Anyone who has ever cared for a person with special needs knows the stigma attached when it comes to finding work. We know that special needs adults, just like all other adults, want to be able to take care of themselves and seek fulfilling work. Today, there are employers out there willing to take a chance on hiring qualified special needs workers for good, high paying jobs; not the typical repetitive and menial jobs of the past!
Once Upon a Time in America
For years, it was assumed that if you were an adult with special needs, you simply were not going to be able to work or form normal relationships or live independently. Even since the passage of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) which made access to places of employment for the disabled mandatory, jobs for special needs adults have been limited to mindless and sometimes, demeaning grunt work.
Fortunately times are changing. Over the last two and a half decades since the law was enacted, it has undergone several revisions to make buildings more accessible, broaden the definition and scope of disability categories, and make more services available to a larger number of disabled persons.
Our understanding as a society is growing about the capabilities of special needs adults while businesses are partnering with government agencies and non-profit organizations to help special needs adults reach their full potential. Stories like that of John and Mark Cronin of Cincinnati are providing inspiration too.
John, suffering from Down syndrome was nonetheless able to partner with his dad to start his own business that has now become a “million-dollar company.” Testifying before the Small Business Committee on Capitol Hill, the Cronins spoke about the need for employers to seek out and hire more differently-abled employees.
How to Find Good, High Paying Jobs for Special Needs Adults
What employers are realizing is that there are some jobs and professions where the person’s disability actually works in their favor. For instance, one of the top jobs for special needs adults is as a counselor. If a blind person has mastered the skills necessary to live independently as a blind person, they make the perfect counselor for legally blind adults looking for work.
In the same way, someone suffering from Parkinson’s or Aspergers’ can work in many different roles in the pharmaceutical sector. They can work as advocates, help market certain drugs, and assist with drug discovery and development. Special needs adults with a particular physical handicap can attest to the effectiveness of new medical devices and equipment.
As these types of skilled job placements continue to see success, businesses have come around and are finally recognizing the hidden talent pool among mentally and physically challenged adults. There are different government agencies that are helping to facilitate better employment opportunities for special needs job seekers.
Government Resources for Special Needs Job Seekers
Different disabilities will work better for some jobs than with others. Employers can check out statistics on finding and hiring disabled job seekers through the Ohio Department of Jobs and Families. For job seekers, there are several agency employment resources and benefits available from technology accessibility to services for the blind.
However, many of the government resources available are aimed at helping businesses find employees. How do special needs adults find good paying employers? We can help! In addition to in-home care for special needs adults, we provide job matching here in Columbus for disabled job seekers – talk to us to find out more!