Inclusive Employment Initiatives

The IDC’s Employment and Transition workgroup recently completed a list of recommendations to set the stage for the next phase of Inclusive Employment Initiatives for the IDC.

The workgroup’s focus was to look at ways to increase and improve transition and employment services and supports for individuals with disabilities. Over the span of a year, members of the group took a deep dive into understanding what navigating transition out of high school and into the community, including finding employment, looks like for individuals with disabilities and their families. The process involved hosting an Employer Breakfast, several focus groups, provider interviews, meetings with special education professionals, and identification of existing resources both on and off the Island.

The outcome of this process is the identification of two primary focus areas, and three specific age groups of interest.

  • Communication and Outreach: We as a community must do better in a few key areas:
    •  Connecting individuals and families with resources, supports & services
    • Create a community inclusion narrative that fosters engagement, opportunity development, & creative problem solving
    • Hear directly from those with lived experiences what challenges and barriers limit employment and community engagement
    • Demonstrate process through “Map to Employment” a visual guide to accessing resources
  • Employer Engagement: Our focus is to build the capacity of employers to offer inclusive employment opportunities
    • We will partner with Institute on Community Inclusion of UMASS Boston on an Employment Pilot Program
    • Connect employers with existing resources both on and off Island
    • Work collaboratively to build a stronger bridge between MVRHS and Charter School and community employment opportunities

Age groups of specific interest include:

  • Transition Age Youth
  • Young Adults
  • Adults and Seniors

For each of these age groups, the IDC is serving as the connector to facilitate partnerships with a focus on increasing and improving opportunities for individuals with disabilities and their families.

The Employment Workgroup meets approximately once a month to discuss topics such as transportation, job safety, employee skill development and specific training needs, and supervisory training to better support the mental and emotional health of all employees.  The group is made up of employers, employees, parents and employment professionals and is open to anyone interested in equitable and accessible employment. Contact Beth Wike if you would like to be involved in the workgroup.

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