DSAMT’s Employment Partnership is a two-pronged program focusing on the creation of employment opportunities in the Middle TN area and advocacy for employment rights on the state and national level.
The Employment Partnership has several goals:
- educate and support employers on how individuals with Down syndrome are employable and should be included in all aspects of the work force;
- increase the number of opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome to work in meaningful, integrated, and competitive employment settings;
- advocate for laws supporting positive employment outcomes for individuals with DS.
DSAMT works with employers to help them recognize the contributions people with Down syndrome make in the workplace, to support the employer by making recommendations, providing training opportunties to all employees and connecting them to valuable resources that further support their employees with Down syndrome.
Learn more about our first Employment Partner, Aaron’s and one of two of their employees hired through our partnership, Josh Putnam, in his Spotlight.
Please visit our Resources for Employers for more information, benefits of hiring people who happen to have Down syndrome, tips for success, and potential challenges.
DSAMT advocates for laws and policies at the state and federal level that would improve employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome. Some of the legislation DSAMT has encouraged and supported includes:
- Step Up: Provides scholarships for post-secondary education...
- Tennessee Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE TN): A savings program designed to help individuals with disabilities put aside money to pay for qualified expenses. These accounts provide the opportunity to save and invest with tax-free earnings to help participants maintain independence and quality of life.
- Employment First Directive: A framework for system changes based on the belief that all people, including those with disabilities, should have full access to integrated employment in their community.
- ABLE to Work Act: Encourages employment by allowing ABLE beneficiaries who work and earn income, but do not participate in an employer’s retirement plan, to save additional amounts in their 529A (ABLE) accounts up to the federal poverty level (currently $12,060) in addition to the $14,000 annual maximum contribution.
- Healthcare Bill 2017 - DSAMT has asked legislators in Washington, DC oppose any future changes to Medicaid and the health care system that are detrimental to people with Down syndrome, and support reforms that assist people with Down syndrome to live and work in their communities.