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Blending and Braiding Resources – Building on a Best Practice

December 21, 2012

The current rate of employment for individuals with disabilities is 20.7 percent (compared to 69.2 percent for non-disabled individuals), a decline from 2011. Best practices for the full inclusion of individuals across the spectrum of disability in the workplace recognize the need to blend and braid resources from multiple funding streams toward the achievement of an individual’s employment goal. The application of best practices that require the blending and braiding of resources requires education, outreach and collaboration at the state and local level to align resources and support the individualized application of services and supports across systems.

The LEAD Center, in collaboration with the “TASH Collaborative” (TASH, Lisa Mills, Marc Gold & Associates, and Griffin & Hammis) will promote state level and local level systems change (in two selected states) to implement best practices – Discovery, Customized Employment, and Self Employment – that are most effective when accompanied by the blending and braiding of resources. At the state level, the TASH Collaborative will work across systems to educate policy makers about the benefits of blending and braiding resources, and identify and draft regulatory changes that align resources to meet long-term support needs. At the local level, they will train Workforce Development professionals on the implementation of Group Discovery, Customized Employment and Self Employment as pathways to meaningful employment for individuals across the spectrum of disability.

The work of the TASH Collaborative builds on ODEP identified best practices - Discovery, Customized Employment, and Self Employment - by working to align resources at the state level and enhancing the delivery approach at the local level, to be implemented within America’s Job Centers by America’s Job Center staff, mandated partners, and community-based organizations, toward the increased employment of individuals with disabilities.

To learn more about Discovery, Customized Employment, and Self Employment, visit http://www.dol.gov/odep/.