On August 3, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services published A Framework for Community Engagement – A Pathway to Competitive Integrated Employment. The employment of individuals with disabilities benefits our communities and our nation as they maximize their skills and talents and contribute fully to our economy.
Developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this paper, targeted to both policymakers and service providers, presents a joint Federal vision for community engagement by individuals with disabilities. Community engagement, supported by a variety of service systems, enables individuals with disabilities to expand skills and experience so that they may secure high-quality and personally satisfying careers and jobs and the benefits of employment. In addition to explaining what community engagement means and its benefits, this paper contains information about the wide variety of services, that when provided together, expand opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities to achieve competitive integrated employment.