Case Managers and Other DDS Staff

Overview and General Information
DDS Policy:  On April 13, 2011, CT DDS implemented a new employment First Policy Statement.  This policy requires that all graduates and individuals with a Level of Need of 1, 2, or 3 have an employment goal in the Individual Plan (IP) that will assist them to move towards obtaining a community-based competitive job.  Individuals who have severe medical or behavioral issues may be exempted from this requirement.  Reasons for the exemption must be documented in the Individual Plan. (DDS Employment First Policy)


DDS Procedure:  The DDS Employment First Procedure describes the internal process for DDS staff and providers to implement the Employment First Policy. (DDS Employment First Procedure)


Talking Points for DDS Staff:   This information can be used by Case Managers, Transition Coordinators, Educational Liaisons, Resource Managers and others when preparing to talk with individuals, families, private providers, educators, officials and the public. (Talking Points for DDS Staff PDF, 48 KB)


Talking Points for Resource Managers:    Resource Managers are a key resource in promoting the Employment First Initiative with the provider community.  These talking points are intended to provide helpful information and suggestions for these discussions. (Talking Points for Resource ManagersPDF, 50 KB)

Quality Indicators for Review of Competitive Employment Job Outcomes(DOC, 41 KB):  This Virginia Commonwealth University document provides individuals, families and providers with a set of indicators that reflect best practices and can be used to measure the quality of services being offered.


DDS and Federal Updates:

CMS Informational Bulletin(PDF, 118 KB)



Career Panning:
Career Planning is an active ongoing process that includes a variety of activities to help an individual match their abilities, interests, values and personality with demands of the real world of work. This process includes activities designed to help outline an employment action plan and job goals. Career planning is a part of the comprehensive Individual Planning process.
Soft Skill and Other Training Opportunities:
(Soft skills are common sense, every day skills that are important in work and all aspects of life.  Examples include communication, listening, interpersonal skills, cooperation, decision making, courtesy etc.)
Information for Families and Youth (Including School to Work Transition Planning)
  • Great Expectations:
    This publication provides parents with information to help prepare their child for a productive and meaningful future in the work place.  The emphasis is on setting high expectations for the parent, child and support systems at any early age.  Topics include the impact of wages on benefits, skill building in the family home, the importance of real work experiences, information about post-secondary options, success stories and a list of helpful resource links. (Great Expectations PDF, 2 MB)
Wages and Benefits:
Many people are fearful that working in a real job and making at least minimum wage will impact their entitlements such as Social Security and /or Medicaid.  The greatest concern is typically about the potential loss of health care coverage.  This is a valid concern that has been recognized and addressed through specific state programs.
  • Work and Benefits: Fears and Fixes (PDF, 34 KB)

  • Benefits Specialists: provide individualized counseling for people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).   Their purpose is to support people in their transition to work by understanding the programs and safety nets that are available. 

  • MED-Connect (Medicaid for Employees with Disabilities):  provides medical assistance to employed individuals with disabilities.  Information on income levels, eligibility and application process can be found at

  • Ticket to Work Program: Social Security offers SSDI and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities the opportunity to explore work options or education while safeguarding healthcare and cash benefit choices through the Ticket to Work program and Work Incentives.  More information is available at:

  • Social Security Red Book:  A summary guide to employment supports for individuals with disabilities under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.  The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities.
Other Helpful Employment Related Information

BRS Industry Specific Training and Placement Programs (PDF, 75 KB)


Transition Services