Employment First Position Statement For SC Centers For Independent Living

As a Center for Independent Living that is grounded in the disability rights movement and run and operated by a majority of individuals with disabilities, we are united in the belief that community-based, integrated employment for individuals with all types of disabilities should be the only option when it comes to employment.  Individuals with disabilities CAN work and should have the freedom, support, and opportunity to achieve competitive, integrated employment. We advocate for systems where funding for employment programs shift away from sheltered workshops and other non-competitive employment and move towards a system that promotes equal employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, regardless of the severity of the disability.

We establish an “Employment First” position by adhering to the following practices:

  • Assist individuals with disabilities to explore and obtain employment opportunities based on the individual’s interests and goals.
  • Advocate to remove employment barriers for individuals with disabilities.
  • Advocate for a systemic and collaborative approach between all partners and stakeholders.
  • Provide employment information in a variety of accessible formats.
  • Ensure work incentives counseling is made available so individuals can understand the impact of income on benefits and the opportunities for asset accumulation.
  • Provide training to employers regarding hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities.
  • Continuously evaluate, adjust, and improve employment services and operations.

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