Employment First Banner

Welcome to the Massachusetts Employment First E-Newsletter

April 2014
In This Issue

Supporting Employment through Day Services

With the implementation of the Blueprint for Success, many more individuals served by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) will be receiving community-based day services. Making sure that these services are truly community-based and support individuals to develop and achieve their employment goals is essential. 

 

Sara Murphy presenting
Sara Murphy presenting at a training session

Over eighty DDS provider staff recently attended a training

session conducted by Sara Murphy of TransCen. Sara shared the WorkLink model of integrating community-based day services and supported employment that has been implemented in San Francisco.

 

WorkLink uses community-based day services as a vehicle for assessment and discovery as well as an opportunity for skill development. Community-based day services help individuals develop a personal profile and plan for employment. They also provide wrap-around support for individuals who may need more structure and support than part-time employment offers.   

 

Community-based experiences might include volunteer work, classes at community centers or community colleges, and health and wellness opportunities. These are all ways to build individuals' skills, maximize their independence, and support employment.

 

So what should community-based day services look like? Here are some key themes from Sara's presentation:

  • Experiences should be purposeful. The activities that individuals participate in should help them reach their specific goals, and there should be consistency in participation to promote new learning.
  • Individualized does not mean 1:1. Once goals and plans are identified, individuals can be grouped together for an activity or experience that can help them work toward their goals.
  • Heterogeneous groupings work best. By bringing together individuals with common goals but varying support needs, the program will more effectively help all participants get the level of support they need.
  • Services must be flexible and community-based. Communities have lots of opportunities that agencies can access. Individuals may travel directly to work or community experiences with or without support, and may not need to come to a program site each day. Consider very small community satellites. If you have a big space you will fill it!

Bookmark These Links!

Here are a few resources that can help you support job seekers with assessment and career planning.

 

 

Developing a Positive Personal Profile  

by Dr. George Tilson of TransCen 

This article provides an excellent introduction to a process that can help you get to know the individual you are supporting and develop a plan that aligns with individual interests and support needs.

 

 

 

 

More Than Just A Job: Person-Centered Career Planning  

by staff at the Institute for Community Inclusion

Person-centered planning supports the development of individual plans through collaboration, creative thought, and group problem solving. This brief describes this type of planning as an ongoing process that should be highly individualized and can be carried out in a variety of flexible ways.

 

Some essential elements of a person-centered approach to career planning are:

  • Focus on helping a person identify needs, interests, choices, desires, and dreams
  • Facilitator guides and supports the individual, but does not make decisions on the person's behalf
  • Emphasis on positive contributions rather than deficits
  • Team members identify employment options that fit well with the job seeker's personal vision
  • Family, friends, and community resources generate career directions, employment contacts, and supports

 

 

The I Want to Work Workbook 

by the Center for Person-Centered Practices

The I Want to Work Workbook and companion partner guide assist people with intellectual disabilities in gathering information they can use to obtain employment. This comprehensive resource includes worksheets that can get the employment conversation started, and then move it forward.

Upcoming Events

Limited space is still available for our Employment Supports Workshops. Foundations of Community Employment on May 6 is required as a prerequisite. Along with that session, you can elect any or all of the remaining workshops: Career Planning (1 day), Job Development (2 days), and Job Coaching (2 days).

Register today: http://employmentfirstma.org/providertraining/   

 

Save the Date: Managing for Success will be held in Worcester on June 17 and 18. This two-day training session teaches employment service managers and supervisors to lead successful community-based employment programs. Registration information will be available in the upcoming E-News.

 

Don't miss the Massachusetts APSE 2014 Employment Matters Conference, coming up on April 22.

Stay in Touch!

If you didn't receive this e-newsletter directly and you'd like to subscribe, please go to: http://employmentfirstma.org/signup. Remember to add ici@umb.edu to your contacts to make sure that each issue makes it to your inbox.