As organizations and individuals promoting the viewpoint that people with disabilities can and should participate in all aspects of their community, specifically employment, we too often confront policies and practices that are barriers to that vision. The idea of transforming these policies and practices to help more people with disabilities access jobs is daunting and may feel unachievable. However, by working strategically to alter current policies and implement promising practices that promote or even mandate an increase in opportunities for competitive integrated employment (CIE) for people with disabilities, we can realize change once and for all. To achieve these outcomes on a national, state, or local level these policy and practice changes must be implemented in an intentional and strategic way. Starting with small projects that can be built upon
until meaningful change has occurred and can be maintained is a sure way to realize the desired outcome of employment for all.
Too often, entities in the Administration on Disabilities (AoD) grantee network have the will to impact policies and practices but lack the way to progress forward in this endeavor. This paper will assist advocates and advocacy organizations in thinking though how to move from a vision statement to an actionable project to eliminate barriers and build policies and practices for people with disabilities to contribute to the workforce through competitive integrated employment.