Identifying Employment Opportunities

Jobs which people with intellectual disabilities can perform successfully are continually being identified. In thinking about possible opportunities for employment, consider the following:

  • You may have jobs currently available and you already know exactly what work you have for a new employee; or
  • You may want to create an opportunity for a new and hard working employee to be added to workforce.

Many employers have taken steps to customize work opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. This is sometimes known as “job carving” and it often reveals jobs that are hidden within other jobs that could be ideal for a new employee. In this type of employment option, one or more workers’ job duties are reassigned to create or customize a job for a new employee.

For example, all employees in a work environment may leave their workstations and spend some time photocopying material. By “carving out” the photocopying tasks, the existing employees could spend more time accomplishing other aspects of their job. This helps existing employees by having additional support within the workplace as well as saving time for other work that may be more important to them. This also helps the workplace become more efficient.

Another approach is to find out if there are activities that always seem to be neglected. This may help your business see what work needs to be accomplished regularly in order to prevent backlogs or inefficiencies. Putting these important, though sometimes neglected, work elements together may result in an employment opportunity that will save the work place time and money.

People with intellectual disabilities may come to your workplace with many of the skills that you need to be productive. Sometimes, however, there may be aspects of a job that a person may find difficult. First and foremost, you will want to determine if additional job training will help the person develop skills in order to do all job tasks successfully. If this is not possible, then we encourage you to be flexible in looking at how you can customize work opportunities to take advantage of the skills and enthusiasm that people with intellectual disabilities have to offer.

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