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Individuals with disabilities tend to face poverty at a higher rate compared to those without disabilities (Kelley, 2016). Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) benefit from a variety of supports to work in their communities. Not providing services to address these needs can cause increased unemployment rates and dependence on others. Currently, there is a lack of attention by OTP on supporting individuals with IDD (14-26 years) when acquiring meaningful employment. Increasing OTP’s awareness about the relationship between self-determination and employment can promote more services. Self-Determination is about acting or causing things to happen in your life as you work toward your goals (Shogren et al., 2015), and has been linked to enhanced employment outcomes and higher quality of life (Mumbardo-Adam et al., 2020). Advocating for the use of the Self-Determined Career Design Model (SDCDM) by occupational therapy practitioners (OTP) when working with individuals with IDD will help provide employment opportunity, equality, and life-fulfillment to those searching for meaningful employment.

Publication Date



University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


intellectual disability/developmental disability/meaningful employment/self-determined career design model/occupational therapy

Medical Subject Headings

Employment, Developmental Disabilities, Intellectual Disability, Quality of Life, Occupational Therapy


Adult and Continuing Education | Disability and Equity in Education | Occupational Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Secondary Education | Social Justice | Special Education and Teaching | Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences April 12-14, 2022.

Individuals with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities and Meaningful Employment