Competitive Integrated Employment

Learn how our Supported Employment Team can help you reach employment success!

We provide supported employment opportunities in Colorado for individuals with the most significant disabilities through partnership with employers, the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council (CDDC), Office of Community Living, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), Mental Health Service Organizations, and the Behavioral Health Planning and Advisory Council (BHPAC).

Supported employment services are provided by DVR as ongoing support services, including Customized Employment and Individual Placement and Supports, and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with a most significant disability in Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE), including a youth with a most significant disability. Employment must be consistent with the client’s strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice.


Behavioral Health Supported Employment

The Mental Health Supported Employment Program enhances employment opportunities for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness or persons in recovery. This program has resulted in increased competitive integrated employment opportunities through assistance with job development, job-seeking skills, job coaching, and extended services.

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Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

The Individual Placement and Support (IPS) is an evidence-based service delivery model that originated through Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center. The IPS Learning Collaborative serves as a mechanism for training and support for those states and countries implementing this approach to job development and placement for people with serious mental illness. Learn more about this model at IPSWorks.

Community Mental Health Centers contract with DVR to provide supported employment services. Several are members of the IPS Learning Community.

IPS Mental Health Centers



Benefits Counseling

DVR is committed to partnering with you to find an employment outcome that is on a career pathway and leads to self-sufficiency. If you are applying for, or receive, public benefits, we can assist you in understanding how working affects your benefits.  The Benefits Counseling Guide below outlines what benefits counseling is, why it can help you, and where to find benefits counselors in CO. 

Benefits Counseling Guide


Learn about the Ticket to Work, a self-sufficiency program, and how it works with DVR services.

Ticket to Work


DB 101

Colorado DB101 (CO DB101) is a comprehensive website offering federal & Colorado focused tools and information for career exploration and planning, health coverage options, and disability benefits for Coloradans with Disabilities! Users are able to explore how employment and earnings interact with benefits and will be able to determine statewide resources to promote their employment journey. Colorado DB101 is a key resource to promote competitive integrated employment for all Coloradans with disabilities.

DB 101


Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Supported Employment

In an effort to assure the availability of quality vocational rehabilitation services throughout the state, we have partnered with Community Centered Boards (CCB) serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our counselors and supervisors meet frequently with CCB staff around the state to focus on promoting successful competitive integrated employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have been determined eligible and are recipient of services through the CCB system.

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Customized Employment (CE)

Colorado offers a promising practice Customized Employment services required in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Customized employment is an employment process that uses a flexible blend of strategies, services, supports, and funds to facilitate employment outcomes for job seekers with complex needs through negotiated employment relationships. Customized employment individualizes the employment relationship between a job seeker and an employer in ways that meet the needs of both.

Watch the video below, produced with WINTAC, DVR and the Office of Employment First about CO DVR's Customized Employment Pilot.  


Three Phases of CE

1. Discovery

2. Job Development

3. Systematic Instruction



Training/Certification Requirements

Supported Employment &, Tier II DVR Fee Schedule Requirements

With the passing of Senate Bill 18-145, Supported Employment vendors are required to have a nationally-recognized training certificate or certification in Supported Employment before June 30, 2024. HCPF currently has funding available to reimburse vendors for the cost of training and certification, application fees, and staff time.

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CE & Tier III Requirements

Vendors of customized employment must have successfully completed a performance-based certification within the identified service provision area of customized employment. (i.e., Discovery, Customized Job Development, and/or Systematic Instruction). Acquisition of the performance-based certification requires supervision by an approved mentor to demonstrate competency in the identified area of customized employment. Training certification is specific to the Employment Specialist and not to the agency with which the individual is employed.