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Welcome to the Massachusetts Employment First E-Newsletter

August 2015
In This Issue

Get Guidelines on Volunteering, Internships, and Unpaid Work

Thumbnail of Volunteering PDFVolunteer work, internships, and unpaid job exploration can be effective strategies for anyone looking to gain work-related experiences. Assessment and training at a business can also have great value. 


Community-based day and employment service providers are partnering with local organizations and businesses to create meaningful opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in their communities, explore interests, and develop new skills. As these opportunities develop, it is essential that providers understand the state and federal rules and guidelines on volunteering, internships, and unpaid work. 


This is important first and foremost because individuals receiving services should be treated fairly, and their rights should be respected. Additionally, labor violations can put both the provider and the organization or business at risk legally and financially.


Photo of David HoffAuthored by David Hoff from the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), Volunteering, Internships and Unpaid Work Experiences: Legal and Practical Guidelines provides a great overview of the U.S. Department of Labor's rules. This publication was developed specifically for community-based day and employment service providers. 


You can also check out a webinar on this topic:


Training Opportunities: Webinar Archives Now Available

webinar archives graphic

Webinar Archives Now Available


Over the past year ICI, in collaboration with DDS, has hosted a number of webinars with national experts on disability and employment. If you missed them, now's your chance to catch up and listen at your leisure. All of the webinars are available here:



Check out our sessions:

  • Making a Good Match: Introduction to Employment for People with Autism
  • Making it Last: Workplace Supports for People with Autism
  • Awesome Apps and Adaptations: Achieving Vocational Success for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Low-Cost Work Site Accommodations in Minutes
  • Taking Networking to a New Level: Using Social Media for Job Development



ICI and DDS are developing training opportunities for the next year. All trainings will focus on supporting individuals on a pathway to employment.


Because of resource limitations, we are unable to offer agency-specific training. However, we'd like to incorporate your needs as we plan our training calendar. Share your thoughts and recommendations here:



We will take comments through August 28. 


Technical Assistance for Providers

There will be a limited amount of technical assistance (TA) available this fiscal year for providers who are building their organization's capacity to provide individual employment opportunities. We also offer TA to providers who are developing a community-based day support model that serves as a pathway to integrated work. 


For more information about TA opportunities, contact Cindy Thomas at ICI: cindy.thomas@umb.edu or 617-287-4312. 

Stay in Touch!

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