Workforce Network facilitates competitive work in integrated work settings for individuals with disabilities for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred, and who need ongoing support services in order to perform or maintain their job. Workforce Network provides assistance such as job coaching, assistive technology, specialized job training, and individually tailored support.
ASSISTANCE IN DEVELOPING NATURAL SUPPORTS
We provide a way for individuals to realize their goal of independence via competitive employment. Workforce Network encourages people to work within their communities and encourages work, social interaction, and integration.
JOB DEVELOPMENT: Our employment specialists will assess factors that will effect employment: motivation, transportation, skills, mobility, appearance, communication, social skills, work behavior skills, reinforcement needs, supports, financial considerations and preference and goals.
EMPLOYMENT SPECIALIST: Provides specialized job development and on-site training to assist the employee with a disability in learning and performing the job and adjusting to the work environment.
DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL SUPPORTS: Supports from supervisors & co-workers. These natural supports are particularly effective because they enhance the social integration between the employee with a disability and his/her co-workers and supervisor. In addition, natural supports may be more permanent, consistently and readily available, thereby facilitating long-term job-retention.
WHAT DO WE DO?
We assist individuals with preparing for job interviews and identifying key performance criteria and training needs. If necessary Workforce Network can also assist with procuring uniforms for employment and providing additional skill training as necessary.
Employment Specialists assist with job orientation, assessments, and travel training. They are an advocate for their individual with supervisors and co-workers. They will assist in getting reasonable accommodations if necessary. Overall they become the person’s life-line with work matters and outside matters should it ultimately affect employment.
Have someone in mind who would benefit from the program: If they have a service coordinator get in contact with them, if they don’t have contact ACCES-VR at 1-800-882-2803.
PATHWAY TO EMPLOYMENT
Pathway to Employment is a person-centered employment planning and support service that provides assistance for individuals to obtain, maintain or advance in competitive employment. This service offers an individualized planning process that helps individuals identify a career or vocational direction. Pathway to Employment also provides instruction and training in job readiness skills and develops a plan for achieving competitive, integrated employment at or above the New York State minimum wage. Within 12 months the outcome of this employment supports; and preparation for supported employment services. To be eligible for Pathway to Employment, an individual needs to be enrolled in the Home and Community Based Waiver (HCBS). To enroll, discuss Pathway to Employment with your Medicaid Services Coordinator (MSC) or contact your OPWDD Reginal Office.
EMPLOYMENT TRAINING PROGRAM
Employment Training Program (ETP) offers individuals an opportunity to work in an internship that will lead to permanent employment in a community business. During the internship, wages will be paid by through ETP while the individual learns the skills needed for the job. ETP participants also attend job readiness classes that present topics such as conflict resolution and how to dress for work. ETP services include increased job development and job coaching as well as assistance with other employability skills.
Michelle McGrath, Director
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SUPPORTED
WORK THRU ACCES-VR & OPWDD
Supported Employment service may be provided to any individual who is determined by ACCES-VR or CVBH to be eligible for the service, and who meets ALL of the criteria below:
1. Has a most significant disability. This means that the individual: has one or more physical or mental disabilities that cause substantial functional limitations, a physical or mental impairment which seriously limits three or more
functional capacities in terms of an employment outcome, whose vocational rehabilitation will require multiple vocational rehabilitation services over an extended period of time.
2. Due to a most significant disability, competitive employment has not occurred or has been interrupted or intermittent.
3. Needs to have a comprehensive assessment of rehabilitation needs completed by ACCES-VR or CVBH which identifies Supported Employment as an appropriate vocational objective and has: the ability to engage in a vocational program leading to supported employment, a need for ongoing support services in order to perform and sustain competitive work, the ability to work in a supported employment setting, extended service funding is available.
4. Anyone who ACCES-VR or CVBH has issued a written authorization to provide Supported Employment services.
To receive services one must go through ACCES-VR so all above criteria apply. Once stabilization is achieved and if eligible for extended services through OPWDD the following criteria must be met:
1. Disability has to have occurred prior to age 22 and documentation to prove that.
2. Must have medical documentation to support diagnosis of MR or other qualifying impairment.
3. A psychological report which includes assessment of intellectual functioning with reporting of intelligence scores (including subscale, part, and full scale scores), and, for people with IQs above 60, standardized assessment of adaptive behavior with reporting of scale and summary scores.
4. Must be eligible to receive Medicaid
5. Must be eligible to obtain Medicaid Service Coordination