January News & Updates

The Employment First initiative sets the bar higher and creates an expectation that people with disabilities, like everyone else, will have to “opt out” of employment rather than “opt in.” In an effort to increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities, most states have incorporated Employment First activities or philosophies of some kind. Each State Agency, including the Division of Developmental Disabilities (Division), involved in assisting individuals with disabilities with services and supports was asked to identify and remove barriers to employment and implement policy to increase employment outcomes for the individuals with disabilities they serve.

Supported Employment: Additional Funding Available/Additional Budget

o     The individual must make every effort to utilize his/her individual budget to cover his/her Supported Employment needs prior to requesting this additional funding.
o     To request the Supported Employment component, the Support Coordinator must submit a completed Supported Employment Funding Request form (Appendix D). This form will be reviewed by the Division to ensure that other available services would not be able to provide the level of support necessary for the individual to remain employed.
o     The Division may request or conduct an observational evaluation on the job site to assist in the determination process and/or provide technical guidance as needed.
* The Division will inform the individual and Support Coordinator of the determination. Other Division funded services remain available while this determination is being made. 

NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Career Planning
o     A person-centered comprehensive employment planning and support service that provides assistance for program participants to obtain, maintain or advance in competitive employment or self-employment.
o     A focused, time-limited service that engages a participant in identifying a career direction and developing a plan for achieving competitive, integrated employment at or above the state's minimum wage.
o     If a participant is employed and receiving supported employment services, Career Planning may be used to find other competitive employment more consistent with the participant's skills and interests, or to explore advancement opportunities in his/her chosen career. 
Prevocational Training
o     Provides learning and work experiences, including volunteer work, where the individual can develop general, non-job-task-specific strengths and skills that contribute to employability in paid employment in integrated community settings.
o     May include training in effective communication with supervisors, co-workers and customers; generally accepted community workplace conduct and dress; ability to follow directions; ability to attend to tasks; workplace problem solving skills and strategies; and general workplace safety and mobility training.
o     Intended to be a service that participants receive over a defined period of time and with specific outcomes to be achieved in preparation for securing competitive, integrated employment at or above the state's minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals without disabilities.
o     Service is delivered in a face-to-face setting, either one-on-one with the participant or in a group of 2-8 participants, and cannot be delivered in a sheltered workshop.
Supported Employment - Individual Employment Support
o     Activities needed to help a participant obtain and maintain an individual job in competitive or customized employment, or self-employment, in an integrated setting in the general workforce for which the participant is compensated at or above the state's minimum wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals without disabilities.
o     The service may be delivered for an intensive period upon the participant's initial employment to support the participant who, because of their disability, would not be able to sustain employment without supports.
o     The service may also be delivered on a less intensive, ongoing basis ("follow along") where supports are delivered either face-to-face or by phone with the participant and/or his/her employer.
o     Services are individualized and may include but re not limited to: training and systematic instruction, job coaching, benefit support, travel training, and other workplace support services including services not specifically related to job-skill training that enable the participant to be successful in integrating into the job setting.

Supported Employment - Small Group Employment Support
o     Services and training activities provided to participants in regular business, industry and community settings for groups of 2-8 workers with disabilities.
o     Services may include mobile crews and other business-based workgroups employing small groups of workers with disabilities in employment in the community.
o     Services must be provided in a manner that promotes integration into the workplace and interaction between participants and people without disabilities.
o   Services may include but are not limited to: job placement, job development, negotiation with prospective employers, job analysis, training and systematic instruction, job coaching, benefit support, travel training and planning.
Upcoming Events and Lectures

Guardianship and Supported Decision Making: Just the Basics
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
6:00 pm- 8:00 pm
Mount Olive Township Board of Education

Housing 101
Wednesday February 6, 2019
7:00 pm- 8:00 pm
Watchung Hills Regional High School

Accessing Services and Natural Supports: How-To Series
Monday February 11, 2019
9:30 am- 11:30 am
Celebrate The Children, Denville

For Additional Events and Lectures Please See Below:

Email Validation:
Many of you have seen email validations emails come across your email. It is important to validate your email account so that the DDD, as well as Spectrum, has the correct contact information to reach you.

Please see below for an example: