Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order (2012-05k) establishing the state’s Employment First Policy and Taskforce to expand community employment opportunities for Ohioans with disabilities. TASH applauds Gov. Kasich and the advocates working in Ohio and elsewhere who pushed for this measure!
The complete executive order is online here (PDF), but the following directives are included:
1. Community employment shall be the priority and the preferred outcome for working-age Ohioans with disabilities.
2. The Governor’s Employment First Taskforce (“EFT”) is created to collaborate, coordinate and improve employment outcomes for working-age adults with developmental disabilities. In the first six months following the effective date of this executive order, the EFT shall do the following:
a. Review and consider the recommendations of the State Employment Leadership Network report to increase opportunities for community employment for Ohioans with developmental disabilities.
b. Review and align policies, procedures, eligibility, and enrollment and planning for services for individuals, with the objective of increasing opportunities for community employment for Ohioans with developmental disabilities.
c. Develop cross-agency tools to document eligibility, order of selection, assessment and planning for services for individuals.
d. Identify best practices, effective partnerships, sources of available federal funds, opportunities for shared services among existing providers and county boards of developmental disabilities, and the means to expand model programs, to increase community employment opportunities for those with developmental disabilities.
e. Identify and address area where sufficient support is not currently available or where additional options are needed to assist those with developmental disabilities to work in community jobs.
f. Establish interagency agreements to improve coordination of services and allows for data sharing as appropriate.
g. Set benchmarks for improving community employment outcomes/services.
3. I appoint the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) to lead the EFT. DODD shall oversee and implement the activities described above. The EFT also shall include representatives from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Ohio Department of Mental Health (ODMH), and Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (ORSC) who have authority to act on behalf of their respective agencies.
4. The DODD shall also have the authority to establish an Advisory Committee made up of business stakeholders, self-advocates and other stakeholders in the developmental disabilities field to provide the EFT with needed information and recommendations.
5. All Cabinet Agencies, Boards and Commissions shall comply with requests issued by the EFT, subject to the supervision of their respective agency director.