With the persistently low competitive employment rate for working-age people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), a main focus area for the field of disability research has been on the interaction between the individual and the service system. Yet we know much less about the interaction between systems and families around employment.
Parents and siblings provide a variety of supports for their family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more about how these families give and get support, including how cultural background plays in, and how provider agencies can work with family members.
Project Income was a joint venture between the Tennessee Microboards Association (statewide organization that supports individual microboards, which procure and oversee supports and services) and People First of Tennessee (a statewide self-advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities). The focus of the project was to educate people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their families about the benefits of and opportunities for community employment.
Family is important for many reasons: family members can motivate people to work, and can help them understand why work is important. Families can also have a big influence on self-determination and empowerment, helping people develop a real understanding of themselves and their place in the workplace. Their involvement is important throughout a person's life.
Friendship is important for all of us! This includes people with and without disabilities. People often feel better and happier when they have friends. As part of a research project about the choices people with disabilities make about work, we interviewed 16 people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). These people also chose family members and professional staff people for us to interview. We asked them how they made decisions about working and making friends.