REFERENCE TITLE: Employment First; disabilities
State of Arizona
First Regular Session
A Concurrent Resolution
supporting employment first and greater employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)
Whereas, every Arizonan should have the opportunity to participate in the workforce, including those who have disabilities; and
Whereas, all Arizona citizens deserve the dignity and respect of work as well as the freedom to choose their own path based on their interests, talents and unique skills; and
Whereas, work provides individuals with not only a source of income but also a source of pride, a sense of accomplishment and opportunities for social interaction; and
Whereas, in 2019, 74% of Arizonans without a disability were employed, while only 39% of Arizonans with a disability and 29% of Arizonans with a cognitive disability were employed; and
Whereas, only 29% of vocational rehabilitation case closures for participants with intellectual disabilities resulted in employment; and
Whereas, in 2018, only 16% of funding that supported individuals with developmental disabilities was spent on integrated employment services; and
Whereas, in 2018, only 21% of working age Arizonans receiving services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities were participating in competitive, integrated employment; and
Whereas, Executive Order 2017-08 established Arizona as an Employment First state; and
Whereas, Employment First means that competitive, integrated employment should be the first and preferred choice available to individuals with disabilities who receive assistance from publicly funded systems; and
Whereas, competitive, integrated employment is work that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis and for which an individual:
· Is compensated at or above minimum wage and comparable to the rate paid to employees without disabilities who perform similar duties and with similar training and experience.
· Receives the same level of benefits provided to other employees without disabilities in similar positions.
· Is at a location where the employee interacts with other individuals without disabilities.
· Is presented with opportunities for advancement similar to other employees without disabilities in similar positions; and
Whereas, opportunities for individuals with disabilities to have meaningful and competitive employment will improve their quality of life, increase their community participation and empower them to make their own choices in life; and
Whereas, Arizona seeks to improve and coordinate efforts to increase competitive, integrated employment opportunities for Arizonans who have disabilities.
Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the Members of the Legislature affirm their support for Employment First, for the provision of services and support to persons who have disabilities and for strengthening efforts to collaborate and increase employment opportunities for these individuals.