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Employing Youth with Significant Disabilities

Employing Youth with Significant Disabilities

This section contains information for students, families, and educators on employment options and strategies for students with significant disabilities.

Abilities Work
Florida's Employment First Initiative has developed the Florida Abilities Work Web Portal and Help desk to help employers find qualified candidates with disabilities who are ready and able to work in their communities, and provide them with information that would help with their hiring decisions. The web portal offers employment information for both employers and job seekers.

Employment First Initiative
Florida became an Employment First state by Executive Order in October, 2013. Employment First is both a philosophy and policy. It means that employment is the first option for all individuals, including those with significant disabilities.

Employing People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Report by the Institute for Corporate Productivity
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) comprise an underutilized population of potential employees proven to be a positive influence on coworkers, customers, the community and a company’s bottom line. Through survey data, case studies and individual success stories, this report demonstrates how workers with IDD provide both talent and productivity.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities 
APD partners with local Florida communities to identify the needs of people with developmental disabilities and to fund supports and services such as supported employment. There is a waitlist for services. 

Best Buddies Jobs 
Best Buddies Jobs provides supported employment to help Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities attain and maintain jobs of their own choosing by providing ongoing support and training. It enables people with IDDs to earn an income, pay taxes, and work in an environment alongside others in the community. Best Buddies Jobs has placed more than 500 individuals in integrated employment positions. 

Customized Employment 
Web page with detailed information on customized employment including customized entrepreneurship and benefits planning and counseling.

Customized Employment - Blending and Braiding Resources

The webpage features information on the LEAD Center’s initiative with TASH subject matter experts to build the capacity of American Job Centers to advance employment outcomes for jobseekers with disabilities by focusing on customized employment, self employment and blending and braiding of resources  

Customized Employment:  Practical Solutions for Employment Success
Describes elements, principles, indicators, strategies, career development, employer negotiations, and more for customized employment. 

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation 
DVR provides services for eligible persons with physical or mental impairments designed to enable them to prepare for, get, keep, or regain employment. Youth services include job-site assessment/accommodations, job placement, job coaching, on-the-job training, and supported employment. 

Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC 
Free on-line resources on self employment, customized employment, job carving, natural supports, and social security considerations for people with disabilities.

Integrated Employment Toolkit 
This toolkit from the Office of Disability Employment Policy in the U.S. Department of Labor provides a number of resources, organized by different stakeholder groups, for increasing capacity and understanding about employment opportunities for people with disabilities where they work with workers who do not have disabilities and are paid minimum wage or more by the employer.

Integrated Service Systems at the Point of Transition for Youth with Significant Disabilities:  A Model that Works
Educator resource describing the Transition Services Integrated Model that combines school and post-school resources in a student-driven approach to transition planning.  Paid employment with supports before the student exits school results. 

Job Accommodation Network 
Individualized technical assistance, consulting, and mentoring services to individuals with disabilities, families, and service providers including referrals, accommodations, and self-employment/small business development expertise.  

Quality Indicators for Competitive Employment Outcomes - Fact Sheet
Quality Indicators for Review of Competitive Employment Job Outcomes - Form 
These resources describe a process for determining quality job placements for people with significant disabilities.

Road to Self-Sufficiency: A Guide to Entrepreneurship for Youth with Disabilities 
Resource for youth organizations containing an overview of entrepreneurship including entrepreneurship education programs and activities, significance of financial planning, financial options, resources, references, and glossary. 

Rural Routes to Employment
Accessible Version:

Supported Employment in Florida 
Educator resources for supported employment including federal and state information and an on-line Agency for Persons with Disabilities approved pre-service certificate course on supported employment.

Vocational Phase System (Exhibit 3.5B at end of Chapter 3) 
Describes a five phase system (learning, responsibility, transition, independence, employability) for moving a person with a mental health need from training and supervision on-the-job by the Transition Specialist to independent employment.  
Contains detailed information on employment options for people with significant disabilities such as alternative work arrangements (self-employment and telecommuting), customized employment, supported employment, and natural supports.)

Project 10: Transition Education Network
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
529 1st Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701