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Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living and 2 more... less...

Developmental Disabilities Services

Developmental Disabilities Special Payments

Employment rate among people age 18 to 64 who are served by Developmental Disabilities Services HCBS

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

The growth in the employment rate for people with ID/DD who receive Home and Community-Based Services is due to several factors. Each designated and specialized service agency had individualized employment rate targets within the larger context of striving for a 45% statewide employment rate. This individualized approach provided tangible and feasible benchmarks while recognizing that each organization has unique circumstances associated with increasing the number of people employed. DAIL's Supported Employment Specialists provided technical assistance via regular meetings with each agency to review progress and offer help. DAIL's ability to access Vermont Department of Labor's (VTDOL) database allowed DAIL to identify every employed person served by the providers. In some cases, the utilization of the VTDOL data base actually increased the employment rate as it picked up workers beyond what providers' data system had available for employment rates. In addition, four transition age youth educational options; SUCCEED, College Steps, Think College Vermont, and Project SEARCH, had a significant influence on the growth in employment with each achieving a high employment rate for their students upon graduation. Participating colleges in the post-secondary education programs include Castleton University, Northern Vermont University - Johnson and Lyndon Campuses, Southern Vermont College and University of Vermont (UVM). Vermont Project SEARCH has expanded to three Vermont licensed programs (Burlington, Rutland, Springfield). This growth has tremendously broadened the menu of employment supports for transition aged youth with developmental disabilities.

The number of individuals receiving supported employment and employed during FY 21 was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The lower count is due to fewer individuals retaining employment due to business closures, job offers being declined due to health risks concerns, elimination of employment services due to staff shortages, individual's declining job development services to minimize being in public, and families and guardians being opposed to a return to work even when vaccinated.


Designated Agency (DA) and Specialized Services Agency Supported Employment Coordinators and Developmental Disabilities Services Directors; DDSD Supported Employment Specialist; HireAbility Vermont Supported Employment Specialist; UVM's Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI/UVM) faculty; Vermont businesses; regional HireAbility Vermont Counselors; and post-secondary college support programs (Think College, SUCCEED, College Steps Program).

What Works

  • Ongoing support and technical assistance from DAIL Supported Employment Specialists.
  • Quarterly Supported Employment Coordinators' Meetings to share resources, ideas, and cross mentor.
  • Connecting youth to Project SEARCH Industry based training and to post-secondary college course work.

Notes on Methodology

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) data that makes up this outcome is supplied by the Vermont Department of Labor and has a six months lag time in its availability. There is a further delay during which time the agencies and VR and DDSD review the data. Therefore, Calendar Year is not available until the following Spring.

Action Plan

  • Facilitate annual regional Youth Transition Core Teams to come together quarterly and provide an annual team development day for Core Teams and statewide stakeholders.
  • DAIL continues to provide a CCV based online Supported Employment certification course to provide training to first year agency Supported Employment Specialists.
  • Develop sustainability of the three Project SEARCH sites in Vermont. Work with the post-secondary programs to assure continuation of the five Vermont college campus-based programs (Castleton University, Northern Vermont University - Johnson and Lyndon Campuses, Southern Vermont College, University of Vermont).

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