Filling Your Job Coaching Toolbox
- Starts: 03/28/13 - 8:30AM
- Ends: 03/29/13 - 4:30PM
- Location: Mountlake Terrace UW CCER
- Category: Upcoming Events
with John Dineen
UW CCER Conference Room
6912 220th Street SW
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Registration Fee: $30
Job coaches and employment specialists do provide critical support for new workers who disabilities interfere with learning or performing the job. It’s a challenging level of responsibility, and for most of us, not one that we prepared for in school.
Teaching and support seem so easy – in theory – but in actual practice both the people involved and the work environments can be complex and confusing. This workshop is designed to help the job coach see more options, better information, and clearer choices of strategies. For new coaches, the value may be in seeing the range of options, while for more experienced coaches, who sometimes fall back into using the same, familiar strategies too often, the value may be in seeing additional viable choices.
Who should attend? The workshop is aimed at employment specialists and job coaches who are actively supporting workers with significant disabilities who are employed in the community in supported employment positions. It would also be of interest to special education personnel who are actively supporting students with disabilities as they learn about jobs in the community.
Is it a workshop about supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities? Yes, people whose learning is impacted by their disability will be a big focus. How about individuals with psychiatric disabilities? Yes, though to a lesser extent. Many of the topics discussed will apply to job coaches who work with either population.
Learning about the law. One topic that job coaches are often not well versed in is the legal aspect of reasonable accommodation and performance/conduct law. For example, does a job coach have the legal right to be present at a performance review meeting with a supported employment worker now in her 14th month of work? What if the employer says you can’t come to the meeting? We’ll look at both the legal and practical issues of accommodation.
Making smart decisions. After supervising job coaches for a number of years, we are convinced that job coaches need performance-based measurement systems to be able to see the forest rather than the trees. You’ll learn to use a system --successfully used for more than a decade by a CRP – that you could adapt to your own agency.
A focus on behavior. The section on working with behavioral challenges was written specifically for this workshop and for employment specialists/job coaches who are trying to support workers out in community jobs. It divides behaviors into four “families” and offers both specific strategies and illustrations of how they may be used. You’ll also write some behavior plans as part of the class.
Teaching on the job. Much of the work of the employment specialist/job coach involves effective and rapid skill acquisition by the new supported employee. Understanding how to teach is a basic building block that sometimes gets glossed over in the coach’s own orientation to their new position. We won’t ignore it.
Language & etiquette. Most of us are familiar with the “do’s” and “don’ts” for the individuals who have certain disabilities, but this part of the workshop looks more broadly at disabilities, how stigma is created, and what represents respectful behavior. With some work on your part, the concepts discussed could become a very powerful presentation to the businesses who might want to hire from your agency.
Fading and long-term support. Many job coaches have long-term commitments to support the worker after the initial training. We’ll explore the issues of how to reduce your support successfully, how to monitor the worker over months and years, and what to look for when things start to go south.
Negotiating with employers. Despite one’s best efforts, serious, job-threatening problems do occur, and job coaches/employment specialists need to be able to negotiate for time and opportunity to repair the damage and ensure it doesn’t happen again. We’ll learn the simple process of negotiation, then practice it on one another.
John Dineen is a training specialist at the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER) at the University of Washington. He has previously worked in a supported employment agency for more than a decade, providing job coaching as well as supervising job coaches.