Jobs are just the beginning...

Helping Young Adults With Disabilities


Nov 19, 2014 Employment, Vadis News , , , , 0 Comments

Dana School to Work

Each year, Vadis begins engaging with youth in their last year of high school. The goal in working with these young adults is to help them transition from Special Education into the adult world with a job that is meaningful to them. We asked one of our Employment Consultants to share the process that happens in this year of discovery.


When Vadis first begins working with a young adult, it is important to learn as much as possible about them so we can help them find a job that is well suited to their skills, abilities and who they are as a person. We gather this information from the participant and their circle of support. The circle of support is often determined by the young adult and can include parents, family members, teachers, neighbors and other individuals.  The information obtained includes but is not limited to: the types of work they are interested in, employment support needs as well as other considerations such as cultural, linguistic and religious aspects of their life that the individual would like to see incorporated into their work plan.

Many of the individuals that we support have little to no work experience. Part of our discovery process can include an option called Community Based Assessments, or CBAs. This opportunity allows our young adult try out different types of work and determine what types of tasks they like. Often time, these assessments are completed at businesses we already have relationships with. However, completing CBAs at a new business is a great way to develop a solid foundation with new employers. This allows prospective employers to see first-hand the value of supported employment and how it can be implemented and beneficial to their business.

With the information we gathered upon first meeting the participant as well as the outcome of the Community Based Assessments, we now have a more accurate idea of the type of job we will be pursuing. We will have gained knowledge into the type of environment, the individuals speed and accuracy, stamina, how well they are able to receive feedback and other criteria leading to employment.

While Vadis has helped a number of Community Based Assessment sites grow into paid employment positions, our primary objective is finding employment the young adult truly enjoys and is good at!

Pictured above is Bernard who is a student from the Renton School District. At his intake his mother shared that Bernard greatly enjoys being with her in the kitchen and assisting in any way he can. Bernard’s Employment Consultant wanted to see if he liked restaurant prep work.  Bernard tried out a Community Based Assessment at Applebees in Renton and had a smile on his face the entire time!  Now that we know the type of work Bernard likes, we’re helping him interview at other restaurants in the Southcenter area!

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