The goal of community employment is to assist adults with developmental disabilities to achieve their vocational desires by matching them with local businesses. Community employment may take the form of group placement or individual placement.
A group placement is a small group of workers who are accompanied and assisted by a job coach at all times. Groups are placed in a variety of work settings and may be doing various types of work such as assembly, janitorial, maintenance, or food preparation. An individual placement is one in which an employee works on his or her own with minimal support form a Job Coach and co-workers.
Job Coaches provide assistance in learning a job at the job site. They do initial training, retraining, and follow along with the participant to ensure that the participant understands what is required in the job and can perform the job requirements. Job coaches also assist with job-related matters such as transportation, grooming, time off, on-going communication with the employer, safety, and self-advocacy.
- Job training, including job safety, and self-advocacy
- Mobility training
- Support in keeping the job
- Communication with parents, care-providers, and employers
- Teaching work skills and essential life skills that promote a stable and healthy lifestyle both in the workplace and the home
- Providing work experience and assessment and, later, supportive employment services that promote successful employment with local employers who offer a competitive salary and benefit package thereby improving working conditions for individuals with special needs
- Working with employers to provide necessary accommodations in the workplace and on the job
- Helping participants overcome obstacles that they face in their daily efforts to access jobs, training, education, financial institutions and other community resources
- Addressing the transportation barrier to accessing employment and community resources
- Building community partnerships and a network of collaborations which support and serve individuals with developmental disabilities
- Educating the public to the advantages derived from including persons with disabilities in all areas of community life
Connie has worked at Home Depot in San Jose for 10 years. While keeping a job is extremely important to most of our Employment participants, rewarding and interesting community activities add even more joy to their lives! Recently, Connie talked to her Job Coach about doing more community activities on the weekends when she’s not at work. They discussed her interests and the Coach told her about an upcoming Jazz Festival in San Jose. Connie was very interested in the festival, so the Coach told her how to get tickets, what the event is like, how to navigate the event, and related information. As a result, Connie attended the event and enjoyed it immensely. When asked what the best part was, she reported that buying a Tee shirt and CDs was fun. Connie plans to attend again next year, but in the meantime she has identified several other local events she plans to attend, including an upcoming Italian Festival.
We Need Your Help:
Public funding for Hope’s Community Employment Program is extremely inadequate.
It takes an additional $3500 per year to fund one job coach.
Without funding from private sources, Hope will be unable to combat the 87% unemployment rate for individuals with developmental disabilities in CA.