Employment is...

  • Doing real work for real money.
  • Having a co-worker who shares your love of Marvel comics.
  • Learning new skills and contributing your talents.
  • Bringing a dish to share at the company picnic.
  • Celebrating Fridays and vacations.


One of the first questions people ask when they meet you is, "Where do you work?" or maybe, "What do you do?" Sure, we can work without getting paid.  But earning a paycheck, having a sense of purpose, being valued for our contributions--those are all important to our sense of self-esteem. 

And let's not forget: That paycheck helps pay the bills. 

Indiana Is an Employment First State

Employment First means young adults and adults with disabilities have the opportunity to work real jobs in a workplace with people of all abilities. Job seekers with disabilities are no longer automatically placed into jobs and worksites specifically for people with disabilities that pay less than minimum wage. 

"Competitive integrated employment" is the term we use to describe work performed in a typical setting for that job. Workers with disabilities earn at least minimum wage or higher, just as their non-disabled co-workers performing the same tasks would. Employment First means that competitive integrated employment in the community is the first and preferred outcome of services for Hoosiers with disabilities.

What We Do

At the Center on Community Living and Careers, we promote competitive integrated employment for all Hoosiers. We help families, businesses, co-workers, and others see the possibilities through customized employment options that are strengths-driven. We focus on what people can do and encourage flexibility.

Center staff promote innovative employment programs and support Indiana professionals who work to improve employment outcomes for all individuals regardless of their disability or other barriers to employment.

CCLC creates and facilitates a variety of trainings and information for:

  • transition coordinators
  • employment specialists
  • community employment providers
  • Vocational Rehabilitation counselors
  • benefits information counselors
  • parents and caregivers
  • direct support professionals
  • people with disabilities

Explore our programs on the pages listed on the left or link to some of our projects, below.


Our Projects

Woman wearing hairnet using meat slicer.

Moving the Employment Needle

Professional Training

Counselors and employment professionals around Indiana receive up-to-date training in everything from benefits to vocational themes. There's a lot to learn!

Employment Trainings
Young smiling woman behind a bakery counter. The sign she holds says Open.

Fostering New Entrepreneurs

The Self-Employment Path

Dedicated self-employed Indiana workers are finding their niches; exploring avenues to creating successful businesses; and learning how to plan, market, and finance their new ventures. 

Funded by the Governor's Council for People with Disabilities. 


Pencil on help wanted ads.

Discovering the Possibilities

Real Jobs, Real Pay

Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) opens the eyes of families and their young adult children to the possibilities of jobs and supports in their communities.

Funded by Vocational Rehab.

Family Employment Awareness

Definitions to Know

Competitive Integrated Employment

Full-time or part-time work in a setting that includes workers with and without disabilities. Workers who are competitively employed receive the same benefits and earn at or above the minimum wage, just as their co-workers who are not disabled do. 


Supported Employment

Refers to competitive employment in integrated settings (real jobs in real workplaces, earning real pay) that uses a variety of ongoing support services to help workers with the most significant disabilities maintain employment.

Customized Employment

Arrangements between a worker and employer that benefit both and that focus on the strengths of the employee with a disability. Examples include adjusted schedules and work-from-home agreements. Supported employment and self-employment are forms of customized employment.

For more information on employment services and supports, see the pages listed in the Employment navigation menu on the left.