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Every person regardless of disability has the right to be contributing members of society; however, individuals with disabilities continue to have the highest rates of unemployment of any minority group in the country. In 2013, the percent of individuals with a disability that were employed was 17.6% compared to 64% of those without a disability. Over the past several years, there has been an emphasis on establishing Employment First initiatives in the Unites States. Employment First is based on the premise that community employment should be the expected and preferred outcome for people with developmental disabilities. The State of Ohio has viewed Employment First as a priority, giving individuals with developmental disabilities access to services and supports. On March 19, 2014 Governor John Kasich signed the executive order establishing the statewide collaboration and coordination, by creating the Employment First Taskforce Advisory Committee, making community employment the preferred outcome for individuals with developmental disabilities. Employment First enhances lives by creating greater opportunities for all people to advance their careers, utilizing strengths and talents in order to help increase their economic wealth, have a sense of accomplishment and create their own social identity. Access to “real jobs with real wages” is essential if individuals with disabilities are to avoid lives of poverty, dependence, and isolation. Marimor Adult Services focuses on this Employment First Initiative. Eligible individuals, from age 16 and beyond are offered supports to participate in their community and to increase their self-advocacy skills. Community Employment Services Job development, job training and assistance is provided to individuals within the business community. This program offers vocational testing, community-based assessments, career exploration and personalized training to make sure individuals are prepared for employment. Transition Services Transition services is focused toward students to serve as a training program to develop transferable job skills, practice professional work etiquette and improve their success in gaining employment. By providing individuals with access to services designed to build their job skills, our clients and students are able enter the workforce and be an asset to their employer, the community and build their self-confidence. To learn more about the Employment Services offered by the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities, call 419-221-1385.


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