The ASPIRE Initiative
The ASPIRE Initiative seeks to support and expand competitive
integrated employment (CIE) for people with mental health conditions. CIE refers to jobs held by people with disabilities in typical workplace settings where the majority of persons employed are not persons with disabilities.
In these jobs, the individuals with disabilities earn wages consistent with wages paid workers without disabilities in the
community performing the same or similar work; the individuals earn at least minimum wage, and they are paid directly by the employer.
The Seven States Participating in ASPIRE
In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy selected seven States to be part of the ASPIRE Initiative. States selected to be a part of ASPIRE will receive assistance to align state policy and funding infrastructures to promote CIE for individuals with mental health conditions. Selected States will have access to:
- Consultations with national experts
- Customized technical assistance
- Strategies to address policy barriers
- Networking with other ASPIRE States
- Resources specifically designed for ASPIRE States