Community Employment Resource Map
Although rural, Ashland County does have many opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to obtain community employment. A local college campus, Ashland University, employs individuals in food service and retail industries.
Ashland DD utilizes a person centered approach to identify an individual’s needs, strengths and interests to connect them with opportunities in the community. Through a local job club, individuals who are working in the community can share their experiences with peers. Employers also share valuable information and answer questions about work behaviors and culture. This has greatly impacted community employment success.
Ashland DD has created a local Employment First policy, and is in the process of developing an interagency agreement in collaboration with other local offices, including Ohio Means Jobs, local school districts, local boards of mental health and aging, and Opportunities Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). Ashland DD also works with OOD through the DODD-OOD partnership. Additionally, Ashland DD is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and participates in chamber events, which have provided a way to network and build awareness in the community and with local businesses.
An individual was trained and found a job in the service industry. When it became evident that a job working with computers would be a better fit, Ashland DD was able to find him a different job more in line with his skills and interests. He has worked in this position for the past two years and has flourished. The confidence that he gained from working has allowed him to become even more connected in the community.