Why Jobs Provide a Sense of Meaning and Pride to Special Needs Individuals

There are jobs for people with disabilities in Little Rock, Arkansas, and companies here endorse the policy of supported employment in Little Rock.

Inclusion is key

Inclusion, or the opposite of exclusion, means including into society those with disabilities and special needs. For employment, it means considering them for a position regardless of their disability.

“There’s nothing better than a job for a special needs individual,” Dr. Vivian Hodge of Sacramento, CA, said. “What they need most is inclusion.” Dr. Hodge raised two blind and deaf children on her own and used the experience to help others.

A day’s work is an accomplishment for both those with and without disabilities

As Dr. Jan Wilson of the University of Tulsa maintains, “We all have the same needs – to be touched, loved, cared for, disciplined, and to be skilled at the normal activities of daily living.”

“But somehow,” says Wilson, “our society has tried to give this group of people the things they need instead of trying to teach them how to do it themselves. That leads to them having behavior disorders and anger management issues just as it would in a ‘normal’ person. They’re angry, because they are a person and want to be seen as one. They are not a disability.”

Dr. Hodge echoes this position. “As an adult, they are taught to have a hand out instead of a hand up. Yet once they have done something good such as a day’s work, they have a sense of pride.”

Success stories

There are many success stories of those with disabilities and special needs getting jobs.

Jessie became a lawn care entrepreneur in Arkansas, Jeremy lived his life’s dream to become a magician in Indiana, and Kendyl became an American Sign Language interpreter in Washington.

These are only a few examples of how well those with special needs can contribute to their communities. For Jessie, Jeremy, and Kendyl, their jobs provided them with a sense of pride, a place of expression, and a level of responsibility they had never before experienced. Jobs provide these things for everyone, and those with special needs are no different.

Including them in the job market

It is important to separate the individual from the disability. The individual is not the disability. They happen to have a disability, but it does not define them. They can still think, and they still have emotions.

As such, they want to be part of society as much as anyone else. They want their part in everyday functions, and this includes the job market.

The examples of Jessie, Jeremy, and Kendyl constitute three examples of what happens often. Rather than sitting at home or at a day program, those with special needs need to get connected to employers. Along with a sense of pride and responsibility, jobs also build one’s resume that in turn helps build a better future.

Why do people think less of those with special needs?

Certain attitudes toward individuals with special needs may stem from a lack of special education training for school principals. There is no direct experience that is deemed essential for their certification.

In one study, researchers found that more than a third of those school principals surveyed had no direct experience with children with disabilities as part of their credentials to become principals. By 2015, nearly 80 percent said they had only one course. With this little training, it may be impossible to consider that there really are jobs for people with disabilities in Little Rock or elsewhere.

In a review of studies on activity programs for individuals with physical disabilities published in 2018, researchers at three universities analyzed 17 different out-of-school time physical activity programs of various age groups, group sizes, and durations.

Most programs were recreational level with rehabilitation staff as the leaders of the groups. They focused on social skills/relationships, physical skill development, and psychological well-being. However, there is a lack of data on job skills for people with developmental disabilities or special needs.


Do you know an individual who experiences a developmental disability or special need? Have you been looking for special needs jobs in Little Rock? Or have you been looking for companies that endorse the policy of supported employment in Little Rock?

For more information, contact Integrity to find resources for your individual with a developmental disability to get jobs. If you are an employer and would like to begin the process of hiring those with developmental disabilities or special needs, then give us a call! We look forward to hearing from you.

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