Everyone can work and there is a job for everyone. Our job is to be creative and tenacious in providing support.
Not working should be the exception. All individuals, schools, families and businesses must raise their expectations.
People will be hired because of their ability not because they have a disability.
Communities embrace people who contribute.
Everyone has something to contribute and needs to contribute.
People are healthier, safer and happiest with meaningful work.
True employment is not a social service.
Employment is a win/win for everybody.
Employment First Policy
Bookmark this page to see regular updates as we move forward to implement Governor Kitzhaber’s Executive Order on Employment First and our ongoing commitment to integrated employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
2006-2009: Employment First Policy Development
Setting the Goal. Oregon joined with 17 other state DD agencies in an effort to refocus on improving work opportunities for consumers. Oregon advocates established the State Employment Task Force to influence and support this effort.
Policy Adoption. In 2008, the Oregon Employment First Policy is adopted.
Why Employment First?
Employment is recognized as key to full citizenship for Oregonians with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. A job provides a structured day, a paycheck that can be used for purchasing goods and services, an identity as a contributing member of the community, and an increase in personal self-esteem. The present level of unemployment for adults with developmental disabilities in Oregon, at 80%, is unacceptable.
Newsletter #1: Overview
Newsletter #2: Policy Group, Web, and Facebook
Announcement of Policy Group Membership
Governor's Executive Order
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Governor's letter regarding the Executive Order
Governor's Message to DHS staff about the Executive Order
2012-2015: Employment First Implementation
The Employment First policy is rooted in the belief that meaningful employment for working age adults plays a major role in maximizing personal choices, achieving economic self-sufficiency, and contributing to the sustainability of our communities. Employment First emphasizes the importance of being a part of the workforce, contributing to the economy, and becoming as self-sufficient as possible, helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead a meaningful and purposeful life. Oregon will partner with a variety of stakeholders to develop a plan for successful implementation, and a major part of this plan will include statewide outreach and conversation with key partners. The result will include a significant reduction over time of state support of sheltered work and an increased investment in employment services.
Individual Support Plan. Employment services will be specifically addressed in the Individual Support Plan.
Person Centered Planning. Employment services will be considered and provided using person-centered planning concepts, based on informed choice, and consistent with the philosophy of self-determination
Wages and Benefits. Minimum or competitive wages and benefits will be the goal of integrated employment
Service Planning. All natural, as well as paid supports, will be considered in service planning.
Employment Supports. Employment supports will be provided outside of the individual’s living environment unless necessary for a self-employment plan or for the individual’s medical or safety needs.