Retirement services are available for eligible individuals aged 62 or
older. Eligibility and referral is determined by the Developmental Disabilities Administration: (360) 429-3103.
Adult program services follow the Administration’s Working Age Adult Policy - a policy which promotes gainful employment in integrated settings in the community as the preferred option for working age adults.
What is Supported Employment?
Supported employment is paid employment for people who have disabilities
and a demonstrated inability to gain and maintain competitive employment.
Supported employment occurs in a variety of typical, integrated business
environments. Supported employment includes minimum wage pay or better,
assistance obtaining and maintaining jobs, and assistance with promotion
and career development. Support is provided to consumers, employers, and/or
coworkers through activities such as on-the-job training, job restructuring,
and technical assistance to employers and coworkers.
How is supported employment different than vocational rehabilitation
Supported Employment is different from traditional rehabilitation services.
Traditional VR services focus on short-term assistance and training in
order to produce long-term employment. For many people with disabilities,
initial training and assistance of short duration will result in meaningful
and lasting competitive employment. For other people who have more significant
support needs, short-term support will be insufficient for obtaining and
maintaining employment. It is for these individuals that Supported Employment
How do I access DVR?
Your DDA Case Manager, school staff, or family may help you connect with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). DVR is the first step in getting assistance finding a job for most people. Call them for information on their next orientation:
Voice: (360) 429-3097
How do I access supported employment through Skagit County?
- You must be a client of the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA).
- Your case manager from DDA must assess you for eligibility for this paid service and provide the County with a referral.
- There must be funds available to meet your long term support needs.
Who will work with me?
Whether you work with DVR first or with Skagit County, you have the right
to choose any qualified provider that does business with Skagit
County. We strongly recommend that you interview all available providers
and make a choice based on your needs and individual circumstances.
Skagit County subcontracts with agencies that employ people specialized
in providing employment support services.
Following are the web sites of those agencies that are qualified providers
who hold contracts with Skagit County.
(360) 428-0140 Website:
WASHINGTON VOCATIONAL SERVICES
SERVICE ALTERNATIVES, INC. (360) 672-0818
Other information regarding Supported Employment
COMMUNITY ACCESS / RETIREMENT
What is Community Access?
Community Access Services assist individuals to participate in activities
that promote individualized skill development, independent living and
community integration. Activities provide opportunities to develop personal
relationships in their local communities and to learn, practice, and apply
life skills that promote
greater independence and community inclusion.
Examples of supports that may be provided:
- Assistance obtaining membership in desired community organizations
- Assistance to participate in and contribute to community organizations
not organized to serve individuals with disabilities
- Training and support for volunteer work or other community activities
- Support to build and strengthen relationships with individuals in
the local community who are not paid to be with the person
- Developing natural supports
How Can I access this service?
This is a service for adults. People have to be clients of the Developmental Disabilities Administration and must be referred by their case manager. Service availability is dependent upon funding. Working age adults (those age 21 through 61) need to access vocational services first. If you are a working age adult and you participated in vocational services for 9 months, your case manager may offer this as an alternative service. Individuals age 62 or older may access this as a retirement services when funds are available.
Who provides this service in Skagit County?
Skagit County currently has three qualified vocational service providers:
Chinook Enterprises (360) 428-0140
Washington Vocational Services(360) 419-0910
Service Alternatives:(360) 941-9693
For information about qualified provider requirements, please see: Skagit County QP Overview
What are transition services?
Transition services are offered by the school districts as required through
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
Transition services mean a coordinated set of activities for students
that are designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement
school to post-school activities including;
- Post-secondary education,
- Vocational training,
- Integrated employment (including supported employment),
- Continuing and adult education,
- Connection to adult services,
- And (where appropriate) independent living or community participation.
How is Skagit County involved with transition?
Staff from Skagit County Community services collaborates with school district
staff to assist youth to experience a seamless transition to adult services.
Depending on availability of staff and resources, Skagit County staff
- Attend your IEP
- Provide you and your family workshops on transition topics
- Collaborate with DVR and DDA on strategies to assist you obtaining
the services and supports you need to maintain employment.
How do I access the supported employment if thats my goal?
Entry into supported employment services depend on availability of funding.
Each biennial year (two-year funding cycle), the Washington Legislature
makes decision on whether or not to fund supported employment for youth
exiting the school system and how many youth they will fund.
To obtain long term supports, you must be a DDA client, have utilized
DVR services or have obtained paid, community based employment and demonstrate
a need for long term supports. Supported employment depends on the availability
Individuals on a Home and Community Based Services waiver program will
have long term supports available as described in your waiver programs.
Please visit DDAs website describing services at: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ddd/services.shtml