Often, having a disability creates 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, a person seeking employment services will work with a job developer to identify what types of supports will be necessary to meet his or her employment goals. Participants in the program 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 and placement
- Coaching services (as needed)
- Follow-up consulting and assistance
- Job groups
- On-site assessments
- Access to The Branch Well-Being and Enrichment 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 Career Access program facilitates flexible services appropriate to each individual’s needs. Individuals make choices that span a range from short-term consultative services to very intensive services such as advocacy efforts for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Career Access 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 with his or her Employment Specialist. Persons participating in this program receive individual 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 Employment Specialist takes on the role of advocate and mediator with community employers, ensuring a successful job experience for the individual 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, Trinity's Behavioral Health Department, and Trinity’s 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 recovery process, which continues even when the individual is displaying overt symptoms of their mental illness or isn't taking his or her psychotropic medication. The person’s Therapist and Employment Specialist work closely with him or her, 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. A strong professional team works with each individual through the job-related aspects of recovery from mental illness.
The Branch, located in New Lenox, IL, is a unique Employment Services program. If offers participants a variety of opportunities to engage and interact with friends and with the community. The center provides a space to socialize, reach personal goals, volunteer and actively participate in the community surrounding the program.
U.S. Dept. of Education data from 2007 show that, seven years after high school, more than one in three adults with autism had no paid job experience, college credit or technical schooling. And, the number of persons entering adulthood with a diagnosis of autism is increasing. Many of these individuals—along with youth who have other intellectual/developmental disabilities—graduate and do not want to lose the skills they’ve acquired in school. But, they are not prepared for college or technical training programs and do not have access to appropriate skills training and career guidance. Trinity’s new Branch
is designed to meet these needs.
Employment Services are directed by Lori Hausherr. Offices are located at 352 W. Maple, New Lenox, IL. For more information, call 815-462-3652. SEP staff can also be contacted via email.