Final Report of the State Leaders Innovation Institute

A primary goal of the NTAR Leadership Center has been to seek ways to build capacity and leadership at the state and local levels in order to encourage change across workforce development and disability-specific systems that results in improved employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. To help achieve this goal, the NTAR Leadership Center conducted a pilot State Leaders Innovation Institute (SLII) from 2008 to 2010. This pilot was design to see how a select group of states could work together to improve inter-agency coordination on policy, program, and service delivery for people with disabilities with a goal of improving their employment prospects. For the pilot effort, the NTAR Leadership Center selected three states -- Maryland, Minnesota, and Connecticut -- that were interested in pursuing cross-agency policy changes and developing new practices to foster a more integrated "to work" system for adults with disabilities. The final report documents the pilot effort and discusses key lessons learned from the pilot states such as: the importance of building cross-agency collaboration and partnerships, the continued need for unified federal disability and workforce program alignment, the necessity of better leveraging other funding streams, and the importance of expanding applications of universal design across agency programs and systems.