Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990, employing people with Down syndrome and other disabilities has been a realistic goal for all kinds of employers – corporations, small and local businesses and government agencies.

However, many barriers to employment for individuals with Down syndrome still exist. Individuals with Down syndrome can and do make valuable employees and are ready to work, but often lack the opportunity. Furthermore, many employers have expressed interest in hiring employees with Down syndrome, but often lack the information and resources to support opportunities for employment.

This guide is intended to educate employers on hiring people with Down syndrome by highlighting benefits, suggesting tips for success, identifying some challenges, sharing success stories and providing resources.

NDSS thanks Mr. David Egan for his leadership on the development of this resource through the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellowship. As an individual with Down syndrome who has been competitively employed for more than twenty years, Mr. Egan brings a unique and invaluable perspective, and we are grateful for his collaboration.

Valued Able and Ready to Work 3-9-16

New Resource!



The #DSWORKS® Program is proud to present Guide Me & Watch Me Succeed. This valuable resource is designed to support employers as they train their employees with Down syndrome. These techniques were identified and developed by NDSS Senior Office Assistant and Job Coach, Jennifer Katz, after having demonstrated a history of success in practice. The Guide Me & Watch Me Succeed resource is available in a one-page and longer form version. Please contact the Matteo Lieb with the #DSWORKS® program if you have any questions or are interested in partnering with us!

Additional Resources:


  • Helpline 
    800-221-4602 / [email protected]
    Through our toll-free helpline and email service, NDSS receives more than 10,000 requests a year for information on Down syndrome


  • Association of Persons Supporting Employment (APSE)
    Focuses on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
    A source of free, expert and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues
  • Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress: Your Next Star
    This list of resources for employers provides excellent information for business owners and those hiring
  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Youth
    Assists state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities
  • Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining, and Promoting People with Disabilities—A Resource Guide for Employers
    Developed by a federal cross-agency effort working to increase equal employment opportunities and financial independence for individuals with disabilities