Vocational Evaluation is an educational process in which the person served obtains greater self and work knowledge through participation in work activities designed to evaluate vocational skills, interests, and abilities. Participants learn about the functional impact of their disability in relation to their career options. They also learn about assistive technology and the devices and accommodations needed to remove barriers to employment. The evaluation process encourages personal involvement in career planning and development and empowers persons served by increasing their self-confidence in career decision making.
Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation service is capable of examining a wide range of employment alternatives. The following techniques are used, as is appropriate to the person being assessed, to provide comprehensive service:
- Pre-evaluation assessment of assistive technology needs.
- Assessment of functional/occupational performance in real or simulated environments.
- Work samples.
- Employment exploration.
- Psychometric testing.
- Preference and interest inventories.
- Extensive personal interviews.
- Other appropriate evaluation tests, depending on the individual.
- Analysis of prior work and/or volunteer experience and transferable skills.
Needs for which Services are Provided:
Vocational Evaluation services provide an individualized, timely, and systematic process by which a person seeking employment, in partnership with an evaluator, learns to identify viable vocational options and develop employment goals and objectives. A vocational evaluator provides or supervises the services in such a manner that the person served gains satisfaction through a better understanding of his/her personality, interests, skills, and abilities.
Vocational Evaluation services are determined through informed consumer choice, that is, after providing information about options and alternatives. Program participants are active participants in the development and modification of their own individualized Vocational Evaluation plan.
Some examples of the quality results desired by the different stakeholders of these services include:
- Realistic job opportunities are explored and identified for individuals.
- Employment barriers are identified and ways to overcome these are suggested.
- Identification of assistive technology or other accommodations.
- The evaluation is completed within the authorization period.
- The person served understands the results.
- The cost per evaluation is acceptable.
- Interests of the persons served are thoroughly explored.
- Evaluation reports lead to job goals.
- Transferable skills are identified.
Vocational Evaluation services are individually tailored and may take place in one or more of the following environments: community job sites, Arnold Center production and office departments, and the evaluation lab.
Hours of Service
Vocational Evaluation services are typically provided between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; however, to the extent possible, hours of service are tailored to meet the individual needs of the persons served. Persons served at community based work sites may participate in services during non-traditional work hours, including evenings and weekends.
Days of Service
The Arnold Center’s typically offers programs Monday through Friday except for designated holidays.
Sponsorship must be preapproved by Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Community Mental Health, school systems or private sponsorship. Funding must be approved before services begin.
Call (989) 631-9570 for current fee schedule.
The person served:
- Must be 15 years of age or older
- Must have expressed an interest in community employment and willingness to participate in the Vocational Evaluation process.
- Must be capable of give informed consent to participate in the Vocational Evaluation Program him/herself or through a guardian.
- Must have current medical and/or psychological examinations documents person’s ability to attend the program.
- Must be a person with a disability which interferes with their ability to function independently at work.
- Must have a fiscal sponsor.
- Must have in their Individual Program Plan an objective(s) that can be met with the services and supports provided by the Arnold Center. Must be seen as benefiting from services and supports offered by the Arnold Center
- Must have basic self-care skills, i.e. dressing, grooming and/or hygiene.
- Must be able to make needs known to others.
- Must not physically dangerous to self or others.
- Must have the required level of support that falls within the guidelines of the program, or receives additional supports which allow successful participation in the program.
- Must have access services - own transportation or ability to ride local transit.
Note: Due to the operations of the organization, certain individuals cannot be served. Those conditions that fall into this category are:
- Individuals who pose a physical threat to themselves or others.
The decision to transition from services should be planned by the customer and his/her support team. In preparing for transition, a plan should be developed which provides for the smooth transition of the person served from the evaluation program to another interagency program or to an external provider. The development of the plan shall involve the customer, evaluator, and as appropriate parents, guardians, sponsoring agent, new provider (if appropriate) and any other pertinent staff.
Note: The person’s planning team will convene to discuss programming needs as requested and or needed.
Persons receiving services from the Vocational Evaluation program may exit from the program for one or more of the following reasons:
- Vocational Evaluation has been completed and no other services are requested
- Person served no longer desires to participate in the program, requests to leave the program for any reason.
- Person served demonstrates very limited or no potential to benefit from the program.
- Person served no longer meets entrance criteria (health status change, no longer meets funding agency criteria, funding discontinued, etc.)
- Person served health and/or safety would be jeopardized by continued participation in the program.
- Person served develops a medical condition that Arnold Center is prohibited from serving.
- Person served, following strategic interventions, exhibits behavior(s) that are disruptive to program activities or are otherwise specified in the Participant Handbook as deserving of discharge from the program if not corrected; namely (a) consistently poor hygiene, (b) abuse of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs during program hours, and (c) threatening injury to persons or property, etc.
- Person served requires a level of staff support that denies other program participants their right to services, if additional support is not provided by the funding source.
- Person served relocates and is unable to complete vocational evaluation process.