Few milestones are more satisfying than getting our first job and receiving our first paycheck. It marks a pivotal time in our lives when all the hours of training we’ve completed and the skills that we’ve learned are put to good use and appreciated.
Many high-functioning individuals with I/DD are still marginalized when seeking gainful employment within their communities. Those individuals with more severe challenges find it especially difficult to realize the dream of landing a job. They are still the most underpaid sector of society, often losing their jobs before others facing potential discrimination in the workplace.
Pre-vocational training of individuals with I/DD focuses on developing positive work habits and gaining essential skills rather than job-specific knowledge. Personal talents are encouraged and enhanced. Daily sites can include sporting destinations, museums, libraries, and more.
Independent Living Association (ILA), with locations in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island, offers people with I/DD the opportunity to cultivate their individual strengths and talents. Those skills are enhanced through pre-vocational training offered in ILA’s day and community habilitation programs, preparing Individuals to enter the mainstream workforce. ILA currently partners with several area businesses that offer volunteer and employment opportunities for Individuals to learn and grow.
Individuals working with ILA professionals receive one-on-one instruction in various activities in controlled and safe environments. Each activity location is chosen according to its ability to generate interest and engagement, and most importantly, to promote inclusion within the community. Individuals are helped to develop and strengthen communication and other important skills while adapting to day-to-day responsibilities of the workplace and gaining more self-sufficiency. Many ILA Individuals have also volunteered at Citymeals on Wheels and other organizations, helping to foster a positive feeling of giving back to the community. ILA provides transportation to and from each activity.
ILA’s habilitation programs complement the work of the at-home support staff who work 1:1 with Individuals to strengthen their daily living skills, such as cooking, personal hygiene, and financial management. Part of the benefit of both training streams is the inclusion of family into the process, adding to the supportive environment for Individuals and their loved ones.
For Individuals with I/DD, the sense of accomplishment achieved from employment is immeasurable. For their families, it fosters a sense of pride in knowing that their loved one is making giant leaps in their personal development.
To learn more about ILA’s day habilitation and community habilitation programs, reach out today.