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Frequently Asked Questions

employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilites

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Q. What is the Boston College Supported Employment Program?

This is a program which offers adults with mental retardation the opportunity to be gainfully employed and supported in a competitive work environment.

Q. What are the goals of Supported Employment?

Supported Employment strives to assist workers to obtain a job that matches their abilities and interests. The program supports workers by helping them to develop employment related skills, to build professional working relationships, and to access community resources. We respect the dignity of each individual and offer a flexible support structure to assist each worker in reaching his or her greatest potential.

Q. What personal rewards do employees gain?

Supported Employment workers experience a tremendous amount of pride and personal satisfaction by contributing to and working in society. We have been able to witness personal growth and development in employees throughout their employment experience. One of the many rewards has been the numerous friendships formed between coworkers and other members from the Boston College community.

Q. Where do the employees work and what are their job tasks?

At the present time, job placements are found through the Boston College Supported Employment Program for positions on campus. Currently, program workers hold jobs in Dining Services, Catering, Campus Mail, the Office of Residential Life, Human Resources, the Graduate School of Social Work, the Center for Corporate Citizenship, the Bookstore, Boston College Libraries, and Buildings & Grounds. Job tasks may include: chopping vegetables, assisting bakers, bussing tables, mopping, raking, shelving books, custodial services, assisting with mailings, photocopying, etc.

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Q. How many hours do employees work and what benefits are they eligible for?

The employees in the Supported Employment Program work 52-weeks each year,with hours ranging from 15 to 35 hrs/wk, Monday through Friday. An employee working 20 hours or more can expect to receive a benefits package which includes vacation, sick, and personal days. The University sponsored retirement plan is available for 20 hour or more employees who have held permanent part-time employment status for the duration of one year. As with all employees at Boston College, the first six months of work are considered a  probationary period during which time a worker has the status of temporary part-time employment. However, the status is changed to permanent part-time employment after the probationary period is successfully completed.

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Q. What support services can employees expect to receive?

Hourly/Daily/Weekly assessment and support is provided by Job Coaches and Case Managers. An emphasis is placed on task completion, guidance in appropriate work behavior, and social interaction — each tailored to the need of the individual. Weekly meetings with Case Managers are held to discuss work related concerns. Annual meetings are held to help workers identify career goals as well as the steps necessary to achieve them.

Q. Who makes up the Supported Employment staff?

The Boston College Supported Employment Program, has both professional staff and undergraduate work-study students, who provide job coach support to program workers.

Q. What is a Job Coach?

A Job Coach is an employment training specialist who works with people who have disabilities. Job Coaches specialize in helping workers with disabilities perform the tasks of their jobs successfully. This includes providing intensive training, monitoring, assessment, and support to workers with special needs. In addition, they facilitate healthy working relationships between  management and co-workers.

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Q. How often will the Supported Employment professional staff monitor a worker?

This can be done on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis depending on the needs of the individual.

Q. As an employer, interested in hiring someone with a developmental disability, I am concerned that I may not have the resources and extra time to train the individual. What assistance can I expect from your program?

Supported Employment exists to have a mutually beneficial relationship between a business and a worker with special needs. In order to ensure this, Supported Employment has a professional staff that is qualified to provide the necessary assistance and support.

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Q. Does my business or Boston College department have to pay Supported Employment extra funds for its services?

No. The funding for the Boston College professional staff comes from the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). A worker with special needs is paid on the regular payroll from the department in which they are employed. There are no additional costs to you for the support services provided to the disabled employee.

Q. What modes of transportation are available for employees to get to work?

There are a number of possibilities for workers which may include THE RIDE via the MBTA or a referral to other publicly funded transportation options.