In pursuing our mission of serving adults with physical and intellectual disabilities with integrity, transparency, and respect, Hands of Heartland strives to give them every opportunity to live a fulfilling and rewarding life. Our Supported Employment services are just one way we accomplish this goal. The program is designed to provide individuals with an avenue to competitive employment in a variety of community employment opportunities located throughout Omaha and Bellevue.
Recognized as a Vocational Rehabilitation Provider in the state of Nebraska, our supported employment program is designed to seamlessly connect adults with IDD to employers willing to provide them with the chance to work in a competitive work environment with the support of our certified vocational coaches.
The supported employment model provides a number of benefits for not only the adults participating in the program, but also to their new employer and to the individual’s family.
Impact on the Individual
Throughout the supported employment experiences, our vocational coaches will help individuals identify potential employment opportunities, and in exploring these opportunities, which might appeal to them the most. As they work through this process, the individual is learning skills, and learning that they have a degree of control over the types of job they might pursue.
This independence then carries into the new workplace, giving them the confidence to embrace a new skill set and realize that their abilities have value to others. In working in a supported employment situations, they are also provided the support and guidance necessary for improving their social and daily life skills, gradually gaining crucial knowledge of how to properly engage with others. Finally, they are learning transferable vocational skills, which will stay with them throughout their lives. Over time, they become less dependent upon the vocational coach and become independent and valuable members of their employer’s workforce.
Impact on the Employer
Employers who welcome participants of supported employment programs benefit from the presence of adults with IDD in a number of ways. The cultural impact on the employee base is an increase in morale, which drives innovation and market growth. Employers who are seen to embrace diversity in their workforce out-perform competitors who do not. Much of this is attributed to the willingness of leadership and employees in diverse settings to embrace open communication and explore compelling alternative approaches to standard business challenges.
Impact on the Family
Supported employment programs provide a dual benefit for family members who are often acting as caregivers for adults with IDD. By providing an avenue of socialization and care at times when they might otherwise require attention, this frees up family members and allows everyone in the family to achieve a degree of freedom and independence. This is especially true when considering the impact the individual’s new revenue stream will have on the family unit. Allowing adults with IDD access to competitive wages allows them to contribute to their own fiscal independence and mitigate any financial impact of ongoing care and daily expenses.
Supported Employment Produces Results
With Hands of Heartland’s attentive focus on job skill assessment and development in our other programs, we work to provide our individuals with the skills and support they need to be successful in the workplace. By finding placement within community jobs, our individuals will receive on-the-job training alongside individuals without disabilities, giving them practical experience in social, vocational, and heightened daily life skills. This kind of real-world experience is invaluable in the growth and quality of life of our individuals.