Individual Employment is designed to support an individual to obtain community employment. All Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) eligible participants are encouraged to participate. Individualized vocational services are based on a Career Path Service Plan designed to support a participant to pursue and/or maintain community employment.
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- INTAKE - An initial meeting to gather and share basic information.
- DISCOVERY - A person centered approach to learning your likes and dislikes, job preference, goals and skills in order to develop an employment plan.
- JOB PREPARATION - Work readiness activities that may include trial work experience, and transportation training.
- MARKETING - Identifying and negotiating jobs, building relationships with employers and customized employment development.
- JOB COACHING - Supports needed to perform and excel in your job.
- JOB RETENTION - Support to keep your job, maintain positive relationships with employer, identify opportunities, negotiate a raise in pay, promotion.
- KEEP COMMUNICATION OPEN WITH YOUR PROVIDER - Your provider may not know you have a concern if you don’t tell them. Start with the person who works directly with you and if that doesn’t help, contact that person’s supervisor. Ask for a meeting if necessary. Others that can help you include: DDA Case Manager, DVR Counselor or Transition Coordinator.
- REVIEW YOUR PLAN - Look at your career path goal and listed steps to help you achieve your goal. Discuss updates or concerns with your provider. Request that they be included in your DDA annual assessments.
- STAY IN THE LOOP - Providers are required to document the services you receive in case notes and progress reports. You can request copies of these monthly updates or check in calls.
- YOU DIRECT YOUR SERVICES - You are in the driver’s seat! If you have been unsuccessful finding a solution with your current provider you may request a new provider. Be sure to determine reason why changing providers is necessary. Contact your DDA Case Manager, DVR Counselor, or Transition Coordinator to discuss your concerns.
What are Employment services? Employment services are individualized services that provide individuals with opportunities to explore employment options and participate in activities that support you to obtain/maintain paid community employment. It is provided by qualified providers contracted in Washington Counties.
Who is eligible for Employment services? Employment services are available to individuals 21 years and older who are: on the Basic Plus, Core, or Community Protection Home and Community Based Service Waivers or individuals on Roads to Community Living. Individuals in Skilled Nursing Facilities with a Preadmission Screening and Residential Review (PASRR) may also receive this service.
What can I expect from my Employment service? Your Employment service provider will meet with you, and through a process of discovery and individualized planning, identify your interests to develop an Employment plan with strategies to access your local community to obtain/maintain paid employment. The activities will be integrated and provide opportunities to contribute and develop relationships with people in your community who are not paid staff.
How do I choose an Employment Provider? You have the right to choose your own provider and a list of contracted providers in each County is available for you to review and interview.
When working with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) it is recommended you choose a provider that is also contracted to provide employment services through Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA). You have the ability to change providers at any time.
Why does the DDA require that individuals access Employment services before other Day Services? Washington State is an Employment First state that has adopted a Working Age Adult policy (DDA Policy 4.11) for individuals age 21 to 62. Employment is the most effective way we know to achieve the benefits outlined in Developmental Disabilities Administration Guiding Values, provide a pathway out of poverty and increase choice and inclusion. All individuals, regardless of support needs or disability, are given the opportunity to explore inclusive community options with paid employment as the priority outcome. The first nine months of employment services helps the individual understand community options and how to become a part of their local community.
Is there an expectation of how long it will take me to obtain paid employment? No, there is no time limit on how long you can be in Employment services without obtaining paid employment. However, it is expected that your provider develop an individualized employment plan. The provider will regularly communicate with you about progress and activities. Your progress will be evaluated every six months to ensure you are moving forward on your pathway to your employment goal.
What if I don’t know what kind of job I want? Your Employment provider is trained to help you identify areas of interest through a process of discovery where you are provided various opportunities in the community to see what you most enjoy or show interest in. In addition, they will seek input from those who know you best.
What activities are available to help me on my pathway to paid employment? Employment service activities will vary depending on what you need. The activities are individualized based on your interests, integrated with other individuals without disabilities in the community, and accessible by public transit or a reasonable commute from your home. The following activities are commonly used to assist individuals on their pathway to paid employment:
- Vocational exploration and discovery to discover preferences, skills and abilities.
- Community-Based Assessment opportunities to obtain experience to put on a resume.
What if I want additional work hours or a different job? Your employment plan has your desired employment goal identified in terms of work hours and type of job. Your plan will have strategies identified to achieve that goal. You need to communicate with your employment provider whenever you want a change in your employment goal whether it is additional work hours or a different job.
What if I don’t want to participate in Employment services? DDA also offers Community Inclusion (Access) which is available to individuals 62 years and older and individuals who have participated in nine months of Employment services and choose Community Inclusion services instead of continuing in Employment services. An Exception to Rule can be requested through your DDA case manager if you have not or do not want to participate in 9 months of employment services.
Can School to Work programs or other employment preparation count toward the 9 months? No, the nine months of employment services must be funded by DDA.
Can I have Community Inclusion and Employment services at the same time? No, but if you choose Community Inclusion after nine months of employment, you can choose to go back to Employment services at any time.
How many hours of support will I receive in Employment? Your monthly Employment service hours are determined by your annual assessment completed by your case manager from the Developmental Disabilities Administration. Monthly service hours range from 1-12, but additional hours may be approved once you become employed or while actively involved in job development.
Will I always have a staff person with me in Employment services? You will always have appropriate supports to participate safely in employment activities; however, your employment support staff may not always be present if there is not a need for support or you have developed natural supports in your work setting. The ideal outcome of the service is that you develop relationships with co-workers and/or your employer to help support you.
What other services are available to help me obtain employment? The DVR provides short-term services to assist individuals with disabilities to obtain jobs. DVR offers career counseling, assessment options, job development, and on-the-job training. DVR works in partnership with DDA to support Employment.
- 7 Steps to Successful Employment (PDF)
- Snohomish County Individual Employment Providers (PDF)
- Information on No-Paid Services through Informing Families (To request a service from the No-Paid Services, call (800) 567-5582 and ask for an assessment.)
Go to our Resources page to find additional resources.