Employment Services for Persons with Disabilities
The power of a job! Community Employment is one of the cornerstones of Bridgeway's diverse array of services helping our consumers lead lives of dignity, independence and respect by obtaining competitive employment. We partner with countless area employers to help our clients find jobs. We place people in jobs of their choice and help them achieve their personal vision of recovery and rehabilitation. Bridgeway has a number of Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) state DHS contracts that help fund our services and support our customers' vocational goals.
Individual Placement and Support (IPS) - An Evidence Based Model of Community Employment
Bridgeway's Community Employment Services are an evidence-based research driven highly successful program adhering to best practice guidelines for service delivery. Bridgeway is a nationally respected leader in the field of employment for people with disabilities. Individuals who participate in Individual and Placement Support (IPS) services are three times more likely to find employment than those who engage in other types of vocational programs. IPS is particularly effective for persons with mental illness but its strategies have been found to work well for other disabilities. In fact Bridgeway has been referred to as a pioneer in the employment field as we have successfully used the IPS model for individuals with developmental disabilities for many years. The IPS Model is a well-defined approach to employment that is based on eight key components.
Eight Key Components of the IPS Model:
- Zero Exclusion
- Consumer Preferences are Important
- Rapid Job Search
- Goal is a Competitive Job
- Building Relationships with Employers
- Integration and Collaboration with Service Teams
- Support is Time Unlimited
- Personalized Benefits Planning
The Community Employment/IPS Team is made up of an IPS Supervisor and Employment Specialists who use a coordinated team approach to support the consumer to be successful in the world of work. This total team approach is centered around the consumer and his/her support system: the Employment Specialist, family, the interdisciplinary team, the DRS counselor, the doctor, etc. This model really works and each year Bridgeway is successful in placing scores of people with disabilities into competitive jobs and supporting them to achieve a more fulfilling life by realizing their dream of having a job in their community.
Employment Training Services
Bridgeway provides a variety of vocational training experiences for individuals with disabilities to learn work skills and habits as well as provide a regular paycheck based on the productivity of the individual. Paid opportunities to build work skills include some of these skill areas:
- following a schedule
- learning a task from beginning to end
- keeping track of your time/production
- dealing with production speed-up/slow-downs
- operating within the safety parameters set by a supervisor
- getting to work on time
- complying with work rules
- learning how to work with others
Even people with serious limitations can learn a job and find satisfaction and increased feelings of self-worth by having employment. Bridgeway has Production Centers in Loves Park, Macomb, Pekin, Galesburg, and Kewanee.
For more information about these services, select one of our locations below for contact information.