Providing employment support is a systematic process which assists persons with physical, mental, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities to achieve their career and independent living goals in the most inclusive setting possible through the application of job development, job finding/opportunity identification, and job supports. We customize each opportunity following a deep process of discovery that emphasizes the strengths of the person we support rather than disability, limitation or impairment. Central to our model is the commitment to the principles of trauma-informed care: safety, prioritizing empowerment and skill-building as well as choice and control.


Entering the work force heralds profound change in the lives of our participants and for many can produce unexpected results behaviorally and emotionally in addition to the obvious financial changes that earning a paycheck can bring. Our ultimate goal is not only a change in self-concept (positive self-identity) but concrete steps toward independence and self-support.


Because of this, our practice involves communication, goal setting, and beneficial growth or change through self-advocacy, psychological, vocational, social, and behavioral interventions- the entire support team is involved. The specific techniques and modalities utilized within this process may include, but are not limited to:


  • Job analysis, job development, and placement services, including assistance with employment and job accommodations;
  • Community-based work assessments;
  • Career planning and goal setting;
  • Interventions focused on facilitating adjustments to the medical and psychosocial impact of disability;
  • Fade in support consistent with individual need;
  • Close collaboration with local business
  • Interventions to remove environmental, employment, and attitudinal barriers;
  • Consultation services among multiple parties and regulatory systems;
  • Consultation and assessments for assistive technology leading to job accommodation
  • Strategies leading to increase community inclusion;
  • Strategies leading to increased clarity around the changes in SSA benefits;


Inclusive employment advocates provide employment support in alignment with ASPE’s Ethical Standards and Guidelines for Implementing Employment First.


  • IDEATE believes that people with disabilities are the experts about themselves and should play a leading role in decisions that affect their lives.
  • IDEATE believes companies who hire people with disabilities will profit in many ways, including financially.
  • IDEATE believes the focus of publicly funded services should be strengths-based—what people can do, not what they cannot do.
  • IDEATE is committed to sharing success stories to increase expectations, shatter stereotypes, and create better understanding about the employment potential of people with disabilities.
  • IDEATE acknowledges supported employment is a well-researched and proven, evidence-based business practice.
  • IDEATE believes that an important role of the organization is to educate policy makers, including elected officials, on advocating for equal opportunities and fair treatment in the workplace.
  • IDEATE is committed to promoting the role of employment in the transitional youth directly into post-secondary education or competitive employment options.
  • IDEATE speaks as a unified voice representing human service professionals, people with disabilities, educators, employers, family members and other stakeholders.





Inclusive Employment Advocates are committed to facilitating the personal, economic, and social independence of individuals with disabilities. In fulfilling this commitment, inclusive employment advocates recognize diversity and embrace a cultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of individuals with disabilities within their social and cultural context. They look to professional values as an important way of living out an ethical commitment. The primary values that serve as a foundation including a commitment to:


  • respecting human rights and dignity;
  • ensuring the integrity of all professional relationships;
  • acting to alleviate personal distress and suffering;
  • enhancing the quality of professional knowledge and its application to increase professional and personal effectiveness;
  • promoting empowerment through self-advocacy and self-determination;
  • appreciating the diversity of human experience and appreciating culture;
  • emphasizing client strengths versus deficits;
  • serving individuals holistically; and
  • advocating for the fair and adequate provision of services.


These values inform principles. They represent one important way of expressing a general ethical commitment that becomes more precisely defined and action-oriented when expressed as a principle. The fundamental spirit of caring and respect by which we operate is written based upon six principles of ethical behavior:


Autonomy: To respect the rights of clients to be self-governing within their social and cultural framework.

Beneficence: To do good to others; to promote the well-being of clients.

Fidelity: To be faithful; to keep promises and honor the trust placed in inclusive employment advocates.

Justice: To be fair in the treatment of all clients; to provide appropriate services to all.

Nonmaleficence: To do no harm to others.

Veracity: To be honest.



Inclusive employment advocates are aware that all individuals exist in a variety of contexts and understand the influence of these contexts on an individual’s behavior. Inclusive employment advocates are aware of the continuing evolution of the field, changes in society at large, and the different needs of individuals in social, political, historical, environmental and economic contexts. The commitment involves providing respectful and timely communication, taking appropriate action when cultural diversity issues occur, and being accountable for the outcomes as they affect people of all races, ethnicities, genders, national origins, religions, sexual orientations, or other cultural group identities.


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