Training for People with Disability

Workplace Skills

 

Popular disability workplace training  includes soft skills training and sensitivity training.  That is because now more than ever, people with disabilities work within an integral part of the community they live in.  

Twenty five years ago, disability work programs located within sheltered and segregated settings were common for employees with intellectual disabilities entering the labor force.  Soft skills training, such as getting to work on time, getting along with others, and being enthusiastic on the job may have been the goals in these programs.  However, often workers were not required to achieve them to retain their “sheltered” job.  Today though, a disability work program is more likely to be integrated within the community.  Competitive jobs, supported employment, and work enclaves require workers to master soft skill training in order to be successful in a community work setting.

As inclusive employment continues to evolve, workers with disabilities live, shop, and play within their communities.  As wage earners they participate as consumers of goods and services.  Therefore, employees without disabilities can expect to be working along side a person with a disability but they should also anticipate that they will be providing goods or services to this segment of the population.  It is reasonable to assume that within their career employees will more than likely be part of an employee sensitivity training that focuses on disability as diversity, and how disability etiquette can relate to better customer service and more business for their employers.

 

 

Career Management

 

Because the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is significantly higher than for those without disabilities, career management can often be neglected.  For many with a disability, job seeking and employment are their main focuses.  However, even after the initial entry into the labor market, career goals are just as important for people with disabilities as finding the job is.  For anyone, including a person with a disability, career management is more than a singular event.  Career management is a life long process and investment that will identify, plan and achieve defined goals and objectives 

Often, for people with disabilities, careers start with a vision that becomes a plan, and then a commitment to lifelong learning and planning.  Individualized paths and plans will differ. For example; for a person with a disability, job training programs might require certain accommodations.  Career education can help identify barriers as well as assist in reaching successful career goals.  

 

Career Assessments 

 

Career Assessments are administered to determine skill levels, aptitudes and interests to clarify career goals.

A variety of Career Assessments are administered to determine skill levels, aptitudes and interests and to explore how these meet the requirements of the current labor market. The assessment, conducted over five to 15 days, helps to clarify vocational goals, whether the person with a disability has never worked, has a long work history or needs to consider a new career.

The Career Assessment will focus on:

  • Academics (such as Reading and Math)
  • Current skills and strengths
  • Aptitudes for new areas
  • Skill areas to be strengthened with training
  • Career exploration and job goal development

 

At the end of the assessment, a conference is held to discuss the results and a written summary report is provided. This report outlines recommendations regarding career goals that may be pursued.  Everyone has strengths and interests – and our goal is to find them.

 

 

Job Coaching and Support Employment

 

Job Coaching and Supported Employment helps people with disabilities seek out and develop jobs and provides on- and off-site assistance.

 

Supported Employment makes it possible for people with varying levels of disabilities to become active, wage-earning members of the workforce by generating positive employment opportunities and providing on-going support so that they may be successful in the workplace. This assistance, whether intensive or transitional, may include a job coach that can help the individual choose, secure and retain a job.

 

Job Coaching  for people with disabilities and Supported Employment services can include:

 

  • Clarification of career goals
  • Assistance with completing job applications,
    interviews, understanding benefit packages
  • Preparing a resume and helping to develop, obtain and maintain a job
  • Travel training
  • Job site training and advocacy
  • Intensive training on specific work tasks
  • Developing effective communication and proper workplace behavior/dress code
  • Acting as a liaison between work supervisors and co-workers
  • On and off-site support available

 

Assistance may be provided for a few days or as long as eighteen months. On-going support may be provided, as needed.