The literature about effective support practices for assisting job seekers with disabilities is extensive. However, employment consultants do not always implement these practices consistently. This suggests that there is a need for articulating these practices into a clearer, more easily communicated support guide. To meet this need, this brief provides a checklist of support activities, organized around five key elements:
Job development means finding and creating employment opportunities. Use the links below to learn more about the best ways to approach job development when supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
What is autism and why does most autism information seem to be about children? We will discuss the emerging understanding of the features of ADULTS with autism. We will also discuss a few autism employment initiatives that focus on the VALUE of workers with autism. The success of these programs highlights the importance of placement planning and making a good job match. Toward the end of the session, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has autism will join us briefly to share his insider's perspective on supporting people with autism.
Individuals with ASD can work but need to be matched with jobs that build on their strengths and interests. Consideration needs to be given to the demands of particular jobs, the physical and social environments, and how instruction or accommodations can be provided that will make success possible. This brief discusses strategies for support and planning, collaboration, creative strategizing, and an intimate understanding of the person with ASD as a unique individual to make success possible.
In view of the CMS settings rule, Employment First Policies and other federal and state initiatives, organizational transformation is once again receiving considerable attention. Join us to share your perspectives about how your state and the DD provider organizations within them are addressing this highly important aspect of systems change and service delivery.
Job developers can influence decision-making during the job search and placement process. For a study exploring the employment decisions of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), researchers interviewed 16 individuals with IDD, their family members, and professionals involved in their job search. Participants were asked what factors, circumstances, or people affected their decisions about work. The job developer was consistently named the most influential person in the job-search process.
Michigan's Department of Community Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Administration (MDCH) has expressed a strong desire to improve the state's employment outcomes among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Set against this desire is a major obstacle: Michigan is among the states hardest hit by the continuing economic recession, with the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
Sponsored by Wisconsin's Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) through the use of Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG) funds, Wisconsin's Job Development Mentors Project (JDMP) pairs three seasoned job developers with four community-based employment support providers that cover 12 counties throughout the state.
Via of the Lehigh Valley is a CRP headquartered in Bethlehem, PA. Since 2008, Via and local high schools have provided customized employment services so that transition-age students graduate into well-matched, meaningful careers.
Via’s transition program is supported by funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The energy of students and their families has also driven the search for innovative employment services.