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

Employment Resources

January 2023 | Ann Garcia and Jennifer Smid - Patient Advocates, Adult Down Syndrome Center

This list of resources was compiled by the 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.

For visuals and stories on employment for people with Down syndrome, please see the Community Participation section of our Resource Library.


ASPIRE Career Academy opens in new window

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


Best Buddies opens in new window

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 opens in new window (IL)

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


GiGi’s Playhouse Career Development Programs opens in new window

Offers sequential career preparation programs (GiGi Prep, GiGi University, GiGi Professional) which emphasize training in the areas of wellness, communication, and career skills. 


Jewish Vocational Services opens in new window (IL)

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 opens in new window (IL)

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 opens in new window

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


National Down Syndrome Society Employment Program opens in new window

Provides resources on employment, volunteer work, and financial wellness and advocates for policies that increase access to competitive integrated employment. 


Parent’s Alliance Employment Project opens in new window (IL)

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


Search Inc. Career Services opens in new window (IL)

Provides competitive community employment services and train-to-work opportunities. Employment specialists support individuals in searching and training for jobs. 


TotalLink2 Community opens in new window (IL)

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 opens in new window (IL)

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:

Employment First opens in new window

Department of Employment Security opens in new window

Vocational Rehabilitation opens in new window


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.

View Resource Library


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.