Wednesday, November 23, 2011

AtWork! client featured in national ODEP video

AtWork! is thrilled to have one of our clients featured in a new video by the US Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) about integrated employment in Washington State.

Darwin Lagos and his employer, Dunn Lumber, were one of two Washington State employment success stories featured in the video as demonstrating the best of integrated employment for people with disabilities. Darwin has been an AtWork! client since 2002, and has worked for Dunn Lumber since shortly after entering services.

The video will be used as part of ODEP’s Integrated Employment Toolkit, which is featured on ODEP’s website and can be viewed here. According to ODEP’s website, “ODEP has developed this Integrated Employment Toolkit to provide valuable information as individuals, community employment agencies, policymakers and others pursue integrated employment as the desired employment goal for youth and adults with disabilities. The Toolkit includes practical and, in some cases, adaptable information and documents to facilitate the movement of states, organizations and, most importantly, youth and adults to integrated employment as their primary option for employment.

Washington State plays a significant part in the toolkit due to our state’s longstanding commitment to integrated employment and the success of the Working Age Adult Policy. In a recent national review of states, Washington led the way with over 67% of people served by the state's system of developmental disabilities in integrated employment.

AtWork! was offered the chance to participate in the video through our involvement with the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment. AtWork! placed 33 people in integrated employment last fiscal year and currently supports 87 people who are working, paying taxes and living more independently.

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