Supported employment is a community-based work option for adults with developmental disabilities; individuals who have traditionally been excluded from opportunities in typical work settings. Supported employment is characterized by regular opportunities for interaction with coworkers without disabilities and the general public; pay and benefits are equal to those received by coworkers without disabilities in comparable positions. Supported employment is based on the premise that work should be accessible to everyone, regardless of disability. By providing the necessary support, individuals with disabilities are increasing their opportunity for community integration, independence, and productivity.
Benefits for supported employment are not only for the individual seeking employment. Employers benefit by free placement services and on-the-job training, reliable employees with improved punctuality and less absenteeism, ongoing support for both the employer and employee, education for employers and coworkers working with persons with disabilities, and lower turnover.
Supported employment has several components to the process of assisting individuals in seeking and maintaining employment. Those components are:
• Job Development Staff at Career Solutions, Inc. work with the individual who has a disability, their parent/guardian and or other interested parties to determine the type of employment setting that best meets the person’s unique needs, interests, and abilities.
• Job Placement Once work preferences have been determined, job placements are made on a case-by-case basis, considering the employment needs of each individual being served and their family. The individual is hired by the employer (not through a third party).
• Job Coaching Career Solutions’ employment specialists provide on-the-job training. The employment specialist (job coach) assists the individual in learning tasks required for the job they were hired to do. In addition, the job coach works with management and coworkers on ways to provide support to the individual in the work place at no expense to the employer.
• On-going (follow-up) Support For individuals that have reached a proficiency level of work performance, Career Solutions will follow-up with the individual and their employer to ensure continuity of performance and that the natural support system has remained in place. It also allows the employer to be able to call upon Career Solutions if further assistance or training is required, due to procedural changes in the workplace, promotion, added duties or responsibilities, or a loss in performance.
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This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFP0230 awarded to the City of Omaha by the U.S. Department of Treasury.