Employment serves two primary functions in the lives of people with and without disabilities. First, it provides a livelihood, and second, it increases social engagement, both of which contribute to a person’s overall quality of life.
Supported Employment is a service provided by the Community Employment Support (CES) Waiver, also known as the Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver. Any person who has been approved for a CES Waiver slot may get skills training or assistance performing duties at a job from a licensed DD community provider.
To find out more about getting Supported Employment services, or to apply for the CES Waiver, contact Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) Intake and Referral at 501-683-5687 to speak to a DDS specialist.
Hiring individuals with disabilities is a priority in Arkansas. Through the State Agency Model Employer (SAME) program, DHS and other state agencies work together to increase and support public- and private-sector opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
The SAME program works to:
- Promote and demonstrate the value and success of Arkansans with disabilities in the workplace
- Collaborate with state government, businesses, and nonprofits toward the goal of increasing employment for individuals with the most significant disabilities
- Create a more welcoming environment for employees with disabilities through declaration of a goal or state initiative to increase hiring
- Proactively incorporate equal employment opportunity or special language, which references individuals with disabilities, as integral to the concept and practice of diversity within state agencies
- Establish flexibility in the hiring process and protocol that changes how people are recruited and hired
- Implement job customization to address unmet agency needs or the establishment of internship programs in state agencies
- Develop a better understanding for identifying the different needs, accommodations, and expectations of both public and private sectors and provide customized solutions and supports
Increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities is an ongoing effort by many Arkansas state agency partners including Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, the Department of Workforce Services, the Department of Human Services, Department of Education/Transition Unit, The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, Arkansas Chapter of the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), Arkansas Promise, and The Governor’s Employment First Taskforce.