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Supported Employment 101: For Vocational Rehabilitation and Community Rehabilitation Program Partners – Factsheet

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Key Facts:

Supported Employment is about supporting individuals with the most significant disabilities to obtain and maintain competitive integrated employment.

Fact 1:

Supported Employment is paid, competitive employment for people with the most significant disabilities who have demonstrated in the past an inability to obtain and/or maintain employment.

Fact 2:

The definition of “supported employment” in 34 CFR part 361, means competitive integrated employment, including customized employment, or employment in an integrated work setting in which an individual with a most significant disability, including a youth with a most significant disability, is working on a short-term basis toward competitive integrated employment, that is individualized and customized, consistent with the unique strengths, abilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual, including with ongoing support services for individuals with the most significant disabilities.

The services identified below are provided through Supported Employment:

  • situational assessment conducted in a competitive integrated employment site for a limited time to identify strengths, abilities interest and informed choice of the individual,
  • job site training (providing support both on and away from the job site), and
  • long-term supports (providing support to the employee and employer for job retention and career advancement).

Fact 3:

An individual with a most significant disability works with an Employment Specialist to identify their interests, skills, and abilities. Driven by informed choice, the Employment Specialist then assists the individual in locating an appropriate position that suits their identified interest and abilities.

Fact 4:

An Employment Specialist supports the employee with a most significant disability in their new position until the new employee is meeting employer satisfaction. That support can include learning the job tasks, identifying supports on and off the worksite and potential accommodation needs.

Fact 5:

The Employment Specialist provides ongoing support to the employee with a most significant disability and their employer throughout the tenure of the job. Most employees with most significant disabilities require no special accommodations, and the cost for those who do is minimal or much lower than many employers believe.

Fact 6:

Most workers with disabilities require no special accommodations, and the cost for those who do is minimal or much lower than many employers believe.
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