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Supported Employment:The Next Generation. Pat Steele University of Iowa Law, Health Policy & Disability Center What is Supported Employment?. Competitive employment in integrated settings with ongoing supports Collaboratively funded service

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Supported Employment:The Next Generation

Pat Steele

University of Iowa

Law, Health Policy & Disability Center

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What is Supported Employment?

  • Competitive employment in integrated settings with ongoing supports

  • Collaboratively funded service

  • Opens the door to employment for people with high support needs

  • Individualized package of services

  • Place and train model

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Goals of Supported Employment

  • Improved quality of life

    • Wages

    • Benefits

    • Independence

    • Social Connections

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Supported Employment Status in Iowa

1999 2003

Total 2284 1883

  • MI/CMI: 569 439

  • MR/DD: 1708 1426

  • *Wage: $5.33 $6.47

  • *Hours: 19 18

    Figures from the National Results Council

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What Happened?

Supported Employment Failed to:

  • Promote Self-Sufficiency thru Career Mobility

  • Address Labor Market Issues

  • Provide Education and Training Opportunities

  • Create Effective Partnerships

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The Changing American Workplace

  • Global competition

  • Infusion of technology

    Have affected the structure of jobs, the way we work, and fueled increases in educational attainment and the demand for skills.

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The Educated Worker

  • In 1959, 2 out of 10 workers had some level of college education

  • Today, 6 out of 10 have some college education.

  • Currently, about 40% of American adults do not have the skills typical of those with some college


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Skills Employers Want:

  • Soft Skills

    • Attendance

    • Punctuality

    • Teamwork

    • Work Ethic

    • Ability to Follow directions

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Skills Employers Want:

  • Hard Skills

    The specific physical and mental skills that an individual needs to perform his or her job.

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Think of Your Caseload

  • Work History and Experience

  • Educational Level

  • Recipient of Public Benefits

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Strategies for Employment Providers

  • Aggressive Marketing Campaign

  • Benefits Planning

  • Soft Skills including ADA training

  • Access to education and training

    • Community and Four Year Colleges

    • One Stop Centers

    • Customized training models

    • Apprenticeships

    • Staffing Industry Companies

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Choosing a Provider

  • Key Issues to Consider

    • Transportation

    • Staff certification and training

    • Staff turnover rate

    • Accreditation

    • Types of disabilities served

    • Types of jobs obtained

    • Length of time to obtain job

    • Average hours and wages

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Questions to Ask

  • Is the building well-maintained and accessible?

  • How do staff members keep up with trends in the field?

  • Do most of the people who come to you for employment get a job?

  • What happens if I lose my job?

  • How would you help me obtain training or postsecondary education?

  • What makes you different from other agencies?

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Choosing a Provider Guide

  • Go to the Law, Health Policy & Disability Center website

    Click on Partners

    Click on National Results Council

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Ticket to Work Program

  • 89,000 ticket holders in Iowa

  • 61 tickets have been assigned

  • Nationally, 9 million issued

  • 5268 assigned

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Employers and People with Disabilities Agree

Employers state that the lack of work skills is a major barrier in why there is such a high unemployment rate for people with disabilities. Interestingly enough, people with disabilities echo that opinion.