The Employment Process41

The conceptual framework also incorporates a process that has been refined during the past 15 years through supported employment, choice demon

41As discussed herein, the focus of the Conceptual Framework is working-aged adults with developmental disabilities. However, a successful employment process for adults is clearly facilitated by high school-to-work transition programs that provide education and training and create career opportunities for students with developmental disabilities. Office of Inspector General, "Employment Programs for persons with Developmental Disabilities" Report # 0EI-

strations, and the use of natural supports for successful employment of individuals with disabilities.42 The proposed process incorporates five core employment services:

1. a person-centered planning process called the vocational profile;

2. a meeting that links planning with job development called the profile meeting;

3. individualized job development that targets the type of job that the individual wants;

4. a job/technology analysis of the employment site and specific responsibilities; and

5. an employer-directed support plan that provides the individual with all the support he or she needs to successfully perform the job.43

For individuals who choose self-employment possibilities, the vocational profile provides an alternative course to move from an idea or concept to business plan development. The vocational profile begins with an expectancy of job placement or self-employment that builds on individual strengths, personal preferences, and individual and community natural supports already in place. There is a presumption that anyone who wishes to work can work. The profile moves away from traditional assessment models of standardized tests and time and productivity studies of ability to work. Through observation and structured interviews with the individual and others who know the individual, an individually selected employment specialist will capture the family support available, a description of typical

07-98-00260 (August 1999). See Coller-Klingenberg, Lana. "The Reality of Best Practices in Transition: A Case Study" 65 Exceptional Children at 67 (1998)("professional literature emphasizes the importance of transition planning and instruction"). Starting early increases the flexibility and options available to students and offers a larger variety of possible future career paths. Kiernan, W. "Moving On: Planning for the Future. On-line. (transition process ideally should start at age 14). The concept of person-centered and person-directed planning is equally successful in transition programs. Id. See also Missouri Transition Alliance Partnership et al. "Fundamentals of Transition" On-line. htm#ack; Natural Transition Alliance. "NTA Transition Practices Framework—Categories, Elements, Practices." On-line. See also Luecking, R; and Tilson, G. "Best and Effective Practices in School-to-Work Transition for Youths with Disabilities."

42Mank, D; Cioffi, A; and Yovanoff, P. The Consequences of Compromise: An Analysis of Natural Supports, Features of Supported Employment Jobs and Their Relationship to Wage and Integration Outcomes. Indiana: University of Indiana Press, 1996. Hagner, D; and DiLeo, D. Working Together: Workplace Culture, Supported Employment and People with Disabilities. Cambridge: Brookline Books, 1993. Callahan, M; Collins, M; and Cooper, A. Advice, Information, and Choice. Washington, DC: United Cerebral Palsy Association, 1997. 43 Callahan, M. Garner, B. "Keys to the Workplace" (1999).

routines, friends, and social relationships, a description of the neighborhood, transportation available, employment options near home, work history, present activity levels, and interests, potential connections to employers, potential needs for flexibility or supports in the workplace, and other information that may be helpful. The profile should be written in positive language that reflects the individual's perspective.

After the development of the profile, a profile meeting should be held. Meeting attendance should include friends, family members, and others selected by the individual. The purpose of the meeting is to set out the future plan of action for job development or self-employment opportunities. The discussion includes perceived components of an ideal job, where such a job is found, and places the individual wants to avoid. The result of the discussion will be the development of a checklist of conditions, preferences, and contributions from which the individual can evaluate any job possibility found by the employment specialist.

A similar approach will be taken with ideas for producing income and self-employment. The job development and/or self-employment interests would form the basis for a prospecting list that details types of jobs and/or activities that could produce income. The outcome from the vocational meeting is a blueprint of the preferred kind of work/activity and a prospect list of employers who will be contacted.

The third critical step is individualized job development. Rather than calling on random employers to see whether a job exists, employment specialists target employers identified during the profile meeting and relate to them the individual's potential contributions. The EI2 model proposes that the employment specialist be paid based on an outcome-based reimbursement system that rewards for timely performance. Payment for an acceptable job match within 60 days would be double that for similar results in 120 days.

A job development process includes an evaluation of work site quality. This evaluation will include the following factors:

1. interactions available with coworkers

2. wages

3. benefits

4. working conditions

5. terms of employment

6. any unique enhancing features

7. internal training and support

8. transportation availability

9. employer reputation

10. turnover rate

Before the individual with a disability starts a job, the job/technology analysis will be completed that will include identification of core and job-related routines, an explicit list of employer expectations, observations of the job performed by others, physical and communication demands, academic demands (reading, math, writing skills), work pace, possible natural informal and formal workplace supports, potential for use of adaptations or modifications in the work site, willingness of coworkers and/or supervisors to provide support and assistance, and any possible leaders or allies in the workforce.

The final key element is an employer-directed support plan. The plan is employer directed because the individual with a disability works for the employer, not a nonprofit service provider. The plan is signed by the employer and employee and details specific supports, who will provide them, how they will be provided, for what time period, and the estimated costs. The plan is reviewed weekly during the first month of employment and monthly thereafter. Changes are negotiated per discussion with employer and employee as well as support providers. The identification, negotiation, and refinement of supports needed and the provision of the supports by individ-ual(s), agencies, coworkers, or others are critical elements of employment success.44 As defined by Wehman, Revel, and Kregel in An Analysis of the Activities of Employment Specialists in a Natural Support Approach to Supported Employment, individual support needs are considered to include any type of assistance required or desired that aids or facilitates participation in the community and workplace environment of his or her choice. In ADD-funded Projects of National Significance to test and learn from natural support interventions in the workplace, over 57 different support needs were identified. These were broken into six categories: 1) finding a job, 2) assistance with completing the job tasks, 3) learning the job, 4) addressing other work-related issues, 5) addressing non-work-related issues, and 6) transportation.45

The proposed EI2 model offers a conceptual framework in which the individual consumer directs an array of services and support that must be invented rather than simply selected from a menu of proven solutions. Whether the goal is supported employment or self-employment, the planning process is person centered and -directed and responsive to personal preferences. Resources and supports are configured to match individual needs and interests.

Support coordination must be independent of a fiduciary agent to avoid potential conflict of interest in the choice of provider or the amount to be

44 Wehman, P; Kregel, J. and Shafer, M. eds. "Emerging Trends in the National Supported Employment Initiative: A Preliminary Analysis of Twenty-Seven States." Richmond: Rehabilitative Research and Training Center (1989).

45 Hagner, D; Butterworth, J. and Keith, G. "Strategies and Barriers in Facilitating Natural Supports for Employment of Adults with Disabilities." 20 Journal of American People with Severe Handicaps, 110-120 (1995).

paid for identified needed supports. The independent support coordination must also recognize the value of benefits counseling to facilitate informed choice and risk-taking. Working and/or earning income has consequences from a benefits standpoint. Earning at or above the substantial gainful activity level (SGA) will impact on Social Security cash benefits and access to health care (Medicaid) and may affect other public benefits (food stamps, housing vouchers, personal assistance services). Understanding and managing the risk of a change in work and asset status must be an important part of the support coordination function. Peer and professional advice would be sought to consider best approaches to minimize risk and maximize benefits support and resource accumulation. The chart below recognizes the need for independence between support coordination and banking functions.

EI2 Model: Person-Centered and Directed Approach

EI2 Model: Person-Centered and Directed Approach

Capacity Building

The development of a seamless workforce development system is in its early stages. States are at very different points of embracing and adopting the principles of self-determination. The process of change and capacity building to establish new relationships at a local community level is both a challenge and an opportunity for unprecedented inclusion of individuals with developmental disabilities in training, support ,and entry into the labor force.

At a local level, new agreements must be reached between potential partners (education, labor, vocational rehabilitation, mental retardation, Medicaid) and their representatives to serve on a "finance committee" to review and commit resources in support of individual personal budgets.

2. Economic Independence and Inclusion

Creating an Online Business Plan

Creating an Online Business Plan

Your online business plan needs to make sure it addresses the management and administration structure in other words your organization’s breakdown. Online businesses often have a simpler organization structure than a traditional business, but that’s not always the case, and it must be clearly defined.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment