King County Supported Employment
Equal employment opportunities for all
King County’s commitment to supported employment started in 1990, when the King County Council created an initiative to provide paid, competitive employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities into integrated work settings in response to the issue of employment inequality.
It is our goal to see both our employees and those we serve have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. The supported employment initiative gives us the ability to meet this goal by including an untapped motivated workforce as well as streamline our work to be more efficient. We see this as a winning combination.
Supported employment is an approach used to match qualified job candidates with developmental disabilities to business needs within King County government. Department needs are identified through in-depth interviews and lean task development, which are then bundled together to develop a supported employment position.
Quality employment agencies provide a job coach to support the job candidates with developmental disabilities through the application process, onboarding, training, retention of employment as well as ongoing career growth. The job coach also provides training and support to co-workers and supervisors on disability related topics as well as how best to work with the employee.
King County utilizes Washington State RCW 71A.10.020(5) to define developmental disability:
"Developmental disability" means a disability attributable to an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or another neurological or other condition of an individual closely related to an intellectual disability or that requires treatment similar to that required for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which originated before the individual attains age eighteen, continues or can be expected to continue indefinitely, and constitutes a substantial limitation to the individual.