The Wise annual report for 2017-18 is available now, click here!
Each year our staff and associates set out to provide high quality training and technical assistance first within the Pacific Northwest and second to those seeking to improve integrated employment in their locations. You’ll find in the report that during this past year we provided thousands of hours of training and technical assistance across Washington and Oregon.
Along the way we observed several themes of note. National trends continue to lean heavily toward increasing competitive integrated employment service enrollment, delivery and outcomes. Many states are implementing minimum training standards and seeking stateside training and technical assistance services to build employment service capacity. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities continue to seek quality community-based services and supports, yet funding and service capacity lag the demand. The passion and leadership for employment equity continues to grow with veteran and emerging leaders in self advocacy demanding at least minimum wages and jobs that help meet employer needs. For example, from her closing remarks at the 2017 WA State Employment First Forum, Ivanova Smith shares the following:
“When people say some can’t work! Or some can’t live in community or some can’t make minimum wage it hurts all of us. We all can work! We all can benefit from inclusion in community! We need to end systems that allow for oppression based on functioning labels. Even if all a person can do it smile that is enough! They are valued Person. We all are human beings that deserve the dignity of work and community! That is why am for Employment First for all!”
We hope that you enjoy reading our report as much as we enjoyed developing it and delivering the work!