The Supported Employment Program was created to assist students and individuals with disabilities beyond the classroom. The Supported Employment initiative has been empowering students and other individuals with disabilities since 1986 assisting employers in recruiting qualified workers with disabilities and training them for entry-level positions. More than 175 employers have successfully hired workers.
The program uses a person-centered planning approach whereby an individual’s unique interests and abilities are taken into consideration during the job development phase. The Nassau BOCES staff canvasses community businesses for openings, matching individual’s strengths with employer needs. Supported workers earn at least minimum wage for entry-level positions. Vocational rehabilitation counselors and job coaches work together with employers and individuals ensuring that the best possible fit between job and employee is met for a win-win situation.
When an individual first starts a job, the job coach works one-on-one with the newly hired worker teaching all tasks involved in the job as well as the soft skills necessary to fit in with the culture of the business. The job coach remains in place full time initially until the employee has successfully learned to work independently and then gradually fades to several visits per month to make sure things are going smoothly.
Often, internships participated in while in school lead to actual paid employment. Nassau BOCES provides long-term, follow-along support for these workers, their families and employers through grants from New York State Department of Education (ACCES-VR) and the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
Dedicated and loyal supported employees become successful members of the businesses’ staff, proudly earning wages and becoming contributing members of society.
2850 North Jerusalem Road
Wantagh, NY 11793