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Memphis-based SRVS Earns National Award for Disability Employment Integration Efforts

MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SRVS, Tennessee's largest provider of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has been recognized by the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) for its contributions supporting integrated community employment for people with disabilities.

SRVS and Memphis-based automobile parts and accessories retailer AutoZone were honored at the national APSE conference on June 24 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with SRVS winning "Best Practices" and AutoZone receiving the "Employer Award" for medium-sized employers. AutoZone employs seven people who are supported by SRVS and has shown strong support for hiring people with disabilities.

Employment First is a U.S. Department of Labor initiative created to assist states in implementing the system changes needed for the move to community-based employment. After being selected by the U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy as one of three Employment First Core States, Tennessee's Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities received funding to implement the state's Employment First initiative. SRVS embraced the initiative in 2013.

SRVS, (pronounced "serves"), received the "Best Practices" award for outstanding accomplishments in promoting state-of-the-art practices in Employment First, highlighted by the creation of training curriculum and establishment of a career center for job preparedness. Since participating in Employment First, SRVS has placed 26 individuals in full community-based, integrated employment with major employers in the city, including AutoZone.

"This recognition from APSE is validation that the shift toward community-based, integrated employment is the right move for those with disabilities," said Tyler Hampton, SRVS executive director. "We are honored to work with world-class organizations like AutoZone to make employment even more meaningful and to assist in bringing greater fulfillment to the lives of the people we support."

AutoZone received the "Employer Award" in the medium-sized business category for its inclusion of persons with disabilities alongside those without disability at its Memphis fulfillment center.

APSE advocates for Employment First as the only national organization with an exclusive focus on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for people with disabilities.

About SRVS

SRVS (pronounced serves), Shelby Residential and Vocational Services is Tennessee's largest provider of services for people with disabilities, offering a wide range of programs including day programs, community living, community-based employment and children's services, providing supports for 1,000 individuals. Founded in 1962, SRVS is the "Family Answer for Disabilities."

CONTACT: For more information, contact: Daniel Wade Obsidian Public Relations Phone: (901) 828-4428 Email: daniel@obsidianpr.com Anthony Hicks SRVS, Inc. Phone:901-312-6800 Email: Anthony.hicks@srvs.org

Source: SRVS