Our Goal

For every business to recognize and utilize the value that people with I/DD bring to an organization.

Employing a person with I/DD can potentially make your business grow, help your employees grow, improve your community and might even make you a better leader.

Our Approach

We utilize, revise, and develop partnerships with supported employment resources to be more effective at increasing employment opportunity for people with I/DD.

Often, when employers are asked to consider hiring people with I/DD, it is usually in the context of asking for charity, or doing a favor for the people with I/DD. That is not our approach and we do not believe that is necessary.

We approach this issue from a value-adding perspective. We know that this population can add value to an employer’s business. They have unique skills, abilities and desires that the general employee population do not have and can fill positions that the general employee population would not be is good at or enthusiastic about doing. Our approach is to educate employers on these skills and abilities of these people that are unique to the workforce. This provides the employers with some new ideas of how they can fill positions that may normally be very difficult to fill with the general employee.

Challenges

While we are not asking for charity and are telling employers the value people with I/DD have, we are not glossing over the challenges that hiring people with I/DD breaks. We are honest about those challenges but we do have solutions to overcome those challenges. We also remind employers that there are challenges with all employees and that we all have different strengths and weaknesses. We are very confident in telling an employer that the investment in these people Will often pay off in big in unexpected ways.

In Action

In Southeast Texas, there are several great service providers like Texana Center and The Arc of Fort Bend County, helping people with I/DD gain employment. However, they needed help getting more employers to hire people with I/DD. So we decided to create a movement that would educate employers on the benefits of hiring people with I/DD. Part of this effort included creating a video that we could use as a collateral piece to reach employers in the community on a wide area basis. As we were going through this process, we discovered that there was also a shortage of qualified in-state certified job coaches in this region of Texas. Bloom added to this effort a coordination with Texana Center in The Arc of fort Bend County, as well as the Texas Workforce Commission to fill this gap. This included educational services to help individuals and organizations secure the state certifications they need to be job coaches. Bloom community also offered scholarships to these individuals and organizations to help encourage them to complete the required courses.

We are also working on a very similar project in Western North Carolina. The primary partners there are Cermount, The Arc of Buncombe County and Liberty Corner. We will be filming an educational video.We are also actively meeting with business leaders to get their engagement in the hiring of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.