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.
Community Rehabilitation Provider (CRP) Promising Practices
Given the national landscape and the emphasis on community employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (IDD), this webpage focuses on community rehabilitation providers (CRPs) engaged in practices that reflect individual integrated employment as a priority outcome. By spreading the word about these promising practices, we hope to maximize the capacity of CRPs to present integrated employment as the preferred option for their customers.
We are always looking for new CRP promising practices! If you know of innovative initiatives, strategies, or activities occurring at a CRP near you, and you would like to nominate a practice, please contact: Dowload our CRP Promising Practices brochure here.
Below are all of our CRP Promising Practices for browsing. You can also find specific themes by clicking on these links:
Agency Culture - A shared philosophical belief that integrated employment should be the preferred outcome and that opportunities for employment should be available to everyone interested in working.
Services and service innovation - Optimum use of the resources available to encourage creative employment support strategies; openness to risk-taking and the organizational flexibility to take action when innovation emerges.
Customer focus and engagement - A consistent emphasis on the needs of customers including individuals, families, schools, employers and other community partners.
Communication of goals and expectations - Practices that exemplify shared, multi-level, multi-stakeholder communication as the norm, as well as timely and appropriate communication of core organizational values and message.
Partnerships and collaboration - Emphasis on multi-stakeholder relationships and outreach.
Employment performance measurement - Collection and use of data as a strategic planning tool and for self-assessment to further goals, monitor success and implement changes.
Staff Qualifications and Knowledge - Staff training and opportunities for professional development in evidence-based job placement strategies, up-to-date knowledge of local employment and disability resources, service innovations, employment programs and legislation.
Community Life Engagement - how providers support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to access and participate in their communities outside of employment as part of a meaningful day.
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 (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.
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.
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). Because SEEC has no central facility, having ways to maintain contact between staff and management is paramount. From prepaid cell phones in 2005 to outfitting every staff member with a tablet or a laptop today, SEEC has embraced mobile communication since it started its conversion.
WorkLink is a program that braids community employment and life engagement services. The goal is to enable individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to work while receiving wrap-around day supports, as needed. Started in 1996, WorkLink is a program of TransCen, Inc. and is based in San Francisco.
Avenues Supported Living Services of Valencia, California was founded in 1997 by a husband- and-wife team, Scott and Lori Shepard. The agency provides supported living and community life engagement (CLE) services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Key to Avenues’ success is a staffing approach that is grounded in client relationships.
Katahdin Friends, Inc. (KFI), headquartered in the small rural community of Millinocket, Maine, has been a service provider in this community and surrounding regions for the last 54 years. After providing segregated services for its first 20 years, KFI became an early adopter of supported employment.
Via of the Lehigh Valley is a CRP headquartered in Bethlehem, PA. Since 2008, Via and local high schools have provided customized employment services so that
Job Squad is a medium-sized CRP that provides services to individuals in 13 counties within West Virginia. In 2005, responding to customer demands, executive director Brenda Hellwig and her staff received training from Griffin-Hammis Associates to offer community employment services. A staff member proposed the idea for the blog as one way to update Job Squad’s website and promote community employment to stakeholders, including potential employers. As a collection of articles, tools and strategies, the blog provides valuable information for people in West Virginia and beyond.