Employment First Model


New Brunswick has implemented an ‘Employment First’ model.


The employment First philosophy is focused on normative experience, inclusion, and capacity building. It recognizes that everyone has skills and abilities that can be developed and used to contribute to the workplace and to their community. Employment First is considered a best practice in disability services. It is an approach to service delivery that supports working-age adults, regardless of any perceived level of disability, to have choice and opportunities to earn a living through paid employment in the open labour market.


All working age people with a disability can make a valuable contribution to the New Brunswick labour market through integrated, equitably compensated employment within the general workforce, entrepreneurship or self-employment. From an employment first philosophy, if an individual is perceived to have a degree of a disability that appears to prevent their employment participation, this is due to an inability on the part of support services to communicate on the required level with the person or an inability to design a system of effective supports which allow the person to succeed.

Opportunity and support to participate in the open labour market significantly improves independence and quality of life of people with a disability, while at the same time providing the opportunity to become more involved with their community.

NBASSE is working with all of our agencies to support this new model.



ADAPT Access to Employment Pilot Project (2014-2017)


In May 2014, the New Brunswick Association for Supported Services and Employment (NBASSE) in partnership with the New Brunswick Association for Community Living (NBACL) began a three year pilot project aimed at supporting ADAPT Program agencies to facilitate employment in the community (for minimum wage or better) for agency participants. The project team worked with six ADAPT agencies to develop person-centred and individualized services that seek to enhance the inclusion of all agency participants in their communities. This project was about strengthening the ability of ADAPT agencies to support people to work and participate in the community. It recognized that agencies provided a range of services and that people who were not working would still require assistance to learn and to have meaningful lives in our communities.

This project was funded by the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

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