Opendoor community support services, integration policy and philosophy emphasize the idea that individuals with developmental disabilities, like any other individuals, should have the opportunity to pursue competitive and integrated employment as a first option. The core principle behind Employment First is to prioritize community-based, inclusive employment over segregated or sheltered workshops. Real work for real pay

Key components of Employment First policy for individuals with developmental disabilities include:

Integrated Employment Opportunities

The policy promotes access to integrated employment settings, where individuals with developmental disabilities work alongside individuals without disabilities in regular community workplaces.


Individualized Approach

Employment First emphasizes a person-centered approach, recognizing that each individual has unique strengths, skills, and interests. Employment plans are tailored to meet the specific needs and aspirations of the individual.


Competitive Wages

The policy supports the idea that individuals with developmental disabilities should receive competitive wages for their work. This includes efforts to eliminate subminimum wages and ensure fair compensation for their contributions.


Community Inclusion

Employment First aims to enhance the social inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities by providing opportunities for meaningful engagement within the community. This includes fostering relationships with coworkers, supervisors, and community members.


Transition Services

There is an emphasis on providing transition services that help individuals move from school to work or from segregated settings to integrated employment. These services may include vocational training, job coaching, and ongoing support.


Collaboration with Employers

Employment First encourages collaboration between service providers, individuals with developmental disabilities, and employers. This collaboration involves creating supportive and inclusive workplace environments.


Policy and System Change

The policy advocates for changes in state and local systems to align with the principles of Employment First. This may involve changes in funding structures, service delivery models, and policies that support integrated employment opportunities.


Ongoing Support and Job Retention

Employment First recognizes the importance of ongoing support to help individuals maintain employment and advance in their careers. This may include continued job coaching, mentorship, and access to additional training.


Public Awareness and Education

There is an emphasis on raising public awareness and educating communities about the capabilities and contributions of individuals with developmental disabilities in the workforce.

By promoting Employment First policies, governments, agencies, and communities seek to break down barriers to employment for individuals with developmental disabilities, promote independence, and enhance their overall quality of life. The ultimate goal is to shift the focus from what individuals with developmental disabilities cannot do to what they can do in a competitive, integrated work setting.