The Department of Social and Health Services' (DSHS) Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) assists individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to obtain services and support based on individual preferences, capabilities, and needs. While some DDA clients live in Residential Habilitation Centers, an institutional setting, most clients live in the community.
The DDA provides individuals with a variety of services, which are contracted with counties, including Employment services, also known as "Supported Employment" and Community Access services, also known as "Community Inclusion." Employment services provide ongoing support services and training for eligible persons with paid jobs in a variety of settings and work sites. The DDA offers two services under Supported Employment: Individual Employment and Group Supported Employment. Community Inclusion services are offered after nine months of Supported Employment.
Individual Supported Employment services are a part of an individual’s pathway to employment and are tailored to individual needs, interests, and abilities, and promote career development. These are individualized services necessary to help persons with developmental disabilities obtain and continue integrated employment at or above the state’s minimum wage in the general workforce. These services may include intake, discovery, assessment, job preparation, job marketing, job supports, record keeping and support to maintain a job.
Group Supported Employment services are also a part of an individual’s pathway to integrated jobs in typical community employment. These services are intended to be short term and offer ongoing supervised employment for groups of no more than eight workers with disabilities in the same setting. The service outcome is sustained paid employment leading to further career development in integrated employment at or above minimum wage. Examples include enclaves, mobile crews, and other business models employing small groups of workers with disabilities in integrated employment in community settings.
Community Inclusion services are individualized services provided in typical integrated community settings. Services will promote individualized skill development, independent living and community integration for persons to learn how to actively and independently engage in their local community. These services may be authorized for individuals age 62 and older. These services may be authorized instead of Employment Support (Individual Employment or Group Supported Employment) for working age individuals who have received nine months of Employment Support.
In 2011, the Legislature revised its Work First policy to allow DDA clients to choose Community Inclusion (Access) if they are not satisfied with Employment Services after nine months in an employment program. In 2012, the Legislature passed legislation to support employment as the first choice for adults of working age; to incorporate the right to transition to a Community Inclusion (Access) program after nine months in an Employment Service; and to receive only one service option at a time: Employment or Community Inclusion (Access).
The prohibition on a Developmental Disabilities Administration client participating in Employment services, also known as "Supported Employment," and Community Access, also known as "Community Inclusion" services concurrently is removed.