What Guides Us

Building a Better Tomorrow

When NW Works was started in 1970, our founders wanted to create a space where people with disabilities were afforded the same employment opportunities that others receive. While our organization has grown, our vision for a more equitable future has remained the same.

Our Vision

We envision a society in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, where all people are afforded equal opportunities to meet their goals. We will strive to obtain this through informing, educating, and being a resource for those we serve and partner.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower adults with disabilities and individuals with barriers to employment to build skills and secure and sustain meaningful employment.

Our Values

We strive to build an environment that is person-centered, where all people are treated with dignity and respect, and they have goal-oriented and individualized opportunities for success.

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement

Inclusion and Belonging Starts With Us 

NW Works was founded over 50 years ago with the mission of supporting adults with disabilities and individuals with other barriers to employment towards sustainable and meaningful employment. Since the beginning, our vision exemplified the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We have always aimed to emphasize our shared humanity through all of our work. This goal led the organization to develop a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and access within our own community.

As an organization, we aim to promote the voices, identities, and leadership of marginalized groups – including on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, age, disability, and economic status.  We aim to fulfill the following commitments to the individuals we serve, staff, community partners, families, advocacy teams, and other community members: 

  1. Create an equitable and inclusive space, where belonging is emphasized. 
  2. Uphold the human rights and dignity of all, regardless of disability, including intersectional identities. 
  3. Implement practices that ensure equitable and inclusive hiring, retention, pay, growth, and success of marginalized groups. 
  4. Engage the larger community to ensure we are reaching all people with disabilities, their families, and advocacy teams. 

These commitments are consistent with the mission, vision, and values of NW Works. We are moving forward towards being a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, just, and access-driven organization and community where all of our members feel welcome, celebrated, and able to thrive.

Employment First

NW Works is proud to support the growing national movement Employment First, a framework for systems change that is centered on the premise that all citizens, including individuals with significant disabilities, are capable of full participation in integrated employment and community life. At NW Works, our model of Employment First prioritizes finding community integrated employment options for people with disabilities before assessing them for our social and life-skills programs, such as Community Engagement and Day Support. We will still continue our in-house programs, but our priority is to promote integrated opportunities wherever possible. Employment First is a critical priority for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), is to invest in systems change efforts that result in increased community-based, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. Learn more about the DOL’s efforts.

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