Planting the Seeds of Success in Supported Employment



For quite some time, I have been wondering like many of you just how we can jump start supported employment for people with disabilities. Some states have more job placements than others but search for jobs with more hours and financial reward for the supported employee. Other states find their efforts languishing on a once fertile field of possibilities and passionate leadership. Things change, people move on, funding shifts leaving the values which growth in the employment movement to wither producing less than a desirable crop of jobs and business opportunities for people with disabilities.

In this series, I address the essential missing elements necessary to fertilize your field of dreams for a vibrant yield of employment opportunities.

Are you ready? Here are the top five crucial supplements to your job development initiative.

  1. Community
  2. Families
  3. Creativity
  4. New ideas
  5. Passionate Leaders

As we look to dig deep into the rich soil of creativity, we engage the energy of inclusive growth. The concept of inclusive growth goes beyond general acceptance of people with disabilities into mainstream society and work. This growth generates economic advancement benefiting every aspect of society, including people with disabilities as they move out of poverty into more prosperity.

Self-determination will never fully actualize until people with disabilities feel the power of financial self-determination. Employment is one aspect of financial security.

Without community involvement employment will fail to flourish. Simple as that.

The idea of mobilizing your local communities makes sense, yet you find yourself resisting the idea.

Where do you find the time? Most of your schedule can be spend just trying to establish more stability and predictability in the exceptional unstable world of rehabilitation. The temptation is to hunker down seek shelter in the slowness of the bureaucracy, waiting out the newest fury of unwelcome change

However, left alone, resistance grows weeds in an untended spring lawn.

Frequently, a crisis will force you to weed the lawn, stop resisting the change and get on to solving problems or finding new opportunities. Take care that the peril of the unknown doesn’t fresh your job development efforts to its tracks.


Wondering where to start? How to engage the community?

Find out in Part Two of our series on series Supported Employment.