People with intellectual and other developmental disabilities can and should be productively employed in their communities. Supports must be provided for the individual, assisting them in making informed choices about their opportunities to utilize their talents and skills.
It is The Arc New York’s position that Employment:
- Is a natural part of the lifelong process of human maturity and self-determination.
- Includes a full professional assessment of job, technical supports and social skills development.
- Includes the opportunity for the individual to participate in a comprehensive plan for learning and structuring employment and career exploration.
- Is natural when it is fully included and supported in community settings.
- Is successful when individualized supports include appropriate transportation, travel training, job coaching, service coordination, child care and necessary technology sufficiently adapted to accommodate the individual’s needs throughout their lifetime.
- Is developed through knowledgeable partnerships with education, business and government to provide meaningful training opportunities from school age through adulthood in a variety of work settings with natural supports.
- Is responsive to individual choice and goals when a full range of options are offered including internships, a full range of fully included and inclusionary supported environments, competitive employment, volunteer positions, agency-owned businesses and micro-enterprises (self-owned businesses).
- Recognizes the individual’s contributions and value with compensation which reflects a market-driven wage for the work.
- Be responsive to individual choice and goals when the options include continued and ongoing exploration, educational opportunities and new work situations to encourage career development.