OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
Help the World Foundation is dedicated to working with all members of the community – including disabled individuals, service providers, government agencies, advocacy groups, existing organizations and employers – to eliminate barriers to employment and bridge the gap between individuals who are job seekers that are disabled and the employers who want to hire them.
Employment Services provides the following services, the definitions listed below are exact wording from the Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services Manual of Employment Services, Version 4.0, effective September 2016:
Situational Assessments -
A situational assessment is distinguished from other types of assessments due to the ability of the provider to control and vary the task(s) or environment(s) in order to gather performance-based information about a consumer from a vocational environment or by his or her performance on a specific job-related task. The purpose of a situational assessment is to assess an individual’s strengths and needs through observation of the individual’s behavioral and job task performance, and to make recommendations for employment service planning. A situational assessment should provide information about the individual’s aptitudes, abilities, skills, behaviors, and preferences, or determine if a specific employment opportunity, or a specific employment setting, would be a good fit. Additionally, a situational assessment is used to indicate instructional techniques that can be incorporated into on-the-job supports, as well as identify the types of support needed for an individual to learn job tasks and prepare for successful job retention. A situational assessment may also include, as appropriate:
Information about the work environment and job tasks (i.e., job task analysis), including employer or industry accepted performance (quantity and quality) standards.
An explanation of instructional techniques and interventions that were used by provider staff or an employer to facilitate learning and progress.
Input from the individual on his or her vocational preferences, an assessment of the individual’s current physical and mental capabilities to do the job, identification of the individual’s transferable skills, and potential concerns.
Vocational Testing -
Vocational testing is utilized to help evaluate and identify an individual’s vocational strengths, aptitudes, abilities, capabilities, interests, and academic skill levels to identify an appropriate employment goal.
Vocational testing may include interviews with the individual to gain insight into education and employment history and identification of transferable skills, standardized test batteries, various vocational and interest inventories, simulated work samples, and an analysis of the local labor market. The outcome of the service is to identify an appropriate employment goals that the individual and VR staff may discuss as part of the vocational counseling process.
Trial Work Experience -
Work experience opportunities allow individuals with disabilities to explore jobs through first-hand, work-based learning opportunities, and assist with gaining valuable insight into the individual’s interests, career goals, abilities, skills, ideal work conditions, preferences, support needs, and training strategies. Work experience can help to better define employment interests for future job placement and, when appropriate, could potentially result in job offers. Work experience is often a preferred assessment for consumers with limited or no work history, including students. Work experiences are conducted in competitive, integrated work settings in the community and are representative of the type of work agreed upon with the consumer. A work experience opportunity provides a longer-term on-site experience as compared to a situational assessment. Each discovery activity should also include an interview with the individual and others, as appropriate, to gain insight into education and employment history and identification of transferable skills. Each discovery activity should also include a review of the local labor market.
Job Shadows -
Job shadows are job observations. They provide an opportunity for the consumer and the provider to visit employers in the community and observe different jobs. They can help a consumer understand what is involved in specific jobs to ensure informed choice, and determine if a job choice is consistent with the consumer’s interests, abilities, and aptitudes. Job shadows can also be used to broaden an individual’s knowledge of available jobs in the community and gain greater insight into his or her interests.
In public settings, they may be done anonymously, and in other settings, they can be arranged with the employer before the observation occurs.
Job Development/Placement -
Job search activities support and assist consumers in searching for an appropriate job. Job search assistance may include help in resume preparation, identifying appropriate job opportunities, developing interview skills, and assisting consumers in making contact with businesses or making contacts with businesses on behalf of the consumer. This service is typically paid through Milestone 1: Job Development and Placement. Job placement assistance is a referral to a specific job resulting in an interview, whether or not the individual obtained the job. This service is typically paid through Milestone 1: Job Development and Placement. Job Search Assistance and/or Job Placement Assistance may also be provided by VR through an hourly rate for individuals who require minimal assistance with obtaining employment, and do not require employment services through the Job development/support/retention milestones.
Job Coaching -
Support services are provided to consumers who have been placed in employment settings and who require additional supports to stabilize their placements and enhance job retention. Such services include short-term job coaching for consumers who do not have a SE goal consistent with the employment goal on the IPE. This service is typically paid through Milestone 2: Support and Short-Term Retention.
On-the-job support short-term may be authorized in addition to Milestone 2 if appropriate and necessary for the consumer. This service may be necessary for consumers who are not individuals with a Most Significant Disability (MSD) and therefore will not receive SE services, but who require some short-term support beyond what is funded through the milestone payments. Milestone 2 provides up to 45 hours of support during the first 4 weeks. Milestone 2 is paid based on completion of 4 weeks, and not based upon the number of support hours provided. The ‘45-hour trigger’ is simply to clarify when it may be appropriate to authorize additional funding for supports, prior to the completion of 4 weeks.
If an authorization for on-the-job supports short-term is needed prior to week 4, the Employment Support and Retention Plan should outline the number of support hours that have been provided and clearly articulate the needed supports for the consumer to reach stabilization. This service is intended to be short-term, and therefore if it becomes apparent that the consumer is requiring supports for more than 3-6 months in order to achieve stabilization, VR will re-evaluate severity determination and eligibility for SE services.
Job Retention -
Once an individual has achieved stabilization (as agreed upon by the team and documented in the Employment Support and Retention Plan), the 90-day retention period begins. Individuals will achieve stabilization at different times, with some consumers achieving stability very quickly (perhaps as quickly as day 1 on the job), while others will require many months of support prior to achieving stabilization, including those requiring Supported Employment (SE) Services. VR may fund SE services for up to 24 months between the time of placement and achievement of stabilization through additional funding separate from milestone payments. For individuals receiving SE Services: during the 90-day period from achievement of stabilization to achievement of Milestone 3(Retention), there should be a focus on transition to extended services (e.g., Waiver funding, Medicaid Rehabilitation Option [MRO], natural supports, etc.). Milestone 3 is considered achieved after an appropriate retention period, at least 90 days after stabilization has occurred.
Supported Employment -
SE services involve ongoing support services and other appropriate services needed to support and maintain an individual with a MSD in SE for a period of time generally not to exceed 24 months. Such services, such as job coaching, are for individuals who have SE and long-term supports identified on the IPE. Often, because of the nature and severity of the individual’s disability, there is a need for extended services that are provided by a State agency, private nonprofit organization, employer, natural supports, or any other appropriate resource that are funded outside of VR.
Job Readiness Training -
While all VR consumers experience barriers to employment, often times those barriers can be addressed by ensuring an appropriate job match in the individual’s ideal work environment. At times, the identified barrier results in such a significant deficit to achieving a competitive, integrated employment goal, or even successfully participating in job development, that Job Readiness Training is necessary. Job Readiness Training may be provided to address a specific, significant barrier a consumer is experiencing regarding one or more appropriate work behaviors or performance, including getting to work on time, appropriate dress and grooming, increasing productivity, soft skills development, and social skills development. Job Readiness Training is designed to identify and teach strategies to overcome barriers to employment. Moreover, a consumer’s need(s) shall be specifically identified along with the teaching techniques and strategies that will be used to address the development of essential skill(s) prior to the start of this service. The service may provide the consumer with insights about how to manage challenges related to his or her impairment, as well as strategies for overcoming these challenges. Job Readiness Training may also teach techniques to improve interactions, build meaningful work relationships, influence others’ perceptions of them, and demonstrate ways to improve communication, teamwork, and interpersonal relationships.
Benefits Information Network (BIN) -
A group of Indiana professionals who have been trained in and have knowledge of federal, state, and local benefits and work incentives. BIN liaisons understand the impact of income on long-term supports and services and can advise workers and families on how best to maintain employment while building more financial independence.
Counties Served for ES:
Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Decatur, Delaware, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Madison, Marion, Martin, Morgan, Orange, Perry, Pike, Posey, Shelby, Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick
Counties by Service Area for ES:
Kara Critchlow, Lead Employment Specialist - Central Indiana
Region - Central Indiana: Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Decatur, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan and Shelby
Becky Nichols, Lead Employment Specialist - Southwest Indiana
Region - Southwest Indiana: Gibson, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, Warrick, Knox, Greene, Daviess, Pike, Dubois, Martin, Orange, Crawford and Perry
Help the World Foundation is currently providing employment training and opportunities with the following organizations:
Journey Road Treatment Centers
Heritage Environmental Services