Employment First, means that employment in the general workforce should be the first and preferred option for individuals with disabilities receiving assistance from publicly funded systems. Simply put, Employment First means real jobs, real wages.
IDEATE is an Employment First organization. For us, Employment First is a way to get out of poverty. Statistics clearly show that if someone has a disability they are much more likely to be poor. Working age adults with disabilities living below the poverty line at twice the rate of the general population (US Census). Almost two-thirds (65%) of the individuals in poverty long-term are people with disabilities (Mathematica Policy Research). Focusing our public resources on Employment First, providing the assistance necessary to find and succeed in employment, is a road out of poverty, dependence, and isolation, for individuals with disabilities.