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Down Syndrome Innovations provides a variety of vocational support for individuals with Down syndrome. We also provide training for employers wanting to become more inclusive in their hiring practices. 

Employment is a key component to independence, developing relationships, and contributing to our community. Our goal is to provide meaningful employment for individuals with diverse abilities to live the most fulfilling and purposeful lives possible!

Our services include on-site vocational training through our ACE Academy, Registered Youth Apprenticeship Program for ages 18-21, and community-based employment/competitive-integrated employment

We are prepared to help you at every stage of your employment journey, including:

  • Employment Discovery
  • Work Experience
  • Job Search
  • On-Site Coaching
  • Career Advancement

Award-Winning Apprenticeship Program

We are proud to announce that our Youth Apprenticeship Program with Nautical Manufacturing & Fulfillment was awarded the “2023 Outstanding New Program” by the Kansas Department of Commerce and KansasWorks Office of Registered Apprenticeship!

Congratulations to Amanda Myers, CESP, for earning this honor alongside our partners from Nautical, Madison McDaniel and Nicolette Bleidt. Special thanks to the Kansas Department of Commerce, IWSI America, and the Urban Institute for making our first-ever Apprenticeship program possible!

Together We Make An Impact...

Community-Based Employment with the Kansas City Chiefs!

The Kansas City Chiefs teamed up with Down Syndrome Innovations to create employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome—and the results are a huge win for all involved! The Chiefs currently employ 16 adults with Down syndrome as event staff, which has been life-changing for these individuals! This has also opened up new employment opportunities with other sports teams! 

Complimentary Employment Consultations

Is your self-advocate preparing for employment or needing support in their current job? Down Syndrome Innovations has a Certified Employment Support Professional to help your family navigate this journey. Our first step is to assess your skills. Sign up today for a complimentary employment consultation!

Submit Interest Form Below!

Employment Interest Form
Participant Information: 

Hidden Fields

For Employers

Is your company interested in:

  • expanding your talent pool
  • decreasing your staff turnover rate
  • increasing your productivity
  • receiving educational training about how to successfully employ individuals with diverse abilities

Our services include the following:

  • HR Consulting: Additional Human Resources tactics, support and coaching that apply to all aspects of your business.
  • Staff Training: Educate, equip and empower your staff with a toolkit of practical ways to support individuals with diverse abilities so they feel comfortable and confident working alongside them
  • Recruitment: Assessing skills and abilities and matching people in the corresponding jobs
  • Implementation: Carve or customize positions to fit needs of company and provide job coaching assistance to set individuals up for success and sustainable employment

Get Involved: Job Fairs, Internships, Job Shadowing & More!

Not Currently Hiring?

You can still positively impact our community by…

  • Participating in our annual job fair
  • Host an intern
  • Become a partner by hosting small groups for vocational training
  • Offer a job shadowing opportunity
  • Provide a tour to assist with employment discovery 
  • Volunteer at one of our events
  • Sponsor a fundraiser
  • Donate or offer matching gifts  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Employment skills can be taught at any age and integrated into activities they are already involved in at home, school, and in the community. 

Try it at Home: have them complete a task list with 3-5 chores and communicate to you when they have finished. 

Do they follow directions from a variety of people? Can they complete tasks thoroughly and independently? Are they able to focus on a task for an extended period of time? Can they follow a schedule? Do they accept feedback and constructive criticism appropriately? Can they communicate when they need something?

If you said yes to these questions, your self-advocate may be ready!

Submit an Interest Form and our Employment Coordinator, Amanda Myers, CESP,  will reach out to schedule your consultation!

Meet Our Talented Team Member!

Amanda Myers, CESP, Employment Coordinator

Amanda joined Down Syndrome Innovations in April 2021. She has more than a decade of experience supporting individuals with special needs. Amanda is a Certified Employment Support Professional.

Amanda’s experience offers our adult participants a specialized focus on gaining vocational skills that will help them obtain their individual employment goals.

She began her career working with children at a community mental health center where she was awarded Employee of the Year. Following this, she relocated to Vancouver, Canada where she worked as an Employment Specialist for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Amanda earned her bachelor of science in Family Studies with an emphasis in Counseling from Manhattan Christian College in Manhattan, KS.