Articles2015

Employment First* (not only)

 

ABSTRACT

Do you know your preferred employment outcome? Many of you reading this editorial may not have a disability, but if you do and you qualify to receive employment services, your options are being limited as you read this because of a policy known as Employment First. This approach sets “community-based, integrated employment – which pays at least the minimum wage – [as] the first option for employment services for youth and adults with significant disabilities” (Scaglione, 2015). Employment First is a federal policy that has been adopted in many states, and is currently being set in New York State after Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order establishing an Employment First policy commission in September 2014 (Executive Order No. 136, 2014). To understand how this policy has come about, it is crucial that we understand its origins in the evolving definition of inclusion.