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Employment First Resources

SELN Employment First Resource List

Revised May 2016


Over the past decade, the concept of Employment First – the idea that employment in integrated settings within the community should be the priority service option – has emerged in the disability field. The result has been ongoing development of a multitude of documents pertaining to Employment First, including state legislation, policies, reports, articles, etc. The attached list, developed by the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN), is an attempt to provide a comprehensive listing of these documents, as a resource to policymakers, advocates, and others. Originally developed in 2010, this Resource List has been regularly updated as Employment First efforts have evolved across the United States and now internationally. A primary emphasis with this list has been to identify legislation, regulations, and policy directives implementing Employment First policies. For states with an Employment First Policy, this is the first document listed for that state. The list also lists a variety of additional Employment First related reports from individual states, developed by official state work groups and grassroots initiatives consisting of coalitions of stakeholders working to affect change. In addition, a variety of documents that provide a national perspective have been included.

General Information on Employment First

1. APSE PUBLICATIONS: a. APSE Employment First Statement: Statement outlining principles of EmploymentFirst –

b. APSE Employment First White Paper: “Establishing a National EmploymentFirst Agenda” paper from APSE –

2. Alliance for Full Participation: The Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) site contains a number of Employment First documents and updates from various states on their Employment First activities –

3. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Article – Employment First: A Beginning Not an End:August 2011 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities journal article summarizing the principles of Employment First – IDD Article – Employment First

4. NACDD Report – The Time is Now: Embracing Employment First: November 2011 report from the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, providing an overview of Employment First, with a particular focus on DD Council efforts –

5. NASDDS Article – Workers First: Article from June 2009 Community Services Reporter, published by National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services providing an overview of Employment First efforts –

6. NTAR Leadership Center Blog: Blog post on Employment First by Wendy Parent, Kansas University –

7. ODEP-USDOL Employment First Leadership Mentor Program: Information on state’s participating in ODEP’s EmploymentFirst Leadership Mentor Program –

8. SELN PUBLICATIONS a. SELN Employment First Publication: “Q & A’s on State Employment First Policies”: publication from the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN)providing an overview of Employment First, and specific efforts in Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington State, Georgia, Minnesota, and Indiana – Q&A’s on State Employment First Policies

Developed by David Hoff, Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston

Copies of items that are not available on the worldwide web can be obtained by sending an email to

The State Employment Leadership Network (SELN) is a cross-state cooperative venture of state MR/DD agencies that are committed to improving employment outcomes for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. Working documents contain information collected in response to state requests, and federal, state and local initiatives of interest to the SELN membership. They are intended to share work in progress but may not be a comprehensive analysis or compilation. Working documents are updated over time as information changes.