For many people, living a meaningful life includes fulfilling work that we enjoy. People with disabilities have these same life goals, yet they face an unemployment rate of over 80%. Employment requires exploring our own talents and preferences in the context of different career fields; practicing "soft skills" including self-care, social interaction, and other adulting activities; as well as training and education.
The journey to fulfilling employment is geared towards the needs of the mainstream workforce, just like today's technology is designed by and for neurotypical users. At MPower Me, we work closely with supported employment professionals to design MyGuide templates that support unique individuals throughout all phases of their employment journey, even when they need extra cognitive support.
Even employers can use MyGuide to train, monitor, and support the people on their workforce, regardless of age or condition. Thank you for celebrating disability employment month with us! Let us know how we can support you!
- Maria McWhirt, Ph.D. MPower Me Executive Director/ Founder
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
This month’s newsletter is dedicated to individuals in our community who make employment a priority and are empowered by MyGuide to support their success. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a commemoration of the accomplishments by people with disabilities and their commitment to America’s workforce.
Held annually, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Organizations of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM.
Six MyGuide Features That Support Employment
1. Schedule: The MyGuide calendar enables users to:
Set alerts for start and end times
Organize and execute multiple tasks
2. Prompting: With MyGuide, users can create multimedia guides to prompt them with either images, text, or video. MyGuide makes it easy to follow directions for learning and completing routines and tasks.
3. Job Exploration: Businesses can create virtual tours with MyGuide that allow prospective employees to take a tour, ask questions, and provide feedback about the job or career field.
4. Self-Management: Manage emotions using self-regulation strategies with interactive guides in the MyGuide platform, when and where it’s needed.
5. Provide Off-Site Supervision: MyGuide users can notify employers when they need breaks and job coaches can virtually monitor activities without interrupting the work process.
6. Encourage Questions: MyGuide users can ask for help directly through their MyGuide. Employers can use live monitoring to stay updated and be a resource to their employees throughout the day.
MPower Me offers online workshops for current MyGuide users when they register through their MyGuide account. The following organizations support disability employment using the MyGuide platform, including virtual supports related to benefits counseling, supported employment, community exploration, day support, and TechMentor supports. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How To Get Involved
MPower Me supports workforce inclusivity on a local level. There are 31 days in October and the Office of Disability Employment Policy has put together an entire series to inspire action, called 31 Days of NDEAM. Here are some suggestions about how you can support disability employment:
Hold a Discussion: Encourage an open dialogue about how technology can support disability employment with your employer, employees, students, or community members. It’s always a right time to start talking about bringing more equality to the workplace.
Review Company Policies: This is a perfect time to review company policies to make sure there is a commitment to inclusiveness in the workplace, specifically for those who have cognitive support needs, such as time management, self-regulation, and explicit instructions.
Reach Out to Local Media: Help increase awareness and visibility through local TV, radio, and other media sources. You could write a letter to the editor or encourage your favorite local station to run a feature on your favorite organization or an employer who supports workforce inclusivity. Workforce modernization efforts include using technology, such as the MyGuide platform, to support disability employment.
Spread the Word: Use social media to share about NDEAM, MPower Me, and other organizations that support disability employment and workforce inclusivity and forward this newsletter to your network. Past issues are available on MPM.care for more information.
Contact MPower Me: We offer employers and service providers technical assistance on using the MyGuide platform for improved comprehension, decision-making, and self-expression. email@example.com
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