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.
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.
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, work setting preferences and goals. Once enrolled in the program and a job is obtained, the Employment Specialists assist with job orientation, assessments, and travel training. They will assist in getting reasonable accommodations if necessary and provide 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.
Overall they become the person’s life-line with work matters and outside matters should it ultimately affect employment.
Supports from supervisors & co-workers 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.
Pathway to Employment is a person-centered employment planning, support and assessment 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 through unpaid volunteer experiences. 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.
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 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.
Supported Employment service may be provided to any individual who is determined by ACCES-VR or the Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH) 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 CBVH 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 CBVH 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 Care Coordination.