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Employment First with words

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is committed to enhancing community employment options for persons with developmental disabilities. The guiding principle of Employment First is that all individuals who want to work can work and contribute to their community when given opportunity, training, and supports that build upon their unique talents, skills and abilities.

Everyone of working age, and those supporting them, should consider employment as the first option prior to any other service options. As fully participating members of their community, individuals with developmental disabilities will be afforded the opportunity to earn a living wage and engage in work that makes sense to them. Career exploration and planning will be supported when assisting individuals in making informed choices in designing their unique pathway to increased independence, integration, inclusion, productivity, self-determination.

Principles of Employment First

  • All individuals have the right to explore the full range of employment options to empower informed choice and foster self-determination.
  • Career Planning is a requirement for all individuals currently receiving services in order to ensure that supports, services, and outcomes on Individual Support Plans are consistent with what the person is seeking.
  • All individuals have the right to earn a living wage in a job of their choosing, based on their unique talents, gifts, skills, and interests.
  • As with all employees, persons with disabilities should have access to services and supports necessary to succeed in the workplace.
  • Businesses universally value employees with disabilities as an integral part of their workforce and include all people within recruitment and hiring efforts as standard practice.
  • Employment First Specialists Contact Information
  • Tools & Resources
  • Links to Other Resources
  • Empowering Through Employment