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Employment services are community based, and individuals are supported to earn minimum wage or better.

Services and supports are tailored to the individual with goal that all individuals can work and contribute in their community.

Services Available for:

  • Clients receiving Home and Community Based Waivers (HCBS) with DDA and/or enrolled in a School-to-Work transition program
  • Clients enrolled into services from a contracted provider
  • Clients who want to work

Consider These Programs

The School-to-Work Program helps students leave school with a job.

 Roads to Community Living (RCL) is a project created to help people with developmental disabilities who are thinking of moving back into the community from an institution (Residential Habilitation Centers (RHCs), nursing homes or children’s mental health facilities). The project is federally funded through the Money Follows the Person grant and runs through 2020.

More About Employment Services

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)

Special Education (external) is responsible for funding and delivering programs to students with disabilities from the age of three through high school.

The DSHS/Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)

Provides vocational guidance and counseling, and can help individuals develop an individual employment plan for obtaining competitive employment. An application for services may be requested through the individual's DSHS/DDA case manager or prior to graduation through the school.

To walk through the system:

Begin by confirming your eligibility for service with DSHS/DDA and request a referral to state DSHS/DVR. Funding options should be discussed with the DSHS/DDA case manager and the DSHS/DVR counselor. These might include funding from DSHS/DVR, KCDDD, and/or the Social Security Work Incentives  (SSWI) (external).

The SSWI is a way of setting aside your own resources to purchase needed vocational services and still receive federal Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits. The SSWI may include a Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS), Impairment Related Work Expense (IRWE), or other work incentives.

At any point during this process individuals are encouraged to research, interview, and select an appropriate employment service provider. Please refer to the Employment Service Providers tab.

For more information:

  • King County Developmental Disabilities Division: 206-263-9061

  • Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Developmental Disabilities Administration: 206-568-5700

  • Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: 206-721-7300

  • Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213

Checklist for Accessing Adult Services Prior to Seeking Employment

  • Apply for DSHS/DDA Services

  • Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Apply for DSHS/DVR Services

  • Identify/develop funding resources (i.e. SSWI, DSHS/DVR funding options, Transition funding, KCDDD, or parent/family contribution) with your DSHS/DDA case manager and DSHS/DVR Counselor

  • Research, interview and select an employment vendor

Types of Employment Services

  • Individual Employment

    Job placement, follow-up and maintenance services to help people obtain and continue employment in the community.  Services are tailored to individual needs, interests, abilities, and promote career development.

  • Group Supported Employment 

    Services are part of an individual's pathway to integrated jobs in typical community employment. Opportunities offer ongoing supervised employment for groups of no more than 8 workers with disabilities in the same setting.  Examples include enclaves, mobile crews, and other business models employing small groups of workers with disabilities in integrated employment in community settings.

  • Pre-Vocational Services AKA Specialized Industries Employment 

    Services are a part of a pathway to integrated jobs in typical community employment. These services are intended to be short term and offer training and skill development for groups of workers with disabilities in the same setting. Services are provided by agencies established to provide services to people with disabilities.

Take the time to learn about what support options are available to you.

Choosing your own provider is one of the first steps towards putting you in the driver’s seat.

Your support provider should be a bridge builder who helps you meet your goals and builds supportive relationships with employers, coworkers, neighbors and other community members. It is very important that you choose someone you can work with. The County provides a list of qualified providers and information about each agency or contractor. You should plan on visiting with two or three different agencies and asking as many questions as you need to feel informed. Ask a family member, friend or support person go with you.

In order to make your interview time the most valuable, think about what is most important to you and develop questions that will get you that information prior to your meeting. A list of interview questions has been included to assist you. You will also need to be prepared to state your expectations, goals and what you are willing to do to help. This is a partnership and the provider will be checking to see if you can work together.

Think about what kind of questions to ask

  • What experience does he/she have working with people with disabilities?
  • What kind of services does he or she offer? (For example: job development, on-the-job training, follow-along, community connections)

  • Will I be updated weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly? (What is your preference?)

  • Can I call the job developer during the job search process?

  • Describe some “typical” jobs or volunteer situations that have been developed through your agency.

  • Explain your strategies behind developing jobs for people with disabilities.

  • Explain how you develop connections in the community.

Be clear about your needs

  • Explain your expectations as clearly as possible.

  • Ask the person whether he/she can meet those expectations.

Do you like this person?

  • Do you trust this person?

  • Does he/she treat you with respect?

  • How does this person present him/herself?

  • How does he or she present the people he/she serves?


Examples of Questions to Ask When Interviewing Service Providers

The following questions are intended to prepare you to interview an employment vendor about their employment services and the quality of those services.

  • Would you be willing to interview with us at our home?

  • How does your agency develop job leads for people?

  • What companies have you placed people at and in what types of jobs?

  • What is your marketing approach with a new, prospective employer?

  • How many people does this agency serve in supported employment?

  • Do you provide training for employers, employees or family members?

  • What type of feedback on job development and training do you provide for the family? How often?

  • When you are doing job development will you provide transportation for the individual, if necessary?

  • Will the job developer also provide the on the job training or will another individual be hired to do so (i.e. job coach, natural supports set up, co-worker trainer, etc.)?

  • How long do you usually provide job coaching for a new worker and will you set up natural supports on the job site as part of the on the job training?

  • Describe some of the factors you consider when matching an employment site and the individual?

  • What kind of activities will you do with the individual to better acquaint yourself with them?

  • What/how do you charge for your services?

  • Do you help support or develop transportation services for the individual when a placement has been determined?

  • These questions are only a general guideline developed to assist you with preparing yourself for the interview process. As you prepare, you will begin to think of questions that may be more specifically related to your particular needs as a consumer. Don’t hesitate to ask any question you may have during the interview process!

  • Prior to meeting with the vendor, it is suggested that you have a firm understanding of what program you are affiliated with DDA, DVR, School-to-Work, etc. Providing the vendor with program information will save both of you time. This information will assist the vendor in understanding what type of services you may be inquiring about and funding available to assist you in your program development.

  • As you begin to interview vendors, the process will raise additional questions that you may have never thought of. This is okay! If you feel the need to do second interviews to complete a more specific comparison of services, take the extra time to re-interview. There is no timeline, but your own, for the selection of a service provider!

1935 152nd Place NE
Bellevue, WA 98007
Phone: 425-274-4000
Fax: 425-274-4010

CARES of Washington
1833 N105th St. Suite 201
Seattle, WA 98133
Fax: 206-935-0949

5204 Solberg Drive SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
Phone:253-584-1001 / 1-800-244-4597
Fax: 253-581-4741

16300 Christensen Rd. #340
Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone:206-829-2001, Ext. 11

Highline College - Employment Services
P.O. Box 98000, MS 99-180
Des Moines, WA 98198
Fax: 206-878-7247

3805 108th Ave NE, Suite 204
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: 425-242-1713

Northwest Center - Employment
P.O. Box 80827
7272 W. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108
Phone: 206-285-9140
Fax: 206-286-2300

Orion 13008 Beverly Park Road
Mukilteo, WA 98275
Phone: 425-355-1253
Fax: 425-355-1261

12550 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133
Referrals: 206-826-1031
General: 206-826-1053

Puget Sound Personnel, Inc.
50 116th Avenue SE, Suite 211
Bellevue, WA 98004
Phone: 425-562-1231
Fax: 425-562-1439
SAILS of Washington (Formerly Special Care Agency)
4121 McKinley Street
Carnation, WA 98014
Phone: 1-888-450-4112
Fax: 425-333-4115

Seattle Central College Mainstay
Mailing address: 1701 Broadway, 2NP101 Seattle WA 98122
Street address: 1801 Broadway North Plaza 101
Phone: 206-587-3813
Fax: 206-287-5533

P.O. Box 2501
17205 Vashon Hwy SW, Suite D-2
Vashon Island, WA 98070
Phone: 206-370-0709

Service Alternatives Community and Employment Services
1833 N.105th, Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98133
Phone: 206-228-5707

Shoreline Community College - Community Integration Program
16101 Greenwood Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98133
Phone: 206-546-5823
Fax: 206-533-5109

SKCAC Industries and Employment Services
19731 Russell Road S.
Kent, WA 98032
Phone: 253-395-1240
Fax: 253-395-1243

Sound Employment Services
709 NE Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98105
Phone: 206-634-3459
Fax: 206-634-2043

SOUND (Formerly Sound Mental Health)
1600 E. Olive Street
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-302-2200

Sunrise Services, Inc. dba Community Trades and Careers
17962 Midvale Avenue N. Suite 232
P.O. Box 7368 Shoreline, WA 98133
Phone: 425-347-3149
Fax: 206-546-0305

Supported Solution
6040 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98136
Phone: 806-410-0717
The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc.
2501 S. Plum Street
P.O. Box 14959
Seattle, WA 98144
Phone: 206-322-4200
Fax: 206-329-3397

Total Living Concept 
1132 W. James Street 
Kent, WA 98032 
Fax: 253-854-0604

201 Auburn Way North, Suite B
Auburn, WA 98002 
Phone: 253-735-1553
Fax: 253-735-0494

University of Washington - Employment Program
Box 357920
Seattle, WA 98195-7920
Phone: 206-543-6387
Fax: 206-543-4779

16000 Christensen Road, Suite 240
Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone: 253-863-5173
Fax: 206-243-8896

Washington State Employment Security - Job Connection
2531 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144
Phone: 206-721-5987
Fax: 206-721-4537 

Washington Vocational Services
111 SE Everett Mall Way, Building C, Suite 100
Everett, WA 98208
Phone: 425-774-3338
Fax: 425-744-1555

P.O. Box 2272
Renton, WA 98056
Phone: 206-778-2714

Work Opportunities
6515 202nd Street SW
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Phone: 425-778-2156

What is the difference between the State Developmental Disabilities Administration and the King County Developmental Disabilities Division?

The DSHS/DDA is responsible for determining eligibility and authorizing paid services. The DSHS/DDA currently provides the following services and programs: case management, Medicaid Personal Care, residential services, residential habilitation centers, family support, dental, mental health, Voluntary Placement Foster Care program, and the Medically Intensive program. The DSHS/DDA administers services on a regional basis. Region 2 is the DSHS/DDA office that serves King County.

The KCDDD is responsible for providing employment and day program services. The KCDDD currently provides the following services: Early Intervention/Birth-to-Three, employment, community access, housing, in-home family counseling, social and recreational activities, information and assistance, advocacy, homelessness projects, and program development/technical assistance.

How can I get employment services from KCDDD?

You must be a client of DSHS/DDA. For information on steps to take to access KCDDD employment supports see the Navigating the Employment System tab.

How do I apply for DSHS/DDA services?

If you are, or will be, living in King County, contact DSHS/DDA at 206-568-5700 or 1-800-314-3296. For additional information, visit their website. (external)

How do I apply for Social Security benefits?

To receive benefits from the Social Security Administration, you must go through an application process. To begin this process, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit their website.

Will my job/wages affect my Social Security benefits?

There are situations where not all of your wages are counted against your Social Security benefit so contact a benefits planner to see how your income can be adjusted or how you may be able to work without impacting your SSI.

What is the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)?

The DSHS/DVR provides a wide variety of services that support eligible individuals to obtain employment, including vocational guidance, counseling, and development of an employment plan. For more information about their services, including how to apply, visit their website (external).

What is the Working Age Adult Policy?

The Working Age Adult Policy is a policy issued by DSHS/DDA that promotes gainful employment in integrated settings in the community for adults with developmental disabilities who are between the ages of 21 and 62. Find out more here.

What is an Employment Service Provider?

An Employment Service Provider is a KCDDD contracted agency that supports people with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain successful employment.

There are over 20 Employment Service Providers contract with King County, many with years of expertise in supporting individuals with disabilities to reach their work goals. Many of these Employment Service Providers are also contracted with DSHS/DVR. Employment Service Providers can also be referred to as Vendors, Employment Agencies, and Community Rehabilitation Programs. Please refer to the Employment Service Providers tab for information on our Employment Service partners.

How do I pay for services offered by an Employment Service Provider?

Employment Service Providers can be paid through a variety of resources, including DSHS/DVR, DSHS/DDA, KCDDD, DSHS/DDA Home and Community Based Services Waivers, Social Security Work Incentives, and private payment.

Do I need to utilize the support of an Employment Service Provider?

No. Employment Service Providers are just one option for having job support. For example, some people locate jobs on their own or with the support of family. Additionally, once employed, some people may solely utilize the natural support of coworkers and supervisors at their place of employment.


Contact Us

Phone: 206-263-9105

TTY Relay Service: 711

Fax: 206-205-1632