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About CISI

About The CISI

Welcome to the Center for Innovation & System Improvement!

The CISI is dedicated to changing the lives of people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

The work of the CISI involves the creation of effective and innovative partnerships that result in the full inclusion of people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in the community.

Throughout history, people the world over have assumed that individuals with disabilities have less capability and greater disability than is actually the case. They also assume that those who have been incarcerated can't be contributing, thriving members of the contemporary labor market nor can those with mental illness or low educational attainment.  These myths still exist and serve as barriers for full inclusion in all aspects of society. Over time, these beliefs have slowly changed. Established rights to education and treatment were followed by deinstitutionalization and the development of community living alternatives. For individuals with disabilities, employment opportunities began to develop, most often in the context of sheltered workshop environments. The systems continue to evolve. Sheltered workshops and day programs in segregated settings are being replaced by employment, market based jobs and community activities in settings alongside people who have no disability.  Employment in the community at the highest wage possible for the number of hours desired is the goal for all individuals with barriers to employment.

The NCISI’s efforts fall into four distinct areas:


Community Based, Fully Integrated Jobs

The CISI works with businesses around the state to create a pool of fully integrated employment opportunities within high growth sectors. 


Evolving Practice

The CISI works closely with the provider community to enhance the services and supports provided to individuals to help them obtain competitive community based employment. Using the Provider Practice Analysis Tool as the foundation, we work with providers to determine their primary practice development needs and assist each in systematically improving practice.  We utilize the aggregate data from the Gap Analyses as the basis for our statewide training and technical assistance strategy.


Expanded Advocacy

The CISI is a vehicle for helping to expand the work of advocacy in the state.  We will work with advocacy groups to ensure that the voice of people with disabilities and other barriers to employment is a major driver of decisions.


Data Collection and Analysis

The CISI is committed to the collection of data from providers, business, people with disabilities or other barriers to employment that will “tell the story” of the transformation of the system of service and supports for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment..  As data is compiled and analyzed it will inform CISI efforts.