Creating Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

Patti Herbst, Executive Director of the Center for Independence, presents an overview of transitioning to employment from the school setting. She covers the laws, supports and the barriers. She also presents the "job carving tool" and the model program at the Center for Independence. 

The mission of the Center for Independence is to help children and young adults with disabilities achieve their highest level of independence in the home, school, community and workplace. Patti is the mother of an adult with cerebral palsy and brings her unique understanding of the barriers people with disabilities face in transition to adulthood, especially in accessing the workforce. The Center’s program, Working Together Chicago, creates paid employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout the Chicagoland area through job carving, job development, short-term job coaching and long-term volunteer mentoring. Patti helped develop the Working Together Chicago survey, an online tool for employers to “Job Carve” a position for a person with a disability. The on-line tool challenges employers/employees to examine their daily tasks and identify those that can be assigned to a person with a disability - improving overall workplace productivity and efficiency. The survey fills the needs of an employer while capitalizing on the skills and strengths of workers with disabilities.

People with disabilities bring great value to the workforce! Top recruits want to work for inclusive employers and customers want to see people with disabilities as well.

Patti Herbst