Employment First

Employment — paid work — leads to economic opportunity, equity, and independence. Individuals with
disabilities optimize their ability to enjoy these benefits of employment through careers and jobs
available to all individuals that provide competitive earnings (wages equal to or exceeding applicable
minimum wage rates), integration (interaction with coworkers and others without disabilities similar to
that experienced by their non-disabled peers while performing their job duties), and opportunity for
advancement (i.e., “competitive integrated employment”).

Contractor Update

The Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD), the Kansas University Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies (KU IHDPS), and the Washington Institute on Supported Employment (WISE) would like to congratulate the following organizations who were selected to participate in the Kansas Employment First Grant Pilot Project.

Compass Behavioral Health
Down Syndrome Innovations
Starkey, Inc.

Over the next year and a half, these providers will work to expand their capacity to provide competitive, integrated employment opportunities for Kansans with disabilities. They will be paired 1:1 with a Mentor Organization that has undergone a similar transformation, and they will have the opportunity to participate in evidence-based, ACRE accredited training opportunities through WISE so that their staff can provide state of the art competitive, integrated employment supports and services.

These pilot project participants serve culturally diverse and cross-disability populations in various parts of our great state. We are excited to see them take the next steps in turning the promise of Kansas Employment First into a reality.

Stakeholder Meeting Minutes