Employment can bring much success, independence and fulfillment to the lives of those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. DILA’s Supported Employment Program helps eliminate many of the traditional barriers faced by deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. As part of the program, trained staff members work closely with deaf and hard-of-hearing community members to help them secure and maintain meaningful employment.
Securing employment is a multi-step process that includes evaluating a job seeker’s skills and interests, submitting applications and resumes, accepting a job offer and sustaining employment through good work habits. This process is broken down into four stages: job seeking skills training, job development, placement and coaching. Our staff members walk job seekers through each stage carefully, with an overall goal of helping them become valued, productive members of the workforce. Depending on the job seeker’s unique situation, he or she may spend more time at a certain stage altogether.
Stage One: Job Seeking Skills Training
DILA uses the PLATO Job Seeking Curriculum in teaching job seeking skills. The class can be taught one on one or in a group setting of no more than five (5) participants. The curriculum is structured into five (5) components; within each component there are classes. Consumers enroll in the components that they need. Classes are for consumers who do not have the skills necessary for finding a job. To see a copy of the curriculum, please click here
. To see the class schedule, please click here
Stage Two: Job Development
At this stage, the DILA staff member spends time getting to know the job seeker, especially his or her skills, talents and interests. Other services provided at this stage include:
- Skills Assessment
- Functional math and English tutoring (if needed)
- Resume development
- Guidance locating employment opportunities through the newspaper and internet
- Assistance completing job applications
- Interview preparation
Stage Three: Job Placement
DILA strives to place deaf and hard-of-hearing job seekers in employment situations that match their unique skill set and offer opportunities for personal and professional growth. Once the job seeker receives an offer, we complete several preliminary tasks to ensure a successful employment experience, including:
- Visiting the job site to determine if special accommodations are needed, such as a TTY or interpreter
- Meeting with the employer and deaf or hard-of-hearing individual to review the terms of employment and any training needed
- Identifying key performance criteria and standards
- Securing reliable transportation to and from work
Stage Four: Job Coaching
To help new employees adjust to their workplace environment and consistently meet performance standards, we offer job coaching in the following areas:
- Building skills, confidence and problem solving
- Understanding specific work duties, performance standards and directions from supervisors
- Meeting formal and informal expectations (e.g. promptness, adhering to company dress code, avoiding absenteeism)
- Proper way to report absences or lateness
- Understanding a paycheck (e.g. deductions, insurance plans, retirement savings)
- Socializing with co-workers
Job coaches continue to work with employees until both the employee and supervisor are satisfied with the employee’s job performance.
The Job Lab is a resource center for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals seeking employment. The lab is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. There are a variety of tools available to consumers to help them find work. These include; a computer with internet access for doing job searches and filling out online applications, current job listings in the area that are compiled and updated weekly, books and videos related to employment, interviewing and resuming building, as well as information on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and reasonable accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the workplace. To see a list of the Job Lab resources please click here.
DILA services also benefit employers who hire deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Benefits include:
For more information about the benefits of hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing employees please click here.
- Pre-screened Applicants
- Free On-the-Job Supervision
- Fulfilling EEO Requirements
- Tax Credits/Deductions
To Learn More...
For more information about our employment & supported employment services, call 410-742-5052 (voice/TTY) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to read 'Employment & Supported Employment' Fact Sheet
To Learn More...
For more information about our Job Seeking Skills Courses and Job Lab, call 410-742-5052 (voice/TTY) or email email@example.com.
Click here to read 'Job Seeking Skills Courses and Job Lab' Fact Sheet