The information contained in this section provides clients, families, service providers and employers with various resources on career pathways, employment, and job support for individuals with disabilities.
Employment First: Information and Resources
Employment First Policy
On October 9, 2013, Governor Brown signed AB 1041 (Chesbro), which establishes in law an Employment First Policy. California became the 12th state to enact an employment first policy in law. It is the policy of the state that opportunities for integrated, competitive employment shall be given the highest priority for working age individuals with developmental disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. WIC Sect. 4869(a)(1).
Click here for more information on the Employment First Policy.
WRC’s Employment First Policy
Employment enables adults to lead independent and productive lives while contributing to their community. Consistent with the Lanterman Act, inclusive and competitive work will be the first option considered by planning teams for every WRC working age adult (16 years of age or older). WIC Sect. 4869(c).
Click here to read WRC’s Employment First Policy..
DDS Employment Data Dashboard
The California Developmental Disabilities System (DDS) Employment Data Dashboard presents up-to-date data on how well California is doing in implementing the new Employment First policy and supporting people to have regular jobs at regular pay.
Click here to view the data dashboard.
Employment Success Story Videos
Individuals receiving Westside Regional Center services are engaged in various internship opportunities and apprenticeship programs, as well as competitive, integrated employment. For individuals seeking referral to agency programs to support internships and employment, please contact your assigned WRC Service Coordinator for consultation and referral options. Click on the links below to view employment success stories!
Mychal’s Learning Place- Mykie’s
Best Buddies Jobs
Project SEARCH UCLA Health
Paid Internships Program and Competitive Integrated Employment Incentive Funding
Welfare and Institutions code (WIC) was amended to add section 4870 to encourage competitive integrated employment (CIE) for individuals with developmental disabilities. CIE is full or part-time work for which an individual is paid minimum wage or greater in a setting with others who do not have disabilities.
- Paid Internship Program (PIP) – The purpose of the program is to increase vocational skills and abilities of consumers who choose, via the Individual Program Plan (IPP) process to participate in the internship.
Click here to read the DDS Letter: Guidelines for Implementation of PIP
- Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Incentives – The purpose of these incentives is to increase sustained CIE placements by Regional Center Service Providers consistent with the individuals IPP.
Click here to read the DDS Letter: Guidelines for Implementation of CIE Incentive Payments
Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA)
President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.
For more information on WIOA, click here.
For Individuals We Serve/Families
Employment/Career Pathways & Options
WRC’s “Life After High School: Pathways to Competitive Integrated Employment” handout provides an overview of pathways to employment after exiting the school system with a high school diploma, GED or certificate of completion. Support services are assessed on individual need during the IPP meeting.
Click here to view it in English.
Click here to view it in Spanish.
Customized Employment (CE) is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. It is based on an individualized match between the strengths, conditions, and interests of a job candidate and the identified business needs of an employer. Customized Employment utilizes an individualized approach to employment planning and job development — one person at a time . . . one employer at a time.
For more information contact your service coordinator or click here to read WRC’s CE description.
Supported Employment (SE) is a model of employment that provides people with severe disabilities the appropriate, ongoing support that is necessary for success in a competitive work environment. Most individuals in a SE program receive services from a Community Based Service Provider (CBSP). Generally CBSPs provide vocational assessment, locate or develop jobs, and provide job skills training. Most CBSPs have job coaches who work at the job site and help the client learn job tasks, identify job modifications including assistive technology, and work with the employer to solve behavioral or social problems.
For more information contact your service coordinator or click here to read WRC’s Supported Employment description.
If supports are needed when working in an employment setting, Job Coaches may be an option. Job Coaches are individuals who specialize in assisting individuals with disabilities to learn and accurately carry out job duties. Job Coaches provide one-on-one training tailored to the needs of the employee. They may first do a job analysis to identify the job duties, followed by developing a specific plan as to how they can best train the employee to work more and more on his/her own until completely self-sufficient and able to perform job duties accurately and effectively without assistance.
For more information contact your service coordinator.
Competitive Integrated Employment
Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) is full-time or part-time work in your community with other employees who are making the same money as you to do the same job. You can also be self-employed. If you are of working age, employment must be offered to you before other choices are talked about. If you choose to work in CIE, you will make at least $10.50 per hour (CA minimum wage as of 1/1/17). CIE means you will interact with people of all abilities and have a chance to move up one day and make more money.
For more information contact your service coordinator or click here to read WRC’s CIE Handout for Clients and Families.
Tailored Services offer a variety of opportunities to adults with disabilities 18 years of age and older. The intent of Tailored Services is to choose and customize day services to meet the client individualized needs; have opportunities to further the development or maintenance of employment and volunteer activities; direct their services; pursue postsecondary education; and increase their ability to lead integrated and inclusive lives.
For more information contact your service coordinator or click here to read WRC’s Tailored Services description.
College to Career
The College 2 Career (C2C) Program is an innovative post-secondary program for adults with developmental disabilities. C2C offers an exciting opportunity to experience community college, student housing, and college life.
- College to Career Program at West LA College supports education related to employment goals, with a strong focus on building skills leading to employment by the completion of the program and ability to work, with decreasing support, in an independent, integrated placement following the C2C program.
For more information contact your service coordinator.
WRC has several internship programs that provide on-the-job training and education in regular work settings. This is an excellent way to explore different careers and build a resume, while working on employment readiness and workplace social skills. Paid internships and apprenticeships are available.
For more information contact your service coordinator or click here to read WRC’s PIP Handout for Clients and Families.
Resources for Individuals & Families
- ABILITYJobs – The goal of ABILITYJobs is to enable people with disabilities to enhance their professional lives by providing a dedicated system for finding employment. JobAccess provides a place where people with disabilities can seek employment and be evaluated solely on their skills and experience. The ABILITY resume builder helps users to build and post a professional looking resume that companies across the United States will be able to browse.
- California Achieving a Better Life Experience (CalABLE) Program – In 2014, the United States Congress passed a law called the ABLE Act. It stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience. In 2015, Governor Brown signed the California ABLE Act into law. The purpose of this law is to create a way for people with disabilities to be able to save money easily without losing their public benefits. For more information, click here to read the SCDD ABLE Act booklet.
- CalJobs – Offers a complete set of employment tools for job seekers in California. Job seekers and employers access jobs, résumés, education, training, labor market information.
- Department of Rehabilitation – The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) is an employment and independent living resource for people with disabilities.
- Disability Benefits 101 – Gives you tools and information on health coverage, benefits, and employment. You can plan ahead and learn how work and benefits go together.
- Getting Hired – Provides employers with a full-service solution for attracting, recruiting, hiring and retaining the talent they need to meet their goals while also complying with OFCCP regulations. GH provides job seekers with a fully-accessible career portal and connections to various employment resources.
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) – The leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – Designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and it provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. Click here to view the SSA General Work Incentives PowerPoint Presentation.
For Service Providers
Paid Internship Program (PIP)
For information on PIP implementation, development, requesting for funding, reimbursement process and PIP closure refer to WRC PIP Vendor Guidelines and WRC PIP Flowchart.
Service providers interested in participating in the Paid Internship Program require an approved addendum to their current program design. Click here for the PIP Design Addendum template. Submit completed PIP Design Addendum electronically to Liddy Amador at email@example.com.
PIP Vendor Forms are to be completed for each individual participating in a PIP:
- WRC PIP Development Request Form
- WRC PIP Claims Workbook
- WRC PIP Exit Report
Submit all 3 completed forms electronically to Liddy Amador at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) Incentives
For information on implementation of Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) incentives refer to WRC CIE Vendor Guidelines.
Service providers interested in participating in the CIE Incentives require an approved program addendum to their current program design. Click here for the CIE Program Design Addendum template. Submit the completed CIE Program Design Addendum electronically to Liddy Amador at email@example.com.
CIE Vendor Form to be completed for each individual for CIE incentives:
Submit the completed form electronically to Liddy Amador at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources for Service Providers
- WRC Paid Internship Program Brochure contains fantastic facts and frequently asked questions of PIP.
- WRC Employer Outreach Brochure contains information on Tax credits, disability hiring, strengthening and diversifying workforce talent, Department of Labor regulatory compliance, Employers and the ADA, Resources to Assist Employers.
- CIE-PIP Technical Process Information is a visual illustration outlining the overall CIE and PIP process.
- SEP Roundtable is a forum for Supported Employment Provider Agencies to meet and share ideas regarding employment opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities. Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of every other month in the Danneker Boardroom (3rd floor) from 2:00-3:30pm. No RSVP is required. For more information contact Liddy Amador at email@example.com. Click here to view the Training and Events Bulletin.
- Employment First Business Advisory Committee is looking for a diverse group of individuals to join our WRC Employment First & Business Advisory Committee! The committee’s purpose: Building partnerships and collaboration, promoting outreach and education regarding community-based, integrated employment resulting in the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and community. Meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 1-2:30pm at WRC. Click here to view the Training and Events Bulletin.
Reasons to Hire People with Developmental Disabilities
The WRC Employer CIE Outreach Document provides information on Tax Credits/Incentives for hiring people with disabilities, FAQs, DOL compliance, and more.
Benefits and Opportunities for Employers
Department of Labor: Hiring People with Disabilities
Career Cast Disability Network: Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities
Paid Internship Program
Got Internship? The No Cost to Employers Paid Internship Program brochure provides information about the Paid Internship Program and fantastic facts about hiring people with developmental disabilities. Click here to read the brochure.
Resources for Employers
- The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) helps employers recruit, hire, retain and advance people with disabilities. In addition to hosting webinars and other events, EARN also maintains a website, AskEARN.org, which provides information on: recruiting and hiring; retention and advancement; laws and regulations; creating an accessible and welcoming workplace; and federal contractor requirements. The website also offers a variety of resources to assist state and federal government agencies in making their workforces more inclusive and reflective of the citizens they serve.
- Getting Hired provide employers with a full-service solution for attracting, recruiting, hiring and retaining the talent they need to meet their goals while also complying with OFCCP regulations. GH provides job seekers with a fully-accessible career portal and connections to various employment resources.
- The National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD Center) is a collaborative of disability, workforce and economic empowerment organizations led by the National Disability Institute. The LEAD Center is dedicated to advancing sustainable individual and systems-level change to improve competitive, integrated employment and economic self-sufficiency for adults across the spectrum of disabilities.
- Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities.
- Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace Fact Sheet provides employers information on providing qualified individuals with disabilities with reasonable accommodations.
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Disability Discrimination webpage describes type of disability discrimination and provides resources to help employees and employers understand the complex issues surrounding this topic.
Resources for Job Seekers
- Venice Skills Center, Adults with Disabilities Program assist adult students with disabilities who enroll or are interested in enrolling for Career Technical Education training. The purpose of this program is to individualize the support and services necessary to allow students with disabilities to perform on an equal basis with the non-disabled students on campus.