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Supporting Employment for People with Disabilities

A new online resource that allows people with disabilities and those who support them to make informed decisions about employment services has won a 2019 State Government Innovation Award from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Minnesota has embraced a philosophy as part of a national movement that calls for “Employment First,” an expectation that working-age people with disabilities can and want to work and achieve competitive employment alongside people without disabilities.

Many people with disabilities want an opportunity to be part of the general workforce, but don’t see how it’s possible or aren’t given resources they need to work. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) and its partners help people with disabilities find competitive, integrated employment.

The Employment First dashboards, developed by DHS staff, show employment outcomes for people with disabilities at the state, county, and service provider levels. Comparing these outcomes can provide useful information for individuals making decisions about services to help them find work or be successful in a job.

The DHS Employment First dashboards were among 10 winners of the 2019 innovation awards. More information on the awards program, including a list of the 2019 award winners, is available on the Humphrey School of Public Affairs website,

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