The Triangle Inclusive Careers Program is offered by The Power of the Dream, a Raleigh-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with the mission to create jobs and advocate for adults with autism and/or intellectual disabilities (IDD) in the North Carolina Triangle.
Click here to download the full Program Details for Triangle Inclusive Careers.
The mission of Triangle Inclusive Careers is to provide an online marketplace where qualified and supported job seekers with autism/IDD can connect with local employers at minimal cost. Triangle Inclusive Careers will incorporate the needs of both job seekers and employers in order to facilitate better opportunities for long-term successful employment. This program will include a network of partnering organizations who provide support and resources to our participants.
To assess the barriers that job seekers with autism/IDD face within the Triangle, The Power of the Dream held several meetings with community stakeholders, including employers, self-advocates, support agencies, and caretakers. From their feedback, we determined that one of the primary problems is a lack of effective communication among employers, job seekers, and support agencies. Job seekers with autism/IDD often find the traditional application process inaccessible, while employers may struggle to identify qualified applicants, given that many job seekers with autism/IDD have little to no previous job experience. Support agencies often do not establish effective long-term relationships with either employees or their employers, and without proper support, new employees with autism/IDD may be likely to lose their job within the first year. Finding and maintaining long-term employment is therefore a persistent problem for those with autism/IDD.
Other organizations have created similar programs that have so far been ineffective in the Triangle area. Many disability-focused portals become sites for “data-dumping” automated job listings that may not be appropriate for the autism/IDD community. Because they are also national portals, there are few job listings in the Triangle area and no local efforts. In addition, these existing programs do not offer any direct training or support to portal participants. Several of these portals also charge high user fees to employers, which may be a deterrent.