Career Solutions

Our Career Solutions Department provides customized training and supported employment for individuals with Down syndrome. Our team is dedicated to making sure that our members find a job where they can thrive and make a difference for years to come.

Pre-Employment Training


Pre-Employment Training Services (Pre-ETS) is a program for high school students (14-21) to prepare them for the public world beyond high school, most notably the workplace and post-secondary education. This program is run at no cost to the family and is aimed at providing practical training for our high school students to learn to become competent students and workers.

Pre-Employment Transition Services

Supported Employment

This program is funded by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and Medicaid waivers. We pride ourselves on getting to know our members extremely well, allowing us to match their skills, talents, and personalities to employers whom we trust.

Supported Employment

Our Employment Partners

We support over 60 employees in the Louisville area, helping them to make positive contributions to their places of employment, and promoting to the public their skills and abilities.

Questions about Supported Employment or ready to jumpstart your career?

Career Solutions has meetings and informational interviews with members, families, and employers by appointment. Please contact Shelly Durbin to learn more or visit our building for a tour and more information about the program.

Do you not have waiver or live in Indiana?

  • Click here for Indiana vocational rehab services
  • No waiver? No problem. OVR covers the first year of employment training for our members, and you can also Private Pay if you need services beyond that. Contact Shelly Durbin to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will my son/daughter be working in public alone?

– Yes. They will eventually be working independently in public, much like any adult. Part of what we do is to ensure they are in a safe, trustworthy environment. We offer detailed training, with the intent to slowly and effectively fade away. If there are any issues with this, they will be addressed on an individual basis.

2. Will this affect their monthly SSDI check?

– Possibly. It depends on their earnings. The state of Kentucky allows an individual to earn $240.00 monthly before their SSDI check has any deductions. In any scenario, the individual always earns more total from their paycheck and their SSDI. Plus, they are earning their own money and contributing to the economy. Their earnings will never affect their Medicaid.

3. Can anyone get a job?

– In theory, yes. The biggest obstacles to employment are behavior and skill development. One way to look at this is: “If you can feed yourself, you can work.” We can train people to do almost anything, but if there are behavior problems involved, those may need to be sorted out before considering employment. This applies to ALL ability levels.

4. When should we get started?

– We would love to work with your family member during high school, via Pre-ETS. The best time to reach out to us is in the last year of high school or vocational training.

5. What can we do to prepare for the workplace at home?

– The best thing to do is complete chores around the house together. This is not commanding: “Go clean your room!” but rather, “Let’s go clean your room together today, and we can learn what we need to do to keep it straight.” Eventually, they will be able to complete the task independently and establish pride in what they have done. Next, try volunteering, learning to introduce themselves, and observing what kinds of jobs your son/daughter be interested in.

Career Solutions Staff

Shelly Durbin

Adult Programs Director

Kristen Falcone

Career Specialist

Zac Sappenfield

Career Specialist

Lucas West

Career Specialist

Brianna Heitzmann

Career Specialist

Career Solutions News & Stories

Congratulations to Anna on her new job!

February 22, 2024

DSL’s Katie Croom wins Sunshine Award at Mission BBQ

December 8, 2023

Celebrating Brianna Heitzman: A Champion of Inclusion and Advocate for All

May 16, 2023

A Few Career Solutions Highlights from 2022

May 27, 2022

DSL Career Solutions Trainees Start New Jobs

February 16, 2022

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