Employment Opportunities

Facilitate opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome to obtain quality, competitive and meaningful employment

NDSS - #DSWORKS™ is an employment campaign developed by the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) that is designed to educate the general public about how individuals with Down syndrome are employable individuals and should be included in all aspects of the work force; to encourage corporations and businesses to invest in hiring people with Down syndrome and to increase the number of opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome to work in meaningful and competitive employment settings.

     The NDSS #DSWORKS™ Employment Survey is a critical component of the campaign to gauge the needs of the community. For the survey to be effective, we need widespread participation from the Down syndrome community. NDSS encourages all adults with Down syndrome (ages 18 and older) to participate in the survey to assess the current employment trends and barriers for individuals with Down syndrome in the US. The survey takes only 10-15 minutes and was prepared in consultation with our NDSS Employment Survey & Community Outreach Task, which consisted of a diverse group of individuals from the Down syndrome community with expertise in the employment arena.

     The #DSWORKS™ Employment Success Stories, an important component of the #DSWORKS™ Employment Campaign, will launch this fall on #WorkingWednesdays. The Employment Success Stories are a chance for self-advocates, family members, employers, job coaches and others who are helping make employment a reality for individuals with Down syndrome to participate in our NDSS #DSWORKS Story campaign. Let’s show the world that people with Down syndrome are ready, willing and ABLE to work!

     NDSS would love to hear about your job! If you have Down syndrome, please fill out our #DSWORKS Survey on Employment and your Employment Success Story!

Full length documentary coming in October!     http://www.rootedinrights.org/videos/employment/bottom-dollars/

When the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in 1938, it included a revolutionary civil rights protection: a minimum wage. American workers could no longer be exploited for their hard work – with one huge exception. Section 14(c) of the Act included an exemption allowing some workers, people with disabilities, to be paid less than minimum wage.

This provision was originally designed to persuade employers to hire people with disabilities and open up opportunities. Instead, people with disabilities were often employed in “sheltered workshops,” segregated workplaces away from their communities, earning sub-minimum wage. 78 years later, 14(c) remains in effect.

In 2016, nearly 250,000 people are legally paid less than the minimum wage, on average, less than $2 an hour. “Bottom Dollars” is an hour long documentary that exposes the exploitation of people with disabilities through personal stories and expert interviews. It also presents clear employment alternatives with competitive wages and community inclusion.

Do we want all people to have a shot at a job for fair pay in their own communities, or do we want some people to be separated, exploited and robbed of their chance to seize the American dream for themselves.