Welcome! This site highlights the employment successes of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) who are working in paid jobs in their communities. Through the use of innovative, front-line employment support practices, these individuals are earning money, forming networks, and contributing to their communities. Learn more about these people and the promising practices that led to their success. Here is a definition of Intellectual Disability. Here is a definition of Developmental Disability.
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Mia lives in Des Moines, Iowa. She enjoys running, swimming, bicycling, movies, and traveling with her friends and boyfriend. She also enjoys speaking and singing in front of large groups of people. In high school, Mia participated in theater and speech competitions. She also is an avid reader and writer and enjoys communicating through her written work and videos. Mia is now putting all of these skills and interests together to run her own business.
Eddie Alley has worked at Little Caesars, the pizza restaurant chain, since last summer. Several factors helped Eddie to find a position that was a good fit. First, he participated in a job tryout before he started to work. Also, he and his employer were flexible and willing to try new things. Finally, the employer had a long and positive connection with Eddie's job developer.
After Josh graduated from high school, he decided to gain additional experience as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Like many young people, he had tried various jobs in high school, but still wasn't sure what kind of job he really wanted. His time with AmeriCorps helped him take the next step toward a career. In fact, Josh has opened his own business as a result of knowledge and experience he gained in AmeriCorps.
Melissa lives in Montana, and loves dogs. She owns and operates Lissie's Luv Yums, a gourmet dog-biscuit business. Melissa also educates others about employment for people with disabilities and about living with and preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
Emilea lives in a small town in Iowa. She loves spending time with her family and her pets, CeCe and Harley. She also owns and operates her own coffee shop, Em's Coffee Company. With the support of her family, Emilea planned for a career and then used local contacts and several funding streams to start her own business.
Miranda loves children and is also interested in helping other people with disabilities. She provides childcare during the school year at the Brookline Early Education Program in Brookline, Massachusetts. Because of Miranda's strong interest in childcare and the employer's inclusive philosophy, her job developer approached the employer with the idea of creating a meaningful job.
Joe describes himself as smart and friendly. He works as an administrative assistant at Hardy, Wolf and Downing, a law firm in Lewiston, Maine. He found this position with the help of Aaron, his job developer. Aaron helped Joe look for jobs that might be interesting to him, and thought about ways that Joe could help an employer. Then Aaron set up a chance for Joe to work for a specific business so they could see if the job was a good match.