Rule Changes Focus on Competitive Integrated Employment
It was not so long ago that the path to employment for people with developmental disabilities looked the same for everyone; finish high school or transitional programming and move right into receiving adult services at a sheltered workshop.
Over the last several years, however, the landscape along the path to employment looks much different. Rule changes, combined with increased options, have created greater expectations and opportunities.
Providers of this service should offer opportunities to gain new and authentic learning experiences, including volunteering, in order to develop general and transferrable employment-related skills.
The ultimate outcome should be the advancement of an individual on his or her path to competitive integrated employment.
What is the Path to Employment?
The path to employment is individualized for each person served by the Auglaize DD Board.
The career discovery flow chart a tool used to help a person and his or her Service & Support Administrator (SSA) identify outcomes and the steps necessary to achieve those outcomes.
People who are interested in an eventual outcome of employment may use time-limited vocational habilitation services as a way to advance along the path.
The path is about making a commitment to developing employment skills that will ultimately lead to community employment.
Some people are on paths 3 and 4, meaning they are not making a commitment to employment right now.
They are still able to access vocational habilitation, however, as they develop skills and learn more about community employment through career discovery and exploration.
The Difference Between Vocational Habilitation and Adult Day Services
People who are not interested in an outcome of integrated employment may work with their SSA to access Adult Day Services which focus on skill development, building community membership, enhancing independence, expanding personal choice and developing social connections.
People who do express a desire to work in the community can expect :
- To identify where they are on their path to community employment
- To make advancements on their path to community employment
- To develop general work skills and workplace behaviors
- To accept a job that is competitive (minimum wage or more) and integrated employment
- Person-centered outcomes (work based on their interests, skills, talents and abilities.)
- Services and support to occur over a defined period-of-time
A person must make a decision regarding their path to community employment during his or her annual Individual Support Plan (ISP) meeting with the SSA and other team members.
The SSA helps facilitate this discussion to ensure the process is person-centered.