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Adults with Down syndrome (DS) face several barriers to inclusive and community-based employment opportunities, including the DS phenotype, volition, and disability stigma. The purpose of this project was to create a strengths-based occupational therapy (OT) group program to address these barriers. Using information from the needs assessment as well as the Ecology of Human Performance model, the Model of Human Occupation, and the Social Model of Disability, the EmployAble program was created. EmployAble took place twice a week for five weeks and included six adults with DS, ages 19-32. The group focused on employment readiness skills such as interpersonal skills, professional communication, and self-advocacy through various client-centered activities.

The outcome measures and evaluations demonstrated the effectiveness of the program. 66% of the group improved in the following domains: appropriate greetings, asking for help when needed, offering help if needed, taking responsibility for mistakes. Parents of group members reported unanimous satisfaction with the program. The EmployAble program, as well as relevant information about inclusive employment, was disseminated across a variety of platforms. It is recommended that OT practitioners continue to facilitate inclusive employment opportunities for adults with DS.

Publication Date

Spring 4-14-2022


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Down syndrome, Inclusion, Employment

Medical Subject Headings

Down syndrome, Social Inclusion, Employment, Occupational Therapy, Intellectual Disability, Pilot Projects, Program Development


Adult and Continuing Education | Occupational Therapy | Special Education and Teaching


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

Inclusive Employment Opportunities for Adults with Down Syndrome