Mapping Inclusive Employment Practices for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

A Participatory Research Project

Research Team: The study was conducted through a partnership between the CfEE, Dr. Rachelle Hole of the UBC Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship and Dr. Jon Corbett of the The UBC Spatial Information for Community Engagement (SpICE) lab, with financial support from Community Living BC, the Government of Canada, and the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation‘s Research and Innovation Fund.

The two-year project involved developing and evaluating The BC Employment Mapping Tool in terms of its role in supporting individuals with developmental disabilities (self-advocates) as well as their families, employers and service providers to learn and share examples of innovation and best practices in the area of employment. Through the course of the project, approximately 120 stories of paid, positive, and inclusive employment were added to the map by a variety of users across British Columbia.

The team’s research with pilot users and consultations with stakeholders confirmed the potential of this tool to promote inclusive employment. It demonstrated that the stories shared through the website have the potential to increase family members’ and self-advocates’ employment aspirations by exposing users to the diversity of successful employment experiences of self-advocates throughout BC. The team also heard that in multiple instances the website is being used to engage employers by providing powerful examples of the range of benefits of employment to both self-advocates and employers alike, offering employer-to-employer advice, tools and best practices for effecting positive and inclusive employment for people with developmental disabilities.