What is needed is acknowledgement that truly natural supports are of the workplace, not of the human service system.
Workplaces are different, comprising unique cultures that must be understood in order to be utilized and developed for natural supports.
Job analysis has been used in the support of disability employment since 1965.
In the early days, a job analysis was essentially a training plan to be used to support individuals with disabilities to learn and perform their jobs.
Analyses often contained adaptations, adjustments, individualized training strategies and other such solutions to facilitate successful employment for the employee.
The reconsideration that is needed is to shift the focus of job analysis
to that of a cultural analysis of workplaces. In other
words, the proper starting point needs to be on the company’s culture before we consider the needs of the employee with a disability.
To do this effectively we must look beyond the issue of disability and consider how typical employees are naturally supported.
Successful employment for generic employees involves a balancing act of two forces which are often at odds in community workplaces:
- the general decisions made by employers regarding the support given to their employees and
- the specific needs of individual workers.
These forces must be balanced by all successful workers in every workplace in our society.