Friday, February 25, 2011

Employment First Initiative

On Monday, February 1st, Interhab staff testified in support of "HB 2336, The Kansas Employment First Initiative Act". The bill is designed to establish policy for the state that "competitive and integrated employment shall be considered its first option when serving persons with disabilities..." The bill also seeks to establish an Employment First oversight commission consisting of members appointed by the legislature and governor.

Below is an excerpt of testimony given to the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development:

" We urge the committee’s recognition that the community DD network currently offers a wide range of employment and training services to persons with developmental disabilities. The range includes serving and supporting those with limited skills or experience –valuable opportunities to discover individual interests and to develop work-skills – and the range also includes job placement, from the actual location of jobs, to the training to meet the job’s requirements, the placement into jobs, and the supports when needed to help each person succeed in those jobs.

We appreciate that this bill envisions a mission which we share, in which each person makes it in his or her own way, and own time, each directed to their own employment goals.  By calling out competitive employment as the priority of the State, we encourage a higher aspiration for our society as well as for each person. By also recognizing the individualized pace and goals and interests of each person, we can also recognize and respect their choices as well. "

No comments:

Post a Comment