Down Syndrome Indiana believes that individuals with Down syndrome are valuable employees who bring needed skills and talents to the workplace.
Despite many years of low overall unemployment rates among the general population, the unemployment rate (and under employment) for people with Down syndrome remains embarrassingly high. Sound public policy is required to institute change and implement strategies that ensure all people with Down syndrome are welcomed into the world of full employment. Employers will benefit and people with Down syndrome will more fully participate in the economic opportunities available in their communities.
Down Syndrome Indiana recognizes that the Down syndrome community enjoys a diverse spectrum of abilities and talents and values the contribution that each individual can contribute in the workplace. Given this, a continuum of employment options must exist that provides the greatest possible employment options and opportunities. For some individuals a fully supported work environment may be necessary, while others may benefit from an inclusive work environment with appropriate accommodations and supports. Others still, may be best suited to work in a fully competitive work environment.
Down Syndrome Indiana believes that multiple pathways to full employment must exist. For some individuals with Down syndrome they will leave high school or college with all the skills necessary to enter into a competitive employment environment, while others may require additional vocational training in either a development center or through on the job training with the appropriate supports and accommodations.
Conscious efforts must be made to encourage the employment of individuals with Down syndrome. These include:
- Economic development incentives for employers who create and design work environments that are universally designed for the broad diversity within our communities;
- Tax incentives for employees who target training and employment opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome;
- Community focused school to work transition planning with increased public awareness in the business community of the untapped resource pool available by utilizing the talents of people with Down syndrome;