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Last summer, the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), Illinois Department of Human Services introduced the Real Work Project with the slogan “Real Work for Real Pay”. The purpose of this project is to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to be employed in the community, complying with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 or WIOA.
Part of WIOA requirements is for all individuals who work under Special Wage Certificates to participate in annual Career Counseling. Career Counseling was offered by our local DRS office in June.
If you did not attend Career Counseling, you are not be able to work under the Special Wage Certificate as of July 22, 2017. Please contact your QIDP if you still need it.
NorthPointe offers programs that help individuals with disabilities find work in the community, helping participants to navigate the DRS system, educate about other employment support opportunities and find employment that is meaningful and appropriately supported.
On July 16, 2013, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Employment First Act, a new law that requires Illinois state agencies to work together to make employment for people with disabilities a priority.
Every person in the Land of Lincoln should have the opportunity—regardless of the challenges they face—to pursue their dreams and achieve their full potential.
Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
The Employment First Act is modeled on a national movement that believes employment in the general workforce is the first and preferred option when exploring goals and a life path for people with disabilities.
Competitive work in integrated settings for people with disabilities is proven to foster self-sufficiency, independent living, higher self-esteem, and better integration into the community at large. Employment First simply means employment in the community is the first and preferred option for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) receiving services that are publicly funded in Illinois.
With this grant, NorthPointe utilizes evidence-based practices following the IPS (Individual Placement and Support) model for employment.