WIOA Section 511 Employment First Taskforce Joint Guidance
Section 511 of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) applies to youth 24 years old or younger and is intended to ensure youth with disabilities have every opportunity to pursue competitive, integrated employment.
Section 511 outlines a series of steps to be completed prior to payment of subminimum wage. This provision of the Act became effective on July 22 of this year.
It is understandable that these changes have prompted many questions about how this new process will be completed and documented. The Employment First Taskforce agencies, including Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD), and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, understand their systems play a role in providing supports and services that empower youth to choose and succeed in competitive, integrated employment. The Taskforce agencies jointly developed policy guidance to ensure compliance with Section 511, in alignment with Ohio’s Employment First Policy.
This guidance will reflect Ohio’s priorities, including:
- The expectation that youth with disabilities should have opportunities to pursue competitive, integrated employment, and employment must be considered in every person-centered plan;
- Person-centered planning is key to effective services and supports and should ensure a balance of what is important to and for a person, and
- Services should take place in the most integrated setting, and be appropriate to the individual’s identified goals and outcomes