Through Abilities Network’s Community and Employment Partners program, staff work with individuals and their families to develop a customized plan that guides individuals to personal success. To better understand our CEP program, here’s a story about two brothers who have shown that with hard work and determination, and some help from our staff, opportunity may just knock twice.
We were introduced to Jason and Tyler in August 2009. From the beginning, both young men were actively pursuing their associate’s degrees from Anne Arundel Community College. At each meeting held with their teams, emphasis was placed on the need for job development after graduation. Their teams took a proactive approach – outlining steps for the twins varying from resume completion, interview skills practice and job research, to employment networking and the practice of application completion.
In June 2012, Jason and Tyler successfully received their associate’s degrees from Anne Arundel Community College; the intensity of the job development process took off from there! Staff and the twins were out to accomplish one key objective: paid employment. Applications were submitted one after the other. Although the twins and staff were following up, there was little follow up from any of the potential employers. Jason and Tyler were becoming discouraged, but their teams continued to motivate them and maintained positive communication with their family.
A few months later, following an interview with Giant, the twins received news that they both had been hired! Although the position for bagger/cart attendant was intended for one person, the manager at the store created a double opportunity for Jason and Tyler.
Today, the twins continue to be diligent and valuable employees of the company.Back to top
Based on each job seeker’s interest and abilities, we provide individualized support in identifying and securing competitive employment within the individual’s community. Our staff are specifically trained to create customized employment opportunities by matching the job seeker’s skills to the needs of the identified local business. There are many ways that job seekers can benefit from our employment services – Click here to read more!
Funding for Supported Employment (SE) is available through the State of Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Department of Rehabilitative Services (DORS), Transitional Youth Services, Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) and for individuals able to pay privately.
As an ongoing vendor for DORS, we help secure and maintain jobs for people with disabilities throughout Maryland.
- Supported Employment Services –Transitioning Youth (TY) students approved for ongoing supported employment services through DDA are provided with funding to receive employment support between high school graduation and the final admission into a DDA-funded agency.
- Non-Supported Employment Services – These services may be/are available to individuals with disabilities who are not eligible for DDA employment support. They provide job development and/or job coaching for a time limited period approved through DORS for individuals throughout Maryland.
- Employee Development Services (EDS) – These services Abilities Network provides. It’s a 10-week classroom-style program for job seekers. It includes work adjustment training; providing a comprehensive, individualized process that assists people to develop or re-establish skills, attitudes, personal characteristics and work behaviors to achieve positive employment outcomes. The objective of EDS is to build on each participant’s job seeking skills and techniques. This learning experience gives each individual the tools to represent themselves in a professional manner, in every aspect of the job seeking process, in order to ultimately obtain employment.
- Student to Employment Services (STEP) – Specific to Howard County, the STEP program provides employment services to students for the three years prior to their graduation year. With a focus on employment development, placement and retention, Abilities Network and other providers work with the student’s high school and DORS, to explore and experience employment opportunities in their home communities.
- Employment Services through the Office for Blindness & Vision Services (OBVS) – We have partnered with OBVS through DORS to provide employment services to those whose primary disability is vision loss. We work closely with DORS counselors from OBVS to reinforce the job seeker’s “specific vocational goal” as identified in the Career Exploration Assessment & Plan of Services. This guides our job development and sets the individual up for success.
Independent Living Services
We customize our supports in order to address personal strengths, needs, preferences and desires. Developing a clear understanding of each person’s abilities, we expand upon those existing skills to promote independence in problem solving, social interactions, use of community-based resources, and motivation to achieve identified goals.
There are several ways individuals can benefit from our services, including skill development, increased independence, personalized advocacy and assistance. For more information on the many benefits to our independent living services, click here.
Public funding for Community Supported Living Arrangement (CSLA) and Individualized Support Services (ISS) is available through the State of Maryland’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and Low Intensity Support Services (LISS). Services are also available to those who choose to pay privately.
The goals that individuals can work on through CSLA and/or ISS are unlimited. Here are just a few:
- Housing location/resources
- Meal preparation assistance
- Household chores training
- Assistance to access medical care
- Transportation training
- Safety/emergency preparedness
- Making choices for healthy living
- Building social skills
To get started, call an Abilities Network office in your area. Be ready with your home zip code and a Program Director familiar with your geographical area will quickly be in contact for an initial conversation about specific service information. Click here to view our office locations.
For additional information on our CEP program, contact us via e-mail or call us at 410-828-7700.Back to top