Newsroom > DHHS News Release

April 14, 2010

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

Health and Human Services Gets Approval to Amend Two Waivers for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Lincoln - Over 4,200 people with developmental disabilities will get the support they need to find employment as a result of federal approval to amend the Comprehensive Services and Day Services Home and Community-based Medicaid waivers for adults.

“The federal government has OK’d our request for flexibility in funding more service options and to also rename the services to reflect a change in focus,” said Jodi Fenner, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities.

Supported Day Habilitation services will be expanded and will now be called Vocational Planning, while Supported Employment services will be expanded and will now be called Integrated Community Employment Services.

“The new names reflect a shift in philosophy and focus so people with developmental disabilities can gain work experience in order to get a paying job, while receiving the supports needed to ensure their success,” said Fenner.

Vocational planning components (formerly Supported Day Habilitation) include:

  • Career planning: Supports an individual’s needs so they can prepare for, get and maintain employment at or above the state’s minimum wage and can take place for up to three months. Career planning will help people access services like an employment network, the Nebraska Work Incentive Network (WIN), Ticket to Work services, or Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) services.
  • Habilitation: Focuses on resumé building or creating business plans, acquisition of work skills and appropriate work behavior. Before learning to access transportation independently, transportation between a person’s home and the job experience or employment site is a component of vocational planning services
  • Job searching and Job experience: Helps individuals locate a job or develop a job experience. Job experience can include paid employment, work stations, or unpaid experience such as volunteering, interning, job shadowing and can take place for up to six months in the same job. No more than three individuals can participate in the same paid or unpaid job experience at the same time.

Integrated Community Employment Services (formerly called Supported Employment) focus on providing ongoing supports so people with developmental disabilities can sustain paid employment in an integrated setting in the general workforce.

“Integrated community employment services make competitive employment possible for individuals who might otherwise not find employment in regular work settings because of their disabilities,” said Fenner.

Integrated community employment can also include customized home-based businesses but can’t take place in developmental disabilities facilities such as group homes or sheltered workshops. No more than two individuals can participate in a home-based business at the same private residence.

Integrated community employment services include:

  • Habilitation services: Designed to obtain, maintain or advance employment. Habilitation may take place in the individual’s private residence and at the job experience site. Intermittent face-to-face habilitation is available to help people maintain employment and learn work-related responsibilities, work skills, and appropriate work behavior.
  • Stabilization services: Support and maintain an individual in an integrated, competitive employment site or customized home-based employment. Staff is available intermittently to the individual when staff intervention time required at the job site is 20% to 50% of the individual’s total work hours.
  • Extended integrated community employment services: Available for up to 24 months when staff intervention time required at the job site is less than 20% of the individual’s total work hours. At least 80 hours of work is required per month, paid at minimum wage or a wage consistent with what the general working population earns for similar work, whichever is higher.