Businesses should consider hiring people with disabilities

Posted 11 April 2017 at 1:57 pm


I would like to extend a word of thanks to the many businesses and organizations who create opportunities that welcome individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Employment is a critical component of community living for most adults, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Having a job is empowering and puts structure in a person’s life. It is tied to better health, longer life and greater satisfaction with life.  People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are struggling to access employment opportunities.

Employers can help in reducing barriers for those with disabilities. One example might be hiring for a single task job. There was a time when the role of stockperson meant you handled stock only. Currently many stores/employers expect an employee to know how to both manage stocking shelves and run the cash register.

A person with autism may stock shelves in a manner more efficient than the average employee does yet struggle as the cashier not being able to interact well verbally with customers.

Many businesses and organizations have stepped up eliminating various barriers that might exclude employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  With appropriate strategies successful employment, internship or a volunteer opportunity can be a reality for those with disabilities.

Opportunities exist so that we can increase employment for people with disabilities. Improving employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities improves communities. Most importantly, they feel good about themselves as a contributing member of society. They are ready to work every shift with a smile and a great attitude. As with all people, they walk away with a paycheck and a sense of self-worth – not to mention paying taxes.

Consider, supporting unique abilities individuals with disabilities if given the opportunity. Identify solutions to increase the employment participation of individuals with disabilities.

With sincere appreciation,

Barbara Vreeland