Employment First

Employment First


“Employment” is defined as regular or customized employment in the workforce.

  • Where employees with disabilities are included on the payroll of a competitive business or industry
  • Where the assigned employment tasks offer at least minimum or prevailing wages and benefits
  • Where there are ordinary opportunities for integration and interaction with co-workers without disabilities, with customers, and with the general public


Harbor Regional Center opposes segregated employment and sub-minimum wage for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities; we seek to promote public policy:

  • That restricts the expenditure of public funds to businesses who segregate employees with disabilities from the general workforce;
  • That ends the ability of employers to pay employees with disabilities a sub-minimum wage;
  • That discontinues programs that emphasize moving young adults from the classroom to a segregated or sub-minimum wage employment environment.


Harbor Regional Center believes that employment should be the first priority and preferred option for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities

and is fiercely committed to expecting, encouraging, providing, creating and rewarding integrated employment in the workforce at minimum or competitive wages and benefits. Accordingly:


Resources for Entrepreneurs

From respect ability

Federal Disability Entrepreneurship Resources

The federal government has collected and published a wide range of information to assist entrepreneurs with disabilities to become successful. As published by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), these assets include:

Entrepreneurship Resources — Information about self-employment and starting a business from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a free service of ODEP.