Home > Archived: Increase percentage of working-age adults with developmental disabilities in employment and day programs who are employed

Why is this a priority?

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are an under-utilized work force of reliable and dependable workers who have the capacity to contribute valuable services to the communities where they live. The social benefits to the person are great, as a job provides them with:

  • A fair wage;
  • A set of work skills;
  • The prospect of financial independence;
  • A sense of self-worth;
  • Relationships and friendships;
  • The responsibility of paying taxes; and
  • The opportunity to contribute to society.

In addition, job supports for people with developmental disabilities are cost-effective as the need for support is generally decreased as the person learns the job.

How are we doing?

Some people who want to work are not employed. Barriers to employment include:

  • Lack of expertise in working with employers;
  • Perceived difficulties of training people with disabilities;
  • Lack of expertise by employment agency staff to serve individuals with developmental disabilities with high-level needs;
  • Complicated payment processes for providers discourage the use of existing programs; and
  • Difficulties preparing students with disabilities for employment after high school.
What are we working on?
  • Implementing trainings to improve the expertise of employment agencies;
  • Educating families, school districts, counties and providers about the benefits of employment;
  • Collaborating with our community partners to work with local businesses to improve employment opportunities; and
  • Improving existing systems and processes to better support people with developmental disabilities who are seeking employment.
How can you help?

To learn more about hiring an individual with developmental disabilities, contact the Developmental Disabilities Administration at: 360-725-3413 or 1-800-422-3263