What is Community Employment?
Community Employment is a supported employment program for adults with intellectual disabilities, age 17 and older. This service assists individuals to identify job interests, build skills around these interests, and obtain and maintain employment. There are two components to this service: Job Find and Job Support. In Job Find individuals are preparing for, and seeking employment. In Job Support individuals receive direct support on the job. Job Support activities may include: job orientation and training, transportation to/from the job site, and other services necessary for the individual to maintain his/her job.
Supported Employment - Job Support
Job coaches (Therapeutic Activity Aides) work 1:1 alongside the clients in competitive integrated employment settings. These services consist of training the participant on job assignments, periodic follow-up, or ongoing support with participants and their employers. Clients are supported in maintaining acceptable job performance and work habits, including assistance in learning new work assignments, maintaining job skills, and achieving performance expectations of the employer. Examples: teaching a client the most efficient way to mop a room without missing areas; working along side the client to demonstrate an acceptable pace for an assigned task; making ‘task cards’ for an individual to carry teaching the next task to move to once completing the first task; intervening with an employer on behalf of the client regarding performance issues (and explaining expectations to the client).
Transportation to and from the job site is provided by the job coach and is a separate billable service from working at the job site. It must be tracked discretely from job support including the time spent providing transportation as well as obtaining client signatures for each service.
Supported Employment - Job Find
The TAA’s assist individuals with job find services through job searching, job development, resume preparation, and interview assistance. Other activities may include participation in individual planning for employment (developing interest and strength inventories specific to the client), development of job-seeking skills (practicing what to say during an interview), development of job skills specific to a job being sought (including not just learning job tasks, but also social skills).
Customized job development is individualizing the employment relationship between employees and employers in a way that matches the needs of the employer with the assessed strengths, skills, needs, and interests of the client. This is done through job carving or job sharing. This includes swapping job duties to make the most of individual skills and freeing up the time of specialist staff and pulling out small portions of a job to be completed by the client.
Small Group Employment
Small Group Employment consists of supporting clients in transitioning to competitive integrated employment. This service includes transportation (billed separately if the client does not live in a group home) and is done as part of a Mobile Work Force. Typically dFs contracts with an outside agency or facility to perform janitorial services (as well as clean here at the office). The clients are paid minimum wage by dFs for all locations. SGE includes supporting the individuals in a 1:1 or 1:2 staff to client ratio. This includes support to be ready on time and dressed properly for work, to learn new job skills, to stay on task, to follow directions, as well as to socialize appropriately while at work.