The Council believes people with developmental disabilities deserve the opportunity to contribute their productivity in their communities. The Council’s initiatives include programs which promote people with developmental disabilities acquiring and maintaining competitive integrated individualized employment consistent with their abilities and interests.
Governor John Bel Edwards and late Council Chair April Dunn encourage employers to diversify the workplace by hiring people with disabilities. “In my office, we’re practicing what we preach.” – Governor Edwards. Click here to watch.
Current Employment Initiatives
The Council supports changes in public policy and practice which result in an increase in the number people with developmental disabilities in competitive, integrated, individualized employment. Two major items the Council is currently advocating are the implementation of policy and practice consistent with Employment First and for competency-based certification of employment support professionals with recognized skills sets demonstrated to be effective in supporting people with disabilities getting and maintaining employment.
Recruiting, hiring, and retaining people with disabilities
Working Together is a campaign to create inclusive employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and to provide businesses and employers “how to” strategies for recruiting, hiring and retaining these employees in an inclusive work environment. Inclusive employment webinars are being offered virtually statewide to interested employers to better understand the processes and resources that can be used to increase employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Ten, 60-minute webinars are planned, one in each of the Louisiana Department of Health’s regions or services areas, in partnership with local chambers of commerce, SHRM chapters, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services and the Workforce Commission. Click here if you are an employer interested in registering for a webinar or if you just want to learn more about the Working Together campaign.
Customized employment training and competency-based certification mentoring
The Certification program provides intensive three-day training and five-month mentoring to provide skills consistent with the “Essential Elements of Customized Employment for Universal Application” as published by the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC) June 2017. Candidates must demonstrate competency on skills to a Mentor before being certified in each of the three areas: Discovery, Job Development, and Systematic Instruction.
CUSTOMIZED EMPLOYMENT TRAINING
These one-day trainings are provided as a follow-up to the Council’s Employment Conference. The trainings give providers with little experience in Customized Employment basic information on what is involved in Customized Employment.
Benefits Planning Services
Many times individuals receiving SSI or SSDI mistakenly assume that going to work, or working more, could lower their total income or endanger their Medicaid eligibility. Disability Rights LA and the LSU Health Sciences Center-Human Development Center provide FREE benefits counseling to SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with disabilities. Please see the BPS information and map for how to receive benefits counseling in your area.