EmploymentFirst means employment in the general workforce as the first and preferred outcome in the provision of publicly funded services for all working age citizens with disabilities, regardless of level of disability.

National APSE defines employment as working in an integrated job setting in the workforce at competitive wages (at least minimum wage) and benefits, and where employees with disabilities work alongside others who do not have disabilities, and have the same opportunities to participate in job and social activities as other company employees. In addition, employment means being self-employed in entrepreneurial businesses ventures driven by individual interests and talents.

EmploymentFirst does not mean “employment only.” EmploymentFirst does not mean “forced employment.”

EmploymentFirst does not limit individual choices but rather increases personal choices, expands opportunities, and enhances self-determination through greater access to the workforce, jobs, earned income, and community.

Employment is NOT a program, employment IS an outcome. Employment is the result of effective supports and services offered naturally on the job and complemented by external supports and services including those publicly funded.

For more information about EmploymentFirst please click here and/or view the documents below: