Employment First Collaboration

At the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, it is our mission to promote opportunities and provide supports for people with disabilities to lead self-determined lives. Individuals receiving services, their families, Support Coordinators, DSPD staff and providers all play distinct and important roles in advancing our mission. We all need to work together to accomplish this mission, particularly in the areas of *competitive integrated employment and community inclusion.

*Community Inclusion is the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to live in and have full access to their community to the same extent as those individuals without disabilities; while being valued and treated with dignity and respect. (reference: Copley, C. (2020, March 4).

Competitive integrated employment, or CIE, means that individuals with disabilities are able to work in the community with people of all abilities; and that they are paid at a rate comparable to those people without disabilities who work in the same place.

Over the coming year we hope to work with you on two phases of a project to improve the disability system’s capacity to work together, find creative ways to overcome barriers, and communicate clear expectations for services that support individually determined community inclusion.

At the end of the two phases, the disability service system will have gained an understanding of barriers to inclusion, worked together to find solutions, and developed measures to gauge how our system is doing in reaching optimal outcomes for individuals in services to be integrated as they desire.


  • What is the purpose:
    • To identify, clarify and expound, and then prioritize the barriers in the disability service system that lead to a lack of competitive integrated employment and community inclusion. 
  • What will take place:
    • The study will be conducted by a Ph.D. student from the University of Utah through completion and analysis of 3 surveys over the next 4 months.
  • Who will be involved: 
    • The study will include selected persons from each stakeholder group including individuals receiving services, their families, providers, Support Coordinators, partners from other state agencies, and community advocacy groups. 
    • In order to have a manageable group size and represent all areas of the state, participants have been selected by DSPD for this phase of the project.

We recognize that not everyone who wishes to participate in this project will be able to do so directly. Please leave any feedback you have in the form provided below.

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