Expectations are formed by what we see, hear, and experience. It is difficult to form expectations when we simply don’t know what is possible or available to us. This applies to all expectations in life, but especially to expectations for employment.
Most young adults look to their families as models for employment (what we see). Students and their families also tend to listen to those in authority (e.g., educators, service providers) regarding what kinds of employment are available and how to access it (what we hear).
Ideally, though, young adults will have opportunities to experience different integrated, competitive jobs in order to better understand their options and preferences for employment (what we experience).
Without this information, students with disabilities (and their families) may have low expectations for employment simply because they don’t understand creative strategies (like customized employment) or what resources are available to support employment and how to access them.
Think Work! at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston provides a variety of real work stories that highlight creative employment strategies across the country. Take some time to dig into these stories and consider how to inspire expectations in your students for their future employment.
Griffin-Hammis Associates also offers a collection of creative employment examplesthat can be used to inspire employment dreams.
Finally, we have collated a playlist of YouTube videos sharing employment success stories because sometimes a video can be a more impactful way of sharing the story and inspiring high expectations for the future!
Read, watch, share, and be inspired!