Leadership in Florida


Who is working to support employment in Florida?

For many years, state leaders and agencies in Florida have worked hard to make sure that people with disabilities receive the help they need to get a job in the community. Leaders and agencies have come together to make Employment First happen in Florida. Read about the work of the Governor's Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities, the Employment First Partnership Coalition, the Employment First Collaborative Team, and the EmployME1st Florida Project to learn more about how these groups are working together on Employment First Florida. You can read a summary of how Employment First Florida was developed and what it has accomplished here.

The Governor's Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities

Governor Scott created a group called the Governor's Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities. The Commission’s goal is to identify the challenges facing people with disabilities who want to work and to provide ideas on how to create more opportunities for people to find jobs, make money, and participate in their community. For more info, visit http://www.flgov.com/gcjfd/ or contact the Governor’s Commission: David Darm: (850) 245-0551 or David.Darm@dbs.fldoe.org

What is the Employment First Executive Order? [PDF]

In 2013, Governor Scott signed Executive Order 13-284. The Executive Order asked that state agencies work together to make it easier for people with disabilities to find and keep a job in the community. The Executive Order also says that in Florida employment for people with disabilities, including people with IDD, is a job working in the community, earning minimum wage or more, and with the goal of earning enough money to support oneself. 

The Executive Order also asked state agencies in Florida to develop a plan on how they will work together to support Employment First Florida. This is called an Interagency Cooperative Agreement. Learn more about the Interagency Cooperative Agreement [PDF]

Important documents from the Commission

Employment First Partnership Coalition

This is a group of agencies and organizations that support people with disabilities. This group’s job is to help coordinate and implement Florida's Employment First activities.

Employment First Collaborative Team

This is a smaller team whose members come from the Employment First Partnership Coalition's partner agencies and organizations. The Collaborative Team helps agencies and organizations with their Employment First goals.

The EmployME1st Florida Project

The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) is helping these groups with this important project. The ICI’s work is funded through the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, and is called the EmployME1st project. You can read about it on this website or contact Jean Winsor at jean.winsor@umb.edu for more information.

Other leaders and agencies are working to support employment. These include:

  • Florida Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities
  • Florida Department of Education, Division of Blind Services
  • Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
  • CareerSource Florida
  • Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  • Agency for Persons with Disabilities
  • Florida Department of Children and Families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health
  • Florida Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities