Programs that provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to learn and practice work skills in a separate and supported environment. Participants may be involved in the program on a transitional or ongoing basis, and are paid for their work, generally under a piecework arrangement. The nature of the work and the types of disabilities represented in the workforce vary widely by program and by the area in which the organization is located. Individuals participate in centre-based employment for a variety of reasons including severity of disability, need for additional training or experience, need for a protected environment and/or lack of availability of community-based employment.
Programs that find paid, meaningful work in a variety of community-based settings for people who have disabilities and which assign a "job coach" to work side-by-side with each client to interface with the employer and other employees, training in basic job skills and work-related behaviours, assistance with specific tasks as needed and whatever other initial or ongoing support is required to ensure that the individual retains competitive employment. Included are individual placement models in which a job coach works on-the-job with a single individual and group models such as enclaves (which are self-contained work units of people needing support) and mobile work crews, in which a group of workers with disabilities receives continuous support and supervision from supported employment personnel. In the enclave model, groups of people with disabilities are trained to work as a team alongside employees in the host business supported by a specially trained on-site supervisor, who may work either for the host company or the placement agency. A variation of the enclave approach is called the "dispersed enclave" and is used in service industries (e.g., restaurants and hotels). Each person works on a separate job, and the group is dispersed throughout the company. In the mobile work crew model, a small team of people with disabilities works as a self-contained business and undertakes contract work such as landscaping and gardening projects. The crew works at various locations in a variety of settings within the community under the supervision of a job coach.
Programs that enable individuals with disabilities, people who abuse drugs or alcohol, or people who have emotional problems to obtain the training and employment experiences they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Services may include vocational evaluation, work adjustment, work experience, training in marketable skills and placement in competitive employment or a sheltered work environment.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.