Project SEARCHR ACCESSR Initiative in Partnership with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services provides an innovative job-training program beginning with a nine-month internship for young adults with developmental disabilities. Due to its long-term success, there are many benefits that employers and individuals with disabilities gain from the program.
According to Mary Crisher Housewright, an instructor/coordinator for St. Bernard's Project SEARCH, here’s the Top 10 Benefits of Disability Employment:
1. All types of disabilities are included in the program which gives many participants employment opportunities that they might not otherwise have, as well as it provides a diverse skill base for employers to choose from.
2. Candidates are prepared with a series of assessments, basic skill training, and other job related essentials, in addition to focus on interpersonal and communication skill building.
3. When applicants apply to a job and the employer is interested in their background, they call Project SEARCH R and the process is explained so there are no surprises during the interview or later in the process.
4. A Skills Trainer attends the initial employment interview to answer any questions about the program. If the candidate is given a job offer, then it is determined, what if any, accommodations are needed for success on the job.
5. Candidates with disabilities obtain the confidence to work in a competitive environment, which helps foster long term employment success and the ability to grow their skills to a higher level, therefore becoming a more valuable and trusted employee.
6. Many individuals with disabilities obtain a drivers’ license, live independently, or save for their future. These personal goals are often tied to the candidate’s commitment to the job and their growing career, as well as employer loyalty.
7. The program partners with education to continue knowledge development while growing ever-changing job skills.
8. Participants are groomed for a lifetime of change; they are taught to self-advocate and to take everything they experience (the good and the bad) and to learn from it.
9. Participants get a team that supports their employment for a period of two years. This assists individuals with disabilities in early job success, as well as provides support to the employer for any developmental adjustments that are needed.
10. Over 20% of the population has some form of disability; thus hiring a candidate with a disability allows employers access to a fresh, untapped employee market which can be developed in collaboration with education, and a skills training program that produces dedicated employees that show up and are eager to work?
For more information (US and Worldwide) visit Project SEARCH.