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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Employment Resources

April 2019 | Grace O’Connor and Ann Garcia - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

This list of resources was compiled by Grace O’Connor and Ann Garcia, patient advocates at the Adult Down Syndrome Center. Some of these resources are specific to the greater Chicagoland area and/or Illinois. If you are looking for resources in another region, we recommend reaching out to a local Down syndrome parent organization.

ASPIRE Career Academy

The Career Academy offers job training and placement services, including hands-on training in a simulated work environment.

Best Buddies

Best Buddies Integrated Employment Program helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find jobs which match their skills and interests and provides ongoing to support to the employee and employer.

Center for Enriched Living Employment Opportunities Program

Employment placement program for individuals with developmental disabilities which connects job seekers with employment opportunities in the community.

GiGi’s Playhouse Career Development Programs

(GiGi Prep, GiGiU, Career Studio)

GiGi’s Playhouse offers sequential career preparation programs which emphasize training in the areas of wellness, communication, and career skills. After completing GiGiU, graduates move on to an internship in the Career Studio.

Jewish Vocational Services

Serves a wide variety of job seekers, including people with disabilities. Services include career planning, job search skill development, job placement, and job coaching.

JJ’s List

JJ’s List offers disability awareness training to businesses, a directory of disability-friendly businesses and employers, and hop-on-the bus transportation training for people with disabilities.

Job Accommodation Network

Provides information about job accommodations, disability employment, and self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.

No Boundaries

No Boundaries prepares transition age teens and adults with disabilities for the workplace and for living independently. Their program offers training in areas of self-organization, communication, internet safety, and job search and workplace skills.

Parent’s Alliance Employment Project

PAEP provides a variety of employment related services, including career counseling, job skills training, and job placement and coaching.

TotalLink2 Community

TL2C is a non-profit organization that supports individuals with disabilities in living meaningful lives in their communities. It offers job development and placement services and recreational opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

Working Together Chicago

Working Together Chicago partners with local social service agencies and area Catholic/faith-based schools to provide internships and eventual employment for adults with disabilities.

State of Illinois Employment Resources:




Entrepreneurship Resources:

Some Local Businesses Employing People with Developmental Disabilities:

Gerry’s Café

Hugs & Mugs

Misericordia Sweet Shoppe

We Grow Dreams

Find More Resources

We offer a variety of resources for people with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers and the professionals who care for and work with them. Search our collection of articles, webinars, videos, and other educational materials.

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.