by James Adonis
Originally published: June 16, 2016
A large possible workforce remains largely untapped. This is how you need to approach it.
Even when work is an agonizing slog, having a job – any job – is a blessing. Aside from the remunerative benefits that ensue, employment boosts self-esteem, expands social networks and enhances well-being. Those benefits are especially pronounced for people with an intellectual disability.
That's when work becomes not just about deriving a pay cheque but about deriving meaning and purpose. Likewise, work is not just about teamwork but about social integration and it's not just about working independently but about attaining actual independence.
Unfortunately, the prospect for meaningful employment is somewhat gloomy. The rate of unemployment for those with a mild or moderate intellectual disability is 34.9 per cent. For those with a mild or moderate physical disability it's 8.1 per cent. For the general population it's 5.7.