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Director: Jennifer Johnson

Developmental Disabilities | Adults | Transition Youth |Children & Family | Events & Training | Resources | Recreation

Developmental Disabilities Program: Adult Services

Mai Hensel, DD Program Specialist
maih@co.skagit.wa.us 
360-416-1510


Adult Services provide eligible adults aged twenty-one and older vocational services. This may include support to find and maintain employment, long term career planning, and assistance connecting to vocational services that the general public enjoys.

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. Answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the Working Age Adult Policy can be found in Skagit County’s Adult Services Guide | Spanish Version

Types of Services for Adults:

  • Supported Employment,
  • Community Access
  • Transition Partnership Services

SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT

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 (VR)?

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 is designed.

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
http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dvr/

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.

CHINOOK ENTERPRISES (360) 428-0140 Website:
WASHINGTON VOCATIONAL SERVICES (360) 419-0910
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
Website: http://www.chinookenterprises.org

Washington Vocational Services(360) 419-0910
Website: http://www.wvs.org/

Service Alternatives:(360) 941-9693
Website: http://www.servalt.com

TRANSITION SERVICES

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 from
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 may:

  • 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 that’s 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 of funding.

Individuals on a Home and Community Based Services waiver program will have long term supports available as described in your waiver programs. Please visit DDA’s website describing services at: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ddd/services.shtml