Oregon Highlighted by the Access to Integrated Employment Project

The Access to Integrated Employment project (AIE) promotes integrated employment participation for individuals with I/DD.  It is administered by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), and funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD).  As part of the AIE project, the institute has collected and published Promising Practices by State Agencies, which are catalogued on a web page designed to highlight innovation and broaden perceptions about the strategies that can promote integrated employment outcomes at the system level.

This month’s promising practice highlights Oregon’s Keys to Case Management Initiative:  Ensuring Case Manager Technical Capacity, Investment, and Engagement in Employment First.  The publication highlights the critical role that Case Managers have in furthering employment first efforts and how Oregon’s first step was to determine the challenges that Case managers were having finding employment for the people they were supporting through the implementation of a survey.  Survey findings were then translated into the Keys for Case Managers Trainings that were held across the state. 

The publication on the website includes information on this training which featured the following focus areas as part of the curriculum:

  • A review of case managers roles and responsibilities;
  • Employment related talking points to have on hand when planning with a person to achieve their employment goals ;
  • An employment planning guide; and,
  • A graphic called the Pathway to Employment that helps people identify where they want to go in terms of their employment goals.

Further highlights identified include, that I/DD administrators made an investment in building the competencies of their case manager’s, the training was built on concrete tools case managers could use in planning and conversing with the people they support about employment and having in-person meetings with key stakeholders further increases the investment in the effort by all.