Developmental Disabilities

We Believe...

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

Employment First

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.