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Supported Employment Pilot

The Vermont Developmental Disabilities Services 2014 “Imagine the Future” Task Force considered the work of the Employer Contracted Work Supports Group which was tasked with exploring new and innovative strategies and improving quality of work supports and service options for service recipients. A pilot proposal was reviewed with the goal to explore how supported employment staff might mentor businesses to assume the support of their ‘supported’ employees beyond the natural supports already in place, and to assess the impact on employer, employee and the developmental disabilities supported employment system. The pilot tests the notion that work supports provided by the work site team or by a co-worker will lead to authentic inclusion and increased investment in the employee by their work team. The pilot would not be construed or offered as a wage subsidy. Supported employees must be employed at competitive wage and be on payroll as an employee of the business. The option is a specialized tool to enhance natural supports, not an expectation to be used with all supported employees. The overall goal is to support the whole organization to support the employee.