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Cindy Thomas

Coordinator of Employment Services, Training, and Technical Assistance

B.A., Boston College
M.S., Boston University
Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

Cindy Thomas is the coordinator of employment services, training, and technical assistance at ICI. She has over 25 years of experience providing employment services for individuals with significant disabilities and directing state and federally funded projects. As a project director for a number of Massachusetts-based federal grants, she oversees a variety of employment-related training, technical assistance, and systems change initiatives at ICI. She has extensive experience working with the vocational rehabilitation system, the workforce development system, and community rehabilitation providers on strategies to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. She has also presented locally and nationally on employment issues.

Prior to joining ICI, Cindy worked in several direct service roles. She has served on the boards of a number of nonprofit organizations serving individuals with disabilities and the community at large. She has an M.S. in rehabilitation counseling and is a certified rehabilitation counselor.

ICI publications by Cindy Thomas

Quality Employment Services: Where Research and Practice Meet

Providing quality employment services to people with disabilities requires a substantial commitment of time, energy, and resources. Given this investment and our obligation to individuals with disabilities, we as providers must deliver the most effective services possible. (9/2007)

Creating Effective Business Partnerships: What Businesses Want Human Service Agencies to Know

While the primary customer of employment services for people with disabilities is the job seeker, placement services can only succeed if they meet the needs of business. This issue of MassWorks examines the “demand side” of job development. With a list of resources. (6/2006)

Press Release: Legislative Forum to Address Employment and Community Inclusion for People with Disabilities in MA

On Thursday, January 18, at 10:00 AM, the Institute for Community Inclusion, or ICI, will be presenting a legislative forum on employment and community inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in MA. The event will be held at the Massachusetts State House, and will be hosted by Representative Chris Walsh. (1/2018)

Access for All Customers: Universal Strategies for One-Stop Career Centers

One-Stop Career Centers serve a diverse range of customers. These include individuals with a variety of educational and work backgrounds, people from diverse racial, linguistic and ethnic cultures, as well as individuals with a wide range of disabilities and support needs. One way of addressing the needs of this diverse customer base is to develop services and systems that respond to the needs of each of these groups. However, this can be expensive and labor-intensive. A more effective way to serve this broad customer pool is to provide One-Stop services according to the principles of what is known as "universal design," using common strategies that benefit many groups – and that reinforce the concept of an inclusive setting that welcomes and celebrates diversity. To find a manageable approach to meet the needs of their many customers, One-Stop Career Centers can think universally about how they design their physical space, service delivery systems, and customer resources. For example, the barriers faced by people who cannot read are similar despite the cause (e.g. cognitive disability, illiteracy, or limited English proficiency). Therefore, the strategies to overcome this barrier and allow customers to benefit from One-Stop services will be similar.
This proactive approach lessens the extent of service specialization that may be required to meet the needs of some audiences. When services are designed universally, they are more likely to benefit job seekers with a wide range of learning styles, languages, educational levels, intelligences, and abilities, allowing the One-Stop to meet customer needs in a more efficient fashion. (1/2009)

Getting the Most from the Public Vocational Rehabilitation System

Every state has a vocational rehabilitation agency that is designed to help individuals with disabilities meet their employment goals. Vocational rehabilitation agencies assist individuals with disabilities to prepare for, get, keep, or regain employment. This publication answers questions frequently asked by individuals with disabilities. For consumers. (12/2004)

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities