Assisting Job Seekers with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Guide for Employment Consultants

Interviews with employment consultants reveal 5 key elements for supporting job seekers with disabilities. This brief describes 5 key elements for supporting job seekers with intellectual and developmental disabilities in finding individual paid employment:

  1. Building trust
  2. Getting to know the job seeker
  3. Addressing supports planning
  4. Finding tasks/jobs
  5. Providing support after hire

A checklist organized around these 5 key elements makes it easier for employment consultants to understand and implement these support practices.

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Key recommendations

Build trust.

Building trust with job seekers increases the chances of better job matches, and minimizes the need for support after hire.

Get to know the job seeker.

Getting to know a job seeker must result in a clear statement of job search criteria, including both negotiable and nonnegotiable factors.

Address supports planning.

It’s never too early to plan for transportation solutions, work incentives, and building job seekers’ self-confidence.

Find tasks, not just jobs.

Look for tasks, not jobs. This approach expands opportunities and encourages thinking outside the box.

Support the new employee after the hire.

Ensure new employees’ participation in typical supports available to all, such as orientation, training, and social activities.

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