Resources for Employers

Thanks for your interest in hiring a qualified candidate with Down syndrome. We’ve specially curated a list of top resources with the very best information — everything from benefits and accommodations to how to customize a job and start recruiting.

Accommodations in the Workplace

JAN’s Workplace Accommodation Toolkit is a free, comprehensive online resource for employers seeking to move beyond basic compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to create more disability-inclusive workplaces.

Overview of some of the most frequent issues that employers have regarding accommodations and ADA compliance and practical ideas for resolving them.

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) Employment Program is proud to present Guide Me & Watch Me Succeed. This valuable resource is designed to support employers as they train their employees with Down syndrome.

Information on how to develop processes for the job application/interview stage of employment.

Massachusetts’ initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology (AT) in Consumer’s Hands through partnerships with community-based organizations. Their mission is to promote the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life’s activities, including employment.

Answers some of the key questions facing small businesses in connection with reasonable accommodations, explains obligations of both employers and individuals with disabilities, and reviews the limits on how far employers must go in providing reasonable accommodations.

Additional Resources

Employment First Massachusetts promotes inclusive employment in Massachusetts. You will find resources about community work, including practical guidelines, an overview of employment history, and stories of people with disabilities who are thriving in community-based careers.

A collaborative initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) to share creative inclusion practices that succeed. Includes a series of brief case studies that highlights specific strategies that businesses of all sizes can use to create a more inclusive workplace, marketplace, and supply chain.

The Regional Employment Collaboratives are Riverside-led partnerships of state agencies and human service providers, employers, workforce development organizations, and employment service providers. The Collaboratives work across these groups with the common goal of increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) comprise an underutilized population of potential employees proven to be a positive influence on co- workers, 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.

Work Without Limits offers trainings that address a number of topics related to some of the biggest employment challenges that people with disabilities face including how work income affects public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicare and Medicaid.

An IRS publication presenting basic information about existing tax credits and benefits for businesses and other entities wishing to accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Provides information on the tax incentives that are available to help employers cover the cost of accommodations for employees with disabilities and to make their places of business accessible for employees and/or customers with disabilities.

McKinsey & Company’s report, funded by Brazil’s Instituto Alana, on the inclusion of people with Down syndrome in the job market, which finds mutual gains for employees and employers. People with Down syndrome involved in such initiatives have a better quality of life and opportunities for development, while the companies that employ them often report […]

There’s a wide range of practices, policies, programs and outreach that will help employees with disabilities feel more welcomed and allow them to succeed at your company. These steps will send a message to prospective employees and the general public alike that you’re an employer who truly values inclusion. Implement these as you’re able.
People with disabilities have historically faced enormous hurdles to getting a job. But the facts show that businesses can actually boost their competitive edge by making people with disabilities an integral part of their workforce and their customer base.
Getting Started/First Steps

Released by the MA Department of Developmental Services in late 2014, lays out a proactive plan to increase integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and sets forth a path for the state to be a national leader by closing its sheltered workshops and transforming its center-based work model to community-based work.

This is the third in a series of resources to support providers of disability day services and community participation to increase community inclusion for people with disability. It is based on best practice and feedback from organizations participating in the Community Inclusion Initiative. It is intended as a conversation starter with frontline workers and team […]

Work Without Limits provides consulting for employers to build their capacity to successfully include individuals with disabilities in their workplaces. The consultations provide a clear assessment of your organization’s position along the continuum of disability inclusion with a set of recommendations and actionable, measurable next steps that will lay a solid foundation for future disability […]

Work Without Limits provides training and consulting for employers to help build their capacity to successfully include individuals with disabilities in their work places. We also offer training for job developers and employment specialists on how to effectively engage employers around hiring individuals with disabilities. All trainings are suitable for executives, managers, supervisors, recruiters, human […]

The job interview plays a critical role in the hiring process, allowing employers the opportunity to identify the individual who possesses the best mix of knowledge, skills and abilities for the position available. Here are best practices for conducting a job interview when the applicant happens to have a disability.

An employment guide for employers and employees with Down syndrome and other disabilities from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

Identifies relevant federal and federally-funded resources for employers looking to recruit, hire, retain, and promote people with disabilities. Designed to answer common questions raised by employers and help implement commonsense solutions to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to obtain and succeed in good jobs and careers.

Small business employers agree that employing people with disabilities is good business. Citizens with disabilities in Massachusetts are working in positions ranging from executives in Fortune 500 companies to professionals in health care as well as entry level positions in retail and hospitality. Includes common questions and answers to help you with hiring and employing […]

State and Federal Laws

Provides an overview of the basic employment provisions of the ADA as they relate to employees and job applicants.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a landmark federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities by eliminating barriers to their participation in many aspects of living and working in America. In particular, the ADA prohibits covered employers from discriminating against people with disabilities in the full range of employment-related activities, from […]

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