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ERIC Number: EJ945930
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
A Place to Be, Not a Place to Go
Roberts, Tera
Exceptional Parent, v41 n10 p12-14 Oct 2011
The field of developmental disabilities is as multi-faceted, varied and intricate as anything imaginable. Most of the author's management and professional experience has centered on vocational opportunities and supported employment for people with significant disabilities. The author shares some thoughts and experiences about supporting people in employment settings. Employment services are as diverse as human beings are. Just as one job, one method of learning, one environment is not for any population, the same is true for people with disabilities. The author contends that what is important is informed choice, a willingness to take a few risks, and a safety net of support. It is just fine if a person chooses to volunteer, or work in an agency's training center, or work in group employment, or work in competitive employment, or be an entrepreneur, or do a little bit of all of these. Living is about living, not about fitting into some mold professionals try to fit people into. Continuous exposure to new experiences that allow for informed choice should be a constant way of life for everybody. When looking for a provider agency to provide employment services, there are some best practices for supporting people with disabilities. Foremost, a provider must employ specialized professionals to provide the functions of job placement, job coaching, and on-going supported employment services. Staff must have specialized training in job development methods, job training, task analyses, and they should have supervisory experience in varied trades. An experienced employment staff represents an agency that values informed choice, a little risk taking, and is willing to provide the necessary resources of support. Provider agencies that assign supported employment or vocational services to residential staff or some employee that doesn't seem busy enough, will never have long-term success. Employment and vocational programs must also reflect competency in funding sources and compliance to scores of regulations. The best employment programs stand ready to help families identify potential funding sources for services and explain any requirements for accessing those services.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A