Supported Employment

Oregon Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) has put together a number of resources around Supported Employment for individuals with Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities (I/DD).

To get started, you may wish to read ODDS’s Supported Employment Services infographic PDF.

Employment First

“Employment is a key to full citizenship for Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Employment establishes community connections that allow people to become contributing and valued members of their communities. As with all other citizens, for individuals with I/DD, employment has many positive impacts. These impacts include increasing self-worth, building relationships, and access to community resources. Employment improves economic well-being as well as physical and mental health.

Employment First is both a philosophy and an Oregon state policy. As a philosophy, Employment First is based on the presumption that working age adults and youth with I/DD can work in jobs fully integrated in the community. Integrated employment includes typical workplace settings where there are regular opportunities for meaningful interaction with co-workers without disabilities and/or customers or the general public. This can also include self-employment. The employment of individuals with I/DD adds to the diversity of the workforce and general enrichment of communities.

The Employment First policy states that work in integrated jobs is the first and priority option in planning employment services for working-age adults and youth. Services should be planned using person-centered practices that identify an individual’s talents, skills, and interests. This information can then help inform employment options and career opportunities.”

About Employment First

If you’d like to know more about Oregon’s Employment First policy, history, and future, see ODDS’s Integrated Employment Plan PDF, and the Employment First web site.

For news & updates on Employment First, you may wish to tune in to the Oregon Employment First podcasts.

Getting Started

If you or a family member with I/DD is looking for employment and/or supports, you may wish to use ODDS’s new interactive Employment Road Map tool. You can also view or print ODDS’s “I Work We Succeed” Poster & Brochure, read the Annual Employment Goals PDF, and read ODDS’s Employment Discussion Guide PDF.

ODDs also provides a page of Information for Individuals and Families, and has put together several fact sheets & videos regarding Supported Employment, including:

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation​ (VR) assists individuals with disabilities to get and keep a job that matches their skills, interests and abilities. VR staff work in partnership with the community and businesses to provide services that are individualized to help each eligible person receive services that are essential to their employment success.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

Oregon’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services are available to any Oregonian with a disability who is having difficulty getting or keeping a job because of disability-related barriers.

Information for Clients and Advocates

If you are interested in enrolling in VR services, see VR’s Local Offices page. You can also talk to your Personal Agent, who may be able to help you navigate getting enrolled in VR services.