As a person with a disability and on the spectrum, it has been great to read all of these suggestions. Many of us are high functioning to the point most people would not really know, but with some basic accommodations for employers to follow, we can have the opportunity to be productive positive members of the work force. So here are some ideas I have.
First many people with intellectual disabilities, are first picked up in schools where an IEP is placed. It is a great place to start, recruit and to be able to track those with disabilities for the workplace. This is true, especially for those with intellectual disabilities, that can be used for specialized jobs in the military, government, or private sector. Sometimes by testing and tracking those with disabilities, exposes an actual ability! It is discovering and using this ability that makes not only the person, but the employers successful. There is great feelings of self worth and pride for someone who wants to work or serve, and not held back because of an intellectual, physical or mental disability. The Israeli and US military are now including those with exceptional abilities. This year alone, in the intelligence and cyber communities, those with special abilities have been very successful and useful, in the fight against terrorism and protecting each country.
Another important point, is no one with a disability should be held back because they are afraid to loose their SSI benefits. It is counter productive for the person who wishes to try and be a positive part of society, nor does it help our economy who needs workers at all levels. It is hard enough being diagnosed with a disability, but to be non productive and isolated on top of it, does no one any good.
Many people who may have a disability in one area, but great with their hands, and have a technical mindset, early identification can lead to a very successful vocational field. This direction not only helps the person but also our country and employers. Technical workers are in great demand. Those with special abilities can be very productive and successful as hands on and skilled workers. They should offer free tuition and continuing education to those wanting to go into a vocational fields, signing bonuses, as well as continued living expenses and healthcare for those needing it. Some of our best workers are coming out of special education classes in High schools. There should also be incentives for companies who are willing to do vocational, on the job training. Again, this helps everyone. Identification, tracking and recruitment, are key to getting those with special abilities and skills, into the right mindset, job placement and work place. It's all about focusing on the ability of the person to succeed and be productive and not on their disability holding them back.