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Cross-System Collaboration

The LEAD Center fosters cross-system collaboration by partnering with federal agency leaders, state and local agency policymakers, and practitioners and subject matter experts to build a progressive vision to improve the employment outcomes and economic advancement of youth and adults with disabilities. No single organization or resource is able to respond effectively to the diverse needs of each individual with a disability, and others who face multiple barriers to employment. The LEAD Center facilitates and highlights promising practices in resource coordination across systems by proactively engaging with agencies and organizations to spur systems change that translates into significant improvements in the employment and economic advancement of individuals with disabilities.

Rising to the Occasion: ADA, Olmstead and State Efforts to Promote Integrated Employment of Individuals with Significant Disabilities

July 16, 2014

One of the most historic legal decisions affecting the civil rights of people with disabilities celebrated its 15th anniversary on June 22nd. In 1999, the U.S.

Service Provider Transformation: From Policy to Opportunity

March 29, 2017

Provider Transformation – the process of shifting a disability service provider from a focus on sheltered workshops and other non-work programs to services that foster competitive, integrated employment – is complex and multi-faceted, involving as

WIOA Implementation Partnerships: The Important Role of Centers for Independent Living

March 24, 2016

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides new opportunities for American Job Centers (AJCs) to partner with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) leading to improved employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities.

CMS Finalizes Medicaid and CHIP Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity Rules, Providing Access to Behavioral Health and Vocational Rehabilitation Services

April 29, 2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released final regulations on mental health and substance abuse disorder parity for people in Medicaid Managed Care Organization, (MCOs), Medicaid Alternative Benefit Plans (ABPs), and Childr

Congress Considering Bills that Would Expand the Amount Working People with Disabilities Can Save in ABLE Accounts

April 29, 2016

Three bills were recently introduced in Congress that would expand the flexibility and the number of people who have access to the tax-advantaged savings accounts created by the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE).

Department of Health and Human Services Releases Report on the Benefits of Expanding Medicaid to Cover More Behavioral Health Programs, Including Its Impact on Employee Productiveness

April 29, 2016

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a report on how expanding Medicaid could provide more Americans with access to both health insurance

Kansas State Officials “Sending Mixed Messages” on Disability-Related Medicaid Waiver Integration

April 29, 2016

As reported in the Salina Post (04/05/16), Kansas state officials are giving conflicting timelines for when a massive change (i.e., waiver integration) in the way Kansans with disabilities receive Medicaid-funded services will occur.

Maine Department of Health nd Human Services (DHHS) Proposes Changes to Reimbursement for Mental Health Providers

April 29, 2016

Maine’s mental health providers are concerned about potential changes to Maine’s reimbursement rate structure proposed by a consultant hired by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Senator Schumer Promotes Disability Integration Act Initiative, a Bill that Requires Providers to Deliver All Support Services (Including Employment Services) in the Community

April 29, 2016

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), other members of Congress, and disability rights advocates have recently made a more concerted effort to promote Senate Bill S. 2427, known as the Disability Integration Act (DIA).

Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Releases Its Recommendations for Improving Financing for Long-Term Services and Supports, Including Supported Employment

March 30, 2016

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a nonprofit organization founded by Senators Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George Mitchell to promote bipartisan collaboration, recently released a report,

EEOC Requests Public Comment on Its New Affirmative Action Employment Regulations

March 30, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), titled “

Iowa’s Medicaid Program Moves to Managed Care for Its Services

March 30, 2016

After more than a year of debate, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the state of Iowa’s plan to transition all of its Medicaid-funded services, including supported employment, to managed care, effective April 1, 2016.

National Quality Forum Hosts Second In-Person Meeting on Measuring Quality in Home and Community-Based Services, Including Supported Employment

March 30, 2016

On March 30-31, the National Quality Forum (NQF) will host its second in-person meeting of its Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Quality project in Washington, D.C.

LEAD Center Hosts First Annual Policy Roundtable on Blending and Braiding Resources

July 19, 2013

The LEAD Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), held its first national policy roundtable at the Bureau of Labor Statistics from July 17-18.

White House to Hold Conference Calls on Affordable Care Act Implementation in 8 States

July 10, 2013

Beginning this week, the White House will hold conference calls for briefings on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in various states.

CIL Pilot Sites Selected

March 26, 2013

The LEAD Center will work with five Centers for Independent Living (CILs) across the country to implement an innovative demonstration to expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities while utilizing the services of American Job...

Reflections on Roosevelt

October 31, 2014

Roosevelt Island lies in the East River between midtown Manhattan and Queens. In the early 1980’s, it was a planned development that brought together diverse communities and income levels,housing international diplomats as well as residents of its...

In the Know: A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities

October 9, 2014

As countless individuals with disabilities, their family and friends, disability advocates, allies and like-minded businesses and organizations join together to celebrate National Disab

Part Three: Olmstead 15 Years Later: A Behind-the-Scenes Account from Olmstead Pioneer Jonathan Zimring

August 11, 2014

In the final installment in this three-part series, Zimring, and Morris discuss the future of Olmstead and what remains to be done to fulfill its promise.

Part Two: Olmstead 15 Years Later: A Behind-the-Scenes Account from Olmstead Pioneer Jonathan Zimring

August 4, 2014

In part two of the three-part series, Zimring shares the impact of the Olmstead decision on the two women who brought the case and on people with disabilities nationwide.

Part One: Olmstead 15 Years Later: A Behind-the-Scenes Account from Olmstead Pioneer Jonathan Zimring

July 28, 2014

The LEAD Center’s Policy Team Lead Michael Morris, who is Executive Director of National Disability Institute, sat down with Jonathan Zimring, an Atlanta, Ga.-based civil rights and education attorney for people with disabilities and their families...

In the Know: The Affordable Care Act and the I/DD Community

January 28, 2014

For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), access to health care has been a long-standing challenge.

In the Know: Medicaid Managed Care for People with Disabilities

December 12, 2013

National Council on Disability (NCD) commissioned a wide-ranging study in order to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of Medicaid managed care practices and the ways in which these practices can and should affect services for program...

In the Know: Employment for People with Disabilities: Little Is Known about the Effectiveness of Fragmented and Overlapping Programs

September 19, 2013

This report examines the GAO’s identification of 45 federal programs that supported employment for people with disabilities in fiscal year 2010, and its finding of a fragmented system of services.

Categories - LG Tablet

Rising to the Occasion: ADA, Olmstead and State Efforts to Promote Integrated Employment of Individuals with Significant Disabilities

July 16, 2014

One of the most historic legal decisions affecting the civil rights of people with disabilities celebrated its 15th anniversary on June 22nd. In 1999, the U.S.

Service Provider Transformation: From Policy to Opportunity

March 29, 2017

Provider Transformation – the process of shifting a disability service provider from a focus on sheltered workshops and other non-work programs to services that foster competitive, integrated employment – is complex and multi-faceted, involving as

WIOA Implementation Partnerships: The Important Role of Centers for Independent Living

March 24, 2016

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides new opportunities for American Job Centers (AJCs) to partner with Centers for Independent Living (CILs) leading to improved employment outcomes for job seekers with disabilities.

CMS Finalizes Medicaid and CHIP Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity Rules, Providing Access to Behavioral Health and Vocational Rehabilitation Services

April 29, 2016

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released final regulations on mental health and substance abuse disorder parity for people in Medicaid Managed Care Organization, (MCOs), Medicaid Alternative Benefit Plans (ABPs), and Childr

Congress Considering Bills that Would Expand the Amount Working People with Disabilities Can Save in ABLE Accounts

April 29, 2016

Three bills were recently introduced in Congress that would expand the flexibility and the number of people who have access to the tax-advantaged savings accounts created by the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE).

Department of Health and Human Services Releases Report on the Benefits of Expanding Medicaid to Cover More Behavioral Health Programs, Including Its Impact on Employee Productiveness

April 29, 2016

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released a report on how expanding Medicaid could provide more Americans with access to both health insurance

Kansas State Officials “Sending Mixed Messages” on Disability-Related Medicaid Waiver Integration

April 29, 2016

As reported in the Salina Post (04/05/16), Kansas state officials are giving conflicting timelines for when a massive change (i.e., waiver integration) in the way Kansans with disabilities receive Medicaid-funded services will occur.

Maine Department of Health nd Human Services (DHHS) Proposes Changes to Reimbursement for Mental Health Providers

April 29, 2016

Maine’s mental health providers are concerned about potential changes to Maine’s reimbursement rate structure proposed by a consultant hired by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Senator Schumer Promotes Disability Integration Act Initiative, a Bill that Requires Providers to Deliver All Support Services (Including Employment Services) in the Community

April 29, 2016

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), other members of Congress, and disability rights advocates have recently made a more concerted effort to promote Senate Bill S. 2427, known as the Disability Integration Act (DIA).

Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Releases Its Recommendations for Improving Financing for Long-Term Services and Supports, Including Supported Employment

March 30, 2016

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), a nonprofit organization founded by Senators Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole, and George Mitchell to promote bipartisan collaboration, recently released a report,

EEOC Requests Public Comment on Its New Affirmative Action Employment Regulations

March 30, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), titled “

Iowa’s Medicaid Program Moves to Managed Care for Its Services

March 30, 2016

After more than a year of debate, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the state of Iowa’s plan to transition all of its Medicaid-funded services, including supported employment, to managed care, effective April 1, 2016.

National Quality Forum Hosts Second In-Person Meeting on Measuring Quality in Home and Community-Based Services, Including Supported Employment

March 30, 2016

On March 30-31, the National Quality Forum (NQF) will host its second in-person meeting of its Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Quality project in Washington, D.C.

LEAD Center Hosts First Annual Policy Roundtable on Blending and Braiding Resources

July 19, 2013

The LEAD Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), held its first national policy roundtable at the Bureau of Labor Statistics from July 17-18.

White House to Hold Conference Calls on Affordable Care Act Implementation in 8 States

July 10, 2013

Beginning this week, the White House will hold conference calls for briefings on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in various states.

CIL Pilot Sites Selected

March 26, 2013

The LEAD Center will work with five Centers for Independent Living (CILs) across the country to implement an innovative demonstration to expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities while utilizing the services of American Job...

Reflections on Roosevelt

October 31, 2014

Roosevelt Island lies in the East River between midtown Manhattan and Queens. In the early 1980’s, it was a planned development that brought together diverse communities and income levels,housing international diplomats as well as residents of its...

In the Know: A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities

October 9, 2014

As countless individuals with disabilities, their family and friends, disability advocates, allies and like-minded businesses and organizations join together to celebrate National Disab

Part Three: Olmstead 15 Years Later: A Behind-the-Scenes Account from Olmstead Pioneer Jonathan Zimring

August 11, 2014

In the final installment in this three-part series, Zimring, and Morris discuss the future of Olmstead and what remains to be done to fulfill its promise.

Part Two: Olmstead 15 Years Later: A Behind-the-Scenes Account from Olmstead Pioneer Jonathan Zimring

August 4, 2014

In part two of the three-part series, Zimring shares the impact of the Olmstead decision on the two women who brought the case and on people with disabilities nationwide.

Part One: Olmstead 15 Years Later: A Behind-the-Scenes Account from Olmstead Pioneer Jonathan Zimring

July 28, 2014

The LEAD Center’s Policy Team Lead Michael Morris, who is Executive Director of National Disability Institute, sat down with Jonathan Zimring, an Atlanta, Ga.-based civil rights and education attorney for people with disabilities and their families...

In the Know: The Affordable Care Act and the I/DD Community

January 28, 2014

For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), access to health care has been a long-standing challenge.

In the Know: Medicaid Managed Care for People with Disabilities

December 12, 2013

National Council on Disability (NCD) commissioned a wide-ranging study in order to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of Medicaid managed care practices and the ways in which these practices can and should affect services for program...

In the Know: Employment for People with Disabilities: Little Is Known about the Effectiveness of Fragmented and Overlapping Programs

September 19, 2013

This report examines the GAO’s identification of 45 federal programs that supported employment for people with disabilities in fiscal year 2010, and its finding of a fragmented system of services.

Categories - SM Tablet

Policy Updates

Wisconsin: Update on Wisconsin’s Overhaul of Its Medicaid Program, IRIS, and Supported Employment Program

March 30, 2016

Following several months of public forums (See October 2015’s Employment, Health, and Disability Update for some of the LEAD Center’s earlier cover

Disability Advocates Create Comprehensive Toolkit Calling for Strong Implementation of the Home and Community-Based Settings Rule

February 29, 2016

The HCBS Advocacy Coalition has released a three-part toolkit that explains the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings rule and its potential to pro

EconSys and ODEP Release State Review of HCBS Reimbursement Rates and Employment First Brief on Federal Resources

February 29, 2016

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and Economic Systems, Inc.

Minnesota Waiting List for Services Ends for Many

February 29, 2016

Minnesotans with significant disabilities had much to celebrate as the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) removed long-standing barriers preventing them from accessing critical services, including support for competitive integrated employm

NPR Explores Disparities in Workers’ Compensation Options

February 29, 2016

A recent episode of NPR’s Morning Edition highlighted disparities in access to workers’ compensation for work-related injuries.

President Obama’s 2017 Budget: Impact on Employment and Health Care for People with Disabilities

February 29, 2016

On February 9, 2016, President Obama and his administration released their proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017.

StatsRRTC Releases Its 2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium and 2015 Annual Report

February 29, 2016

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC), a project that compiles statistics on disability in the United States, has recently released its

Update on HCBS Transition Plans: Washington State

February 29, 2016

Washington State’s newly revised HCBS Transition Plan makes a number of important steps towards the full integration of people with disabilities into the community.

ANCOR and Disability Advocates Call for CMS to Consider Supported Employment and HCBS Services in Its Managed Care Network Adequacy Rulemaking

January 29, 2016

The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) and a coalition of disability rights advocates are urging the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider both supported employment and Home and Community-Based Servic

Connecticut: Waiting List for Services Never Ends for Individuals with I/DD and Their Families

January 29, 2016

A recent news investigation revealed that, for many Connecticut citizens with significant disabilities, eligibility for services never translates into actually receiving services.

Categories - Phablet

Policy Updates

Wisconsin: Update on Wisconsin’s Overhaul of Its Medicaid Program, IRIS, and Supported Employment Program

March 30, 2016

Following several months of public forums (See October 2015’s Employment, Health, and Disability Update for some of the LEAD Center’s earlier cover

Disability Advocates Create Comprehensive Toolkit Calling for Strong Implementation of the Home and Community-Based Settings Rule

February 29, 2016

The HCBS Advocacy Coalition has released a three-part toolkit that explains the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings rule and its potential to pro

EconSys and ODEP Release State Review of HCBS Reimbursement Rates and Employment First Brief on Federal Resources

February 29, 2016

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and Economic Systems, Inc.

Minnesota Waiting List for Services Ends for Many

February 29, 2016

Minnesotans with significant disabilities had much to celebrate as the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) removed long-standing barriers preventing them from accessing critical services, including support for competitive integrated employm

NPR Explores Disparities in Workers’ Compensation Options

February 29, 2016

A recent episode of NPR’s Morning Edition highlighted disparities in access to workers’ compensation for work-related injuries.

President Obama’s 2017 Budget: Impact on Employment and Health Care for People with Disabilities

February 29, 2016

On February 9, 2016, President Obama and his administration released their proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017.

StatsRRTC Releases Its 2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium and 2015 Annual Report

February 29, 2016

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC), a project that compiles statistics on disability in the United States, has recently released its

Update on HCBS Transition Plans: Washington State

February 29, 2016

Washington State’s newly revised HCBS Transition Plan makes a number of important steps towards the full integration of people with disabilities into the community.

ANCOR and Disability Advocates Call for CMS to Consider Supported Employment and HCBS Services in Its Managed Care Network Adequacy Rulemaking

January 29, 2016

The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) and a coalition of disability rights advocates are urging the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider both supported employment and Home and Community-Based Servic

Connecticut: Waiting List for Services Never Ends for Individuals with I/DD and Their Families

January 29, 2016

A recent news investigation revealed that, for many Connecticut citizens with significant disabilities, eligibility for services never translates into actually receiving services.

Categories - Phone

Policy Updates

Wisconsin: Update on Wisconsin’s Overhaul of Its Medicaid Program, IRIS, and Supported Employment Program

March 30, 2016

Following several months of public forums (See October 2015’s Employment, Health, and Disability Update for some of the LEAD Center’s earlier cover

Disability Advocates Create Comprehensive Toolkit Calling for Strong Implementation of the Home and Community-Based Settings Rule

February 29, 2016

The HCBS Advocacy Coalition has released a three-part toolkit that explains the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings rule and its potential to pro

EconSys and ODEP Release State Review of HCBS Reimbursement Rates and Employment First Brief on Federal Resources

February 29, 2016

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and Economic Systems, Inc.

Minnesota Waiting List for Services Ends for Many

February 29, 2016

Minnesotans with significant disabilities had much to celebrate as the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS) removed long-standing barriers preventing them from accessing critical services, including support for competitive integrated employm

NPR Explores Disparities in Workers’ Compensation Options

February 29, 2016

A recent episode of NPR’s Morning Edition highlighted disparities in access to workers’ compensation for work-related injuries.

President Obama’s 2017 Budget: Impact on Employment and Health Care for People with Disabilities

February 29, 2016

On February 9, 2016, President Obama and his administration released their proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2017.

StatsRRTC Releases Its 2015 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium and 2015 Annual Report

February 29, 2016

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC), a project that compiles statistics on disability in the United States, has recently released its

Update on HCBS Transition Plans: Washington State

February 29, 2016

Washington State’s newly revised HCBS Transition Plan makes a number of important steps towards the full integration of people with disabilities into the community.

ANCOR and Disability Advocates Call for CMS to Consider Supported Employment and HCBS Services in Its Managed Care Network Adequacy Rulemaking

January 29, 2016

The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) and a coalition of disability rights advocates are urging the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to consider both supported employment and Home and Community-Based Servic

Connecticut: Waiting List for Services Never Ends for Individuals with I/DD and Their Families

January 29, 2016

A recent news investigation revealed that, for many Connecticut citizens with significant disabilities, eligibility for services never translates into actually receiving services.