Talking with employers about possibility of working together without much specificity gives the employer opportunities unity to come up with ideas. Too often IMHO professionals try to pigeonhole a Dooley rather than start broadly and let the employer take the lead in developing I get jobs.
Some employers are hesitant to employ people with disabilities due to fears they won't be as productive as a "typical" peer. Forums to educate business leaders might include: Chambers of Commerce, annual meetings for certain professional organizations, etc. Perhaps these presentations can be done in collaboration with local colleges who offer educational programs or majors related to disabilities, business, human resources... more »
One strategy that has been successful for me with my students is attending career/job fairs. This gives the students an opportunity to practice their conversation and social skills and allows me time to network with hiring professionals and share my students abilities and career goals. Many of my students have been able to secure jobs through this strategy.
Our state department of education is developing a transition toolkit with information for school, families, etc. including a timeline.
As a person with a disability with limited resources, one needs employment services that look at one's strength's and builds upon those. Not just planning around one's disability.
The high cost of sign language interpreter services creates a "cost-disincentive" for employers of deaf people. Public funding of VRI is needed to remove that barrier. (Consider the Video Relay Services now available at no cost to users). This remains a serious employment barrier for deaf people.
In September, 2016, 19.8 percent of individuals with a disability 16 years old and older participated in our nation's labor force, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That figure for people without disabilities was 68.7 percent. Here's how we could make some real progress in raising that employment rate among individuals with disabilities in the United States: Provide individuals with opportunities for self-reflection... more »
Look at evidence-based best practices for use of AT in employment. Note that IEPs must consider the use of AT as well. There are even some loaner or recycle AT agencies to help with cost.
A person can have the most technical skill, however if s/he is lacking the ability to work with Suzy on a project s/he could be fired. There needs to be training for individuals on soft skills. I have conversations with friends without disabilities in regards to their soft skills; when I discuss their reactions in the workplace, they realize that it wasn't appropriate and there's a need to develop certain soft skills.... more »
The use of DISCOVERY activities to get to know the student and their unique interests, motivators, preferences, strengths, approaches to learning, support system, etc. I have found that this method takes me more successfully to the right employers in the community!
Collaboration between the Centers for Independent Living during transition will help maximize independence for students with disabilities. This should begin with the first IEP addressing transition, usually age 16 (but in some states like NJ age 14).
The state Vocational Rehab agency expects that my son would go through the normal process of getting a job. Due to severe anxiety, he would have to be introduced to job slowly and then be hired after the anxiety dissipated (6 weeks) and he could then be "hired" or chose not to continue if job was not correct.
Some successful employment opportunities have come from parents or professionals who start businesses designed to train and employ people with disabilities. (there are several in Colorado) Enact legislation to provide tax credits or other incentives to start businesses which employ people with disabilities. Do case studies on these successful business models and disseminate this information to the broader community... more »
There should be a college that accepts a child's "diploma" without it being costly for the parent(s) and or the child wanting to further his/her education. Being a mother of a child who does not have a "normal diploma" but wishes to attend college, and is being told that a GED would need to be obtained in order to attend or where it is accepted is very costly it's disappointing, and frustrating. Parents with kid(s) that... more »
Use of person-centered planning will ensure what students with disabilities need individually in order to be successfully employed.