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
...is the multi year Oregon Initiative to support implementation of an Employment First policy. The policy, when fully implemented, requires that employment in integrated work settings be the first and priority option explored in service planning for working age adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
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.
Governor's letter regarding the Executive Order
Letter to partners about the Governor's Executive order
Governor's Message to DHS staff about the Executive Order
Signed Memorandum of Understanding: DHS Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services; Office of Developmental Disability Services; Department of Education and Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities
2012-2015: Employment First Implementation
Phase 2 - Oregon's Employment First Policy will be implemented in May 2012 through June 2015, based on the following practice and principles:
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.
For those who successfully achieve the goal of employment in an integrated setting, future service planning will focus on maintaining employment as well as the consideration of additional career or advancement opportunities.