Supported Employment services seeks to achieve the following outcomes:

An opportunity to earn equitable wages and other employment-related benefits, development of new skills, increased community participation, enhanced self-esteem, increased consumer empowerment, and quality of life. The types of supported employment services used depend on the needs of individual consumers. The following are the basic components of supported employment:

Paid Employment:

Wages are a major outcome of supported employment. Work performed must be compensated with the same benefits and wages as other workers in similar jobs receive. This includes sick leave, vacation time, health benefits, bonuses, training opportunities, and other benefits. Employment must be for at least 18 hours per week.

Integrated Work Sites:

Integration is one of the essential features of supported employment. Individuals with disabilities should have the same opportunities to participate in all activities in which other employees participate and work alongside other employees who do not have disabilities.

Ongoing support:

A key characteristic which distinguishes supported employment from other employment programs is the provision of ongoing support for individuals with severe disabilities to maintain employment.

Supported services:

Job development and placement; intensive job-site training; facilitation of natural supports; special skills training; supplementary assessment; contact with employers, parents, family members and advocacy organizations; teaching compensatory workplace strategies.

Extensive support services:

Support services needed on an ongoing basis to support and maintain a person in competitive employment, provided at no cost to the employer.

Employment Specialist/Consultant (Job Coach):

A person employed by a job training and placement organization serving people with disabilities who matches clients with jobs, provides necessary supports during the initial employment period (such as specialized on-site training to assist the employee with a disability in learning and performing the job and adjusting to the work environment) and then facilitates the transition to natural workplace supports while deducing his or her role.

Natural Supports:

Consumers get support from supervisors and co-workers occurring in the workplace to assist employees with disabilities to perform their jobs, including supports already provided by employers for all employees.

These natural supports may be both formal and informal, and include mentoring, supervision (ongoing feedback on job performance), training (learning a new job skill with a co-worker) and co-workers socializing with employees with disabilities at breaks or after work.

Natural supports are particularly effective because they enhance the social integration and acceptance of an employee with a disability within the workplace. In addition, natural supports tend to be more permanent, consistently and readily available, thereby facilitating long-term job-retention.

Carving & job creation:

The process of breaking down jobs into their key components and assigning them to employees based on the company’s efficiency in operations and joint customization to meet the skills of the employee with a disability. This process results in either job restructuring or job creation.

Job Development:

Our job development manager creates relationship with various companies and business entities and locates jobs for people with disabilities through networking with employers, businesses and community leaders. The use of Business Advisory Councils is an excellent way to develop contacts that lead to employment for people with disabilities.

Mobile Work Crew:

A small crew of persons with disabilities (up to 6) works as a distinct unit and operates as a self-contained business that generates employment for their crew members by selling a service. The crew works at several locations within the community, under the supervision of a job coach.

The type of work frequently includes janitorial or grounds keeping. Consumers (individuals) with disabilities work with people who do not have disabilities in a variety of settings, such as offices and apartment buildings.