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).
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.
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.
As national disability policy prioritizes greater support for community-based integrated employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), the level of participation in services for other daytime activities continues to grow (Winsor & Butterworth, 2012). The role of services related to engagement and participation in community life has to date been largely undefined.
The purpose of this brief is to:
1. Present findings from 13 expert interviews regarding essential elements of high-quality Community Life Engagement, organized into four guideposts.
2. Consider these guideposts as a set of key principles states and providers can use to move their Community Life Engagement efforts forward.
As state and federal policy makers and Community Service Providers work to refine the concept of Community Life Engagement, they are able to draw upon multiple, public, national data sources. These include: