Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) Programs
Career Assessment Services (CAS)
Career Assessment Services (previously known as Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation) identifies strengths and barriers to employment and is often the first step in the vocational rehabilitation process. Several options are available to meet the needs of consumers and referral sources. Creating an opportunity to explore various career areas, interests, strengths and needs helps identify a vocational goal. Employment potential is assessed through testing, formal and informal work samples, situational, community and on-the-job evaluations.
Career Assessment Services (CAS) provides vocational rehabilitation consumers with information useful in making the important decisions they will encounter while navigating their career. This service is provided in accessible format to ascertain individualized information consisting of a summary of a person’s skills and abilities as well as barriers to employment. The CAS program is instrumental to the vocational rehabilitation process as it sets the direction of a consumer-focused plan based on an individual’s strengths. The program goals are to:
- Provide accurate information for the consumer to use in this choice-making process
- Facilitate informed decision-making regarding career and educational choices, and
- Increase self-awareness in relation to career interests, aptitudes, work values and other worker characteristics.
The Outcomes Service CAS program is among an array of services provided within a department that serves individuals having varying degrees of challenges. As a result, staff in these programs have a wealth of knowledge about the impact of experiencing significant disabilities. By having access to this resource, the Career Assessment Services program has the ability to positively impact a broader base of consumers through its strong interdepartmental collaboration. This combination of experience and expertise is a valuable asset in providing quality Career Assessment Services.
Employee Development Services (EDS)
Employee Development Services (EDS) is a DORS funded vocational program designed to assist job seekers in expanding their job development and retention skills, and prepare them to gain meaningful employment.Formerly known as Work Adjustment Training, this program offers intensive training in the development of appropriate workplace behavior and skills leading to competitive employment. Through person-directed planning, goals are developed and incorporated into each individual’s daily structure. In this highly intensive program, simulated work or curriculum is developed specifically related to an identified goal. Resume development, job seeking skills, interviewing and employment contacts are included with emphasis placed on initial and on-going job readiness skills. We assist each consumer with individualized job placement in the community.
In order to improve job seeking skills, participants in EDS write or revise resumes, complete tailored cover letters, thank you letters, and sample applications. Additionally, participants are involved in lessons and discussions on a variety of job searching techniques, interview skills, social etiquette, networking, identifying scams, and describing transferable skills. EDS is also targeted to increase the participant’s ability to successfully retain employment long term, by addressing topics of conflict resolution, stress management, time management, personal care, workplace awareness, personal wellness, disability disclosure, The Americans with Disabilities Act and reasonable accommodations.
A Social Skills group is provided weekly for clients participating in the EDS program and classes are adjusted to fit the needs of the current clients in the group. Many sessions are spent on improving interview and overall pragmatic language skills. Other sessions focus on teaching strategies to enhance executive functioning, problem solving, memory, and verbal communication skills.
Community Employment Services (CES)
Our staff assists individuals in obtaining jobs that match each consumer’s interests and abilities through the Community Employment Services Job Development, Placement, and Retention Program (JDPR). Job development, placement, job-site training and job coaching are provided. Intensive training is given to facilitate communication, identify any needed accommodations and suggest strategies to increase the individual’s opportunity for success. Skills training is also offered to allow the consumer to function comfortably in their work setting and retain employment.
Each Job Placement Specialist assists in the establishment of work goals, provides assistance in editing resumes and assists in creation and editing of cover letters, references, thank you letters and other needs. Each consumer is also provided assistance in completion of employment applications, interview preparation and guidance through the entire interview and orientation process. The program seeks to assist the consumer in identifying and contacting community resources and support. The JDPR program focus is to aide individuals with disabilities to obtain competitive paid employment in the community.
The program provides education to employers on information about disabilities, disclosure, ADA laws, job coaching, reasonable accommodations, etc. as necessary and when appropriate. Additionally, the JDPR program specialist serve as liaisons between candidates and employers providing assistance in community based job development, networking, searching on job boards and assistance at career fairs.
The program serves individuals with physical, psychiatric and developmental disabilities; individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury, on the autism spectrum, developmental disabilities, or any other disability that may impact one’s ability to job search and obtain a job completely independently. Often consumers may have more than one diagnosis or have other factors which make it challenging to obtain competitive employment.
Speech-language services are available to individuals participating in the Outcomes program to help improve communication barriers that may negatively impact job potential. A speech-language pathologist is available to provide an evaluation and/or treatment for adults with speech, fluency, voice, language, cognitive-communication, and/or executive functioning disorders. Once the evaluation is completed, therapy may be recommended. Treatment goals are established to help provide the client with support and assistance with obtaining a job and improving overall communication skills to facilitate best practice on the job.
Individuals who need assistance with communication skills may receive a variety of therapy options. Among those offered are traditional therapy techniques as well as unique approaches in the development of compensatory strategies to use while in training or on the job. These services can be offered at the workplace, if necessary. The speech-language pathologist works with the rehabilitation team to provide functional and meaningful services to assist with successful placement and maintenance of a competitive job.