Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is Arizona's Medicaid agency. AHCCCS offers health care programs. People who meet certain income and other requirements can get free health insurance through AHCCCS.
Assistive Technology (AT) includes products and tools that people who have disabilities can use at work, school, home, and in the community. AT can help people to be more independent and productive. AT can help people to communicate, move, reach things, keep track of things, and much more! There are thousands of examples. A few examples are communication boards, screen readers, phone apps, and computer programs. To learn more, you can visit Arizona Technology Access Program (AzTAP)’s website.
When you see the word “benefits” on this website it usually means government benefits. A few examples of government benefits are SSI (Supplemental Security Income), SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), AHCCCS (i.e. Medicaid), and Medicare. There are many other examples. The federal government decides who can get these benefits to help with income, health care, and other needs. There are income limits for some benefits, like SSI and AHCCCS.
Employers also offer benefits to workers. Examples include sick time, vacation time, and health insurance.
Center-based employment is work that takes place in segregated facilities. These facilities are sometimes called sheltered workshops. Only people with disabilities work in center-based employment. Many sheltered workshops pay less than minimum wage. This is not a desired employment outcome under Employment First.
Competitive integrated employment means jobs in the community. These jobs can be full-time or part-time. Competitive employment means that people who have disabilities and people who do not have disabilities get paid the same for doing the same jobs. People get paid minimum wage or more. People who have disabilities get the same kinds of benefits as people who do not have disabilities. Integrated employment means that people who have and do not have disabilities work together.
Department of Economic Security is a state agency. It is part of the Arizona government. DES offers many programs to help Arizonans. For example, there are DES programs that help with food, child care, and jobs. The agency’s vision is that all Arizonans will be safe and economically secure.
Disability Benefits 101-Arizona (AZ DB 101) provides information and online tools to help people learn about benefits, health insurance, and work. People can use the tools to plan ahead, and to learn how their benefits and work can go together.
The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) is a state program. The program helps people who have developmental disabilities. People who are eligible for this program can get help with health care, and many types of support. For example, DDD can help people train for jobs and help them keep jobs. The DDD and Vocational Rehabilitation programs can work together.
At the state level, an executive order is a formal order that is issued by the state governor. An executive order gives instructions and rules. In November 2017, Governor Ducey issued an executive order that says that Arizona is an Employment First state. To learn more, check out our success story.
A job coach is a professional who can help an employee who has a disability to be successful at work. For example, a job coach can help an employee to build on-the-job skills and positive work habits. A job coach can help an employee to learn the steps to finish tasks at work. Usually, a job coach will spend more time with an employee when they first start a new job. Vocational Rehabilitation and DDD can sometimes help pay for job coaching.
A MOU is a formal document that outlines an agreement between two or more parties. For example, it could be an agreement between an employer and a state agency. It is not legally binding.
Micro-enterprises are a type of small business. They have a fairly small budget, and employ a small number of people (usually less than ten people). Some people who have disabilities own micro-enterprises. Owners make decisions, and oversee the business.
The minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate that employers need to pay workers. There are a few exceptions. In 2019, the Arizona minimum wage is $11.00 an hour. In 2020, the minimum wage will increase to $12.00 an hour. Some cities and counties have passed their own minimum wage laws, so the minimum wage could be higher where you live. You can learn more about the minimum wage on the Department of Labor’s website.
NTACT is a technical assistance project. NTACT helps education agencies, Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, and employment service providers. NTACT shares information and resources about evidence-based practices that help students who have disabilities to prepare for work and postsecondary education.
Project SEARCH is a program for youth transitioning out of high school. It is a one-year program to help students prepare for employment. Project SEARCH partners with businesses to provide career exploration, classroom instruction, and hands-on work experience through worksite rotations. There are Project SEARCH sites across the country. To learn more about Project SEARCH in Arizona, visit this webpage on Project SEARCH.
School-Community-Business (SCB) Partnerships are collaborations. Educators, employers, service providers, and government agencies work together in these partnerships. The goal of the partnerships is to help students who have disabilities to prepare for life and work after high school.
Self-advocacy means speaking up to share your choices and ask for what you need. It means knowing your rights and options. People who have disabilities often advocate for themselves with people, agencies, and representatives. You can get help to learn how to self-advocate in ways that help you reach your goals. You can search this website for resources that have to do with self-advocacy.
Self-determination means that you get to make choices about where you live, work, and play. It means you are in the driver’s seat of your life. Self-determination often involves self-advocacy, which means speaking up for yourself. You can ask for help to make choices, and learn skills to help with self-determination.
Self-Employment is a type of employment. If you are self-employed it means that you have your own business and decide your own hours and job tasks. You are responsible for making decisions about your business.
Supplemental Security Income is an income supplement from the federal government. It is designed to help older people and people with disabilities who have little or no income. It provides cash to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.
A stakeholder is a person or group who cares about a topic. Employment First stakeholders care about increasing employment opportunities for people who have disabilities. Examples include:
People who have disabilities
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a state program. The program helps people with disabilities to get and keep jobs. People who are eligible for the program can get many types of services to help them prepare for work. The program also helps students with disabilities to explore careers.
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) was signed into law in 2014. The purpose of the law is to strengthen the nation’s public workforce system. The law is meant to improve systems to help job seekers to get high-quality jobs, and to help employers hire skilled workers. WIOA created new programs, and led to changes to existing programs. WIOA encourages coordination between programs and systems related to employment.
See Center-Based Employment.