How to Support Employees with Developmental Disabilities

Creating a supportive and inclusive work environment is crucial for the well-being of employees and the success of any business. When it comes to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, implementing the right accommodations can have a significant impact. In this blog post, we will explore various adjustments that can be made to provide essential support for employees with developmental disabilities.

Why we need disability inclusion

Disability inclusion is ensuring that individuals with disabilities have fair pay and equal opportunity to work, learn and successfully grow their careers.

Even though it is illegal to deny someone a job because of a developmental disability, there is only a small percentage of people with disabilities who find employment. In this post-Covid world, employers are finding it difficult to hire. Without acknowledging that people with developmental disabilities are equally skilled and productive as those without, there are many missed hiring opportunities.

Hiring people from different cultures, backgrounds and life experiences brings a new perspective to the issue at hand. People with developmental disabilities can bring a new light to problems your business may encounter. They offer unique problem-solving skills and abilities, which will increase the productivity rate.

Supporting employees with developmental disabilities

To be able to successfully instill disability inclusion into your company, accommodations may need to be made. Here are ways to incorporate accommodations for those with developmental disabilities into your company:


Make your company’s website easier to operate and help those with developmental disabilities navigate the website and applications. Some examples include:

  • Ensure that your website is compatible with screen readers and keyboard commands.
  • Do not use color as a key.
  • Use alternative text under images.
  • Include closed captioning to the videos.
  • Incorporate the ability for someone to contact you if they need help.

Job postings

It is essential to use wording that encourages those with developmental disabilities to apply. By including a statement that promises your work environment to be diversity-inclusive, people with disabilities may feel more comfortable applying. Continuously describing the accommodations you make can also be helpful so they know what to expect and that you take it seriously.

Welcoming environment

Some people can be self-conscious or nervous about sharing their disability with others. By expressing that you care for people with disabilities, you can create a work environment where they are fully comfortable expressing their true selves with no fear of discriminatory remarks.

But, you alone cannot make the work environment welcoming and friendly. The other employees must also contribute to helping individuals with developmental disabilities feel comfortable. Make it clear that respect is a priority to your company, add disability inclusion to the company policy and make sure everyone is aware of the accommodations and resources available. Having available resources can help reduce disability bias and create a respectful environment for all employees.


Each person has different needs, and you should have open communication with your employee to find the best options for them. Some examples include:

  • Having equipment for those with hearing or visual impairment.
  • Using the type of communication method that works best. This could be texting instead of calling or written communication over speaking.
  • Including accessible parking and reserved parking spaces for those with disabilities.
  • Incorporating flexible schedules that align with medication schedules, therapy, etc.
  • Adding ramps or elevators.
  • Creating wheelchair-friendly bathrooms. 


Workplaces that do not include accommodations for those with developmental disabilities can make it difficult for those employees to find a job. With some slight modifications, you can create a respectful and inclusive environment and make a big difference in someone’s life.