For Immediate Release
April 3, 2012

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Kansas Employment First Summit II for Disability Services is April 4-5 in Topeka

Governor to Deliver Opening Remarks

Topeka, Kan.—The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities are scheduled to host the Kansas Employment First Summit II: The Kansas Score Card on April 4 and 5 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel’s Maner Conference Center in Topeka. This cross-disability summit brings together consumers, their family members, service providers, educators and state agency staff interested in employment initiatives and programs such as KDHE’s Working Healthy. National experts will present on the topic of integrated, competitive employment for people with disabilities.

Governor Sam Brownback will welcome the summit participants at 10 a.m. on April 4 in the Sunflower Ballroom. In May 2011, the Governor signed into law House Bill 2336, the Kansas Employment First Initiative Act, requiring state programs and services to promote the employment of youth and adults with disabilities. This is to ensure programs, policies, procedures and funding are supporting competitive, integrated employment. The law authorizes state agencies to adopt rules and regulations to implement the act.

The keynote address will be delivered by David Hoff of the Institute on Community Inclusion. His presentation, Kansas is an Employment First State. Now what do we do?, will discuss Kansas’ role as a national leader in terms of a legislative mandate for Employment First and the need to make Kansas a national leader in employment results for individuals with disabilities. Concurrent sessions will follow, including a presentation on KanCare by Department on Aging Secretary Shawn Sullivan and a stakeholder input meeting facilitated by members of the Employment First Oversight Commission.   

The final session, Employment First: The Law, The Oversight Commission and Your Input, will be hosted by the Employment First Oversight Commission and is open to the public whether or not they have attended the entire Summit.

The first Employment First Summit was held in 2010 and featured speakers from throughout the United States sharing best practices regarding employment and youth and adults with disabilities. This second summit will focus on where Kansas is today by featuring state experts sharing practices and strategies designed to establish integrated, competitive employment as the first priority for Kansans with disabilities. 

More information about the Employment First Summit can be found online at  http://employment-first.info/.