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The State Employment Leadership Network
The State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) was formed in 2006 to address the lag in developing high quality employment options for people with developmental disabilities. State developmental disability programs have voluntarily joined the network, and in 2010 there were 17 listed as members. To date the network has worked on the state level to improve services and is providing testimony on the federal level to assure Medicaid funds are used to support programs that help people find quality and valued jobs. SELN is a joint program of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) and the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston (ICI).
The following excerpts come from SELN publications and provide further explanation of the network.
SELN’s definition of the problem:
“Decades of research have demonstrated the economic and social value of integrated employment, but change has been slow. Being employed on a full or part-time basis not only enhances an individual's sense of self-worth and contributes to his or her economic well-being, but also frequently reduces, sometimes dramatically, service costs, and establishes essential community connections that allows the individual to function as a contributing, valued member of the community.”
“The SELN is a cross-state cooperative venture of state mental retardation and developmental disability (MR/DD) agencies that are committed to improving employment outcomes for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities.
- The Network is a place to connect, collaborate, and create cross-community support for the pressing employment-related issues we face in the state systems and at the federal level.
- Network membership promotes new connections within and across states to establish effective collaborative relationships among states, learn from their experiences of other service systems, share costs, use data and maximize resources.“
Excerpts above taken from the “About Us” section of the SELN website on 9/22/2010 (selnmembers.org/content/view/13/113/)
Activities in the States
In their 2008 Accomplishments Report, SELN identified the following seven areas in which they had assisted at least one of the member states. The example provided after each was selected from the many listed in the actual report.
1. Training and Technical Assistance (e.g., launched a community college certification curriculum for employment specialists).
2. Interagency Collaboration (e.g., Initiated a ’pilot’ project in a local office to engage a state’s VR agency in cost sharing the services).
3. Services and Service Innovations (e.g., Collaborated with Business Leadership Networks (BLN) and other stakeholders to model and market employment of individuals with disabilities in hospital and banking settings).
4. Data (Employment performance measurement), Quality Assurance, and Program Oversight (e.g., Met with key stakeholders and agreed on the parameters of a new employment outcome data system ).
5. Strategic Goals and Operating Policies (e.g., Facilitated discussions of employment policy directives with seven member states).
6. Leadership (e.g., Hosted work plan and strategy sessions with providers and other stakeholders in five states to jointly frame statewide employment goals).
7. Financing and Contracting Methods (e.g., Established a strategic work group to evaluate the current reimbursement methodology for employment services ).
Full text of2008 Accomplishment report viewed online 9/22/2010 (selnmembers.org/components/com_mojo/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/accomplishments_F.pdf).
SELN’s voice in discussions at the federal level
“In 2010 SELN provided recommendations to the US Congress to assure that any employment supports covered by Medicaid through the Home and Community-Based Supports (HCBS) be of adequate quality. These were to:
-Redefine Prevocational Services;
-Separate Supported Employment into two distinct services (Individual Employment Supports and Group Employment Supports); and
-Create a new service (Career Planning).”
Taken from a “Briefing Report” prepared for the Center on Medicare and Medicaid Services as viewed on 9/22/2010 (www.nasddds.org/pdf/AdvancingIntegratedEmployment(1-20-2010).pdf)
|Title:||State Employment Leadership Network|
|Organization:||National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services|
|Address:||113 Oronoco Street|
Alexandria, VA 22314
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Homepage of the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN)
SELN Brochure (PDF)
Home page of NASDDDS
Home page of the Institute for Community Inclusion
This information was found at www.qualitymall.org