Document Type

Occasional Paper

Publication Date

Summer 7-18-2017


Employment, Employment First, Self-Advocates, ThinkWork


Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Public Policy | Rehabilitation and Therapy


These authors worked together to write a statement about what Employment First means and why it’s important. Here is an excerpt from the statement.

All people with disabilities should have opportunities to work. Public dollars should be used to pay for supports for people to work in the community. People with disabilities, their families, and their allies believe that:

  • All people should have opportunities for real jobs with real wages. It will get us out of poverty. We will be more independent. We will feel more included. All people, with and without disabilities, can work in jobs together earning minimum wage or higher.
  • Like everyone else, people with disabilities should have access to supports that they need to work successfully.
  • All people, no matter what disability they have, have the right to work a job they choose that matches their skills and interests.
  • Public policies must support people with disabilities having real jobs. Money for services should be spent on people having jobs in the community.
  • Just calling your state an Employment First state is not enough. “Employment First” is when everyone who wants a job, has a job.


Cross-posted from ThinkWork


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