The Best Jobs for People with Developmental Disabilities & Where to Find Them

Happy girl with disabilityEmployment is a fundamental value, and equal opportunity should be provided to all qualified individuals with disabilities. People with developmental disabilities are often very compassionate, though they may not have the ability to express their feelings. They can, however, serve and perform duties

when provided with simple, repetitive steps and direct supervision. No matter what type of disability they might have, they can discover the satisfaction that often comes from realizing and using their strongest abilities and skills. There are many job opportunities in several fields where individuals with special needs can work such as:

Retail Sales Opportunities

Retail jobs has flexible scheduling, which permits the employee to have more control of their hours and time. Adults with developmental disabilities that are outgoing and sociable can be very successful in retail. There are several retail jobs such as customer service, stocking shelves, filling order, and refilling containers that they can perform with the right job training and skill development.

Office Work

Simple clerical tasks that involve filing or passing out mail may prove to be ideal for the developmentally disabled. With a little on-the-job training, many people with developmental disabilities can learn to answer phones, clean and repair small machines in an office setting and enter data on computers for various departments. Many community agencies provide mentors for people with developmental disabilities at work. They can offer transportation, training and support.


Assembly line work is the most common career path created for people with developmental disabilities who can maintain a work pattern and stay in place. Many developmentally disabled adults can handle tools to assemble products. Others work best moving objects from one end of the line to another or place items in boxes when ready for shipping.

Depending upon the organization, more specific on-the-job training can help individuals with developmental disabilities learn new tasks and feel better about their workplace skills.

A How-To-Guide to Community Employment for Job Seekers and Families

The Job Seekers Guide released on July 1, 2015. This is a web-based resource that can be accessed on the Employment First website. It allows for individuals with disabilities and their families to learn about a variety of topics related to community employment including how to find a job, how to be a self-advocate, information about discovery, and explanations of different employment services and supports.

Please visit the Job Seekers Guide at jobguide.ohioemploymentfirst.org for more information.

Goodwill Industries or Easter Seals are also other great organizations where special need individuals can work.

Volunteer work

Volunteering is a great way to get experience and improve skills that might lead to future employment. There are many places in the community for your young adult to volunteer their time and gain valuable experience while they do it. Churches, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations are often looking for volunteers. VolunteerMatch lists local volunteer opportunities.


DoDDD Employment First – Every Person. Every Talent. Every Opportunity.

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