September 2018 Monthly News  and Updates
Looking ahead to National Disability Employment Awareness Month #NDEAM

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is proud to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Held each October, NDEAM aims to educate the community about disability employment issues as well as celebrate and highlight accomplishments related to disability employment. Throughout the month, DDA will be engaging in a social media campaign highlighting disability employment issues.

We hope that you will also plan on observing NDEAM. T o learn how you can support NDEAM,  visit the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) website:  www.dol.gov/ndeam

To get started, below are  examples of social media posts you can use to get help spread the word , or feel free to customize your own. Please like and share the DDA posts using  the hashtag #NDEAM. 

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month is soon. Celebrate it in October and all year round: www.dol.gov/ndeam. #NDEAM
  • October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! Learn more at www.dol.gov/ndeam. #NDEAM
  • How are you observing National Disability Employment Awareness Month? Visit www.dol.gov/ndeam. #NDEAM
  • What does workplace inclusion look like? Share your images with us during National Disability Employment Awareness Month. #NDEAM
  • Order your free National Disability Employment Awareness Month poster at www.dol.gov/ndeam. #NDEAM

May 2018 Employment Data is Here and Tracking Begins Again in October

Data that is collected twice annually from DDA funded Meaningful Day service providers has been updated to reflect the most recent tracking period of May, 2018 and is available to view on the public state data website:  www.statedata.info/mdda 

This website summarizes data collected at the individual level for people who receive employment or related day supports funded by the DDA. Data on variables such as total wages or total hours of participation are for the two-week data collection interval. 

Highlights of the May data collection show an increase in percentage of people taking part in competitive integrated employment, as well as in the percentage of people taking part in community based non-work.

Below is an at-a-glance comparison of some of the data tracked between October 2017 and May 2018.  To take a closer look at the data, including wage data, go to the website to gain access to several reporting review options. 

The DDA's next Employment Data tracking period happens in October.  If you need a refresher regarding the Employment Data Initiative, see the resources below.

DDA Employment First Summit -October 10, 2018

Please mark your calendars for DDA's annual  Employment   Summit . October is Disability  Employment  Awareness Month, so  join in as we hear  Employment  First  updates and accomplishments from the last year, and enjoy presentations from guest speakers on important topics like employer engagement and the importance of collaboration. 

To register, click here.  
Wednesday, Oct. 10,  from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Owen Brown Interfaith Center
7246 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD 21045
Lead Center Brief on Section 511 Compliance Includes Maryland Promising Practices

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), signed into law in 2014, added Section 511, "Limitations on the Use of Subminimum Wage," to Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 511 requires a state's vocational rehabilitation services agency to perform specific actions before the state can authorize an employer to pay a person with a disability below the minimum wage. Section 511 and its regulations were enacted to "ensure that individuals with disabilities, especially youth with disabilities, have a meaningful opportunity to prepare for, obtain, maintain, advance in, or regain competitive integrated employment, including supported or customized employment."

These requirements, in part, serve to keep young people from being tracked into subminimum wage employment, and to help people already in subminimum wage jobs to move into competitive integrated employment. The regulations also require vocational rehabilitation providers to offer annual career counseling and other services to existing workers with disabilities paid below the minimum wage. This brief will explore approaches one state has taken to comply with Section 511 and will provide recommendations for states, providers, and advocates.

DORS/DDA Regional Training Overview
DDA, Statewide Career and Employment Services Coordinator, Staci Jones  and Jill Pierce, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) Staff Specialist for Transition and Supported Employment   facilitated four regional   trainings  providing an over view of the collaboration efforts between the two organizations outlined in the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in June.  DDA/DORS providers, DORS staff, DDA staff, school staff, Coordinators of Community Services (CCS),  family and others turned out to be part of the conversation. 
Collaboration and partnership were the themes of the training, as both organizations descr ibed their responsibilities and ongoing commitment to Employment First values .  Leadership from both organizations  meet quarterly to review systems issues and create action plans to address concerns. Moving forward, both organizations  will review the MOU annually and update accordingly.  

Some themes that emerged from the regional conversations include:
  • Continued need for DDA/DORS staff development so that both prganizations have an understanding about how the other entity operates, funds and delivers services.
  • Continued local conversations about employment as early as possible during transition
  • Continue growth of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)
  • Continued guidance and discussion to assist DDA providers and the CCS' about:  When is the right time to refer to DORS?
  • Include others in the local discussion (employers, other state partners, etc).
Both entities are drafting a Frequently Asked Questions document to be a companion to the MOU, moving forward. 

Click here to watch webinar from Aug. 15, 2018, outlining the MOU between DORS and DDA. 
Want more information about Employment First?

Maryland Department of Health
201 W. Preston St. | Baltimore MD, 21201
The Maryland Department of Health promotes the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. The State of Maryland pledges to provide constituents, businesses, customers, and stakeholders with quality customer service. Take our Customer Satisfaction Survey.