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The Employer's Guide to Supported Employment

by O'Halloran, M.

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O'Halloran, M. (2014). The Employer's Guide to Supported Employment. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 41(1),  pp. 67-70.


In 2010, 14.7 per cent of the general population of Ireland was jobless and 37 per cent of people with disabilities aged 15–64 were employed with a quarter of these were in part-time jobs. High unemployment increased barriers to employment for people with disabilities with a 48 per cent increase in the numbers applying for jobs. Highly qualified unemployed were taking on low to medium skilled jobs and accessing Government employment schemes and training programmes. It was difficult to access employers who were positive towards people with disabilities. A STEP Supported Employment project analysed barriers to mainstream employment. When faced with many barriers it was decided to create a project to access employers directly and seek a partner who had access to a large number of employers.

In April of 2010 was approached by Mary O Halloran from STEP SE. Mary had brought together a number of similar agencies and asked if they would be interested in building a resource to encourage and support employers to hire people with disabilities. is a leading national e-recruitment company. was approached as e-recruitment methods were mostly complex to navigate and 80% of vacancies are advertised online. The hope was by making the information more visible and more accessible employers who are interested in finding out more about hiring people with disabilities will get the guidance they require. Of course, it may also be that employers who had not thought about hiring people with a disability will consider it once they find out more via the Guide.

A team was put together from other disability organisations & to identify the obstacles for people with disabilities to e-recruitment and a guide was developed to demonstrate the benefits of employing people with disabilities. was very enthusiastic about this project. Since this has provided backing for the National Job Shadow events with the IASE. All content on the Guide has come from Supported Employment Agencies. The expertise of came in the design and presentation of the content. Before the Guide was launched it was reviewed and approved by a number of agencies involved STEP Supported Employment a service of Saint John of God Community Services Ltd, worked alongside, other IASE members and Service Users to develop this user-friendly Guide

Reprinted from the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation with permission from IOS Press.

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