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Innovation is at the heart of Ohio’s Employment First initiative, driving us towards a brighter, more inclusive future for all. Explore the significance of innovation and how it plays a pivotal role in reshaping our approach to supporting Ohioans with developmental disabilities in their pursuit of meaningful employment and fulfilling lives.

Innovation challenges us to think differently, question the status quo, and explore new possibilities. As we seek to improve employment opportunities, embracing change through innovation is essential.

At the core of innovation lies the value of relationships. Innovation is created and sustained by leveraging relationships and shared experiences to shape a more responsive and person-driven system. We acknowledge the power of interconnectedness, understanding that we expand what is possible when we come together with a shared purpose.

Our society is evolving rapidly, and the challenges faced within the developmental disability system are becoming increasingly complex. Innovation allows us to adapt, tackle these challenges head-on, and develop creative strategies to address them.

Innovation thrives through collaboration. By bringing together people being supports, families, communities, service providers, and other stakeholders, we harness the collective wisdom, creativity, and expertise needed to drive positive change. Collaborative innovation ensures that every voice is heard, and every perspective is considered.

Every person has unique talents, abilities, and aspirations. Innovation allows us to create tailored solutions that meet diverse needs. It empowers us to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches and instead craft individualized pathways to employment and community inclusion.

Innovation isn’t just about quick fixes; it’s about building sustainable, long-term solutions. It enables us to develop strategies that support competitive integrated employment outcomes, deliver person-centered supports, and establish funding models that endure over time. Sustainable innovation ensures that the progress we make today will benefit generations to come.

Ohio has established a wealth of resources and opportunities to cultivate innovation and drive system change.