New York



The State Partnerships in Employment Systems Change will enhance collaboration among the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD); New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC); New York State Education Department, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR); New York State Education Department, Office of Special Education (OSE); and New York State’s three University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs).


This project will create statewide and regional consortia of state agencies, universities, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, providers, families, public and private employers, educators, school districts/Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), and other partners who will collaboratively engage in systems change efforts that contribute to the following: (a) developing policies that support competitive employment in integrated settings as the first and desired outcome for youth and young adults with developmental disabilities; (b) removing systemic barriers to competitive employment in integrated settings; (c) implementing strategies and best practices that improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and (d) enhancing collaboration to facilitate the transition process from secondary school or other prevocational training settings to integrated employment settings.


The systems change effort will improve employment preparation for high school students; increase the number of students transitioning from high school to competitive, integrated employment while decreasing participation in day habilitation programs and sheltered workshops; increase the number of young adults employed in competitive employment settings; and enhance cross-agency communication and collaboration. The effort also will lead to an Employment FirstPolicy in New York State with improved quality of life and independence for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.




Deputy Director:
Susan A. Hetherington
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Education
Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities
University of Rochester
Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 671
Rochester, NY 14642
585-275-6608 or 275-0960

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