Achieva | Community Employment: Partnering with Achieva Business Services

Community Employment

What to Expect from Achieva Community Employment

Achieva competitive-integrated employment (CIE) is dedicated to helping people with disabilities to become employed in work that matches their skills, interests, and talents.  We do this through various means of gathering information and using that information to support the employment goal. We believe that everyone who wants to contribute through paid employment should receive the opportunity to do so.

These are some of the ways that we typically help people achieve an employment goal.

Gather Information

Community-Based Work Assessments (OVR-funded) allow us to spend time with an “explorer” at several different Achieva Community Partner sites to experience various job tasks in different environments. When these experiences are complete, a report is generated, and a team meeting is called to discuss the findings and possible next steps.

Career Assessment (ODP-funded) is a service that allows us to gather information using a variety of methods to support a good job match. It can include experiences like those in community-based work assessment, informational interviewing, and other ways to gather relevant information about the individual and employment possibilities. It can consist of the kinds of methods typical in Discovery (next).

Discovery (OVR- and ODP-Funded) is a process for gathering information about someone with more complex support needs to help make a more customized job match. It includes interviewing the individual and different support team members. It also involves spending time with the person while s/he is doing various activities where s/he is already experiencing success at home and in the community. At the end of the process, a Discovery profile document is created and reviewed with the team to decide the next steps.

Match Individual Contributions to Unmet Needs

Job Development is where we take the information gathered from one or more of the above information gathering methodologies and use it to negotiate a good match between the job seeker and an employer. This process can take several months to make a good job match. This is a process that includes leveraging existing Achieva relationships and the social capital of the job seeker. Many people get jobs because they know someone who knows someone. This is especially true when positions need to be negotiated to develop suitable matches. Expect it to take two weeks from the time a job offer is accepted to the first day of employment. This gives the Employment Specialists the time needed to make sure everything is in place for a solid start!

Instruct for Correct Task Performance

Job Task Instruction is Achieva CIE’s primary focus when someone starts a job. Before someone starts their job, we negotiate an initial work schedule,* and we go to the job site and learn more about the employer and their training methods. We identify people on the job site who will support the new employee and learn about the job tasks to support the employer and the new employee at the beginning of their relationship. Our focus is on helping the new employee learn all of the functions needed to succeed and helping the employer understand how to support the new employee’s success.

Support Full Inclusion 

Fading of job supports happens when there is a good enough match between the employee and the job. Achieva’s competitive-integrated employment will fade supports over time as the employee learns how to do the job. Fading of our supports is critical to fostering the highest level of inclusion on the job. The fade plan will be communicated with all stakeholders as it is implemented and based on the learning reflected in task performance data.

Intermittent long-term supports occur once someone has learned how to do all of the tasks needed to succeed on the job, we typically fade our supports to twice-per-month check-ins. We can adjust supports up or down based on the employee’s needs and the agreement of the employer and the individual’s support team. This often happens when people receive new tasks or promotions or there is a change that requires additional instruction or support.

Other supports on the job are sometimes necessary because a person needs more than just job task instruction. When people need support for behavioral, health and safety, medical, and/or emotional needs that go beyond what an employer and Achieva’s competitive-integrated employment can provide, other kinds of supports may to be engaged. Achieva’s competitive-integrated employment staff can fade their supports over time while the employee continues to receive the appropriate level of support on the job. Achieva’s competitive-integrated employment does not provide these kinds of supports. We will do our best to help people connect to these additional supports whenever they are needed. If it is clear that someone will need these kinds of supports from the information gathering process, we will wait to begin job development until the appropriate supports have been authorized.

Transportation Supports are provided by Achieva’s competitive-integrated employment as needed up to the first day of employment. Achieva’s competitive-integrated employment will not provide transportation to or from the job site. We will support the job seeker with making transportation arrangements.

*Achieva’s competitive-integrated employment will seek to negotiate an initial training schedule that balances the needs of the employer, the needs of the individual, and Achieva Community Employments’ available staffing resources. Whenever the individual has demonstrated that s/he can do the job without any instruction from Achieva Community Employment staff, s/he may renegotiate a different work schedule that takes into account his/her needs and the needs of the employer.