Individual Employment and Community Inclusion
Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports Division
Employment and Community Inclusion Services
Individual Employment and Community Inclusion are a comprehensive set of services available to DDA-eligible individuals to gain and maintain integrated competitive employment at minimum wage or better, and/or to participate in the community-based activities that align with an individual’s interests, strengths, and skills.
Services include Individual Employment, Community Inclusion, and School to Work programs.
DDA-eligible individuals may request to receive employment and community inclusion services simultaneously.
Accessing the System
How do I access Employment and Community Inclusion services?
Individual Employment & Community Inclusion Services are approved through Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) Visit the DDA Assessment process page.
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, KCDDECSD, and/or the Social Security Work Incentives (SSWI) (external).
Choose a service provider by contacting them directly for an informational meeting. How to Choose a Service Provider
- 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, KCDDECSD, or parent/family contribution) with your DSHS/DDA case manager and DSHS/DVR Counselor
- Research, interview and select an Individual Employment or Community Inclusion service provider (updated 2/19/24).
Who’s eligible for Community Inclusion Services?
Community Inclusion Services are available to individuals who qualify for a Home and Community Based Waiver (HCBS) and are of retirement age (62 years or older), or over 21 years of age and have tried employment services for nine months or more. Eligibility is determined by the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).
Types of Services
Employment services are individualized supports that provide individuals with opportunities to explore employment options and participate in activities that help individuals to discover and identify work preferences, skills and abilities. Supports may also include Community-Based Assessments and/or volunteer opportunities. Services are tailored to individual needs, interests, abilities, and promote career development.
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. (Service Provider List)
Clients who want to work.
School to Work
The King County School-to-Work Program (S2W) is a system-wide and student/family partnership that connects students with developmental disabilities to employment services early, while students are still in their high school transition programs. S2W has the motto “Jobs by June” with the goal that all students obtain paid employment prior to exiting their high school transition programs, the year they turn 21.
Community Inclusion is an individualized service that provides access to community-based activities that support socialization, education, recreation and personal development for the purpose of building and strengthening relationships with others in the local community while learning, practicing and applying skills that promote greater independence and inclusion in their community.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the State Developmental Disabilities Administration and the King County Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports 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 KCDDECSD is responsible for providing employment and day program services. The KCDDECSD currently provides the following services: Early Intervention/Birth-to-Three, employment, community inclusion, housing, in-home family counseling, School to Work, social and recreational activities, information and assistance, advocacy, homelessness projects, and program development/technical assistance.
How can I get Individual Employment, School to Work, Community Inclusion services from KCDDECSD?
You must be a client of DSHS/DDA. For information on steps to take to access KCDDECSD employment and community inclusion supports see the entering the Employment / Community Inclusion System section.
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 the DSHS/DDA website.
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 the Social Security Administration 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 the DSHS/DVR website.
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 about the Working Age Adult Policy.
What is an Employment Service Provider?
An Employment Service Provider is a KCDDECSD 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?
Employment, Community Inclusion, School to Work Service Providers can be paid through a variety of resources, including DSHS/DVR, DSHS/DDA, KCDDECSD, DSHS/DDA Home and Community Based Services Waivers, PASRR, RCL, 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.
What is a Community Inclusion Service Provider?
A Community Inclusion Service Provider is a KCDDD contracted agency that supports people with disabilities to participate in activities out in their communities that help build social connections and relationships.
There are over 12 Community Inclusion Service Providers contract with King County, many with years of expertise in supporting individuals with disabilities to reach their goals to connect with other individuals and participate in activities in their community. Many of these Community Inclusion Service Providers are also contracted with DSHS/DVR. Community Inclusion Service Providers can also be referred to as Vendors, Agencies, and Community Inclusion Programs. Please refer to the "Community Inclusion Service Providers" tab for information on our Community Inclusion Service partners.
What if I do not want to work?
Washington is an Employment First State where all participants receiving waiver services must try Employment Services for nine months before entering into the Community Inclusion system. There are Exceptions to Rule (ETR) that are granted in certain circumstances when requested through your DSHS/DDA Case/Resource Manager.
For More Information
King County Developmental Disabilities and Early Childhood Supports Division: 206-263-9046
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
For More Information
Contact Susan Stremel
Adult Services Supervisor
Contact Karla Lynch
Employment and Community Inclusion Program Manager
Contact Gina Solberg
Employment and Community Inclusion Program Manager
Contact Nico Chua
Capacity Development Program Manager