Since community employment is our passion, we only assist youth and adults that are interested in exploring/securing/maintaining employment in competitive work settings. We want to see individuals realize their dreams of becoming more independent members of their communities; working along side others that do not have disabilities. Likewise, we focus on job opportunities where people with disabilities are compensated with earnings that are at least minimum wage and consistent with the earnings of their peers without disabilities. Upon referral, one of the first steps is to create a Plan of Service with the individual and his/her support team.
Information & Referral
Though AHEDD is a specialized human resource organization, AHEDD staff can also provide information and referral for other community resources that are integral in the overall development of independence. Most of the services that AHEDD provides or coordinates are funded by third party agreements. If there is not a financial sponsor available, AHEDD will make referrals to help an individual sort through available options, including private pay from a participant or his/her family.
Many people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are interested in exploring work opportunities and increasing their earnings, but are concerned about losing their benefits and health care. While these benefits support millions of persons with disabilities, they have evolved as a new obstacle in the search for gainful employment and participation in community living.
Since 2001, AHEDD has been helping participants utilize work incentives available through the Social Security Administration, in order to achieve their employment goals and attain greater financial independence. Through the provision of Work Incentive Counseling (WIC), AHEDD assists individuals with understanding the impact of paid employment on their social security cash payments, healthcare, and other relevant federal, state, and local benefits. WIC is available for people receiving SSI and/or SSDI between the ages of 14 and 64. Ideally, this service is for persons who are working or are considering work in the near future. Read More
Depending on need, a customer may participate in pre-employment activities such as Community Based Work Assessments (conducted with employers in the community), job searching and interview skills training, resume development, and more – all of which are aimed to prepare the individual for selecting and securing employment to match current skills and abilities.
Commonly referred to as job coaching, this service can include job site instruction, the coordination of vocational and educational services, and/or other job-related assistance such as advocacy for reasonable accommodations. On-going support is available to help the customer maintain and, when the opportunity presents itself, advance their career. Read More
As a component of AHEDD’s Community Employment Services for individuals with disabilities, the organization regularly canvasses the business community to identify diverse types of employment for program participants. They also leverage the business outreach conducted by their own business initiative, Disability:IN Pennsylvania, to connect with companies and provide a greater variety of employment options to the people served.
Taking time upfront to understand the workplace needs and specifics is critical to ensuring that AHEDD finds jobs that individuals want to do and that fit within their capability and qualifications.
AHEDD commits to provide support and guidance to our program participants for at least 12 months after they first go to work. This commitment to ongoing (follow along) support is a great benefit for both our program participants and employers. We not only want people to get a job, we want them to stay employed.
While the level of support is customized according to need, providing such Follow Along services helps the individual to maintain employment, address career development issues, and enhance their economic well being. AHEDD is there to help with any type of issue that could impact someone’s ability to maintain employment successfully. We can make a difference by guiding folks on how to address conflicts with co-workers or supervisors, assessing production deficiencies and providing possible solutions, assisting folks with how to handle their responsibilities for reporting earnings to SSA, and much more.