NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The federal government is offering $100,000 to the businesses with a plan to become more inclusive when it comes to hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The government has been tracking productivity from companies over a period of time. They noticed businesses who hire people with disabilities report higher revenue, bigger profit margins, better morale, and a greater retention rate.
Nancy Cheak-Zamora with the University of Missouri has been doing in-depth research on how to promote independence for young people with autism. She learned they want to be independent and caregivers should teach that as early as possible. Cheak-Zamora suggests giving tasks for them to achieve and set high expectations. She says that often leads to success.
"Really spending the time to help the young adult understand what their sort of gifts and talents are and then being purposeful in how we can develop those so that they can get the most satisfaction out of life as well as be productive in the community."
As for employers, Cheak-Zamora says people with disabilities are more successful with hands-on job training. They should also be paired with a peer for guidance.