Abstract

The role of the workplace and its culture in supporting social inclusion and workplace support for employees with disabilities is discussed and results of a qualitative study of the workplace experiences of 8 young adults with developmental disabilities presented. Data were collected using participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Four characteristics of supportive workplaces were identified: (a) multiple context relationships, (b) specific social opportunities, (c) a personal and team-building management style, and (d) interdependent job designs. The more supportive workplaces had all of these characteristics, suggesting that collectively they represent key features of a supportive workplace culture. Implications for job development and job creation are identified.

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