Norine Jaloway Gill has been newly appointed by Commissioner Janek of the Health and Human Services Commission to a 27-member Task Force with the mission to introduce, devise and promote the philosophy and practice of “Employment First” for people with disabilities. Promoted by advocates during the Texas 83rd Legislative Session in 2013, Employment First is a national movement to ensure people with disabilities receive services and support that allows them to get and keep a real job with a typical business or employer, paid a competitive wage. This effort is a culmination of over 30-years of activity to change institutional practices that shut people with disabilities out of the American mainstream workforce.
The impact of Employment First reaches many agencies including Vocational Rehabilitation, Medicaid/Medicare, Social Security Administration, Education and Workforce Commission. The programs and services that feed the Employment First initiative promote evidence-based practices such as supported employment, customized employment, supported self-employment, employment networks, social security work incentives and community-based instruction for youth. The first meeting of the Employment First Task Force is Wednesday, April 23 in Austin, TX.