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Supported employment assists individuals with the most significant disabilities obtain and maintain employment in our communities. Supported employment uses an Individual Placement Model, meaning services are provided at the job site with the assistance of an employment specialist or job coach on a one-to-one basis.

Individuals in supported employment also need and receive on-going support services to stay employed. Although support services from DVR are time-limited, the services of the employment specialist or job coach continue through the support of the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health or the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. Below is a list of the supported employment programs offered by the DVR.

Supported Employment for Individuals with Cognitive Disabilities: Individuals with cognitive disabilities who are interested in employment and have access to long term follow along funding, generally provided by the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. Individuals in the program are required to participate in an assessment process, the job search process, and receive long-term support services.

Early Start to Supported Employment (ESSE): The Early Start to Supported Employment program was developed to provide a more seamless transition for students, ages 18 to 21, during their final two years of school and aims to have the student obtain paid employment before they exit. As with services for adults with cognitive disabilities, the transitioning youth who require supported employment services participate in an assessment process, the job search process, and receives long-term support services.

Supported Employment for Individuals with Mental Health Disabilities: The program is a collaboration between the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and the Community Continuum of Care Programs (CCCPs). The CCCPs offer supported employment services with the primary focus being meaningful, competitive employment, consumer choice, rapid placement (no assessments or job readiness requirements) and on-going supports.