Perspectives: Advice for Employment Support Professionals

Perspectives: Employment. Self-advocates' advice to employment support professionals By Will Johnson and Stuart simon

Self-advocates Will Johnson and Stuart Simon share how job vendors can better support individuals with disabilities.

Key points in plain language
Here is a brief description of big ideas coming up in this article.

An Employment Support Professional is someone that helps people with disabilities to find jobs. Employment support professionals are sometimes called job vendors or community rehabilitation providers.

Advice from Will Johnson

Will Johnson is an Administrative Coordinator at HDC. When asked how he feels about working, he replies, “Waking up every morning knowing you have a job that supports you is a remarkable feeling. Every day I look forward to learning more, building my strength, and stepping more out of my comfort zone.”

By following Will’s advice, employment support professionals can help someone with a disability find independence at work and in life.

1. Take the time to listen to your client.

If your client is not feeling the job, then listen and respect their opinion.

2. Lead your client in the right way.

If they are doing something wrong, don’t sweep it under the rug because they have a disability. Correct them so they know how to do it the right way.

3. As a job coach or vendor, don’t forget about your relationship with the client’s parent.

They are a part of the team!

4. Lastly, don’t baby-fy us!

We are adults and deserve to be treated as such.

Advice from Stuart Simon

Since 2016, Stuart Simon, MM, MLIS has worked his “dream job” at HDC. His roles include graphics specialist, webmaster, and database specialist.

Stuart’s experience shows that everyone can maximize their true potential. As he puts it, “I still say I’m working my dream job at HDC, and my support comes from the work environment itself.” He hopes that employment support professionals will put their clients on a career path to achieve their ultimate goals.

5. Not everybody needs an entry-level position!!!

Job vendors should think outside the box. If somebody wants a high-level position, listen to them.

6. Don’t mislead your clients!!!

Especially the first time you talk to your clients, make sure your clients know what is expected of them in the employment search process.

About Perspectives

Perspectives is a blog inspiring change through different perspectives brought to you by our Constituent Advisory Committee (CAC), HDC staff, and local community. Our current theme is Employment First. If you have a perspective on employment and disability, email your idea to

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