People with disabilities want to work and feel a part of their community. COVID 19 has certainly challenged this desire to work and be successful In fact, its forced people to become afraid and choose not to work. In our program, we had a lot of individuals who continued working in essential jobs. The support staff needed to provide shifted from focusing on hard/soft skills of the job to maintaining personal safety (wearing mask, maintaining social distancing, washing hands often, etc.).
Educating the individuals on concerns relating to COVID is key, so they can make informed decisions before moving forward. People should have the choice to work or not work. If they choose to work, employment staff will be there to explain how to keep themselves safe while at work. If they choose not to work, employment staff will explain the risks involved with their choice (will they have a job to return to, will they be able to financially support themselves while not working, etc.)
There are specific services that are able to be provided safely, but then, there are others which may pose more risk. Employment staff need to protect the health of the consumers we work with and use common sense while protecting themselves.