"You can't talk about community integration without talking about employment," says an advocate for adults with disabilities. - Ronnie Polaneczky.
How adults with disabilities struggle to find work. His talent emerges. While enrolled in the special- education program at Bensalem High School, Eric underwent training through the Bucks County Intermediate Unit's "Spirit Program," designed.
I/DD to different types of work activities. He especially loved doing piecework — so much so that he actually had to be reprimanded for skipping mandatory breaks. By the time he was 2. Associated Production Services Inc. APS), a packaging business headquartered in Trevose. APS. runs a handful of "sheltered workshops" — supervised workplaces for adult employees with I/DD.
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The Heppards were over the moon. At APS, their son would have a reliable schedule doing something he loved, pocket a regular paycheck and stay connected with school friends he'd met through Spirit. And Lisa, maybe, could return to work (she’s 4. Dan, 5. 0, is a pharmacist).
Eric & Lisa Hepperd"He wants to be independent."RONNIE POLANECZKY / Staff Writer"We were so happy," says Lisa, who belongs to a parents' group where the difficulty of finding employment for their children with I/DD is a frequent topic of discussion. We thought it would be hard to get Eric a job, but then this fell into our. There's a reason it felt like a gift. Children with disabilities are federally entitled to an appropriate education until age 2. The services provide more than tailored academic or life- skills instruction: They give a child a place to be each day and a feeling of belonging; that's.
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The school entitlement also gives parents peace of mind and a predictable schedule that helps a family function. After 2. 1, though, the entitlement ends and it's on parents to find new ways to fill their grown children's days.
The shift is so abrupt, parents grimly call it "falling off the cliff."Employment now an expectation. In the past, employment for young men and women with I/DD was rarely seen as an option. But for those in Eric's generation especially, who've spent their lives hearing about their right to be integrated into broader society, employment is an expectation."Steph has a job," Eric says plaintively, referring to his big sister; he envies her easy fit in the work world. I want a job, too."MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer. Eric is a team favorite at his weekly game. Ideally, high school administrators would begin working with children and their parents long before graduation to figure out what the next step might be.
But the ideal is elusive, and not just in school districts that are underfunded or unenlightened. Even the most thoughtful school counselors and savviest parents have a hard time finding appropriate employment for adults like Eric: young men and. The numbers tell the story. Only 3. 3. 7 percent of working- age adults with disabilities are employed, compared with 7. Institute for Community Inclusion, based at the University of Massachusetts. For working- age adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, the number plunges to just 1. No wonder the Heppards were giddy about what looked like a sure job offer.
Their son had fallen off the cliff into a wide net that could hold him for years, maybe for life. The relief this can bring for parents of adult children with I/DD cannot be underestimated. Mothers and fathers whose children do not have disabilities expect their parenting years to be finite. They launch their kids, more or less, and watch as they stumble — elegantly, maybe artlessly, but inexorably — toward fully independent. Their children's need for them, God willing, recedes as the kids create lives, careers, and families of their own. For children with I/DD, though, that progression isn't assured.
What can mitigate some of the uncertainty is a job, a toehold to anchor them in a world that doesn't readily see beyond what makes them different. Such were the stakes for the Heppards. Qualifying for job support. But first they needed to have Eric's IQ tested to make sure he was eligible for the type of Medicaid waiver that would fund the job supports he'd need at APS.
The waiver would act as an assurance to APS that Eric's hiring was in. The old rule of thumb said that an IQ higher than 7. Free Brain Teasers For Adults on this page. I/DD ineligible for sheltered work in Pennsylvania. But in the last decade or so, there has been a slow shift to a holistic view of candidates — though a handful of. Pennsylvania, have been slow to embrace it, says Celia Feinstein."Other states have moved to a more functional definition of developmental disability," says Feinstein, executive director of Temple University's Institute on Disabilities. For example, you may have an IQ of 9.
IQ is 6. 8."Employment Among People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Nationally, 3. 4% of people with intellectual disabilities are employed. Of employed people with intellectual disabilities, 5. Of the adults with ID employed in a competitive setting, over half (6. However, only 2. 6% of employed adults with ID have full- time jobs. Only a third were offered health insurance by their employer.
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