What Jobs for People with Disabilities are Possible?
As integration of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the workforce becomes a more mainstream practice, the question, “what jobs for people with disabilities are possible?” generates an ever increasing list of opportunities. Although there are some interesting challenges that come with employing people who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, the ever increasing awareness and support for employment of said individuals mean that more and more companies are participating and seeing the benefits. “Everybody recognizes that there’s an ethical argument for hiring persons with such disabilities, but what employers really want to know is whether it also makes financial sense,” says advocate Jim Runyon. The answer, he says, is a resounding yes!
Supported Employment Leads the Way
Supported employment programs like the ones offered at Sample Supports provide individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities the opportunity for employment in viable and valid work scenarios with supportive assistance on-site and as needed. The key to the success of these services is their focus on tailoring employment to fit each individual’s strengths and therefore matching each individual with the appropriate employer and job position. What jobs for people with disabilities are possible lends a unique answer based on each individual case. Supported employment programs are integral in facilitating learning for both the employer and employee, and in providing resources for both parties to ensure that the employee can not just carry out a chosen job, but thrive at it. While the concept of supported employment has been in use for some years, recently it has received increased attention as an integral component of programming to afford better access for those with disabilities to significant and comprehensive work venues.
What Job Opportunities for People with Disabilities are Possible?
“For people who are not disabled, oftentimes they’re overwhelmed by too many expectations. For people with disabilities, they’re not given a fair shake because people don’t expect enough of them,” says Wayne McMillan, president and CEO of Bobby Dodd Institute, a vocational rehabilitation provider in Atlanta. “We believe each individual has a contribution to make, and they can do that if given an opportunity.” This sentiment is one that is steadily growing and as a result, the variety of opportunities available are also growing! With the right supported employment program, individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities can be employed in a wide variety of sectors. If you are looking for tried and true work environments that have proven successful in the past, there are a handful of industries that are perfect for utilizing the specific skill set held by those with disabilities.
Service or Hospitality Jobs can be great for those with disabilities, as they tend to engage these individuals on a human level. These types of jobs require the use of inherent traits within these individuals that are universally positive, such as compassion and empathy and can encourage the growth of social skills.
Agricultural Work can bring a sense of peace and fulfillment to those with disabilities, as these types of jobs provide a goal-based work environment where tangible results are achieved. In addition, the social pressure is minimal which can be helpful to those who do not flourish in social situations.
Office Positions provide the perfect environment for successful completion of repetitive tasks and require minimal on-the-job training. These types of jobs can be more satisfying for those with disabilities than those without and when these positions are filled by individuals with disabilities, it is often an asset to a company’s success.
Assembly Jobs are the most common form of employment for individuals with disabilities. These types of jobs provide the ability to learn in small steps through repetition, a structure that is perfect for the skill set of many of these individuals.
The Job Search
Since you now know what jobs for people with disabilities are possible, it’s time to get out there and start the search! At Sample Supports, our Supported Employment Program allows our clients not only to have jobs, but to have jobs they enjoy! “The photo they texted me half way through the night of my boy, working away with the biggest smile on his face was the best thing I had ever seen!” - the mother of an individual receiving disability services. Check out our list of community employment partners to find your dream job today!