Hire Employees with Developmental Disabilities

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Hiring employees with Development Disabilities is good for business.

Today in Acacia park Mayor Lionel Rivera proclaimed July 20 as development disability day for Colorado Springs.

The event will be going on all day, closing with a community dance from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Antlers Hilton Hotel was honored with a community servant award as the large business to hire the most people with developmental disabilities. The Learning Center won the small business that supports DD employees the most. These awards were based on criteria such as wages, promotability of DD employees, and the inclusive culture of the organization.\

David Ervin the Executive Director of The Resource Exchange said that DD employees are extremely loyal and won’t go to another job for an extra 5 cents an hour and that they “are perfect employees for service industries.”

Recently there was a town hall meeting with various elected officials who discussed business incentives for hiring DD employees, Ervin said.

It is estimated there are 10,000 people in El Paso County with some level of a developmental disability, yet TRE and their 15 partner agencies are only helping around 1800.

There are many facets to our community and a lot of organizations doing really good things for those less fortunate. TRE is another one and deserves support from the business community.

Developmental disability day is being sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Fund of Colorado, Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, Peoples National Bank, Sandia and The Gazette. Commendations to you for stepping up and sponsoring this worthwhile day.

One Response to Hire Employees with Developmental Disabilities

  1. When I worked for an agency that helped people with disabilities find and keep jobs, the objection I heard most often, from potential employers, was “we tried that once… it didnt’ work. We got burned and don’t want to hire another person like that”
    The obvious retort,of course, is that they probably hired people without disabilities that did not work out too.
    But it goes a little deeper. People with disabilities are often treated as if they were children – indulged and excused their misbehaviors and missteps.
    Sadly, this group of people does not often learn incidentally – they need to be taught specific, adaptive behaviors instead.
    All of us need to participate in that process. As a teacher, now, I am acutely aware – too much so, some think – that in a few years, the kid in my classroom will be in the work force, and it is imperative that I teach him or her to be good at it. So I get strict, I get structured, heck I probably get mean, too.
    Employers need to do the same. It isn’t enough to just hire people with disabilities – listen to the counselor who helped the person get the job. Give specific feedback when the new employee does something wrong – and when they do something right. Problem-solve, just as you would with anyone else.
    I’ve had students with disabilities who will someday make super employees. And some who will be, no doubt, crummy. Just like anyone else.

    July 25, 2007 at 1:50 pm