- Vocational Rehabilitation
- DVR Policy, Processes, and Guidance
- Competitive Integrated Employment Guidance
DVR Competitive Integrated Employment(CIE) Guidance
To inform DVR staff of required criteria for a job to be considered competitive integrated employment (CIE) per the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
DVR provides services to individuals seeking employment that is competitive and integrated.
Competitive employment refers to work that:
- Is full or part-time earning minimum wage (i.e., $7.25 per hour) or higher;
- Offers wages and benefits similar to those earned by individuals without disabilities performing the same work; and
- Provides equal access to advancement opportunities for individuals with and without disabilities.
An employment setting must satisfy specific criteria to be considered an integrated location for the purpose of the VR program.
To meet the definition of CIE, an employment setting must be:
- Typically found in the community (employer site is not operated for the primary purpose of employing individuals with disabilities); and
- Conducting business where an employee with a disability interacts with both people with and without disabilities (e.g., co-workers, customers, and vendors, not just supervisors and support staff) to the same extent as employees without disabilities.
DVR is responsible for determining if an employment setting is integrated and satisfies the definition of CIE.
- VR agencies must determine on a case-by-case basis whether an employment setting meets criteria for an integrated location.
- VR agencies may visit employment sites and gather facts necessary for these determinations.
Note: Self-employment and Telework can be considered CIE if the employment is considered typical for individuals without disabilities and if the company using telework is not established specifically for the purpose of employing individuals with disabilities.
Examples of settings that do not meet the criteria for CIE include:
- Settings established by Community Rehabilitation Programs specifically for the purpose of employing individuals with disabilities, often paying subminimum wages under a 14(c) license (e.g., sheltered workshops, Javits-Wagner-O’Day [JWOD], etc.) because they are not typically found in the competitive labor market.
- Group employment settings (i.e., enclaves), such as janitorial crews in which individuals with disabilities earn competitive wages.
See the RSA website for the Integrated Location Criteria of the Definition of “Competitive Integrated Employment" FAQs.
If DVR staff are unsure if a setting meets the requirements of CIE, consult with your supervisor. The checklist below can be used to do a site visit to make this determination.
To be considered a CIE setting, all the following points must be true:
- The employment setting is typically found in the community (employer site is not operated for the primary purpose of employing persons with disabilities).
- Employees with disabilities are fully integrated into the worksite.
- The employee with a disability interacts, as appropriate to the work performed, with other persons who are not individuals with disabilities (e.g., customers and vendors, not including supervisory personnel or individuals who are providing services to the employee) to the same extent as employees without disabilities in comparable positions (i.e., not work units).
- Employees with disabilities are paid the same salary as those without disabilities performing the same work.
- Employees with disabilities receive the same benefits as employees without disabilities.
- As appropriate, employees with disabilities have the same opportunities for advancement as employees without disabilities.
- The position is not part of a work crew, including those that travel, that employs primarily individuals with disabilities.