Employment First: Moving Florida from Employment First Language to Employment Outcomes

Employment First initiatives are becoming increasingly common across states. Presenters will provide a context and history for the Employment First movement nationally, setting the stage for a comprehensive discussion about a transformative cross-disability employment-focused effort in Florida. Self-advocate panelists will provide insights into their state-wide contributions to the movement as well as their visions for increased self-sufficiency among individuals with disabilities.

As a result of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. 1. Identify state-level strategies for advancing an employment first initiative through legislation, policy, and coalition building.
  2. 2. Gain a better understanding of the complex workings of a cross-disability initiative.
  3. 3. Identify the individual and collaborative roles of state agencies and grass roots groups towards employment first efforts.
  4. 4. Learn about the barriers to meaningful engagement of self-advocates in state-level planning.
  5. 5. Identify strategies to meaningfully engage self-advocates in state-level planning.
  6. 6. Understand the impact of involving self-advocates in systems change processes.

Jean Winsor, Ashley Wolfe