Employ the Disabled


  • People with disabilities can be a productive and valuable part of the workplace.  Donít underestimate their capacities.

    • They can learn a wide range of job skills.
    • They can be excellent workers.
    • Many are very dependable and very capable. 

  • State agencies will hire some of the disabled.  Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order in May 2013 that includes several directives to improve employment opportunities for the disabled in Washington.  One of the directives is a Disability Employment Challenge which urges state-run employers to make 5% of their workforce comprised of people with disabilities by June 30, 2017.  The order also creates a Disability Employment Task Force to help state agencies recruit disabled candidates.  

  • Success story:  SAP is a software company that has recruited 40 autistic workers globally to give them a chance to use their skills.  Thorkil Sonne who promoted this project, said that while those with autism might lack the social skills recruiters are looking for, they possess many attributes high on their radar as well: intelligence and memory, the ability to see patterns and attention to detail on repetitive tasks.  Many autistic adults are jobless or underemployed. 

    "If we could use skills like I saw among people with autism in software testing, data analysis, quality control, that would be phenomenal," Sonne said. "There is no reason why we should leave these people unemployed when they have so much talent and there are so many vacant jobs in the high tech sector.Ē

    An important part of leveraging the unique skills of autistic workers is creating a comfort zone.  For example, employees with autism may suffer low self-esteem and feel stressed, but a solution to that is clearly stated goals.  Also, failing to "get" the water cooler talk or sarcasm can be helped by direct communication.  Jose Velasco, who heads up SAP's "Autism at Work" program, said that "What we teach is clarity in communications, empathy, try to understand, put yourself in someone else's shoes," Velasco said.   (CBS News, June 10, 2014)  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-program-at-sap-hires-autistic-adults-for-specialized-skills/

Statistics
  • The unemployment rate for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities is estimated at 70%, according to experts. 
What You Can Do

  • Businesses may consider hiring persons who are developmentally disabled.  
    • Disabled people can find fulfillment when others find boredom, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks.  
    • They are often highly productive.
    • They rarely call in sick. 
    • Every business has its simpler tasks that can be broken out from the more complex task.
    • Employers can increase their productivity by finding jobs that fit for developmentally disabled workers, freeing other laborers for more complex tasks. 
    • Employment will help the disabled person develop and achieve their full potential.
    • There may also be a tax credit for hiring the disabled. 
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

NOTE: 
At this time, Northwest Center (listed on this page) is the only organization that accepts outsourced work and provides space to do the work onsite. 

Entry Level Jobs
(Jobs in all States)
Entry level jobs generally require little-to-no previous experience to gain employment.
http://www.entryleveljobs.net/

People Accessing Careers & Education (PACE)

The Lodge
3305 W. Fort George Wright Drive
Spokane, WA  99224
509-279-6033.
http://sccel.spokane.edu/PACE.aspx
Assists people with significant obstacles to employment or community inclusion to achieve life goals through education, resource coordination and vocational support. Most PACE students have cognitive, physical, sensory or psychiatric disabilities and want to achieve independence, employment and ongoing education.