Washington Vocational Services: Helping individuals secure employment and achieve full inclusion in their communities
The American Community Survey data shows an estimated 37 per cent of working-age individuals with disabilities are employed, compared to 76 percent of people without disabilities. When individuals find meaningful work, not only can they live independently, they also become socially engaged, form fulfilling relationships, and achieve more active participation in community life. The benefits are endless.
“If someone has a desire to work, then there is a job for them,” says Janet Bruckshen, Executive Director at Washington Vocational Services (WVS). “It is our responsibility to find those jobs, and support employers in realizing the competitive advantages of hiring talent with disabilities.”.
WVS staff believe every person with a disability has employment potential, and a right to enjoy full opportunity for employment, enterprise, and earnings. Their goal is to match each individual’s unique skills and talents with the employer’s specific needs.
The New York Times reported on a recent study that showed companies who “championed people with disabilities outperformed others — driving profitability and shareholder returns. Revenues were 28 percent higher, net income 200 percent higher, and profit margins 30 percent higher.” People want to do business with socially responsible companies. This sounds like good business sense.
WVS has been supporting choice, inclusion, and empowering customers for 45 years. They have assisted more than 15,000 individuals in achieving successful employment opportunities and numerous more with increased skill development and independent living skills.
As a service to businesses, WVS offers job task analysis, pre-screened applicants, disability awareness and etiquette training, ADA assessments, customized positions, job training support, working interviews, and workplace safety assessments.
WVS provides job coaching services, enabling individuals with disabilities to maintain their new employment while continuing to grow within their role. This long term, on-the-job support creates a strong partnership with the employer, customer, and their support network.
As a person-centred, non-profit organization, WVS operates with external available funding and relies on donations from the community. For those who want to help move their mission forward, there are various ways to contribute, whether through monetary donations, sponsorship, fundraising participation, or volunteering.
With your help, WVS can provide quality services resulting in community involvement and employment and support them in achieving their vision that “all people will be recognized for their abilities and contributions in the workplace and community.”
For more ways to contribute or to donate, visit: www.wvs.org/donate.html.