Skip to main content

Employment First in Michigan

What is Employment First?

Employment First is a framework centered on the premise that all people with developmental disabilities are capable of full participation in Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) and community life.

Under this approach, public systems are urged to align policies, regulatory guidance, and reimbursement structures to commit to CIE. The Employment First approach states CIE should be the priority option for using publicly financed day and employment services for youth and adults with developmental disabilities.

Michigan formally committed to the Employment First framework through Executive Order 2015-15. Below, you will find information related to Michigan's efforts to implement the Employment First framework and improve employment conditions for people with developmental disabilities.

Logo for Employment First

Employment First in Michigan

2019 Report on Employment First

The 2019 Report on Employment First in Michigan highlights employment conditions that have improved and challenges that remain. The 2019 Report also discusses policy and practice changes required to continue Michigan’s improvement in providing access to competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

The 2019 Report builds on the 2014 Michigan Developmental Disabilities Network Employment First Report which examined the employment status of Michigan adults with developmental disabilities and state policies that align with Employment First goals.

If you have any questions regarding Employment First in Michigan, please contact Yasmina Bouraoui at or 517-242-5047.

View the complete 2019 Report on Employment First in Michigan.
Additional Resources for Employment First Logo

Additional Resources for Employment First

The “Disability Employment First Planning Tool” is a resource to help states, workforce development boards and agencies, vocational rehabilitation, and others in their efforts to enable people with developmental disabilities to get competitive integrated employment. 

The tool is based on recommendations by the National Governors Association’s report, A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities. It uses best practices to create solutions for people with developmental disabilities and employers. The key areas of the tool include: 

  • Making the best of limited resources.
  • Finding and supporting businesses in their efforts to employ people with disabilities.
  • Making disability employment a part of the state workforce strategy.
  • Preparing youth with disabilities for careers that use their full potential and providing employers with a pipeline of skilled workers.
  • Being a model employer by increasing the number of people with disabilities working in state government.


The Federal Legal Framework that Supports Competitive, Integrated Employment Outcomes of Youth and Adults with Significant Disabilities highlights various legal actions by Federal enforcement agencies that have significant implications for how states prioritize and deliver services for individuals with disabilities.

These actions relate to the organization, financing, and provision of employment and long-term services and support consistent with Employment First. The Federal framework reinforces the principle that CIE is critical for citizens with disabilities to develop full and meaningful lives in the community.