Where Our Clients Originate: Our Referral Process
Most of the adults with disabilities who enter our Rehabilitation Program come to us as referrals from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Veterans Administration as well as local area school districts. The majority, however, are referred to us by the DVR which is a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency whose purpose is to prepare adults with disabilities for jobs and to help them obtain employment. According to the DVR, a disability is “a physical or mental impairment which constitutes or results in a substantial impediment to employment where the individual can benefit in terms of employment outcome from vocational rehabilitation services, and the individual requires vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, enter, engage in, or retain gainful employment.” This means that, in order to be eligible for assistance from the DVR, an individual must have a disability which limits their ability to work under normal conditions.
Once an individual has entered our program, we assign them to a vocational evaluator who works with the client and the client’s family or guardian to come up with a plan for training and work. We’re determined to develop plans that meet the goals and interests of our adult clients and work with each individual to determine the most appropriate vocational program that meets these needs. Once a plan is in place, the client can begin training.
When Our Consumers Arrive: Counseling, Support, and Training
Once an individual comes to O.T.C., we immediately match them with a vocational evaluator who will work with that person to assess their goals and interests and determine the most appropriate vocational program in which to receive job training. We answer any questions from the consumer and their families or guardians and provide any information they need to feel comfortable and confident with the programs at O.T.C.
We want all of the adults with disabilities in our program to enjoy their job and find empowerment in learning new skills and providing services both in and around the community. In order to meet the needs and interests of a variety of clients, we’ve developed a diverse selection of programs. These include:
- Food Service
- Grounds maintenance
- Custodial and Janitorial Services
- Bench Assembly Operations
Work, Training, Evaluation and Support
Once their vocational assignment begins, our staff evaluates the individual’s work habits, job skills, and abilities for approximately five weeks to ensure that the vocational choice fits the unique needs of the client. Together, the client and staff member evaluate any challenges and successes and determine the best course of action for future work. If there are too many challenges, the vocational evaluator may reassign the consumer to the work adjustment training (WAT) phase. The WAT phase helps ensure the success of adults with disabilities in our programs through individual attention in developing better work habits that are conducive to employment goals.
The WAT is designed to help adults with disabilities develop the skills necessary to meet the demands of working outside of O.T.C. If our counselors feel the individual needs more time and support under our programs, that client then continues to work with the work adjustment training with the intention of ultimately achieving their employment and vocational goals.