DSAJ Employment Initiative

The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville (DSAJ) is a non-profit organization committed to helping people with Down syndrome achieve their full potential and to helping create a community that is educated, supportive, and inclusive of individuals with Down syndrome.

“Working Towards Success”

Employment Readiness Course

(Ages 16+)

This six week course will be offered to individuals working towards a goal of employment. Essential employability skills such as enthusiasm/attitude, communication skills, problem solving, professionalism, teamwork and networking will be taught at a comprehensive level to prepare participants for entering the workforce. The training will also place a focus on workplace etiquette including professional appearance and behavior. Fundamental interviewing skills and resume preparation will be incorporated into the course. Each participant will have the opportunity to create a resume highlighting their skills and abilities. Using an array of teaching methods  including small group interaction, role-play, videos, and written and oral activities, the DSAJ hopes to effectively and realistically prepare individuals to be competent employees in the community workforce.

Research indicates that a
diverse, inclusive workforce
drives innovation, fosters
creativity and guides
business strategies.

“Making It Work”

Job Task Training Employed Individuals

(Ages 18+)

This course will be offered to individuals who currently obtain a part-time or  full-time employment opportunity in the community. The purpose of this program is to provide ongoing one-on-one support to the employee both in and out of their workplace. Participants will work with instructors to review critical workplace skills and topics such as gaining more responsibilities at work, asking for assistance, and what to do upon completion of duties. Each participant will create/update their resume which will highlight their individual skills and abilities.  Participants will have the opportunity to partake in individualized job task training, based upon their current occupation, focusing on the preparation and improvement of skills and tasks needed for them to be competent and capable workers. The overall objective for job task training for each individual is to work towards job task independence that can be transferred into their place of employment.

“Work It Out”

Employer Support Program

Strategies and Supports for Employers of
Individuals with Down Syndrome

The DSAJ, along with the service provider, plan to partner with employers that have provided opportunities of employment to individuals with Down syndrome.  This program is designed to provide an adequate support system for employers which will create and maintain a successful working environment.  The “Work It Out”  Employer Support Program will offer guidance and suggestions on addressing any challenges.  The DSAJ, along with the service provider will work one-on-one with the employee to provide additional training.  In addition, Down syndrome education, training and awareness is offered to the employee’s colleagues to ensure a comfortable work environment is in place for all.

Employing people
with Down syndrome leads to better organizational
performance and retention in high-turnover positions.

“Working in Action”

Internship Program

Job Training Opportunity for Individuals with Down Syndrome

This six week paid internship at the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville Office will be offered to individuals seeking to gain employment experience through a part-time work opportunity. This internship is ideal for individuals who have not previously held a job, as the individual will work amongst an instructor/colleague who will teach and review proper job etiquette and behavior, and will teach the skills necessary to work in an office setting. The internship is also open to individuals with prior work experiences who are seeking to expand their job skills. Skills will include copying, shredding, labeling, answering phones, sorting mail, organizing mail, creating packets using given materials and more. This internship provides experience for the individual seeking employment, and will be added to the individual’s resume upon completion.

“Ciara's Intern Experience”

Ciara started as an intern with the DSAJ through our “Working in Action” paid internship program. Upon completion of our internship, Daigle Creative saw the value of Ciara as an employee and hired her as an intern in their PR and Advertising Agency. Check out her amazing experience.

Employment Program Sponsors:

Global Down Syndrome Foundation
The McNabb Family
Matrix OneSource
PGA Tour Red Coat Grant
Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity of UNF

Career Solutions Training Program

“When the doors are open to workers with
disabilities, corporations and businesses develop a new pool
of qualified employees who value their jobs and
provide much-welcomed diversity
in the workforce. “