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Employment First Initiative Succeeds in Kansas
On May 25, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas approved House Bill No. 2336 that establishes the Kansas Employment First initiative act and creates the Kansas Employment First oversight commission. The legislation defines “competitive employment” and “integrated setting” and declares it to be the policy of the state that competitive and integrated employment will be considered the first option when serving people with disabilities who are of working age to obtain employment. The bill applies this policy to programs and services that help obtain employment for persons with disabilities, and requires that all state agencies follow this policy and ensure that it is effectively implemented.
Currently, many state developmental disability agencies recommend sheltered workshops or non-work day habilitation programs as the first option for a person with a significant disability. This legislation requires that work be considered first but does not foreclose other options.
NDSC has been actively working on Employment First initiatives on a national level. If you would like more information about Employment First, contact Susan Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the bill, visit http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/year1/measures/hb2336/.