Why Does Community Employment Matter?

“I feel more independent now that I’m making my own money." -Jared


Our core belief about employment is that everyone has the right to, and can, work in the community, regardless of disability type and severity.

We all want jobs where our skills and strengths are recognized and valued. We work to earn money, connect with others, and build a life we desire. Why should people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) be any different?

When we talk about employment, we mean a person with IDD working at an individual job in a local business, earning the prevailing wage for that position or industry, alongside peers without disabilities.

Research shows that many individuals with disabilities want to work in their community. And many do!

Jared is a full-time benefited employee at a cable assembly plant.



Join us for 6 sessions with 6 effective case managers from SELN member states. Case managers will share innovative approaches they used to help 6 individuals move forward along their employment pathway. Details and registration information.

Up next:
Tracy Mitchell, case manager, MN
April 23: Networking Possibilities
Time: 9am HT/ 12pm PT/ 1pm MT/ 2pm CT/3pm ET
Tracy has been a county case manager in Minnesota for 24 years.  She first started working with people with developmental disabilities (DD) as a summer camp counselor. She recalls that she was “terrified to be around and work with people with DD.” Tracy faced her fears and started working at a group home for children with DD, soon realizing she enjoyed working with people with disabilities and helping them to live their best lives. 24 years later, she is still working hard at it. Tracy earned a master’s degree in social work from Augsburg College.

SELN Guidance for Conversations

Do you have the SELN Guidance for Conversations yet?

Download your copy of the Guidance

About the Guidance
Guided conversations help people process information, draw their own conclusions, and make their own decisions. The ultimate goal of guided conversations is to identify and design a person’s pathway towards rewarding employment. For more information about the guidance, visit the guidance webpage.


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ThinkWork is a website for ICI’s projects that promote integrated employment for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.