Employment is the primary activity of working age adults. This includes adults with significant disabilities. Supported Employment is competitive integrated employment, including customized employment, that is individualized and customized consistent with the strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individuals involved. This is for individuals with the most significant disabilities for whom competitive integrated employment has not historically occurred. (WIOA 2014)
Further, Supported Employment includes pay at minimum wage or better, support provided to obtain and maintain jobs, and promotion of career development and workplace diversity. Support is provided to customers, employers, and/or coworkers through activities such as on-the-job training, support to maintain the job, and long term assistance. Supported Employment is conducted in a variety of settings and work sites in which persons without disabilities are employed. Self-employment has emerged as an option for some individuals. The support organization assists the individual with the mutually agreed upon details of the individual’s business.
Supported Employment is different from traditional rehabilitation services. Traditional services focus on short-term assistance and training in order to produce long-term employment. For many people with disabilities, initial training and assistance of short duration will result in meaningful and lasting competitive employment. For other people who have more significant disabilities, short-term support will be insufficient for obtaining and maintaining employment. It is for these individuals that Supported Employment is designed.
Supported employment continues to be the preferred employment option for the county and the state. It is the most requested service and the priority for county funding. Wages tend to be higher and opportunities for inclusion greatest in this type of employment service.
As individuals who are employed proceed on their employment path, career development & asset building become the focus of services and supports.
Benefits Analysis (Financial Planning)
As personal income for people with developmental disabilities has increased, the complexity of managing finances and benefits has also increased. Benefits Analysis is a review and plan for the use and coordination of an individual’s benefits by a trained professional who is experienced in Social Security and SSI regulations as well as other benefits that may be available to assist people with disabilities.
Community Connections was designed to provide individualized supports to assist people to be included into their communities in a variety of ways based on the individual preferences.
This program focuses on personal independence, community participation, life enjoyment and enrichment through activities, special assistance, advocacy, and education. Services are individualized to address the growth and interaction needs of the participants. Community Connection services aim to assist individuals with disabilities to make meaningful connections with their communities through the use of generic systems, natural supports, and other community associations. Individuals served by this program are generally those age 62 and older who are not working.
Call the Washington State Developmental Disabilities Administration at 360.418.6108 for a referral or call Clark County Department of Community Services, Developmental Disabilities Program at 564.397.2130 for more information.