response to the pandemic, many states and intellectual and developmental disabilities service providers successfully pivoted implementing 1915(c) waiver Appendix K strategies and innovative approaches to ensure continuity in home and community-based services (HCBS), and overall health and safety.

In partnership with ACL and HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Mission Analytics hosted a webinar on August 5, 2020 on supported employment services in the COVID-19 era.

View slides from the webinar.

Medical Professionals with Disabilities: October 24, 2018

According to the American Medical Association (AMA), nearly 20 percent of Americans have disabilities, yet professional students in key health fields and health care providers with disabilities still encounter serious barriers throughout their training and careers – barriers that reflect the challenges too many Americans with disabilities still face in accessing health care that others take for granted.

In observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), ACL hosted a webinar on October 24, 2018, at 3pm ET with medical professionals with disabilities who are flipping the script and working to enhance inclusion of people with disabilities by working to improve health care training curricula and increase the access to and quality of health care for people with disabilities. The webinar will include discussion of cultural competency, accessibility & inclusion in medical education, as well as the stigma that surrounds employment of medical professionals with disabilities.

Speakers include:

- Lisa I. Iezzoni, MD, MSC, Harvard Medical School Neera
- Jain, PhD Candidate, University of Auckland
-  Karen McCulloh, RN, Founder, National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities
-  Michael McKee, MD, MPH, University of Michigan

Last modified on 04/23/2021

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