People living with intellectual disabilities can face challenges and discrimination when looking for work.
It can be tough when you’re feeling overlooked for jobs or like you’re not given a fair go.
The truth is, people with intellectual disabilities such as Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome work in a wide range of jobs and industries.
Many employers know that they are some of the most hard-working and enthusiastic members of the team.
When looking for work, it’s important to understand your unique interests, skills, and strengths. It’s also important to ask for help if you need it.
Here are 15 jobs for people with an intellectual disability to help you start brainstorming roles that would be good for you.
1. Office assistant
Office assistants help with tasks such as photocopying, answering phone calls, and filing documents. This is a good job for people who are organized and enjoy regular social contact.
Office assistants are needed in a wide variety of business types. Depending on the size of the organization you work for, the office environment might be busy and lively or it might be quiet and low-stress.
Greeters are employed in many businesses to help make customers feel welcome. Greeters might work in places like supermarkets, restaurants, transport companies and cinemas.
If you have a friendly, bubbly personality and like being around people, you might enjoy working as a greeter. You will get to meet a lot of people from all different walks of life.
If you are a creative thinker with lots of ideas, you might enjoy working in an artistic job. There are many different types of artists.
Visual artists create artworks from painting, textiles, or photography. Ceramicists work with clay to make beautiful or functional objects. Graphic designers create digital artworks.
Artists can make money by selling their artworks or businesses may employ them for their services. For example, a photographer can take photos for a business and a graphic designer can design logos and package for a business.
4. Process worker
If you work best with repetition, a job in a factory or warehouse might be a good fit for you. Process workers prepare equipment, pack products, and process orders in a wide range of industries.
Hairdressers help other people feel and look good. They must perform tasks such as cutting hair, washing hair, cleaning up, and organizing stock.
Creativity, attention to detail, and a friendly personality are good skills to have if you want to become a hairdresser. It is an ideal role if you enjoy talking with people from different backgrounds.
Servers deliver food and drinks to tables in a restaurant or cafe. If you’re a friendly person who likes working in a busy environment, this could be a good fit for you.
As a server, you may also need to take orders and give customers information about the menu. Having a good memory is an advantage.
7. Kitchen hand
Do you enjoy working with food? A kitchen hand helps prepare food, clean dishes, and process orders in a restaurant or cafe.
Kitchen work is usually fast-paced and busy. This might suit you if you are organized and like being around other people.
8. Shelf stocker
Shelf stockers place items on the shelf in supermarkets and department stores. For shelf-stocking jobs, it helps to be physically fit and an independent worker.
Some shelf stockers work during shop opening hours while others work when the shop is closed. Employers will look for trustworthy people to hire for these roles.
9. Retail assistant
Retail assistants work in retail shops like clothing stores, electronic stores, and department stores. If you have a particular passion, you might be able to find a job in a store that specializes in that thing.
To be a retail assistant, you will need to be a responsible worker and friendly. You will have to do tasks such as stacking shelves, greeting customers, and processing sales.
Do you like spending time outdoors? You might enjoy working as a gardener or groundskeeper.
These jobs involve tasks like pruning plants, mowing lawns, and sweeping pathways. In addition to learning how to use equipment, you will need to be a responsible and energetic worker.
Housekeepers provide cleaning and tidying services for private homes, holiday accommodation, and hotels.
Duties include vacuuming floors, dusting, tidying, and cleaning surfaces. To do well in this job, you will need to have good attention to detail and be a responsible worker.
12. Furniture refinisher
Furniture refinishers help repair furniture that is old or broken. In addition to learning how to use the right equipment, furniture refinishers need to be creative and have good problem-solving skills.
13. Medical technician
Medical technicians help prepare medical equipment for doctors and nurses.
To be good at this job, you will need to be organized and focused because medical equipment needs to be handled carefully and properly.
14. Supermarket bagger
Supermarket baggers help customers by putting their purchases into bags. Employers will look for workers who are focused and organized for bagging roles.
As a supermarket bagger, you may also help when people order shopping online by collecting their order from the shelves and packing it into bags for them.
Librarian duties include returning books to the shelf, helping members of the public find what they’re looking for, and maintaining computer equipment.
If you enjoy helping others and want to work in a low-stress environment, working in a library might be a good fit for you.
Where to get help finding work
If you’re living with an intellectual disability and need help finding a job that’s right for you, you could be eligible for the Disability Employment Services program.
When you register, you’ll get help with finding job opportunities, writing your resume, and accessing funding for workplace accommodation.
You’ll also get ongoing support in your new job so you can thrive in your role.
You can access the Disability Employment Services through Medicare or directly through a provider today.