What is Employment First?
In 2017 Indiana passed a law that states, “Employment in the community is the first and preferred outcome of all services for people with disabilities.” This means that everyone has a right to work in the community and earn a living wage, regardless of disability. Like everyone else, individuals with disabilities need support to be successful, and state funded services should focus on helping people become employed in the community. Given Indiana’s staggering 74% unemployment rate for people with disabilities, we have a long way to go to make this a reality.
The Indiana Work to Include Coalition is committed to engaging the voices of Hoosiers with disabilities to inform policies and practices and advance competitive integrated employment in Indiana. During early 2019, Town Halls were held in 11 Indiana cities and attended by over 400 people. The recommendations have been shared with the local community and state policy makers.