Abstract

Supported employment began with a focus on those individuals deemed less likely to secure a job in the community: those with severe mental retardation, behavioral challenges, and multiple disabilities. The creation of supported employment resulted, in part, because of demonstrations of the competence and capabilities of these same people previously thought to be unemployable in any meaningful sense of the word. However, as supported employment has unfolded, those with the most severe disabilities appear to be underrepresented in the ranks of those benefitting from supported employment. Although the limited access to supported employment by individuals with such labels appears clear, little is known about how the employment of those with more severe disabilities compares with others in supported employment. This report provides analyses of the employment features, support patterns, and outcomes for persons with more severe disabilities in supported employment.

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