Community Based Employment

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

The Community Based Employment pilot program provides funding to move individuals with disabilities from sheltered work to integrated work settings.

In 2010, Massachusetts began the employment first initiative which aims to move more individuals with disabilities out of sheltered workshops and into community-based integrated work settings or day programs. A Blueprint for Success was written in November 2013 by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) in partnership with the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and The Arc of Massachusetts. These groups issued a progress report in October 2014.

The Community Based Employment program is one piece of the employment first initiative. The program calls for the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to partner with employers and non-profits who offer employment, job training, therapeutic day programs and other community-based day supports for individuals with significant disabilities. The program helps to match individuals with employers with the goal to move participants towards increasing independence through employment in community integrated individual employment settings.

Completely closing sheltered work programs, however, can potentially have a negative impact on some individuals who are not ready to move to other settings.

Updated January 2017