Advocates need to take the time to step up and comment on the workgroups recommendations on the Employment First Strategic Plan.

Many individuals have spent a lot of time and effort creating these recommendations and now you can add your thoughts and recommendations as well.

See details to make comments below.


The Employment First Executive Order called for the development of a Strategic Plan to implement Employment First in Illinois. The plan includes strategies for:

  1. Improving strategies and supports necessary to make disability employment part of the state workforce development strategy, prioritize integrated employment as the first option for people with disabilities, and increase integrated community employment;
  2. Identifying and implementing policy changes to align with the goals of Employment First;
  3. Finding and supporting businesses in their efforts to employ people with disabilities;
  4. Transition planning and services in full compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Illinois School Code which prepare youth with disabilities for careers that use their full potential, including early career awareness and work experience. Creating the necessary infrastructure to accomplish these goals; and
  5. Establish benchmarks and collecting data to track employment outcomes.

The Task Force established several work groups to develop the Strategic Plan. Each workgroup was co-chaired by a public member and a State Agency member of the Task Force. Each work group was comprised of public and state agency members of the task force, additional state agency representation as appropriate, members of the public including service providers, educational entities, persons with disabilities and employers.

Each work group met over a series of months via teleconference and in-person meetings to develop the Strategic Plan recommendations. Initial drafts were reviewed by the Task Force and State Agencies prior to releasing the draft to the public for additional review. Comments are sought from the public at this time to ensure that the Strategic Plan represents a broad range of perspectives on this issue.

Comments will come in without filter, be incorporated as determined applicable by the subcommittees and taskforce as a whole, and then the entire set of recommendations will be submitted to the Governor’s Office, the Illinois State Legislature, and relevant state agencies.

The web address is:

There is a link to the open comment page on the right hand side of this page.

How to Read and Comment on Workgroup Activities

The open comment period ends 6/28/16

To read workgroup suggestions and make comments,

Please click on one of the workgroups listed on the top right of this page.

You will be taken to a webpage where the workgroup’s recommendation areas are described by activity.

Click on the activity you want to learn about

Offer feedback by clicking on the comment page link at the bottom of the page 5.

Lore Baker
Statewide Housing and Employment First Coordinator
IDHS-Office of the Secretary
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, IL  62762
p 217.782.6865
c 217.299.4502

tony signature
Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)