MG&A provides an array of topics related to assisting individuals with significant disabilities to become employed and to participate fully in their communities. MG&A offers topical/event based training and certification based training. Information on certification based training may be found under the “certification” tab on this website. The topics for our event based training are as follows:
1. An overview of Customized Employment (½ - 1 day presentation)
This session focuses on an overview to Customized Employment, a strategy that provides persons with disabilities, and indeed other applicants with significant barriers to employment, with an alternative to traditional, competitive jobs. This approach to employment offers the promise of welcoming all persons with disabilities who wish to work into the generic employment system and into a job that fits their needs. It also defines the critical role of vocational rehabilitation services to support both the individual with a disability and the generic system to make employment a viable option for persons once thought to be unemployable.
2. Discovery (1 – 2 day presentation)
Discovery provides a substitute to comparison-based testing procedures that utilizes already-existing information rather than information developed through formal assessment methods. Discovery is used as a guide for customizing an employment relationship for an applicant with an employer. This process takes into account the applicant's entire life experiences rather than single instances of performance. The discovery process begins with a provider representative who meets with the applicant and family at the home of the applicant. These visits, along with other discovery activities, give the individual and family, as appropriate, information about their powerful roles in the process and allow the provider to compile basic information that is necessary to complete the process.
3. Profile Document Development (1 – 2 day presentation)
The Profile documents provide comprehensive format that describes the individual in a narrative manner. For adults and transitioning students, the descriptive document provides information vital to planning and can substitute for traditional, comparative vocational assessment procedures. For students, this document becomes a work in progress during the transition years of the student’s school career passed on from teacher to teacher until graduation. The document is then passed on to adult employment service personnel to be used as a basis for job development and support, as appropriate.
4. The Customized Plan for Employment (1 day presentation)
A Customized Plan for Employment is held with the applicant, family, friends, advocates, the provider, VR counselors and others chosen by the applicant. This planning meeting adheres to the values associated with the best of person-directed, person-centered values. The applicant (with support from family or others, as necessary) holds “trumps” during the meeting and decides the information that will be included in the plan. The meeting describes a customized job development plan in the form of a blueprint that directs job development efforts and includes:
* “What works and what doesn’t work” for the job seeker
* The applicant's interests, contributions, and conditions for employment;
* The types of job tasks the applicant feels should comprise the job,
* Specific employment sites where work could be developed for the applicant.
5. Development of a Visual Resume (1 day presentation)
The Discovery Strategy also utilizes a “visual resume” as a tool for job developers to use to introduce both the job seeker to potential employers in a visual manner. This tool provides an alternative to tradition resumes that condense education, honors and experiences in a manner designed to provide a competitive edge regarding other job seekers. Instead, the Visual Resume is based on the findings of Discovery and provides potential employers with an insight into who the job seeker is as a person and ends with a listing of proposed job tasks that are being offered to the employer.
6. Job Development Representation (1 overview – 3 or day presentation)
Job Development Representation training is provided in four areas: a) negotiating techniques and considerations of using negotiation within CE, b) developing a Concept Portfolio for presenting CE to potential employers, c) implementing an Employer Needs and Benefits Analysis to determine the fit for the job seeker and the potential benefit for the employer and d) making employer contacts and presentations to secure a customized job. Components a – c require a minimum of a half day of training and component d requires 1 ½ - 2 days of training. These techniques blend the best of human service values with the “science” of sales to result in successful outcomes for employment.
7. Systematic Instruction/Job Coaching (2 day overview - 3 day training workshop)
This training connects the work of Marc Gold, who developed the Try Another Way Approach in the 1970s with supported employment and customized employment of the modern era. This training provides a naturally-referenced approach to systematic instruction and job site support designed to maximize the employer’s acceptance of support responsibilities while meeting the employee’s needs for effective learning and quality performance of work tasks.
8. Transition to Adult Employment (1/2 day – 1 day presentation)
This training addresses the importance of work experiences for students during the transition years of school. For far too long, schools have followed a “one size fits all” mentality in the use of work experiences. Too little attention is focused on the student’s performance and interests during their experiences. This training frames work experiences and paid internships as forms of expanded discovery and recommends a variety of work experiences that start when students are as young as ten years old. Based on the findings of a federally-funded project from 2003 – 2009, the National Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) as well as our work on the national Pathways to Careers initiative from 2012 – present, MG&A has identified the effective strategies and offer an array of options that special educators and parents may use to provide a clearer understanding of what it takes to assure a working life when students transition to adulthood.
Additional topics for training and technical assistance:
Choice and Self-Determination strategies
The Community’s Calendar: A planning approach to connect people to their communities
Training Presentations: MG&A consultants primarily provide presentations that will complement any technical assistance provided. These presentations must be attended by all targeted participants of the customer agency and may also be attended by a number of additional individuals invited by the host agency.
Hand-on Training Workshops: MG&A can provide hands-on learning experiences for small groups of individuals on any of the specific topic areas listed above. Customers must allow for time to discuss the content of the topic, time for practice of the strategies addressed, time for role-play implementation of the strategy and access to paid individuals with significant disabilities as “consultant learners” to the workshop. The MG&A three day workshop on systematic instruction is conducted in this manner.
Direct Technical Assistance: MG&A training consultants can provide, at the discretion of the host agency, hands-on technical assistance following each aspect of the training process. Consultants can review materials, answer questions, offer feedback, track progress of participants and model implementation strategies, upon request. We can also provide regular telephone technical assistance for individuals and teams as they complete their assignments.
Written Materials: MG&A will provide digital originals of training materials to be used during each component of the training. These original materials will be provided free of charge to the customer agency and may be used only by the customer during the delivery of customized employment services. Each targeted participant must have copies of all written materials.
Assignments for Participants to Accomplish Outcomes: Selected training participants or teams may be targeted by the customer agency to work with individuals with disabilities throughout the process of providing customized employment services. The customer agency is responsible for identifying and communicating with potential job seekers as well as supervising and supporting training participants throughout the training process.