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Career Connections: Developmental Disabilities Worker

5 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Developmental Disabilities Worker.

(woman) I got into this field after working at a developmental disabilities summer camp. After that, it changed the way I looked at life and changed what I wanted to do with life. Developmental disabilities are a range of disabilities that an individual would have that can be either mental and/or physical. Those may include different diagnosis, such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, autism.

(Describer) Christy Pruett:

Wood Lane assists individuals from birth to adulthood in different program areas. We start out with early intervention, and then we have school-aid services, and then we have transition services for youth that are preparing to make that transition into adulthood, and then we work with adults also. What I do for this agency is I work with the individuals that are in the community employment program, and we assist them in working out in the community.

(Describer) She works with people in an office.

On different job sites, I may be there to see how things are going. I communicate with the supervisors of that site. I could also communicate with individuals that we serve, communicate with the job coach, see if there's any areas that are becoming difficulties and help them problem-solve those areas to come up with different solutions that may work better. Anna, I'm working on next week's schedule.

(Describer) She speaks with a colleague at the next desk.

Could you help me figure out which sites are working?

(Pruett) Some key responsibilities as a community training supervisor would be supervising the job coaches who work with individuals at the different job sites. I manage and arrange their schedules. We do a lot of checking and answering emails, fielding phone calls, providing support to the job coaches in whatever they may need. My educational background is I have a bachelor's degree, and it's a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology. My degree helps simply because I was able to understand the developmental part of what individuals go through throughout their life process. You can start out with a high school diploma, but if you go into supervisory roles, there are different supervisor roles that require a bachelor's, if not a master's degree.

(Describer) A third woman visits the two of them.

How are you guys? Good. Was wondering if you were going to come over about 10:30 to check out Joe and his food prep skills. That's right. It's on my calendar.

(Pruett) Classes that would be helpful in middle school or high school would be any classes that would relate to different computer software, like Microsoft Office. Another one is tech ed, to be able to help design different things to assist individuals in the field. Creative writing or business writing because communication is going to be very important, whether or not that is verbal communication or written communication, so English would be very good in there. And any type of class that's going to help develop your creativity would be really good. Everybody we work with has different needs. What works for one person won't necessarily work for others. We need to be creative in how we're going to work with each individual.

(Describer) She watches a young man prepare a tray of food, and others push a bin through a warehouse.

It's going to be important in this field not to completely rely on technical devices because you're interacting with individuals with disabilities as part of a large team. It's going to be essential that you're able to communicate well with the individuals, the individual's families, different team members, and the employers. What attracted me to this field, knowing it wouldn't be easy, is I really enjoy being able to make a difference in somebody else's life.

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. WBGU-TV Public Television. Copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Join a community training supervisor for a busy day of on-site visits. She meets with and helps individuals with developmental disabilities find employment. Learn about the education requirements needed to pursue a career in this field. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 5 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 6
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Career Connections
Episode 7
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Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 9
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Career Connections
Episode 10
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Grade Level: 7 - 12