2017 TASH Conference has ended

Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Still We Rise for Equity, Opportunity, and Inclusion,” shows the resilience of individuals with disabilities and their families across the lifespan. Conference attendees will celebrate their passion for disability rights, civil rights, and human rights while exploring inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs. Return to TASH website.

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Thursday, December 14 • 1:00pm - 1:50pm
The Voices of Parents: Integrated Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Amid the many changes in one's life, the importance of family is constant and consistently critical across the lifespan. The expectations of families have a powerful influence on the success and employment outcomes of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The employment rate for individuals with a cognitive disability in Tennessee is chronically low, with only 17.9% of working-age adults (age 16-64 years) employed (American Community Survey, 2014). In an effort toward expanding access to integrated, inclusive, equitable employment opportunities, it is important that we as a field understand the expectations, needs, and desires of parents and family members who often serve as a lifelong source of support for adults with IDD. Our presentation, entitled "The Voices of Parents: Perspectives on Integrated Employment for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities," explores the expectations, preferences, concerns, and resource needs of 1,738 parents of adults with IDD related to various employment options (i.e., full- and part-time sheltered employment, full- and part-time integrated employment). We found that parents prioritized paid community employment over sheltered options and such expectations were strongly associated with the employment status of their child. Additionally, parents valued qualitative aspects of the workplace (e.g., personal satisfaction, social interaction opportunities) more highly than common employment outcome metrics (e.g., rate of pay, hours). We found multiple factors that shaped both parental expectations and the extent to which their children had been employed in the community, including disability type, disability severity, race/ethnicity, and gender. Most parents reported having limited familiarity with programs across every domain we asked about (e.g., residential, vocational, postsecondary). The extent to which parents indicated various types of information would be helpful varied by demographic factors (e.g., son or daughter's age, disability diagnosis, or socioeconomic status), as did avenues through which they indicated they were most likely to access information and resources. We offer recommendations aimed at equipping parents with relevant supports and resources to guide their son or daughter's journey across the life span. Our presentation will provide recommendations for research and practice aimed at raising expectations for and access to inclusive, equitable community employment for individuals with IDD.

avatar for Erik Carter

Erik Carter

Professor, Vanderbilt University
Erik is Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his doctoral work in the area of severe disabilities at Vanderbilt University and his undergraduate work in Christian Education at Wheaton College. His research... Read More →

Thursday December 14, 2017 1:00pm - 1:50pm EST
L507 265 Peachtree Center Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303