What is Employment First Philosophy

  • Definition: Employment First is an effort taken on by states to change systems and create a reality of meaningful work for all people with disabilities, including people with significant and complex disabilities.

  • People with disabilities should be able to work if they want to in our communities and integrate with the same job sites as people who don’t have a disability.

  • People with disabilities should be able to get the proper resources that they might need in order to be successful in the workplace.

  • Equality is a core tenet of Employment First. People with disabilities should earn the same wages that people without a disability do.

  • Further, people with disabilities should get real work for real pay as the main priority instead of the government trying to intervene before it tries that.

  • The goal is to get Competitive, Integrated Employment (CIE)
    • The ideal outcome is a CIE or anyone with a disability performing their jobs alongside their peers without a disability, with opportunities to advance.