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Contact: Evelyn Perez
Department of Social and Health Services
P.O. Box 45310
Olympia, WA 98504-5340
Telephone: 360-407-1501
E-mail: evelyn.perez@dshs.wa.gov

State Website: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/dda/about-developmental-disabilities-administration

Link to County Employment Program Offices: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/dda/county-best-practices

Link to DDA Eligibility Requirements: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/node/5756/

Participation: 7,479 adult participants were served by the Developmental Disabilities Administration in Employment Services between July 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015.

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.

1980’s started moving people and services to community settings out of institutional settings.  Developed County Guidelines promoting the basic interdependent benefits of quality living:  Power and Choice; Relationships; Status Contribution; Integration; Competence; Health and Safety.

1997 to 2000 ”Strategies for the Future Long Range Plan” outcome reports Phase I and II.  Stakeholder workgroup recommendations, within these reports, included persons of working age (21 thru 61 years of age) should be gainfully employed, participating, and contributing to community life using a variety of strategies to reach this status in the community.  Specifically, the report states, “Pathways to Employment: Each individual will be supported to pursue his or her own unique path to work, a career, or his or her contribution to/participation in community life.  All individuals, regardless of the challenge of their disability, will be afforded an opportunity to pursue competitive employment.”

2004 Working Age Adult policy was issued and established employment supports as the first use of employment and day program funds for working age adults (people age 21 thru 61). The policy is intended to promote gainful employment in integrated settings in the community. Counties were given a timeline of July 2006 for full implementation.

2012 Washington State Legislature passed legislation to support employment as the first choice for adults of work age.

2014 Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS) Final Rule Home and Community Based Setting requirements states, “Provides opportunities to seek employment and work in competitive integrated settings; ensures the individual receives services in the community to the same degree of access as individuals not receiving HCBS Waiver.”

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

State Core Measures: The State Core Measures are based on Working Age Adults (21-61) working in integrated settings (Group Supported Employment and Individual Employment). DDA’s strategic goal in Results Washington is to increase the percentage of working age adults with developmental disabilities in DD employment and day programs, who are employed, from 64 percent to 66 percent by June 30, 2015. (https://data.results.wa.gov/reports/G4-3-1-b-Developmental-Disability-Employment-1)

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

  1. Wages.
  2. Benefits.
  3. Employer
  4. Work hours.
  5. Job type.

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: $42,330,238 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015) State General Fund. This dollar amount represents the state fund portion dedicated solely to employment services from DDA’s overall operating budget.

Federal Funding: $34,146,762 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015) 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 388.823, WAC 388.825, WAC 388-828, WAC 388.845, WAC 388-850

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