Employment First Massachusetts


State Policies & Initiatives: 

"About Us

Employment First is a framework for systems change that promotes the idea that all people, with and without disabilities, are able to fully participate in competitive, integrated employment and community life.

Employment First MA is hosted by the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston and is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS). This site was developed to support the implementation of DDS’s Employment First policy and the Blueprint for Success: Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts.

To assist providers with the transformation from center-based work to work in the community, the ICI, with funding from DDS, provides training, technical assistance, and access to a wide range of tools and resources that support the Blueprint.

More people with disabilities are working at a competitive wage in their communities than ever before. At Employment First MA, you will find resources about community work, including practical guidelines, an overview of employment history, and stories of people with disabilities who are thriving in community-based careers. We have a variety of trainings, tools, videos, webinars, briefs, and other resources for employment specialists, job coaches, advocates, self-advocates, and others who work to promote inclusive employment for individuals with developmental disabilities."

  • Department of Mental Health
  • Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Employer Engagement
  • Cross-Agency Collaboration / Partnerships