Community Life Engagement

Community Life Engagement refers to the activities that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities do during the hours when they aren't working. Examples include performing volunteer work, taking classes, and joining social groups and faith-based organizations. Learn more about how Community Life Engagement happens, and why it's important, in these resources.

TransCen’s WorkLink program: Helping individuals gain work skills through targeted volunteering and other community life engagement activities

WorkLink is a program that enables individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to work while receiving wrap-around day services. Having access to both types of supports -- community employment and Community Life Engagement (CLE) -- is particularly important for individuals with significant IDD, who often work fewer hours and need additional support to lead active and meaningful lives. The program was started in 1996 by TransCen, Inc., and is based in San Francisco, California.

Avenues Supported Living Services: A staffing approach based on client relationships

This brief provides a look the relationship-based staffing practices at Avenues Supported Living Services of Valencia, CA. The key to Avenues’ success is a staffing approach that is grounded in client relationships. The agency limits staff hours to two shifts per week with the same individual. This is done to facilitate client-staff matching and relationship building, but also to prevent potential burnout and frustration by ensuring both the clients they support and their staff have variety in their schedules.

SEEC: Fading supports for Community Life Engagement

SEEC (Seeking Equality, Empowerment, and Community) is a Maryland-based provider of employment, community living, and community development supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Like many providers of individualized supports, SEEC has had to find creative ways to individualize supports even though its funding structures do not support 1:1 staffing. One way they do this is by deliberately building both human capital (community living skills) and social capital (relationships in the community).

LOQW: Using staff networks to build community membership

LOQW (Learning Opportunities/Quality Works) is a community skills training, service coordination, and employment services provider in northeast Missouri. LOQW operates several satellite offices in addition to its main office in Monroe City, MO. One of these satellite offices is located in Hannibal, MO, a city with a population of less than 18,000. But being located in a small city does have its advantages. One advantage is that a majority of the Hannibal staff has lived there for their entire lives, and they have countless connections in the area.

KFI: Flexible Scheduling and Creative Staffing

Headquartered in a small rural town in northern Maine, Katahdin Friends, Inc. (KFI) provides community employment and life engagement supports, as well as home supports, to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). A flexible approach to staffing and support scheduling helps KFI ensure customized daily support schedules that meet individual goals. This approach also allows individuals to interact with a variety of direct support professionals, which is important for having a more engaged and meaningful life in the community.