The purpose of Supported Employment is to provide the necessary assistance to seek, interview, enter and maintain competitive employment. A job coach or supported employment specialist works closely with the individual/family to provide this assistance based on interests, abilities, and the type of environment the person chooses. The activities provided through Supported Employment are based on a comprehensive assessment of the individual’s strengths, abilities, and interests. Priorities are determined and support provided by identifying appropriate resources and instruction to ensure informed choice. In addition to serving individuals with disabilities, Community Life serves the business community through outreach. We work to develop employer awareness of the labor market and the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Community Life works to develop long lasting relationships and a good reputation to further employment opportunities for the people we serve. Supported Employment services at Community Life include employment preparation and exploration, job development, and job coaching services.
Employment Preparation and Exploration activities may include:
Job Development activities may include:
Job Coaching activities may include:
Community Life’s Innovative Approach:
The greatest strength of Supported Employment is its simplicity. We assist people with disabilities in exploring, seeking, obtaining and maintaining competitive and integrated employment through individually planned supports. By finding meaningful integrated employment, a true inclusive shift occurs in our community for all. A person with a disability is seen for their contribution, talent, and skill changing the way disability is viewed forever… one person at a time.
Service Funding: Department of Rehabilitation - DOR
DOR's vocational rehabilitation services program assists Californians with disabilities obtain and retain employment and maximize their ability to live independently in their communities. The Department develops, purchases, provides, and advocates for programs and services in vocational rehabilitation, habilitation and independent living with a priority on service for persons with the most significant disabilities. DOR contracts with Community Rehabilitation Providers (CRP) to provide job development and job coaching services.
Community Life is an approved CRP for Supported Employment services with DOR and receives money through fee for service contracts. DOR services are time limited and often require the identification of ongoing support needs and the possible funding for those needs through the Regional Center.
Service Funding: San Andreas Regional Center - SARC
Regional Centers receive funds from the Department of Developmental Services. The Regional Center serving the Santa Cruz County area is called San Andreas Regional Center (SARC). Each individual who qualifies for services has an assigned Service Coordinator from the Regional Center. The role of the SARC Service Coordinator is to help identify necessary and appropriate services, select local vendors that offer that particular service, and oversee the quality of the services provided by each vendor.
The San Andreas Regional Center provides ongoing case management for people with disabilities as well as the ongoing funding for employment support needs when DOR has closed their services.