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Businesses can hire persons served who are eager to compete in the workforce and integrate more fully into their home communities. Tri-Valley staff help businesses pair with persons best suited for the position, and once employed, Tri-Valley job coaches provide on-the-job training between employer and employee.




What is an intellectual/developmental disability?

This term is used to describe people with a cognitive disability who have difficulty learning, and need assistance to carry out the practical and social activities of daily living. It is a term that is used to describe a wide range of individuals with unique skills and abilities. Developmental disabilities include Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism.


What should I expect from an employee with an intellecutal/developmental disability?

Like everyone else, people with intellectual/developmental disabilities have talents and abilities, strengths and weaknesses. These talents could include experience and interest in your line of work and soft skills you find beneficial to your workplace such as customer service skills, team-work, and strong motivation for work. With the assistance of Tri-Valley staff, persons served are paired with tasks that match their skill set, so both employee and employer are satisfied.


What do I have to offer?

You may think there are no jobs at your workplace for someone with an intellectual/developmental disability. Ask managers to list the things that they need done and do not have time to do, or that are too time-intensive for other employees. The possibilities are endless. You don’t have to work this out alone, either. If you’re not sure how a person with an intellectual/developmental disability can fit into your business, call us to arrange a tour so we can observe the work environment, learn about your specific business needs, and offer suggestions.


I can’t offer a full-time job. Does that mean I can’t hire someone?

Not at all. Many people with intellectual/developmental disabilities are interested in working part-time. In fact, part-time employment may be the best way for an employee to learn and master the skills needed for your business.


How will this affect my other employees?

Many co-workers tell us that working alongside a person with an intellectual/developmental disability has enhanced their teamwork and their work culture. If your employees are uncertain about the concept initially, it’s usually because they have no idea what to expect. We can help you address this issue in several ways. A Tri-Valley staff member can visit your business and meet with staff to help answer any questions or address any concerns. We can also provide diversity and/or co-worker trainings that are tailored to your specific business needs.


What about accommodating special needs?

Businesses accommodate for individual needs of employees all the time. This may range from providing hand rests for staff using computers, flex time programs, task lists, to simply helping a co-worker with physical tasks that they are not strong enough to do. Most of the time, making accommodations for someone is simple and does not cost your business anything.


Will I have support?

Absolutely! Job coaches help new employees learn the ropes at their new job, and help until the employee and employer feel comfortable working together. If you need help teaching your employee new skills later, job coaches can come back to the worksite.


What about liability?

As a responsible employer, you are already providing a healthy and safe workplace, and your business has workers’ compensation and general insurance coverage. Hiring someone with an intellectual/developmental disability does not increase your liability. If there is a medical condition or anything else that could affect health and safety on the job, you need to know about it, just as you would with any other employee.


What about wages?

Employees with intellectual/developmental disabilities earn minimum wage or above depending on the assigned job duties and the employer’s pay scale.


How will this benefit my business?

Many employers are finding it hard to find reliable, long term, entry-level employees. People with intellectual/developmental disabilities are a labor source that is vastly underutilized by most industries and businesses. Many employers tell us that hiring someone with an intellectual/ developmental disability is not only great for the business community, but cost-effective toward their bottom line.


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