Celebrated in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month raises community awareness of the need for developing programs that support and celebrate job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Individuals with developmental disabilities are very often only limited by a lack of resources when it comes to finding and securing a job. Many programs and services for people with developmental disabilities are now focusing on the idea of job matching, whereby an individual’s unique skills and personality determine their abilities over their type of disability. Opportunities are available in Arkansas in several fields if you know where to find them.
Retail Sales Opportunities
Adults with developmental disabilities that are outgoing and sociable who function efficiently in the midst of a lot of activity can be very successful in retail. While they may not be able to successfully complete tasks like ordering products, managing inventory, or processing sales, there are several jobs that they can perform. With the right job training and skill development, these individuals become extremely adept at several activities found in retail businesses, such as:
- Organizing displays and merchandise
- Greeting customers
- Stocking shelves
- Filling orders and packaging items
- Refilling containers
These types of tasks allow the employee to get into a cyclical routine and become comfortable with known responsibilities. Another bonus of retail jobs is more flexible scheduling, which permits the employee to have more control of their hours and time off.
Technology/IT Industry Jobs
Individuals with a diagnosis along the autism spectrum are often quite at home in a tech environment. This is often true for adults with Asperger’s who are considered extremely high functioning, very intellectual, but less social. Being able to work behind the scenes doing research, repairing computers, problem-solving, or programming software can reduce the amount of pressure experienced in a service environment and allow them to better utilize their education and skills.
Clerical and Office Positions
Many people who have physical or mild forms of developmental disabilities can be very successful in a clerical or office setting. The level of a person’s disability will determine what type of work they can do, but when given the proper training and sufficient support, many will excel and continue to grow into positions they are well suited for.
These types of individuals who actively seek interaction with others and often ask a lot of questions can find a variety of positions that can accommodate their disability. These jobs usually involve tasks such as:
- Data entry
- Mail delivery
- Scanning and copying
Depending upon the organization, more specific on-the-job training can help individuals with developmental disabilities learn new tasks and feel better about their workplace skills.
Job Opportunities in Arkansas
Thanks to growing awareness and program development across the country, jobs for people with developmental disabilities are now more easily found. Stereotypes are being broken so that each person is evaluated on their personality, skills, behavior, and how well they handle pressure. They are given duties that are well within their capacity to complete and taught how to perform each one. As they become adept at one skill, they can continue to be taught new tasks to enrich their work experience.
In Arkansas today, job opportunities and assistance for people with developmental disabilities can be found through many programs. The goal at Integrity, Inc. is to provide services that help people with developmental disabilities develop skills that can prepare them to be more independent and take on all kinds of new responsibilities. Contact Integrity, Inc. to learn how we can support children and adults with developmental disabilities in advancing their skills and preparing for employment.