What is MSPE

Children grow up, go to school, perhaps to college, and then to work. It’s the way of life.

The gang just hanging out.

Families plan for their children’s lives; youth and young adults plan their lives. States plan how they can best meet the needs of their populations with policies, programs and services for education, health care and employment. Youth and young adults with developmental disabilities including intellectual disabilities (DD/ID) have their own place in this cycle of policies, services and life just like other individuals: “completion of schooling, movement from the parental household, entrance into the labor force,” (National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, 2009).

Youth and young adults with disabilities also need services to assist with the transition to adult life.  In Mississippi, depending on the disability, the services needed to transition may be hard to find, hard to qualify for or perhaps even be non-existent. Regardless, these youth and young adults with disabilities should have opportunities for competitive, integrated employment, allowing for community inclusion. 

In October 2011, Mississippi was one of six states that received a 5-year Partnerships in Employment Systems Change grant through the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  The primary focus of this 5-year project is to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with DD/ID in Mississippi by enhancing the collaboration of existing state education and employment service systems.  The project will work together with critical stakeholders to develop policies, remove systemic barriers, implement strategies and best practices, and improve the transition process for Mississippi youth and young adults with DD/ID from school or training to competitive employment in integrated community settings.

The Mississippi Partnerships for Employment for Youth and Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities including Intellectual Disabilities (MSPE) project is funded by a grant from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

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