COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
May 4, 2012
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
The 2012 General Assembly has passed Senate Joint Resolution 127, which encourages the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to adopt and implement Employment First practices in providing and coordinating services to Virginians with disabilities.
Senate Joint Resolution 127 also requires that the Secretary of Health and Human Resources and the Superintendent of Public Instruction provide copies of this resolution to their respective constituents so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly on this matter.
The Employment First initiative is a declaration of philosophy and policy that employment is the first priority and preferred outcome for people with disabilities, including those with complex and significant disabilities. Employment First provides individuals with disabilities with valuable resources needed to maximize employment opportunities. The Department recognizes Employment First as a viable choice for students who are transitioning into the work force. The Department is an active partner with the State Employment Leadership Network along with other state agencies and community stakeholders.
A copy of the resolution is attached to this memorandum. I encourage all school divisions to consider the Employment First initiative as a tool for work force transition. Further information may be obtained from the Employment First Web site at http://www.employmentfirst.net/.