What is Employment First?

Employment First is a state-level approach to disability services. It means that employment is considered the option of choice for citizens with disabilities, rather than placement in a sheltered workshop, a day habilitation program, or another segregated or non-inclusive setting. 

Facts and Resources

Employment First State Resource List (June 2023)

APSE Factsheet on Employment First

States with an Employment First policy offer employment services to people with disabilities, and only look at other options in the event that the person or their guardian does not wish integrated employment to happen.

Who is Working

ICI StateData: The National Report on Employment Services and Outcomes

Success Stories

There are many people with disabilities working in the community. Through the use of innovative, front-line employment support practices, these individuals are earning money, forming networks, and contributing to their communities. Learn about individual success stories from the Real People, Real Jobs project managed by our partners at ThinkWork.

Employment First Activity in Member States

This list is not exhaustive. Please download the resource list above for details and additional links.