All Coloradans with disabilities are included in the workplace and recognized for their interests, strengths and contributions.
EFAP focuses the multi-stakeholder leadership, collaboration and passion needed to make systems change for the benefit of people with disabilities, businesses and the Colorado economy.
What is Employment First?
Philosophy: Employment First is based on practical and new ways of thinking about employment for people with the most significant disabilities. Advocates for Employment First believe that all people who want to work should be given the chance to explore, discover and participate in the world of work.
Community: Work is an important way to participate in the community, economy and achieve self-sufficiency. It also allows individuals to live independently in the manner they choose.
Innovative: The Employment First philosophy offers multiple ways for people with disabilities to achieve their employment goals.
What is the Employment First Advisory Partnership and How Does it Relate to the State Rehabilitation Council?
Legislation:Governor Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 16-077 into law in June 2016. Colorado is now one of the states adopting an Employment First philosophy.
What did the law do? It establishes the Employment First Advisory Partnership (EFAP), a collaboration between the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Colorado Department of Human Services and the Colorado Department of Labor.
It's now permanent! On June 30, 2022, Governor Polis signed SB 21-095 which continues the EFAP indefinitely.
Who else is involved? People with disabilities, families of people with disabilities, advocates for intellectual disabilities and other disabilities.
What is the State Rehabilitation Council's role? The State Rehabilitation Council (SRC) was assigned lead agency responsibility for developing, convening and administering the EFAP. The law required the SRC to:
- Select their representatives by December 30, 2016.
- Develop an MOU with agency partners.
- Administer a blended member recruitment process to identify EFAP members (some members were selected by narrow criteria in the law, others selected through a competitive application process).
- Develop these recommendations that were reported to the General Assembly in January 2018.