Often, having a disability constitutes a substantial barrier to employment. However, everyone has a skill to offer, and anyone has the potential to become employed. Supported Employment (SEP) Services at Trinity seek to help individuals with disabilities identify their strengths, create job goals, and reach career aspirations.
At the first meeting, an individual meets with a job developer to identify the types of supports necessary to meet his or her employment goal. Employment services program participants have access to the following supports:
- Employment Opportunity Analysis
- Personal Employment Planning
- Personal consulting and training to enhance job-seeking and retention skills
- Support for developing job preferences
- Disability awareness training
- Self Advocacy Training
- Job development & placement
- Coaching services (as needed)
- Follow-up consulting & assistance
- Job Groups
- On-site Assessments
- Access to drop-in Center
Career Access Network provides organized and planned services to assist persons with disabilities in securing career employment. It is important that individuals have the opportunity to consider options and make informed choices while pursuing a competitive career goal. The goal of Career Access Network is to provide a variety of assistive employment services that enable individuals with disabilities to secure community-based employment with competitive earnings and benefits. The program is available to anyone with a disability in the Will, Cook and Grundy County areas and has two offices in Joliet and Homewood.
Supported Employment is a more intensive service allowing for additional one on one time for an individual and his or her job developer. Individuals participating in this program receive assistance in becoming employed--often for the first time. Job-seekers are guided through the process of identifying a preferred job, successfully completing applications, and preparing for interviews. The Job Developer takes on the role of advocate adn mediator with community employers, ensuring a successful job placement for the individuals and an excellent employee for the business. Program participants are eligible for on-site supports including job coaching. Coaching enables persons with disabilities to achieve independence through employment, resulting in the opportunity to earn their own money and become a more responsible and valued member of the community.
Individual Placement and Support
The IPS program (Individual Placement and Support) is a collaborative effort between SEP, and Trinity's Behavioral Health Department and Family Counseling Center. The goal of the program is to assist individuals with a mental illness to obtain competitive employment. This program utilizes Evidence Based Supported Employment practices and operates on the theory that employment is a part of the healing process, which continues even when the individual is displaying symptoms of their mental illness or isn't medication compliant. TheTherapist and the Job Developer work closely together, with input from the person's Psychiatrist and Rehabilitation Counselor at the Department of Human Services, to identify a job goal and ensure rapid job development for the individual.
The Drop-In Center, located in New Lenox, IL is a unique Adult Learning Program focusing on community engagement and interaction withthe mission of helping persons with disabilites live more full and abundant lives. The Drop In Center provides a space for individuals to socialize, reach personal goals, volunteer and utilize the community surrounding the program in a variety of ways. Most persons at the Drop-in Center are employed and visit the program by "dropping in" on weekdays they are not working.. Their job descriptions range from golf cart attendant, service clerk, retail associate, restaurant worker, andmovie theater usher, among others.
Activities at the Drop-In vary greatly. Several individuals offer to give back to their community by volunteering at Sunny Hill Nursing home and by helping deliver hot meals for Meals on Wheels. Participants have been recognized for volunteer efforts through awards from various organizations, including Volunteer of the Year and other forms of appreciation.
The Drop-In also focuses on healthy living by providing learning opportunities on nutritious menu choices. The individuals participate in daily exercise through the one mile walking club, indoor exercise routines and by swimming at the YMCA.
The Shutter Bugs club provides a unique opportunity to go out into the community and take photographs. Club members review their pictures, critique each other’s work and promote their hobby by entering their work in photo contests and by creating art projects with their photos.
Drop-In participants frequently engage with the community as consumers utilizing local shops, movie theatres and restaurants, as well as attending local events such as fests, farmers markets, concerts and more.
Employment Services is directed by Lori Hausherr; and has offices at 352 W. Maple,New Lenox, IL 60451 (815) 462-3652.