Web Content Viewer

Guidance: Individual Employment Support

As the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) responds to coronavirus (COVID-19), supports for Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families are evolving to meet identified needs in new ways. Providers of Individual Employment Support, in collaboration with county boards of developmental disabilities, can deliver these supports in a variety of innovative ways.

It is the department’s preference that providers do all that is possible to support people in person within their residence.

Service Description and Expected Outcome

Individual Employment Supports (IES) is a home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver service that provides support for a person to maintain competitive integrated employment through job coaching, training in assistive technology to be used on the job, and other workplace supports that enable the person to be successful in integrating into their job setting.

The expected outcome of IES is competitive integrated employment in a job well-matched to the person's interests, strengths, priorities, and abilities that meets the person's personal career goals.

What IES Can Look Like during State of Emergency

  • In-person
    • IES providers can deliver supports one-on-one, in-person at the job site or at the home of the person served. Examples of this kind of delivery of service can include job coaching, developing natural supports, training in assistive technology to be used on the job, and follow-along/job retention services to support both the employer and the person.
  • On behalf of
    • IES providers can support people through telephone calls to discuss and implement supports, provide technology support or instruction, and to provide follow along/retention services to support both the employer and the individual.
  • Connecting via technology
    • IES providers can use a variety of social-media platforms to connect with people they serve, matching their programming with the platform that makes the most sense to their needs. 
    • Virtual IES can be delivered in a variety of ways, such as remotely checking in with the person outside of their workday to review their work successes, challenges, and offer any interventions. 
    • The IES provider may also be able to engage in remote observation of and interaction with the person (e.g. Skype, FaceTime, etc.) throughout the workday with the employer’s approval and support. Virtual IES, like all other variations, can support people through their fears and help them stay connected to comforting routines.
  • Unemployment Benefits
    • During this time there will be flexibility to allow IES providers to assist people to apply for unemployment benefits when needed. This assistance can be provided in person, on behalf of the person, and/or via technology, such as Skype, FaceTime, or GoToMeeting, and other screen-sharing technologies to assist people in completing their applications.
  • Review


These services may be authorized via phone call or email before updating individual service plans (ISPs). Formal ISP revisions can be completed as time permits to reflect the needed changes retroactively.


IES providers should continue documenting supports in the way they currently have been but will need to alter some of the services and documentation based on what is needed and available during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Documentation should also include how the services were provided: in-person, on behalf of, or via technology.


Services authorized through electronic means (by telephone, email, etc.) will be reimbursed without being reflected in DODD’s Payment Authorization for Waiver Services (PAWS) system. County board of developmental disabilities should document the authorization locally through TCM case notes when possible, or by any other means available. 

Please see Guidance: DODD Billing Concessions for additional information.