Employment First

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PAR, with the help of its Employment First Committee, Advocacy Council, and PAR lobbyists, worked with Pennsylvania General Assembly to develop Pennsylvania’s Employment First Legislation (HB 1641 and SB 2121) which was unanimously passed on June 13, 2018 and signed by Governor Wolf on June 19, 2018. PAR advocated for this legislation as a first step toward providing competitive, integrated employment options for Pennsylvanians with intellectual disability or autism (ID/A( by establishing the Governor’s Cabinet for People with Disabilities and the Employment First Oversight Commission in addition to calling for state agencies to employ individuals with disabilities in at least 7 percent of the overall state workforce.

PAR actively supported Governor Wolf’s 2016-03 Executive Order Establishing his “Employment First” Policy to increase Competitive Integrated Employment for Pennsylvanians with a Disability which was enacted on March 10, 2016.

PAR, along with our national association ANCOR, has worked with and is actively supporting Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Disability Employment Incentive Act of 2018, introduced in July 2018. The legislation would enhance three existing tax credits to support employers who hire individuals with disabilities and make workplaces more accessible to those employees. 

PAR is working with the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and other stakeholders in association with the Supporting Employment Learning Network (SELN), a collaborative effort supported by the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NADDDS); ANCOR, the national ID/A provider association; and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD); to develop best practice to promote successful employment of people with ID/A in the community.

PAR is also working with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) to address rates for employment services that are currently inadequate to support and increase availability of employment services to Pennsylvanians with ID/A, and to improve processes that relate to eligibility determinations.