Employment First is the philosophy that everyone, including people with significant disabilities, can work in integrated employment. In Kentucky, competitive and integrated employment in the community is the first and primary option for persons with disabilities of working age who have communicated a desire to become employed. Kentucky became an Employment First state on May 15, 2018. On June 29, 2020, Governor Beshear signed an Executive Order to continue the state’s commitment to employment for people with disabilities.
Kentucky has created an Employment First Council that is charged with carrying out the Executive Order. The 28 member group is comprised of people with disabilities, family members, employers, state agency representatives, and provider agencies. The role of the Council is to:
- Identify state policies that create disincentives to employment for people with disabilities and develop recommendations that eliminate those disincentives.
- Develop training and resources on the benefits of competitive integrated employment for a variety of audiences, including people with disabilities, families, providers and employers.
- Recommend implementation of effective policies and practices that increase employment opportunities.
- Use appropriate metrics to assess progress of these efforts, and;
- Provide an annual report to the Governor on progress toward these goals.
Kentucky agencies and organizations that strive to improve quality of life and increase economic self-sufficiency for Kentuckians with disabilities, are committed to collaborate with people with disabilities and families to achieve the goals set forth by the Executive Order.
Council meeting Schedule:
- January 9, 10:00 AM
- April 9, 10:00 AM – Cancelled
- June 11, 10:00 AM
- The remainder of the 2020 calendar will be updated here!
All meetings will be held in Frankfort, location TBA, and an online option will be provided.