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State as Model Employer (SAME)

How can a state influence the employment rates of people with disabilities? The answer is simple: through leading by example! This page reviews State as Model Employer (SAME) and houses Advancing Employment's SAME resources.


All of these materials can be used to advocate for SAME in Georgia. Together, we can do this!

What is SAME?

State as Model Employer (SAME) is a policy that would require state agencies to set goals for the recruitment and retention of people with disabilities. SAME policies put the state in position to be a leading example for employers throughout the state.

Where is it now?

Currently, more than twenty states have SAME policies enacted either through executive orders by governors or by legislation. As of January 2023, here are the states that are already trying to maximize inclusiveness and prosperity through SAME:

Executive Orders:



New Mexico















Alaska (EO. 104 & Article 1 39.25.150)

California (EO. S-4-05 & AB 925)

Delaware (EO. 30 & L. 5904A)

Maine (EO. 2 & LD No.1910)

Minnesota (EO. 14-14 & 43A.19)

New York (EO. 6 & S55-C)

Washington (EO.13-2 & HB1636)

Louisiana (EO. 18-8 & HB 143)

Why implement SAME in Georgia?

  • SAME establishes the state as a leader in inclusive hiring best-practices creating an example for private-sector employers to follow.

  • Supported employees returned an average annual net benefit to taxpayers of $3,016.08 per supported employee, and generated a benefit–cost ratio of $1.46 for every dollar spent. (Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities - TASH)

  • The National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association have both highlighted SAME as a bipartisan issue that state legislatures should adopt based on the economic opportunities presented.

  • Inclusive hiring of people with disabilities strengthens our communities by making sure that everyone has a meaningful part to play.

  • The state's benefits of enacting SAME outweigh the costs of not acting - both economically and socially.

  • Implementing SAME is the right thing to do!

How to create SAME

  • Use formal mechanisms to enact SAME - either legislation, executive order, or both

  • Create infrastructure (e.g., cabinet-level position, interagency working group) and strategic plan to maximize the likelihood that employment-related and other issues are addressed by government agencies at the earliest stages of policy development, design, implementation and evaluation.

  • Adopt workforce analyses and hiring goals for people with disabilities comparable to those applicable to race, national origin and gender.

  • Adopt hiring systems, including fast-track hiring systems.

  • Adopt policies and procedures to facilitate advancement and retention.

  • Implement Stay-at-Work, Return-to-Work programs, policies and practices for state employment.

  • Provide training and information to state personnel.

SAME One-Pager

Click the button below to download a copy of Advancing Employment's One-Pager relating to SAME in Georgia. A portion of the webinar found below details the document. The One-Pager is a concise and easily sharable resource to created further SAME in Georgia. Please share far and wide!

State as Model Employer Webinar

October 18, 2022

  • Speaker(s) Doug Crandell, MFA, Advancing Employment Director and Rikki David, Louisiana State ADA Coordinator’s Office


Description: This session reviews the State as Model Employer (SAME) efforts in other states, focusing on how state agencies, not just those related to disability, can accommodate, customize, and prioritize employment initiatives that are inclusive of disability. We review and discuss the one-pager related to SAME.

Accompanying Documents:

Georgia SAME Milestones

  • January 2020: The Community of Practice votes to prioritize SAME

  • October 2020: First meeting of the Georgia SAME Workgroup occurs

  • January 2021: SAME becomes an official Advancing Employment Policy Imperative

  • September 2021: SAME Workgroup in Georgia meets with Tennessee Counterparts

  • October 2021: SAME webinar for Georgia during NDEAM (National Disability Employment Awareness Month)

  • January 2022: SAME is voted by CoP as part of the top three policy imperatives to focus on

  • February-August 2022: Georgia Workgroup continues to meet

  • September 2022: One-pager on SAME is created by Advancing Employment for dissemination (document is shared with politicians and attendees of GCDD’s Candidate’s Forum)

  • October 2022: As the capstone to Georgia’s NDEAM initiatives, an event is held at the Carter Center where attendees assisted with crafting a blueprint for SAME in Georgia

  • January 2023: A name is adopted for Georgia’s SAME initiative: GAME, or Georgia as Model Employer, with the tagline: Georgia’s Got GAME! A goal motto is also created: “GAME-National Champions in State as Model Employer!”

  • Next Steps: GCDD Legislative Day for Employment-disseminate one-pager and Executive Order example

Questions or suggestions about SAME in Georgia?

Feel free to reach out to Advancing Employment's staff!

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