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Contact: Evelyn Perez
Department of Social and Health Services
P.O. Box 45310
Olympia, WA 98504-5340
Telephone: 360.725.3413
E-mail: evelyn.perez@dshs.wa.gov

State Website: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ddd/index.shtml

Link to County Employment Program Offices: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/pdf/adsa/ddd/county_coord.pdf

Link to DDA Eligibility Requirements: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ddd/eligible.shtml

Participation: 7,876 participants were served by the Developmental Disabilities Administration/County Employment Services between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.

Who is Served: DDA eligible clients, age 21 years and older, who have received a DDA County Service Authorization to receive employment services.

Program Description: DDA Employment Services, contracted through county offices, assist individuals with developmental disabilities to determine their work interests and abilities, find a job, learn the job and keep the job. Support is also provided if a new job or different job is needed, or when job duties change and assistance is needed to learn the new job requirements. DDA employment services provide ongoing support and training for eligible persons to work in a variety of settings.

Program History: During the 1950s and 1960s families of people with developmental disabilities advocated for local service options that would provide alternatives to placing their sons and daughters into state institutions. Kaye Epton, a powerful Senator in the Washington State Legislature, drafted and supported passage of the Epton bill, which among other things offered children (who were not admitted to public schools) a day program option in local Developmental Centers. Over the years new children entered and as they grew up to become adults, most remained in service in the Developmental Centers. In 1972 Washington passed the first “Education for All” bill (Congress followed in 1974 with IDEA) and children with developmental disabilities had the opportunity to leave the local Developmental Centers to enter their neighborhood public school.

As a result, in the 1970s and 1980s, many Developmental Centers changed focus to provide day programs for adults with severe developmental disabilities. During that time people with mild developmental disabilities were generally served in sheltered workshops. At the same time, on the national level, people like Dr. Marc Gold were starting to demonstrate innovative practices for training techniques enabling people with very severe disabilities to learn complex tasks and work independently.

In 1979, Washington State DDA, county and day program staff formed Committee #1 to evaluate Developmental Center and Sheltered Workshop activities and propose system changes that would utilize the knowledge and practice of improved training techniques to define new expectations and support the activities needed to increase the competence and independence of persons with disabilities.

In 1979, Committee # 1 recommended a focus on activities and practices in employment services leading to increased job skills and wages for people with developmental disabilities. Early in the 1980s, counties and day program vendors began to report to the State on employment outcomes—the wages, benefits, time spent on the job and job environment—via the County Human Resource Information System (CHRIS). As vendors focused more and more on assisting people with disabilities to earn good wages, changes occurred in how and where jobs were sought for people. As people with disabilities obtained jobs outside workshops and centers, providers changed practice and expectations and more people were employed. Over the past 30 years, Washington has made consistent improvements in employment outcomes and become a national leader in placing people with developmental disabilities into good jobs at good wages. Today many more individuals with developmental disabilities are employed in jobs than are working in sheltered workshops.

Planning Cycle: TheDevelopmental Disabilities Administration plans and carries out operations on a state biennium. Counties also prepare and submit plans every two years to DDD.

State Core Measures: Not yet developed for DDA employment outcomes.

Outcome Measures: DDA requires counties and their subcontractors to report employment status outcomes including:

  1. Wages.
  2. Benefits.
  3. Work hours.
  4. Work environment.
    1. Individual employment.
    2. Group supported employment (crew or enclave work of eight or fewer individuals).
    3. Specialized industry (sheltered workshop).

Funding and State Regional Divisions and County Programs: DDA is headquartered at Central Office located in Lacey. State DDA client services, including eligibility determination and case management services, are offered through the three regional offices and several locations across the state. Washington’s 39 counties are primarily responsible for DDA employment services contract administration.

State Funding: $2,448,929 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012) State General Fund. This dollar amount represents the state fund portion dedicated solely to employment services from DDA’s overall operating budget.

Federal Funding: $49,385,268 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012) Federal Funds. This dollar amount represents the federal fund portion dedicated solely to employment services from DDA’s overall operating budget. It also includes a “Roads to Community Living” federal grant of $63,925.

Statutory Authority: State RCW 71A.14, WAC 388.850, WAC 388.825, WAC 388.845

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