The researchers in this USA study set out to find out about the factors that shape employment-related decisions of people with learning disabilities. Working with a co-researcher with learning disabilities throughout the whole research process, they carried out qualitative interviews with people themselves, their family members and employment-support professionals from four community provider organizations in Massachusetts.
They found a range of factors that impacted on employment-related decision-making, including the influence of family in formative years, the impact of school-based staff and the nature of early employment experiences, the culture in the community providers, the role of the job developer and a range of personal preferences.
The researchers look at each of these in turn and make a number of recommendations to ensure the opportunities offered by these influences can be seized by service providers to optimise employment choices and outcomes.
Choosing employment: factors that impact employment decisions for individuals with intellectual disability, Timmons J et al., in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 49, 4, 285-299.