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ODEP Announces the New Advancing State Policy Integration for Recovery and Employment (ASPIRE) Initiative

January 22, 2021
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) would like to announce an exciting new initiative called Advancing State Policy Integration for Recovery and Employment, also referred to as ASPIRE.

ASPIRE seeks to increase competitive integrated employment for people with mental health conditions. The ASPIRE initiative will provide training and support to selected States to develop and implement strategic plans to support and expand evidence-based practices, such as the Individual Placement and Support model of supported employment, or other promising models, such as Customized Employment. ASPIRE is a valuable opportunity for states interested in aligning state policy, program, and funding infrastructures to promote competitive integrated employment. ASPIRE states will have access to:

1. National subject matter experts and resources specifically developed for the ASPIRE initiative,
2. Customized technical assistance, such as training to implement strategies to address policy barriers, and
3. Opportunities to network with, collaborate, and learn from other ASPIRE states as well as your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation, Education, Workforce, and Medicaid agencies.

States selected to participate in ASPIRE will receive expert consultation in the following areas:

  • Policy coordination,
  • Program integration, and
  • Evidence-based employment services to promote competitive integrated employment for individuals with mental health conditions.

If you are interested in applying or if you have further questions about the initiative, please visit the ASPIRE website at or send an email to Applications are due on February 17, 2021.

Please also note that ODEP is hosting a webinar on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. [Eastern time] to answer questions from states that are interested in applying. Register for this webinar at

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