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Int J Rehabil Res. 1994 Mar;17(1):15-24.

Supported employment for Irish adults with intellectual disability: the OPEN ROAD experience.

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St Michael's House Research, Dublin, Ireland.


Supported employment is an approach to ensuring the vocational and social integration of persons with intellectual and other disabilities by placing and then training them to carry out real jobs in the regular workplace, supported by staff members or co-workers. This article focuses on the actual employment outcomes for participants in OPEN ROAD, a three-year innovative project which introduced adults with moderate and severe levels of intellectual disability in Dublin, Ireland to ordinary jobs. Supported workers (n = 24) were men and women aged between 19 and 49 years who obtained part-time jobs chiefly within the financial and food service and retail sectors of an economy marked by high rates of long-term unemployment. Effective job-finding and support strategies as well as individual outcomes are described. Priorities for those at national and agency levels planning for meaningful, sustainable employment for persons in this population are suggested.

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