What is Supported Employment

What is Supported Employment?

Book Review:
Work Accommodation & Retention in Mental Health
Izabela Z. Schultz & E. Sally Rogers Editors

Work Accommodation and Retention in Mental Health is a collection of 24 research papers from contributors across North America. This research covers a broad ranch of topics within mental health and work; including studies from around the world. The book was published by Springer Sciences + Business Media in 2011 and contains 465 pages.

The editors state in their preface, "Our book constitutes a state of the art, integrated, research and evidence based resource to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and the development of new, effective clinical and occupational practices and policies for individuals with mental health disabilities."

The topics of research include: Mental Health Disabilities and Work Functioning, Employment Interventions for Persons with Mental Health Disabilities, Evidence Informed Practice in Job Accommodation and others.

This book is a valuable resource for anyone involved in Supported Employment services and the best collection of research I have seen to date.

Owen Melsness, Supported Employment Specialist

Supported Employment is real work in an integrated setting with ongoing support provided by an agency with expertise in finding employment for people with disabilities.

What is Real Work?

Real work is work that would be done by a typical member of the workforce if it were not done by the worker with a disability. Supported employment placements are work, not 'vocational training,' 'work experience' or 'work preparation.'

Supported employees work for pay of at least minimum wage or the standard pay for that position.

What is an Integrated Work Setting?

A work setting where the proportion of disabled workers is roughly equivalent to the proportion of people with disabilities in the general population.

Note: Large work crews or 'enclaves,' where disabled people work together on one site, are excluded from this definition.

What is Ongoing Support?

Job-support services that are, theoretically, not time limited.

The service providing ongoing support should be committed to providing support for as long as the worker with a disability requires it in order to perform his or her work satisfactorily.

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