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Read the stories of fourteen ECS providers’ successful promising practices:
Promising Practices ECS sampling - 2014 - PDF
Promising Practices ECS sampling - 2011 - PDF
You may also read current and recent Employment and Community Services Promising Practices topics (PDF files) in three main subject areas -- business practices, community services, and employment services:
Promising Practices ECS - Sharing information through the use of a visual, social story - 2015 In an effort to ensure that families felt welcome and confident in accessing services, the Terrace Child Development Centre (TCDC) in British Columbia developed a simple, yet effective storybook format for their pre-appointment materials.
Promising Practices ECS - “Stoplight” strategy transforms how a Virginia Goodwill manages risk - 2015 Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, Inc. has made risk management one of the key operating principles of their strategic plan.
Promising Practices ECS - Michigan vocational rehabilitation provider channels Disney, Zappos to create meaningful mission engagement - 2014 Many organizations face a challenge ensuring that employees don’t only see mission and vision statements as empty words posted in the lobby, but instead live them every day in interactions with clients. The human resource department at Peckham, Inc., a vocational rehabilitation provider with locations throughout Michigan, was tinkering with just such a challenge.
Promising Practices ECS - Cutting-edge techniques for gathering input lead to transformational changes - 2014 - PDF When Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania (SWPA) began developing a three-year strategic plan, the nonprofit human services organization faced a grim reality: After serving the Pittsburgh community for nearly a century, Goodwill SWPA had entered a mature stage of a business lifecycle. It faced possible decline and closure if it failed to take action to renew and sustain itself.
Promising Practices ECS - Transparency made apparent - 2014 - PDF CO-OP in southeastern Massachusetts continually evaluates itself in an effort to grow and improve its service quality. In an evaluation several years ago, CO-OP staff members discovered that the many of the persons served were not receiving key information about the organization because the information was not presented to them in an understandable format.
Promising Practices ECS - Applied Behavior Analysis uses scientific principles to produce behavior change - 2013 - PDF Three years ago, The Arc of the Ozarks introduced Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to improve its services for more than 800 individuals, many of whom have autism spectrum diagnoses or dual diagnoses (developmental disabilities and psychiatric diagnoses). ABA draws on scientific principles of behavior, such as positive reinforcement, that are based on empirical research.
Promising Practices ECS - Working SMART, employees strengthen their competencies - 2013 - PDF When The Arc of Bristol County in Attleboro, Massachusetts, created its five-year strategic plan, a key goal was to recruit and retain a competent and adequate workforce to meet the organization's service delivery needs. To carry out the goal, The Arc began the journey of educating its more than 250 employees on the importance of engaging in work activities that are SMART.
Promising Practices ECS - First responders save lives and time - 2013 - PDF Every second counts in a medical emergency. The likelihood of an unexpected medical crisis is high in an organization like the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI), which serves more than 15,000 individuals of all ages with physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities.
Promising Practices ECS - Web opportunities lead to greater transparency, efficiency - 2012 - PDF The OPTIONS Family of Services in California website became a dynamic tool in the organization's day-to-day operations.
Promising Practices ECS - Integrating CARF with Baldrige leads to performance excellence - 2011 - PDF Nearly a decade ago, United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln recognized that it was essential to shift its management philosophy from nonprofit strategies to business strategies if it were to sustain organizational growth.
Promising Practices ECS - Customized program outcomes management system meets the needs of persons served - 2011 - PDF The BC Centre for Ability's Early Intervention Therapy Program developed its own program outcomes management system -- or POMS for short -- to guide and evaluate the centre's practice.
Promising Practices ECS - Indiana service provider charts a smarter course - 2011 - PDF When you want the job done right, do it yourself. Globe Star, LLC took this popular saying to heart in the service provider's quest to find the right software to fit its business needs.
Promising Practices ECS - Rethinking Services in an Era of Reform and Redesign - 2010 - PDF It is CARF's pleasure to introduce the following four brief but thoughtful and inspiring articles written by provider organizations in Minnesota. All are designed to give a peek into new programs or new ways of doing business, and, above all, to position services in partnership with funders in an era of reform and redesign.
Promising Practices ECS - Having a financial crisis - Vocation Plus Having a Financial Crisis? The Answer May Be As Simple As Snacks to You. Seven years ago, the developmental disability (DD) community in California was facing yet another fiscal crisis. The Vocation Plus team brainstormed, and out of its love of cooking and its heart for service, the Snacks to You program was born.
Promising Practices ECS - Getting older doesnt mean getting slow - OPARC Promising Practices features organizations that have developed innovative practices. Getting older doesn’t mean getting slow. As consumers get older they seek new services to meet their needs and OPARC develops new programs. OPARC provides a wide range of services to more than 600 people with intellectual and physical disabilities. It provides educational programs, speech services, total care and health services, and integrated work programs.
Promising Practices ECS - They had the will - They had the way - They had a technology plan - Clearbrook They had the will, they had the way. They had a technology plan. Clearbrook rolls out a technology plan with impressive results in integrating and updating their old ways of doing business. With an eye on efficiency, Clearbrook decided to take a long-range, comprehensive look at integrating its technology system.
Promising Practices ECS - Connect, Grow, Share - Can You Dig It Grows Food and Cultivates Relationships - 2015
Can You Dig It! is an inclusive food growing initiative in the Vancouver area established by the community living association posAbilities. It addresses the challenges of social isolation and food security through urban gardening.
Promising Practices ECS - Dedication and determination lead to empowerment for self-advocates - 2015 Bridgewell Advocates was established to educate and energize individuals about self-advocacy and to provide members of Bridgewell’s community a place to come together and express themselves. Working together to promote self-determination, and inspired by the values of dignity and respect, members are empowered to make educated choices that improve and enrich their lives.
Promising Practices ECS - Creative arts program plugs artists into the Twin Cities’ vibrant fine arts community - 2015 In 1999, MSS started the Creative Arts Program to explore a different avenue of programming for adults with disabilities. The art program facilitates exposure to activities such as pottery making, audio recording, performance art, photography, screen printing, and textile art. Artists exhibit and sell their work in the community, at art festivals, at events, or through MSS’ online art gallery.
Igniting the power of self-advocacy Minnesota nonprofit disability organization Opportunity Partners launched a self-advocacy group called the Committee of Advocacy and Leadership (COAL) to empower people served by the organization to stand up for themselves and ensure that their voices are heard.
Change in Medicaid mandate sparks Colorado Goodwill to create innovative life-skills program Discover Goodwill developed an innovative day program called Possibilities, a first-of-its-kind community integration service, after a change in a federal Medicaid mandate. Possibilities offers services within an on-site, townlike environment while also incorporating actual community outings and activities into the service plan.
Promising Practices ECS - Orientation and Mobility trail offers safe training for people with blindness or low vision - 2014 The Orientation and Mobility teachers at Bosma Enterprises faced a challenge when trying to replicate the many environmental obstructions clients might find in their home and community. Doing so often required driving across the city to find obstacles for use in training. After a brainstorming session, the Bosma Center-Based Services staff decided to build a multi-surface training trail.
Promising Practices ECS - College provides a hand up to career advancement - 2014 - PDF Goodwill Industries founder Dr. Edgar J. Helms created training programs to enable unemployed persons to gain valuable skills to help them reach their maximum work potential. Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area has worked more than a decade to apply Dr. Helms' vision to today’s high-demand, middle-skills occupations.
Promising Practices ECS - Program offers at-risk youths a second chance for education and careers - 2014 - PDF Adjudicated youths face considerable barriers to achieving their educational and career goals. Recognizing that these at-risk youths need extensive supports and resources if they are to succeed, MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries in St. Louis formed the Innovative Concept Academy in partnership with the St. Louis Juvenile Court.
Promising Practices ECS - Inclusive institute grooms future community leaders - 2014 - PDF When the Albany Advocacy Resource Center, Inc. (AARC), realized that a community leadership program serving Albany, Georgia, did not include individuals with disabilities, the organization stepped in to establish a similar program to embrace persons with disabilities.
Promising Practices ECS - Airport practice tours ground flying anxieties - 2013 - PDF Every
parent knows that flying with children can be unsettling. For children with
autism spectrum disorder, the experience can be traumatizing for them and their
families as well as for other passengers, airport workers, and the flight crew.
Now, families in the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) area who need specialized
travel accommodations can become more comfortable with airline travel through the
Navigating Autism with MSP program, a collaboration between Fraser and two other
Minnesota service organizations.
Promising Practices ECS - Building harmony between persons served and the community - 2013 - PDF "Music is the universal language of mankind." These words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow continue to inspire the staff of PHP of NC, Inc. Music has played an essential part of the treatment plans for the persons served since the organization was founded in 1996 to serve persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Promising Practices ECS - Veterans in the justice system are provided treatment and employment opportunities - PDF - 2013 The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is making a systemwide effort to
ensure access to VA services for veterans who are in the justice system. Without
intervention, these veterans are at high risk for homelessness, substance
abuse, mental illness, and physical health problems.
Promising Practices ECS - Drama therapy encourages persons with disabilities to share their stories and talents - 2013 - PDF "Powerful" and "inspirational" were among theatergoers' comments as they experienced emotions
ranging from sorrow to joy in response to the I Am You series of original monologues written and staged by
individuals with developmental disabilities in Bloomington, Indiana.
Promising Practices ECS - UCP Suffolk and American Red Cross partnership empowers persons with disabilities to help others - 2013 - PDF Long before Superstorm Sandy cut a swath of devastation across Long Island, persons with disabilities at United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Suffolk, Inc., recognized a need for disaster preparedness education among their peers.
Promising Practices ECS - Restructured agency focuses on strategies for success on the autism spectrum - 2012 - PDF Responding to an increasing demand for services
for persons with autism spectrum disorder, the management of Greene County
Board of Developmental Disabilities in west central Ohio agreed that its
services for children and adults must reflect best practice models when it
began a multiyear restructuring.
Program proves to be a 'goodChoice' for individuals in financial crisis To help break the cycle that traps borrowers into repeated
reliance on payday lenders, Goodwill, Serving Hampton Roads and Central
Virginia partnered with two other organizations to create the goodChoice
program, which provides borrowers with a short-term loan with important distinctions
to help borrowers transition from a dependency on predatory lending.
Promising Practices ECS - Program increases access to care and quality of life for persons with dual diagnosis - 2012 - PDF Clinicians are rarely
trained in the specialized behavioral health approaches to treat persons with a
developmental disability who also have a psychiatric disorder. To address this
gap in services, the Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Services created the Mental Health Supports and Services (MHSS) Program.
Promising Practices ECS - Private sector and government partnerships build community housing - 2012 - PDF Today's residents with disabilities often have complex
care issues, and their options to live independently in the community are
limited. Without care support in a group home, these individuals likely would
end up in an institutionalized setting. Vancouver Resource Society creatively
fills the need for residential living for persons with a wide range of
Promising Practices ECS - Summit galvanizes community partnerships to curb homelessness among veterans - 2012 - PDF Summit participants were selected because of their knowledge of homeless issues, ability to take action, and authority to make decisions.
Promising Practices ECS - Dream team approach emphasizes volunteerism - 2012 - PDF When Life Skills Centers,
Inc., began serving more high-need and medically fragile persons, it struggled
with finding ways to close its institutional settings and integrate its diverse
clientele into the community. This story illustrates how parents and guardians,
consumers, and staff volunteered to work together.
Promising Practices ECS - Surge in aging disability population unlocks the door to innovative housing - 2012 - PDF The current generation of aging caregivers never imagined that their children with a developmental disability would outlive them -- but many are, thanks to advances in medical technology. Organizations like the Marc Center of Mesa are opening their doors to serve this aging population.
Promising Practices ECS - ProAct provides Life Opportunities ProAct, Inc., of Eagan, Minnesota uses the expertise of family members, guardians, and professionals of persons served in a unique way to create a new and innovative program. The program, called Life Opportunities, teaches life skills to better equip young adults with disabilities for productive lives.
Promising Practices ECS - NY Goodwill provides consolidated services Goodwill Provides Consolidated Services. Bringing agencies together created painless referral process. In 2004, the vocational services staff of Goodwill Industries of Western New York realized that clients who were receiving employment instruction onsite often had to interrupt their training to participate in other services.
Promising Practices ECS - Amazing Every One - Stark MRDD Amazing. Every. One. The Stark County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (Stark MRDD), located in Canton, Ohio, takes the challenge of changing attitudes very seriously. Stark MRDD learned that you get more bang for your buck if you invest in event marketing instead of general marketing. Consequently, Stark MRDD and The Workshops have created partnerships with area media and businesses that have greatly benefited individuals with developmental disabilities.
Promising Practices ECS - Mount Kilimanjaro climb tests endurance of persons with disabilities - Prince George Association for Community Living Mount Kilimanjaro climb tests endurance of persons with disabilities. Cerebral palsy fails to deter climber’s determination. The journey to Mount Kilimanjaro, in northeast Tanzania near the Kenya border, was sponsored by the British Columbia Association for Community Living to raise awareness about the capabilities of persons with disabilities. Prince George Association for Community Living (AiMHi)
Promising Practices ECS - Sometimes life does come with a manual - North Shore Disability Resource Centre Sometimes life does come with a manual. Life skills manual breaks learning down into manageable and attainable goals. In response to life skills staff members’ requests, North Shore Disability Resource Centre produced a Life Skills Training Manual.
Promising Practices ECS - Consumers can guide human resource decisions better than anyone else - Supported Community Living Consumers can guide human resource decisions better than anybody else. An Ohio-based supported living organization creates harmonious housing situations using consumer input. Supported Community Living developed a system that gives consumers a say in the initial selection of staff, as well as a say in who will serve as substitute staff.
Promising Practices ECS - A new haven to open at University of Arizona - Chapel Haven A new haven to open at University of Arizona. Organization to bring 35 years of experience to program serving persons with autism spectrum disorders and mild developmental disabilities. Chapel Haven’s traditional program, founded in 1972 in New Haven, Connecticut, uses a teaching model for its residential life skills, employment services, recreation, and education programs. Because of its national reputation for services to individuals with disabilities, the University of Arizona in Tucson was a logical starting point for its new program, Chapel Haven West.
Promising Practices ECS - California makes a STAR program - Community Mental Health of California California makes a STAR program. Collaborative effort between the county and job resources turn a community concern into a community solution. The County of Marin court system and Community Mental Health of California decided change was done best through collaborative efforts and formed the Support and Treatment After Release (STAR) program.
Promising Practices ECS - To be or not to be was never a question - Maryhaven Day Habilitation Program To Be or Not to Be was Never a Question. Maryhaven Day Habilitation Program opens a performing arts program that allows consumers to fulfill their acting aspirations.The idea of a performing arts program started small at Maryhaven Day Habilitation Program, with a small group of staff members and consumers writing short skits that they performed in various elementary and middle schools on Long Island.
Promising Practices ECS - College-level program launches careers and community integration - 2013 - PDF A young man with an intellectual disability was eager for his
life to unfold when he was graduated from high school. His dream was to attend
college -- not just any college, but the University of Arkansas. To help the man
realize his dream, his mother asked for assistance from Life Styles, which provides
community services for individuals with disabilities in the Fayetteville and
Springdale, Arkansas, areas. The mother's request sparked the formation of Launch.
Promising Practices ECS - Multidivisional team gives the green light to job placements - 2013 - PDF "Improving the people’s quality of life through employment." It's a powerful mission that Phoenix, owned by Huntsville Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc., in Huntsville, Alabama, strives to accomplish in all of its actions.
Promising Practices ECS - Training collaboration with technical college opens doors to careers - 2013 - PDF Opportunity Partners teamed with a Minneapolis college to develop the Certified Learning Platforms (CLP) program to provide job opportunities and greater independence for students with disabilities.
Promising Practices ECS - Provider-employer partnership helps individuals restart their lives or launch a career - 2012 - PDF Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County joins with ShopRite supermarket chain in skills training and job placement.
Promising Practices ECS - Warrior Bridge: Services for injured veterans and their families increase employment success - 2012 - PDF After serving their country overseas, thousands of servicemen and women reenter civilian life each year with significant mental health issues and physical injuries, which affect their ability to obtain and maintain competitive employment.
Promising Practices ECS - HOPE Packs benefit recipients and assemblers alike - 2011 - PDF Elim Christian Services teamed with other organizations to create kits filled with school supplies, food, seeds, or other relief materials.
Promising Practices ECS - Finding a silver lining in dark economic clouds - 2011 - PDF The country's economic downturn required finding new ways to maintain a high
level of employment services in a climate of declining funding.
Promising Practices ECS - State agency discovers many benefits to in-house employment services - 2011 - PDF Although a CARF-accredited Tennessee agency chose to provide employment services in house, many private organizations are contracted with governmental bodies to provide employment services because of the providers' proven success.
Promising Practices ECS - Collaboration is key for employment outcomes - 2011 - PDF Life Skills in St. Louis, Missouri,
joins with other organizations to resolve job market barriers for people with
Promising Practices ECS - Blue Shoe Arts answers the call for imagination - 2010 - PDF
Gallery and studio encourage adults to communicate creatively. In 2003, Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities staff members envisioned ways to offer creative employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. Blue Shoe Arts was launched the following year.
Promising Practices ECS - Comprehensive Benefits Planning - 2010 Persons living with significant disabilities often consider their benefits vital to their well-being and that of their family. Dynamic and visionary professional service providers recognize the need for individualized and long-term benefits, as well as financial planning, to help prevent premature loss of benefits and create a successful foundation of income and health benefits.
Promising Practices ECS - Working Words address language barrier - Horace Mann Educational Associates “Working Words” address language barrier. For many foreign-born staff members, learning workplace language and enhancing communication skills are a vital part of providing quality individual services. Eight years ago, administrators at Horace Mann Educational Associates (HMEA) recognized that it was imperative to plan strategically for the dramatically shifting demographics that the agency was encountering.
Promising Practices ESC - It takes a village to provide employment support - Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services It takes a village to provide employment support. Ohio organization coordinates with its local One-Stop Career Center to provide additional supports for persons with severe mental illness. Using services from the Hamilton County One-Stop Career Center, Southwest Ohio Career Resource Center, would leverage the vocational services available to persons served by Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services and potentially provide better vocational outcomes.
Promising Practices ESC - Mentoring takes giant step - Peckham Mentoring Takes Giant Step for Mankind. Online program connects busy professionals to students for career development advice and more. Peckham’s E-Mentoring program is a modification of traditional mentoring, utilizing computer technology to connect adult role models to at-risk youth.
Promising Practices ECS - Have transportation plan - will travel - SCARC Have transportation plan, will travel. A rural community employment program develops a system to transport employees. To better provide for transportation requirements of individuals with developmental disabilities in Sussex County, SCARC, Inc., designed a flexible transportation system.
Promising Practices ECS - Breaking into state employment offices and being invited to stay - Job Connections Breaking into State Employment Offices and Being Invited to Stay. Creative problem solving appears to be the spring board to success and community partnerships for Job Connections. Job Connection’s approach has always been to emphasize what its customers can do for the employer’s company.
Promising Practices ECS - Microenterprise in a Rural Community - Thumb Industries Thumb Industries had discontinued its handmade Christmas cards. But with card-making supplies still in stock, pairing the artistic interest of a consumer with existing resources seemed a natural direction to take. This kicked off Thumb Industries’ first microenterprise.
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