Building a Bridge- Phase I (2011-2014)


Building a Bridge

Ohio has emphasized the importance of “building a bridge” from our current system, where over 20,000 adults are receiving non-work services and/or services from a County Board of DD and/or services in a setting that may not be community-based, to a system which further emphasizes community employment and integrated day services.

Phase One: (2011-2014)

Building on Ohio’s long history of promoting employment, Ohio joined the State Employment Leadership Network and focused early efforts on:

1. Leadership:

  • Established Employment First Task Force and Advisory Committee

2. Values:

  • Prioritized employment, person-centered planning, and community participation
  • Established Common Principles

3. Policy & Goals

  • Issued Employment First Executive Order and Administrative Rule
  • Established Strategic Planning Leadership Group Goal: 50% employment by 2024 - average of 20 hours/week at minimum wage or higher

4. Financing

  • Amended waivers to include and incentivize community employment
  • Created an Employment First line item and appropriated $3M to Employment First efforts
  • Granted funds to public and private providers to transform their systems
  • Began Funding System Redesign

5. Training & TA

  • Developed competency-based training for employment providers
  • Hosted annual Employment First Conference
  • Provided technical assistance to System Transformation partners utilizing national experts
  • Worked with Local Leaders to develop customized professional development plans
  • Offered statewide training on Transition Framework
  • Created tools, materials, resources and training specific to job seekers and families
  • Partnered with federal Office of Disability Employment Policy on several initiatives aimed at technical assistance at both the policy and implementation level

6. Service Innovation

  • Funded System Transformation Projects to help providers shift from facility-based programs to individualized community supports/employment

7. Outcome Tracking

  • Launched Outcome Tracking System

8. Interagency Collaboration

  • Established Employment First Partnership with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (VR
  • Developed Transition Framework

During this time period, Ohio saw a 16% increase in integrated employment services.