(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) introduced Jane Boone, a Seattle-based Consultant with the State Employment Leadership Network, at the committee’s hearing this morning, “State Leadership and Innovation in Disability Employment.”

Senator Murray’s introduction is below and Ms. Boone’s full testimony is attached.

“I am very pleased to introduce our next witness.  As everyone here knows, Washington state has one of the most successful efforts to ensure that individuals with disabilities have full access to competitive, integrated employment opportunities.  It is a commitment that I have strongly supported, and I thank the Chairman for his continued and passionate leadership on these issues. 

“Jane Boone lives in Seattle and currently serves as a Consultant with the State Employment Leadership Network. Until this past January, she administered the Jobs by 21 Employment Partnership Project for the Washington State Division of Developmental Disabilities. In that position, she worked at the local, state and national level to put in place the collaborative practices, policies, and funding strategies needed for the state and nation’s workforce of persons with intellectual disabilities to get jobs and earn good wages. She administered an innovative funding strategy for pilot sites in Washington State so youth with intellectual disabilities could start work in a good job prior to school exit. Before moving to the state level, Jane spent 27 years working in Thurston and Mason Counties, and during her time there, both counties’ employment agencies closed their sheltered workshops and changed their business model to offer the support needed for working age adults with disabilities to work and earn real wages with community employers.

“Jane, welcome to today’s hearing, and thank you for all your work on these issues.  I want you to know that we all appreciate everything you’ve done to keep WA state and the United States out in front of providing quality employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  Thank you Mr. Chairman.