Employment First

California’s Employment First Policy

California’s Employment First Policy was signed into law in October of 2013, by Governor Brown.dds.ca.gov

Competitive employment is finding a job within the community where you are paid about the same as other people doing the same job and at least minimum wage. It could also be working for yourself in your own small business.

Information about the Employment First Policy can be found on the website of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (scdd.ca.gov) as well as the Department of Developmental Services (dds.ca.gov).

Employment & Your Individual Program Plan (IPP)

When you plan with your service coordinator around employment opportunities, the first option that will be considered is competitive integrated employment. Competitive work is a real choice. Your service coordinator can help you find resources in the community to support your employment goals.

Supported Employment

Adults who want to work may be eligible for Supported Employment services. Supports could include job development, transportation training, paid internships, and specialized job training. With initiative and the right supports and opportunities, people with developmental disabilities can work. They can succeed at a job, earn a good wage, meet people on the job, and be more a part of their community.

Employment First

The decision about whether or not Supported Employment is the right service is made by the planning team. The adult, his or her service coordinator, the Department of Rehabilitation and other members of the planning team work together to create an agreement about the supports that might be most helpful. Supported Employment can be provided in individual or group settings, depending upon the needs, interests, talents and skills of the person.

Self-Employment

Self-employment options include micro-enterprises. These are small business ventures that reflect the unique skills and talents of a person. The IPP planning team often helps support the development of the business.

Options Other than Employment

If employment isn’t right for you, talk to your service coordinator about other options.

Getting Help from Your Family Members

  • Talk to your family about the type of work that you might like.
  • Explore training ideas in the community such as adult education or college with their help.
  • Invite your family members to your IEP and IPP meetings.

Is College Right for You?

San Diego Regional Center has been working with local colleges to enhance employment training programs that serve people with developmental disabilities. Talk to your service coordinator to find out if a local program can help you reach your education or employment goals.

With initiative and the right supports and opportunities, people with developmental disabilities can work. They can succeed at a job, earn decent pay, meet people on the job, and be more a part of their community.

Learn more about Employment First

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

WIOA was signed into law on July 22, 2014. Wioa supersedes the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and amends the Adult Education and Literacy Act, the Wagner-Preyser Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It sunsets in 2020.

Major highlights of WIOA include:

  • A much larger role for public vocational rehabilitation as people with disabilities make the transition from school to adult life.
  • Efforts intended to limit the use of sub-minimum wage.
  • Required agreements between state vocational rehabilitation systems and state Medicaid systems, and state intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) agencies.
  • A definition of “customized employment” in federal statute, and an updated definition of “supported employment that includes customized employment.”
  • A definition for “competitive integrated employment” as an optional outcome.
  • Enhanced roles and requirements for the general workforce system and One-Stop Career Centers in meeting the needs of people with disabilities

Learn more about WIOA.