Employment First Massachusetts

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We Believe

  • Everyone can work.
  • Everyone has the right to earn a living wage in a job of their choosing, based on their unique talents, gifts, skills, and interests.
  • Employment is a way for people to achieve their personal dreams of success, respect, control, and choice.
  • Having a job can be an important part of one’s self-identity and value in society today.
  • Everyone should be paid at least minimum wage.
Massachusetts Interagency Transtion Teams

Interested in knowing more about interagency transition teams in Massachusetts? check out the Massachusetts Interagency Transition Teams database, compiled by the MPTE Cross-Systems Collaboration team

Life Course in Action

LifeCourse in Action

Resources to envision and chart a course toward a good life.


The Massachusetts Partnership for Transition to Employment (MPTE) is a five-year project to improve labor market participation for youth and young adults served by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

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Current Trainings

Wed, March 20;
Wed, March 27;
and Wed, April 3, 2024


Job Development & Business Engagement Online Training Series (3 sessions)

Developing job opportunities and finding the right job match in an ever-changing economic environment places increasing demands on employment professionals. This 3-session online training series focuses on understanding employer needs and developing quality job matches. Topics include:

  • employer networking
  • marketing to employers and responding to objections
  • using social media and other tools to market the job seeker
  • identifying unmet business needs
  • dealing with disclosure
  • job carving and creation

Staff should attend all three sessions to get the most out of this training series. Topics will carry over to next session if needed. We will provide letters of completion to those who attend all three training sessions.


Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

Tuesday, April 2
Thursday, April 4

9AM-12:30PM ET

The Nuts and Bolts of SSI and SSDI, Public Health Insurance, and Other Public Benefits

Presented by Work Without Limits, this training focuses on how earnings from work affect Social Security Insurance (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicaid, Medicare, and other public benefits, such as subsidized housing and food stamps. This training also includes an extensive review of the work incentives associated with each benefit and how they can be leveraged to assist people with disabilities to transition into employment or increase earnings without jeopardizing benefits. Work Without Limits will provide training materials electronically for all participants. CART services have been requested.

We are offering this 3-day online training free of charge for Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) staff and DDS funded providers. Register only if you can attend all three days.

Space is limited, so register now!


Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

Wed, April 10,

12-1PM ET

LifeCourse in Action Series: Herramientas de apoyo para la toma de decisiones: estrella de apoyo integrada y exploración de la toma de decisiones (Supported Decision-Making Tools: Integrated Support Star and Exploring Making Decisions)

Únase a nosotros el miércoles 10 de Abril a las 12 p.m. para nuestra próxima sesión de Curso de vida en acción sobre el empoderamiento de las personas con discapacidades. En esta sesión, Keila Torres explorará cómo las personas con discapacidades pueden utilizar herramientas de toma de decisiones con apoyo para tomar sus propias decisiones. Esta técnica incorpora varias formas de apoyo para ayudar a las personas a comprender cuestiones u opciones complejas de manera más sencilla, desarrollar habilidades para la toma de decisiones y comunicar sus decisiones de manera efectiva. El objetivo es desafiar la suposición de que las personas con discapacidad

This session will be presented in Spanish.

Join us Wednesday, April 10 at 12pm for our next LifeCourse in Action session on empowering people with disabilities. In this session, Keila Torres, Founder and Executive Director of Mass-Families Co-President Conexiones Latinx will explore how people with disabilities can use supported decision-making tools to make their own decisions. Supported decision-making incorporates various forms of support to help people understand complex issues or choices more simply, develop decision-making skills, and communicate their decisions. The goal of supported decision-making is to challenge the assumption that people with disabilities cannot express their preferences or make choices independently.


Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

Wed, May 8th &
Thur May 9th, 2024


Job Coaching and Teaching Strategies (2 sessions)

Supporting people to be successful at their jobs is not as easy as it sounds. It requires many skills, including, excellent communication, maintaining relationships with multiple team members (including employers), knowledge about accommodations and assistive technology, and effectively assisting people with various disabilities to learn and master new tasks.

Join us for this interactive, virtual 2-session training to learn best practices and strategies needed to support people in meeting their employment goals. Topics include:

  • the role of the job coach
  • natural supports and social inclusion
  • systematic instruction
  • job maintenance and self-management techniques
  • fading and behavioral support strategies

Participants should attend both sessions to get the most out of this training series. We will provide letters of completion to those who attend both training sessions.


Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

June 4

Disability Benefits and Transition Age Youth

This training on public benefits for transition age youth is being offered free of charge in collaboration with the Institute for Community Inclusion with funding provided by the MA Department of Developmental Services.

Who should attend:

If you work with or support a young person with a disability who is transitioning from school to adult life, this training is for you. Young adults, family members, educators, adult service providers, and service coordinators are encouraged to attend.

This training provides information related to the significant benefit changes that young adults with disabilities need to understand as they approach adulthood including the mandatory Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Age 18 redetermination process and how changes to public health insurance can occur. There is a special emphasis on young adult related programs and work incentives such as Section 301-Continued Payment under Vocational Rehabilitation or Similar Program, Student Earned Income Exclusion, and PASS Plans, which can help fund education.


Cost: FREE.

Register now as space is limited!



Foundations of Community Employment

This course is a great starting point for new staff to gain a solid foundation for their work in the field and for current staff to build on the skills and knowledge they already have. Staff will get an overview of the past and present community employment, understand the social, political, and economic changes leading to the expansion of opportunities for individuals with disabilities and learn how to collaborate with team stakeholders

Please contact Lara Enein at lara.enein@umb.edu with any questions.


Cost: FREE