Abilities Network is a non-profit agency that provides complete support of adults with disabilities. We are in the community with Consumers, assisting them with life skills, such as shopping, cooking, social activities and budgeting. My area of expertise is job developing, and/or providing job coaching for individuals who are already employed.
Based on the type of funding each Consumer has, we interact between 1.5 to 4 hours at least 1x per week, with them one on one. In my position as an Employment Specialist, Case Manager, I am able to schedule my appointments with clients at their convenience. I am also the liaison between the Agency and the Division of Rehabilitation Services - a source that provides us with individuals to serve. I monitor the hours of these clients and prepare monthly reports for the Service Coordinators at DORS.
The challenge on the job is sometimes having to meet with the clients and support staff (and guardians/parents), to discuss the barriers toward achieving previously set goals, and facilitating a new plan/agreement that may not have been the original hope of the family/individual. However, working with the team to set realistic goals with step by step instructions brings out the creativity in everyone concerned. It is a good and welcomed challenge.
The culture at Abilities Network is very accommodating and warm. My Supervisor and co-workers are professional and caring; very supportive of one another. There are times when we have to act as back-up for a co-worker - it is expected, and accomplished with minimal difficulties. The lines of communication are open, so that we are available to receive a text or call at any given time. This teamwork culture comes from the Head Office in Towson, MD. The CEO is extremely team-oriented and models it for all of the employees.
I enjoy the feeling of success I see in the individuals I serve when they have reached a milestone in their plan. Whether it is getting a job, going on a job interview, or successfully returning a phone call for a job interview, I am gratified to know that I had a part in that success.