Lark’s Supported Employment services provides you with direct and indirect services that are provided in a variety of community settings for the purposes of supporting you in obtaining and sustaining competitive integrated employment. Competitive integrated employment refers to full or part-time work at minimum wage or higher, with wages and benefits similar to workers without disabilities performing the same work, and fully integrated with coworkers without disabilities.
Supported Employment services include activities such as training and additional supports including worksite orientation, job development, coordination of any necessary accommodations and/or assistive technology. Supported Employment services consist of three components: career assessment, job finding or development, and job coaching and support.
- Career Assessment is a person-centered, individualized employment assessment used to assist you in the identification of possible career options, including self-employment, based on your interests and strengths. Career assessment includes discovery activities.Your Supported Employment Specialist will:
- gather and conduct a review of your interests, skills, and work or volunteer history;
- conduct situational assessments to determine your interest and aptitude for a particular type of job;
- conduct informational interviews;
- identify types of jobs in the community that match your interests, strengths, and skills; and,
- develop a career assessment report that specifies recommendations regarding your needs, interests, strengths, and characteristics of potential work places. The career assessment report will also include specific trainings or skill development you may need to achieve your career goal.
- Job Finding or Development includes employer outreach and orientation, job searching, job development, resume preparation and interview assistance.Other activities may include:
- participation in individual planning for employment;
- development of job seeking skills;
- development of job skills specific to a job being sought
- job analysis;
- consultation with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR);
- benefits counseling;
- Ticket-to-Work Employment Networks; and,
- self-employment assistance.
- Job Coaching and Support may consist of training you for a job assignment, periodic follow-up, or ongoing support with you and your employer. This service must be necessary for you to maintain acceptable job performance and work habits, and may include helping you to learn new work assignments, maintain job skills, and achieve performance expectations of your employer.Other activities may include:
- direct intervention with an employer;
- employment-related personal skills instruction;
- support to relearn job tasks;
- training to assist you in using transportation to and from work;
- work orientation;
- job aide development;
- coordination of accommodations;
- ensuring assistive technology is utilized; and,
- follow along services at work.
A fade plan and a fade schedule will be developed with you by your employment specialist.
Supported Employment services are provided in a variety of community settings. This service may not be provided to you in an Adult Training Facility, a Vocational Facility, or any other licensed facility-based setting. This service may be delivered to you in Pennsylvania and in states connecting to Pennsylvania.
Lark is responsible for any needed transportation for you to complete Supported Employment activities with the exception of driving you to your place of employment.
Supported Employment staff members (employment specialist and supported employment job coaches) have specialized training in employment in community-based settings and hold Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators (ACRE) Certification. This enables the staff to be highly qualified in the Association of People Supporting Employment First (ASPE) nationally recognized first formal set of competencies for employment providers. These competencies cover the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in the field of employment for people with disabilities. ACRE refined and expanded ASPE competencies to allow for multiple approaches to employment for people with disabilities, including competitive employment, Customized Employment, supported employment, and small group employment.
Supported Employment staff members also have PA mentorship training in order to provide advanced supported employment for Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and Discovery and Customized Employment for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR).
Staffing for career assessment and job finding or development may be provided to you at the following levels:
- Basic – staff to individual ratio of 1:1
Staffing for job coaching and support may be provided to you at the following levels:
- Basic – staff to individual ratio of 1:2
- Level 1 – staff to individual ratio of 1:1
Supported Employment is funded through Waiver Services (Base, Person/Family Directed Support Waiver, Consolidated Waiver, Community Living Waiver) or private pay.
Note: Supported Employment services may not be provided under the above waivers until it has been verified that:
- Services are not available in an IEP if you are still a student;
- OVR has closed your case or has stopped providing you services;
- It was determined by OVR that services are not available to you;
- You are determined ineligible for OVR services.
Senior Director of Support Services
Through the generous support of donors like you, Lark Enterprises, Inc. has been providing day services to individuals with disabilities since 1957. Because of you, we are able to offer real work experiences and high-quality, cost-effective services and supports for individuals from western Pennsylvania. Each year, Lark supports over 300 people with disabilities to reach their vocational and social goals. With community support, “doors” to employment and social engagement open for all individuals with disabilities, no matter their challenges. Your gift allows us to think “outside the box” as we support the employment and social endeavors of these individuals.
Lark’s Endowment Fund has been established to allow Lark to further our operating processes. This fund supports our mission through the income generated by the Fund’s capital investments. Your donation to Lark’s Endowment Fund ensures the long-term financial health of our agency and our ability to reach the needs of the people we support.
Lark’s General Fund contains the resources to sustain the day-to-day activities of our agency. Your donation to Lark’s General Fund ensures that funding is available for the everyday needs of the agency and the people we support.
Lark’s Capital Fund contains the resources for our special projects that go beyond the day-to-day activities of our agency. This fund allows us to reach the special needs of the individuals we support through major capital purchases. Your donation to Lark’s Capital Fund ensures funding is available for major purchases for facility maintenance, programming needs and supplies, and major equipment.