ERIC Number: ED470821
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Beating the Odds: People with Severe and Profound Disabilities as a Resource in the Development of Supported Employment.
O'Brien, John; O'Brien, Connie Lyle
This paper suggests that supported employment programs should view themselves as learning organizations for whom people with severe or profound disabilities are a prized resource, since they encourage the organization to invent new ways to develop jobs, foster administrative flexibility, review assumptions about potential, and take responsibility for organizational values. Discussion of strategic decisions notes that organizational learning requires partners, not clients or customers. System level reforms are seen as opening the space for organizational learning that must address three questions: Is it possible for people with severe and profound disabilities to work? Is it relevant to the agency to learn with them? Is it worth the effort? Data and discussion provide positive answers to each of these questions. Also noted are common false assumptions such as the false positive assumption that people have high quality alternatives to work and the false negative assumption that employment is impossible. The paper suggests that the best safeguard against false assumptions is for the agency to partner with a few people with severe and profound disabilities to improve the accessibility of local workplaces. (Contains 16 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Accessibility (for Disabled), Adults, Agencies, Change Strategies, Employment Potential, Organizational Development, Severe Disabilities, Supported Employment
Center on Human Policy, Syracuse University, School of Education, 805 South Crouse Ave., Syracuse, NY 13244-2280 ($2.30 plus shipping and handling). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Fax: 315-443-4338. For full text: http://soeweb.syr.edu/thechp/Beating_the_odds.pdf.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Syracuse Univ., NY. Center on Human Policy.; National Inst. on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.; Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Inst. on Community Integration.
Authoring Institution: Responsive Systems Associates, Lithonia, GA.