In the master's thesis, we discuss the difficulties of employing people with moderate intellectual disability. Work and employment are important for health and well-being of people with intellectual disability. This allows them to maintain skills, integrate into the working and social environment and stimulate their sense of usefulness.
In the theoretical part, we introduce important Slovenian and global employment legislation. We contacted the providers of vocational rehabilitation, employment centres and the Employment Service of Slovenia in order to obtain the latest information on the implementation of laws in practice. Following, we discuss the characteristics of functioning, community life, education, learning and socially–emotional aspects of people with moderate intellectual disability. We also present the important factors and different forms of employment for people with moderate intellectual disability. The theoretical part concludes with examples of Slovenian practice in employing people with moderate intellectual disability.
Our research was carried out on a sample of 82 potential employers. We examined the issues of employing persons with moderate intellectual disability by the providers of individual craft, entrepreneurial, agricultural, catering, tourist, commercial and other services in the Gorenjska region of Slovenia.
We found that respondents often recognize people with moderate intellectual disability. Respondents have been in previous contact with them before, but contacts are rare and not related to the work process. We found that only 35% of respondents would employ a person with moderate intellectual disabilities. Most often they would employ them at workplaces in production. Respondents would take the role of a work mentor and adjust the workplace, so it would be better suited for a person with moderate intellectual disability. They believe that the employment of people with moderate intellectual disabilities is beneficial to society. There is a statistically significant difference between the answers on employment and the activity performed by the respondents. There are no statistically significant links between the respondents' answers on employment and their recognition of persons with intellectual disability, which means that the respondents would employ them regardless of their prior knowledge about the applicants’ intellectual disability.
The respondents are most interested in obtaining information on general characteristics, adaptation of workplace, sources of information and Slovenian legislation in the field of employment of persons with intellectual disability.
Results of the survey have served as a foundation in the making of an informational brochure, with guidelines for potential employers of people with moderate intellectual disability.
This is a small contribution, which will hopefully ease the employment of people with an intellectual disability.