For Jordan and Mindy, two individuals served by Madison Haywood Developmental Services (MHDS) of Jackson, TN, the idea of “independence” includes having a job and making their own money. While neither of the job seekers had much work experience, Rance Thetford, Supported Employment Manager at MHDS, knew that finding an opportunity that would be both satisfying and sustainable for them started with assessing a multitude of factors that typically took many hours of exploration and discovery. He determined that Employment Pathfinder, an enabling technology used to assess the job readiness, interests and skillsets of job seekers with intellectual disabilities, served as an ideal first step in the employment journey for Jordan and Mindy. Both were excited to assume an active role in the employment-seeking process and Rance stated that “…using technology also seemed to really spark their interest in employment even more!”
Jordan worked through the Employment Pathfinder assessments with his job coach, using the voice feature to help navigate the questions. Mindy chose to take the assessments from her home; downloading the app to her phone and taking the assessments all by herself, in her own time. As both completed the process differently, a report was generated and sent back to Rance, who also took the assessment to determine an accurate baseline. Then a final report was generated (with both perspectives), yielded vital information that Rance and other job coaches could use to:
- Establish the foundation of their coaching strategies.
- Learn about actionable steps needed to ensure their job seekers’ success.
- Learn what tools and technologies will be needed to accommodate their job seekers at work.
- Standardize their pre-employment screening process and onboard new job coaches more efficiently.
Employment Pathfinder revealed that both Jordan and Mindy’s readiness for work was high and narrowed what was initially an enigmatic ocean of options down to a more focused and viable list of career options that were not only jobs they could do; but careers they could both excel at and enjoy doing.
“Employment Pathfinder has saved our agency a lot of time, otherwise spent filtering through options and helping us arrive at more pinpointed areas of interest more efficiently.” Adds Rance.
Currently both Jordan and Mindy are applying for careers in their fields suggested by Employment Pathfinder and hoping to take this next step in their journey – getting a job that’s right for them!
Employment Pathfinder is only one of several technology solutions in CreateAbility’s Employment Suite. The suite is comprised of additional employment supports that not only carry job seekers like Jordan and Mindy into their careers, but also arm them with:
- Technology for task prompting and instruction so that they can feel more confident and productive while on-the-job. (MeMinder)
- Avatar-led “check-ins” that monitor their job satisfaction and well-being to ward off any circumstance that could cause an end-of-employment event before it happens. (Evalu8NOW)
CreateAbility has been building technology solutions for individuals with intellectual disabilities and traumatic brain injuries since its inception in 2001. Most of the enabling technologies they have developed are the derivative of research-based evidence and funded by agencies such as the NIH, USDA, and NIDDELR, who believe that technology should be an affordable solution for all.