Employment is an important part of community living for most adults, including people with developmental disabilities. Work is not only the means to economic self-sufficiency, it also is a way for people to contribute to their communities, build relationships, and create opportunities for lifelong learning.

According to the January 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS), the proportion of the population of people with disabilities who are employed is estimated to be 17 percent, compared to 63 percent for people without disabilities.

For people with developmental disabilities, the incidence of participation in competitive integrated employment (defined as working in a community based job with typical peers and is paid at least minimum wage by their employer) is very low.

The top two variables that best predict integrated employment outcomes for transition age youth with developmental disabilities are that

  • A family member expressed a preference for paid community employment
  • The youth had paid work experience during school