Employment First Maine Where we’ve been and where we are headed…. S The Foundation… S Beginning in 2001 the state (DHHS and VR) required certification for job coaches and employment specialists and the Maine Employment Curriculum was designed and delivered statewide S 2008—No state funded sheltered workshops S Employment for All conference sponsored by Maine APSE in October, 2010 S Maine DVR eliminate longstanding waitlist (October 2010) S DHHS agency wide conference in November, 2010 where the DOL and DHHS Commissioners unveiled a new policy: the “Department of Health and Human Services shall support career development and meaningful employment for all working aged individuals receiving services through the Department”. Foundation Cont’d S DHHS, and DOL DVR regular meetings to move employment for all people with disabilities forward, including people with brain injuries, cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, mental illness, etc. S Employment First Maine begins meeting in August 2011 and makes plans to send team to the Alliance for Full Participation meeting (Nov 2011) S From the beginning cross disability effort EF Maine Founding Members S S S Individuals with disabilities and family members, including representatives from the Consumer Council System of Maine, SUFU and Maine Parent Federation Representatives from the Maine Departments of HHS (DD and MH), Labor (VR), and Education Providers S Maine APSE S Disability Rights Center S Developmental Disabilities Council S Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies S Syntiro’s Employment for ME Workforce Development System Coming Together! S Nineteen folks from Maine attend the AFP meeting in Washington, DC (Nov 2011) S AFP team presents to Maine APSE annual meeting (Jan 2012) S EF Maine begins meeting at least monthly to draft a plan for Maine S Maine submits an application to ODEP in their EF mentoring program (Mar 2012) S A formal planning process and a goal for legislation in 2013 is established (Spring 2012) The Action Begins! S A small subcommittee is formed to address the legislation and meets in the summer of 2012 S Draft EF legislation is prepared and disseminated widely for public comment (Sept 2012) S The draft undergoes a number of revisions S Additional individuals and organizations become involved Where Should EF Maine Live? S The Disability Rights Center in Maine S Not affiliated with any one state agency S Serves all disability groups S Excellent connections with providers, state agencies and legislators S Able to support meeting and accommodation costs of EF Maine Additional Partners Added “Employment First Maine Act” S The Act (LD 1352) defines: S Customized Employment S First and preferred service or support option S Integrated community-based employment S Processes for program monitoring and quality assurance S First and preferred service or support option S Coordination of efforts and information S Establishes the Employment First Maine Coalition The Hearing and Work Session S More than 42 individuals testified in favor and no one testified in opposition S 32 were individuals with disabilities S Work Session – two amendments – change consensus and add a business rep to the coalition – Done! S Voted unanimously out of the Labor Committee! S On to the Senate and Appropriations – Passed! Since June… S The bill became law on 6/22 without the Governor’s signature and goes into effect 90 days after the session—October 9, 2013 S Solidifying the Coalition – expectations of members, meeting dates, and other organizational role coordination. S Determine specific data reporting structure S Drafting by-laws, establishing work groups (i.e. to recommend possible waiver language rule changes, address training needs of all agencies, etc.) Work Groups S Communication S Data S Transition S Capacity Building/Systems Development S Business/Employer S Legislation Definitions from the Act S Integrated, community based employment: employment in the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis in the general community or through self-employment at or above the minimum wage but not less than the prevailing wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by persons without disabilities. S Customized employment: employment acquired as a result of implementation of a flexible blend of strategies, services and supports designed to increase employment options for job seekers with complex needs through voluntary negotiation of the employment relationship with the employer S First and preferred service or support option: the first employment service option offered by a state agency, prior to the offer of other supports or services, including day services. EF Maine Charge S State agencies must provide service and supports to persons with disabilities and include and offer, as the first and preferred service or support option, the opportunity for persons with disabilities to acquire integrated, community based employment or customized employment as a core component of its services and supports. EF Maine Charge (cont) • State agencies shall coordinate efforts with other state agencies to ensure that the programs, funding and policies adopted by each state agency support the individuals with disabilities in acquiring community based employment or customized employment. • State agencies shall share information regarding the use of services and other data in order to monitor progress toward facilitating individuals with disabilities in acquiring community based employment or customized employment. The Coalition Shall.. S Promote coordination and collaboration among state agencies; S Review, on a continuing basis, state policies, plans, programs and activities in order to determine whether such policies, programs, plans and activities effectively meet the employment needs of persons with disabilities to acquire integrated, community based employment or customized employment; S Serve as a conduit for information and input to aid in the implementation of the Act for advocacy groups, commissions and councils that focus on issues facing persons with disabilities in Maine; The Coalition Shall: S Make recommendations to the Governor, the Legislature and state agencies regarding ways to improve the administration of employment services and employment outcomes for persons with disabilities; S Review and comment on proposed legislation affecting the employment of persons with disabilities; and, S Propose and promote rules and policies to state agencies that provide services and supports to persons with disabilities to improve integrated, community based employment and customized employment of persons with disabilities. Employment First Nationally S www.apse.org S More than 40 states have some level of activity related to Employment First (and most of these states are I/DD specific) S Only Maine and Washington have both legislation and policy directives or executive orders S ONLY Maine has both AND addresses ALL individuals with disabilities (Washington is I/DD specific) S INSERT APSE MAP October 11, 2013 S Welcome to our First official of the Employment First Maine Coalition! S We look forward to working collaboratively to greatly improve and enhance the employment outcomes of Maine citizens with disabilities!