SC Employment First Initiative

South Carolina is one of six states selected by the Administration for Community Living to receive funding in order to increase employment outcomes for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities statewide. Employment First emphasizes competitive, integrated employment as the preferred option for individuals with disabilities. Read the announcement from ACL here.

The South Carolina Disability Employment Coalition, through collaboration with thirteen Project Partners, will implement The SC Employment First Initiative to address barriers to successful employment for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Project goals and objectives:

  1. Equip high school students, and those who recently exited, to enter competitive employment.
  • Establish procedures for collecting student employment data.
  • Implement an employment model and peer mentoring program based on current successful practices.
  • Initiate a social media campaign to engage youth discussion regarding disability in employment.
  1. Accomplish cross-system implementation of Employment First principles.
  • Instill Employment First training across service systems.
  • Launch a statewide campaign to improve community perception of disability in employment.
  • Conduct benefits trainings to dispel myths regarding working and benefits.
  1. Provide supports for employers to promote hiring and retention of persons with disabilities.
  • Offer employer trainings about best practices in inclusive employment.
  • Implement a targeted campaign to improve employer perceptions of disability.
  • Publish a listing of supports for employers.
  • Host an employer summit to promote inclusive workforce development.

Project Partners:

Able South Carolina


Family Connection of SC

Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc.

SC Commission for the Blind

SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs

SC Department of Education

SC Department of Employment and Workforce

SC Department of Health & Human Services

SC Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

SC Developmental Disabilities Council

University of South Carolina, Center for Disability Resources

Walton Options for Independent Living