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DC Learners and Earners

DC Learners and Earners (DC L&E) initiative was funded from 2016-2022 through the Administration for Community Living’s Partnerships in Employment Systems Change (PIE) grants as a new Project of National Significance. DC L&E aimed at improving employment outcomes for youth and young adults with an Intellectual or Developmental disabilities. DC worked with people with disabilities and families to build high expectations for employment and share tips for success; with neighborhoods throughout the District of Columbia to build community-based networks of support for young people; and examining where our government policies and practices must change. DC Learners and Earners initiative was guided by person-centered thinking and the LifeCourse principles. DDS partnered with people with intellectual disabilities, including self-advocacy leaders in the District, and families that informed and influenced the planning and creation of many materials and resources you find on our website.

For questions about sustainability plans, please contact Catherine Rinehart Mello, Program Development Specialist in the State Office on Policy Planning and Innovation (SOPPI) at [email protected].

Exploring & Planning for Employment 
Everyone needs to plan for employment or a career. These are some tools to help people, family, and professional explore and/or plan for employment. These tools were adapted for the DC L&E initiative from the LifeCourse Framework out of the University of Missouri Kansas City Institute for Human Development.


A. Exploring & Planning for Employment
B. Employment Training Tools 
C. Success Stories & Examples


a. Youth and Young People with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
b. Families of People with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities
c. Professionals Supporting People with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities