Barriers Faced By the Developmentally Disabled

Published: 06th September 2010
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With modern resources, proving employment for adults with developmental disabilities is a reality and can be an important part of a company's strategy. Individuals with developmental disabilities may have any of a numerous list of conditions. Such conditions include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and autism.

Companies that provide employment for adults with developmental disabilities enjoy many benefits. In many cases, the people they are hiring are qualified individuals with strong work ethics who will increase company morale. Businesses that offer employment for adults with developmental disabilities will also benefit by being able to claim they are equal-opportunity employers.

Predictably, hiring disabled workers will necessitate certain accommodations. The severity of the disabled person's condition may be limiting and businesses will need to be aware of that. As more companies have embraced employment for adults with developmental disabilities, a few barriers have been identified that get in the way of making it a mutual beneficial situation.

One of the most common problems with regards to hiring disabled people is transportation. Many developmentally disabled people lack a method by which they can travel to and from work. In response to this barrier, it is important for a task force to be organized of friends, parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, job coaches, and coworkers who can arrange for the developmentally disabled person to get to and home from work. If the plan is organized, each person will know exactly when they are needed to assist the developmentally disabled and it will fit in with his or her own schedule.

While many companies are on board with regards to offering employment for adults with developmental disabilities, there are several others that are not so enthusiastic. Additionally, it may be difficult to determine the employability of a prospective disabled worker. Civic clubs such as Chambers of Commerce can assist in clearing misconceptions and can help employers understand their responsibilities with regards to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

One common work skill that is impaired by developmental disabilities is the ability to communicate. This is where job coaches and supervisors come in to play. The developmentally disabled person may struggle to get his or point across and may have a difficult time when asking clarification questions as to how a job should be done. If supervisors are constantly aware, they can ensure all responsibilities are explained in a clear way and that the disabled person fully understands them. Job coaches can help to act as a bridge between the developmentally disabled worker and his or her coworkers. The job coach will step in if the disabled worker is acing in a way inappropriate for the workplace.

The most important thing for a company to understand with regards to employment for adults with disabilities is that the disabled worker is every bit as much of a person as any one else on the workforce. The developmentally disabled worker may have similar hopes and ambitions and is trying to make something of his or her life. As is expected, adjustments will need to be made and there will need to be a certain level of awareness on behalf of the coworkers. But with a little time and energy, businesses can change the lives of some great, qualified people by allowing them to be a part of the workforce.

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