The Community Inclusion Project is dedicated to building meaningful connections between individuals with intellectual disabilities and their communities through engaged participation in local organizations and resources. The objecitve is to provide many opportunities to develop respectful and reciprocal relationships and to increase personal growth in one's neighborhood.
This is done by promoting such valued outcomes as presence and participation in community life, exercising choice in life style and vocation, developing and enhancing personal skills. We act in partnership with each individual we support to achieve these outcomes.
As we all desire to be valued, to do good work, to be known to others in community and to be loved, we assist the people we support to achieve these typical life experiences. We do this by connecting and supporting people in employment, volunteerism, and membership in local places in a person's life.
The Community Inclusion Project is considered to be a 'Without Walls' day habilitation and supported employment program and is funded by the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities.
The Arc of Rensselaer County provides pre-vocational services to people with intellectual disabilities that are interested in employment. Pre vocational supports help people develop the skills necessary to gain and maintain community employment. Currently, The Arc operates two work centers, Riverside North and Riverside South in Troy, NY where people learn valuable work skills while being employed producing products for local, regional, national and international customers. People receiving pre vocational supports often learn and practice employment skills in actual community setting on a paid or volunteer basis. Beginning July 1, 2013, all pre vocational supports for people not already attending Riverside will be delivered in community settings.
The Arc of Rensselaer County has a proud tradition of partnering with local school districts to offer innovative options for students with disabilities as they prepare to transition to life after high school. Our staff work with school personnel to provide person-centered transition planning to help young people develop a direction as they move into adulthood. Students learn about the work world directly from the business community through job tours and shadowing, internships and paid employment during their last few years of high school. In addition to learning job skills, young people learn many of the “soft skills” critical to long-term success in employment. Students interested in continuing their education after high school are provided assistance in preparing for college or trade school with activities such as completing college applications, applying for financial aid, touring local campuses, class scheduling and accessing campus resources. Young people are also provided assistance making connections with adult service providers prior to graduation to insure consistent supports are available. Our staff are a source of expertise in translating NYS Education Department graduation guidelines into supports that result in quality young adult outcomes upon graduation.
The Arc of Rensselaer County supports people with intellectual disabilities in becoming engaged, employed citizens of their communities. Since 1986, our employment services have focused on finding the right job to fit a person's individual skills and abilities, interests, passions, community connections and personal resources.
Initial employment supports include getting to know the person, assessing job skills, exploring career options, performing job development and placement as funded by ACCES-VR, a division of the New York State Education Department.
Once stabilzed in a job, long term, follow along supports increases a person's employment sustainability and works to advance their careers. Benefits counseling is provided to insure that people are receiving the government supports to which they are entitled.
Our employment staff strive to form a partnership with the person, their family and the employer to help develop rewarding careers that enable people with disabilities to become contributing, tax paying, valued members of their communities.