About Supported Employment
What is supported employment?
Supported employment starts with the belief that everyone who wants paid employment can attain it, if the proper supports are in place. It is a successful, accepted, and flexible model for assisting individuals experiencing disability to obtain meaningful and fairly compensated work.
A partnership between job seeker, support person, and employer, supported employment takes a person-centered, individualized approach. Job seekers receive support tailored to their specific skills and career goals; employers are supported with advice and resources to help meet their unique labour needs.
Who benefits from supported employment?
All parties benefit from supported employment: job seekers find competitive employment, businesses hire valuable workers, and workplace culture is improved by a diverse and inclusive environment. There is a strong business case for ensuring a diverse workforce at your company
Within the supported employment model, all employees work under the same terms and conditions, including equal compensation, equal access to benefits, a safe workplace, and opportunities for advancement.
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View and search our current membership of people and organizations committed to employment inclusion.
You can search for Members by location using the simple search box below. We will be adding more listings and more search features in the weeks to come, allowing you to filter by category and keywords.
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The supported employment model: 6 steps
The supported employment model is necessarily extremely flexible; each person’s journey to regular employment will look different and will be tailored specifically to him or her. Even so, six fundamental steps are at the heart of the model:
Job seeker engagement.
Many potential job seekers receive social and/or family support. They may wish to find employment as a way of improving their quality of life, but aren’t sure where to begin or if they should. Service providers can encourage potential job seekers to take the next step.
Skills assessment/vocational profiling.
Service providers work with the job seeker, as well as family members and other care providers, to identify career goals, interests, preferences, skills, and supports needed. The goal is to pinpoint the ideal type of employment of the job seeker.
Just like the job seeker in Step 1, the employer may not know where to start: how to remove recruitment or employment barriers? How to find the right worker? What changes need to be made to the physical workplace and workplace culture? Service providers can provide resources and expertise to ensure a successful placement.
This is about more than matching a person with an opening. All aspects of the job and the workplace must be considered to ensure the correct candidate is chosen; extra alteration or assistance requirements are identified and planned for.
Appropriate levels of support must be offered to ensure a smooth transition into the workforce. Individual development plans are designed, and employers and colleagues are, where appropriate, involved in training and support. The service provider may also provide support outside of work.
People living with a disability, like other employees, generally do not aspire to stay in the same job their whole lives. Supported employment should include on-going training, increasing responsibilities, and other opportunities.