What constitutes effective support in obtaining and maintaining employment for individuals with intellectual disability? A scoping review

Cindy Cheng, Jodi Oakman, Christine Bigby, Ellie Fossey, Jillian Cavanagh, Hannah Meacham, Timothy Bartram

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Employment rates for Australians with an intellectual disability remain low. Effective evidence-based strategies are required to guide future interventions, to enable people with intellectual disability achieve better employment outcomes. Methods: A literature search of peer-reviewed articles published between 2001 and 2015 was conducted using four electronic databases. Articles were reviewed and sorted according to employment setting and type of support provided. Results: Twenty-two studies were identified. Four studies of open employment examined workplace level strategies and 17 investigated individual level strategies. A single study of supported employment examined individual level change. Results suggested potential strategies that can be utilised to support people with intellectual disability obtain and maintain employment. Conclusions: Existing evidence regarding open employment for people with intellectual disabilities could be enhanced through the conduct of rigorous outcomes-focused studies that attend to specific strategies at both individual and organisation levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • Australia
  • Intellectual disability
  • open employment
  • paid employment
  • support
  • supported employment

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