Employment First is a national initiative that encompasses policies, legislation, and system change efforts leading to increased community-based employment for people with disabilities. Employment First is a belief that community-based, integrated employment should be the primary day activity for working age youth and adults with disabilities. It supports an overarching goal that eligible persons with disabilities should have access to integrated work settings most appropriate for them, including the supports necessary to help them succeed in the workplace. Employment First does not mean employment only and does not deny individual choice, but is intended to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Employment First Fact Sheet
New Employment Service Codes
Through her job placement with the SWI program, Rebecca has soared in the last year in her ability to work, memorize, and remember. Her supervisor and coworkers state that she is the most upbeat and positive person they have ever met, and Rebecca is an inspiration to everyone that works with her.
More about Employment
Our economy and society become more resilient when all people have the opportunity to gain employment in our community, including people of all abilities.
Employment is key to the Division’s Mission Statement of supporting people to lead self-determined lives and be full participants in their communities. Employment can provide greater opportunities for self-determination and integration into the community.
The Division is a named agency in Utah’s Employment First Priority legislation, 2011 House Bill 240. This law supports and gives priority to services that assist the person in obtaining and retaining meaningful employment. The Division has designed and is implementing a strategic plan for supporting the Employment First Initiative. The plan includes four strategic areas, (1) Stakeholder Education and Outreach, (2) Financing and Contract Methods, (3) Services and Service Innovation, and (4) Performance Measurement. The Division is collaborating with the national Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) to develop each of these core areas. Additionally, stakeholders are collaborating in an Employment First Task Force.
House Bill 240 – Employment First Priority
Future opportunities of funding and supports may become more readily available to provider agencies increasing their supported employment efforts and services.
The Division has recently required supported employment services before new day program services can be added an individual’s plan.
It is important to consider transportation logistics as early as the beginning of the job exploration process and the work assessment. Always explore maximizing community supports to secure transportation access.
Considering coordinating with a job coach, talking with the person, and possibly the employer before going to the job site.
Division Employment Strategic Plan
Division Public Meetings
- Utah Employment First Summit – Allan Bergman, ODEP
- The Utah Employment First Summit – Tricia Jones-Parkin, DSPD
Partnership with Griffin-Hammis Associates, Inc:
Social Capital & our New Roles
- 10 Quality Indicators for Choosing a Community Rehabilitation Program
- Bringing Fidelity to the Customized Employment Process
- Customized Employment Tactics: Increasing Employment Opportunities
- The Competitive/Customized Dichotomy
- Customized Employment and Transition: 10 Effective Steps to Vocational Success
- Customized Job Development: Tactics for Tough Times
- Plans for Achieving Self-Support: There’s No Greater Burden than Potential