What is Supported Employment?

Supported employment is an evidence-based practice in which direct support professionals (DSPs) help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities find, secure, and maintain competitive work alongside other members of their community. With this support, those individuals with disabilities who are willing and ready to work can quickly find jobs that might otherwise be difficult to attain. 
Supported employment practices have been around for more than 30 years. From 1986 to 1995, the number of individuals using supported employment services increased from 10,000 to more than 140,000. Since then, supported employment has only continued to grow in popularity, providing even more employers with talented, eager employees. 
There are many benefits of supported employment for adults with disabilities, their employers, and the community-based service providers that help them.

Benefits of Supported Employment for People with Disabilities:

Supported employment programs can provide many benefits to people with disabilities, but perhaps the greatest benefit is that it often leads to a better quality of life. With supported employment, these individuals are able to:
  • Maintain financial stability
  • Build meaningful relationships
  • Learn valuable skills 
  • Make their own choices
  • Contribute to their community 
  • Contribute to their family household income

Benefits of Supported Employment for Employers:

In surveys carried out in Canada and the United States, employers of people with disabilities have noted some common characteristics among these employees: 
  • Work attendance is high
  • Employees are dedicated to their work 
  • Productivity and initiative are more than satisfactory
  • People with disabilities are hardworking and loyal to their jobs 

Business benefits of hiring people with disabilities, aside from it being the right thing todo, include:

  • Increased staff morale and productivity
  • Increased customer loyalty
  • Increased innovation
  • Lower turnover rates 
  • Enhanced company reputation
  • Increased market share
Employers who hire inclusively show that they care about diversity in the workplace and about the people and their communities, and they gain more business. It’s truly a win-win situation.

Benefits of Supported Employment for Service providers:

Some of the main benefits of supported employment for service providers include: 
  • Expanded service offerings
  • Increased client satisfaction
  • Networking with other professionals
  • Making a positive difference in their community



Supported employment is an effective method for helping individuals with IDD improve their quality of life through competitive work opportunities. It helps employers gain loyal employees and enhance their brand reputation. It also empowers community-based service providers to expand their programs and increase client satisfaction.
If you’re looking for a reliable employment support program in Ontario, you’ve come to the right place. Community Living North Perth is proud to offer supported employment services to adults with disabilities over the age of 18. Contact us at info@clnorthperth.ca or call 519-291-1350 for more information.

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