Inclusion in early childhood is the beginning of employment and independence as an adult.
The data supporting the positive effect on society and peoples attitudes towards individuals with an intellectual disability is immense, for a full review, resource, and training opportunities please see:
People with intellectual disability who are employed are twice as likely to be independent
People who are employed are more independent, people with ID who live independently are employed in the community setting 33% of the time where as people living with parents are employed 17% of the time and people living in institutions were employed 2%of the time.
The question remain though do people with ID even want employment. 46% of the people who were not employed surveyed wanted a job. However as part of their individual service plan (ISP), which is the plan the federal and state case workers come up with as part of the individuals life plan, work is listed only 13% of the time. That means the people who want to work are rarely being given the opportunity or is it even discussed.
Employing people with an intellectual disability is NOT CHARITY it is good business.
Many employers view this as charity however it has been shown that hiring people with ID does not affect productivity. In fact, safety was better, retention was better and overall there was a better culture across the company. Randy Lewis who is a retired VP of wall green wrote the book “NO Greatness without Goodness” and basically established, with data, that hiring people withID was, in fact, good business.
Employment for People with Intellectual disabilities varies greatly state by state. It depends both on services and employers. Below is a list of resources first nationally then locally for people and employers.
Project Search is the gold standard for youth and the business community. It involves primarily high school students and their final year of transition. It is a national organization we currently have 4 in our state.
On a National Level the ARC has national and state resources on both the employer side and individuals side check out the Arc@Work
Below are links to the most prominent employment vendors in Washington state/puget sound area but is far from complete:
For more info below are links to the local and state ARC as well as the King County site for a more complete inventory.
This is the link for the ARC of Washington
In King county below is the line for King county disabilities services
And for the ARC of king county
Washington is a leader in hiring initiatives and I have listed a few below.
• The Microsoft Hiring Autism hiring Initiative: https://news.microsoft.com/stories/people/kyle-schwaneke.html
• The Microsoft Supported Employment Hiring Initiative: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/procurement/diversity-sep.aspx
• The Amazon Hiring Initiative
• Snohomish County Hiring Initiative: https://snohomishcountywa.gov/3373/Supported-Employment
• City of Seattle: https://wahireability.org/spotlights/city-of-seattle
• King County Supported Employment Initiative: http://www.kingcounty.gov/audience/employees/safety-claims/disability-services/supported-employment.aspx
• Woodinville Fire District
• City of Bothell
Stories: Stories are extremely important and need to be available to employers.
• 'Building and Inclusive Community' https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=_8SiIPvNbrY
• 'An Opportunity for Ordinary': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQqQTb5Ssd8&t=31s
Technical Supports for Employers:
• Washington Initiative for Supported Employment http://gowise.org/
Legislative and Efforts
• Employment First: http://gowise.org/resources/employment-first/general-information/