Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Britteny Asher Consulting enjoy participating in Vocational Rehabilitation’s Annual In-Service and Branch Meetings across Oregon.
We also regularly meet with individual Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to expand our professional services to result in delivering new and additional services that support competitive and integrated employment outcomes.
The Employment First Initiative
Employment First initiatives are about raising expectations of individuals, families, state agencies, and service providers and implementing better employment practices for people with disabilities. A critical priority for the U.S. Department of Labor, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), has been charged to invest in systems change efforts that result in increased community-based, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. This priority reflects growing support for a national movement called Employment First, a framework for systems change that is centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life. Through Federal legislation, funding, and policies support state’s emphasize competitive, integrated employment as the preferred outcome.
In Oregon, Employment First is both a philosophy and a state policy. As a philosophy, Employment First is based on the presumption that working age adults with I/DD can work in jobs fully integrated in the community. Employment of all our citizens has many positive impacts, including establishment of community connections that allow people to become contributing and valued members of their community, increased self-worth, opportunities to build relationships and social communities, and access to community resources. Employment also improves economic well-being as well as physical and mental health. In addition, employment of all citizens offers diversity within the workforce which promotes general enrichment of our communities.
Integrated employment includes typical workplace settings where there are regular opportunities for meaningful interaction with co-workers without disabilities and/or customers or the general public. This can also include self-employment. The Employment First policy states that work in integrated jobs is the first and priority option in planning employment services for working-age adults and youth. Services should be planned using person-centered practices that identify an individual’s talents, skills, and interests. This information can then help inform employment options and career opportunities.
Britteny Asher Consulting is proud to be a resource to state agencies for evidence-based practices in identifying strengths, strategies and skills to support or develop for successful implementation of the Employment First initiative.