Developmental Disabilities

Developmental Disabilities Imagine seeing the world through the eyes of a person with a disability. For an individual employed with the Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation, this is a major aspect of his/her job as a human service worker. Located in Stephenville, The Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation is an innovative organization which is responsible for developing training and employment for people with developmental disabilities and supporting them(The Bay St.

George Community Employment Corporation,1999,p.3). The purpose of the organization is to help individuals find suitable work in the form of a regular paying job, or by owning their own business. One on one support, or a co-worker is provided to help the individual make a successful transformation into the workforce. According to The Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation(1999), the agency typically serves clients from Stephenville and the surrounding areas, who have received referrals from other human services organizations such as Human Resources & Employment and Community Health & Employment.

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The agency operates on a weekly basis, Monday to Friday, from eight- thirty a.m to four-thirty p.m. The typical job description of a co-worker consists of supporting an individual with a developmental disability in his/her day to day activities. More specifically, the job of a co-worker involves walking the individual through the specific job or task through modelling or demonstration to ensure that the individual successfully completes the assigned task. For example, the co-worker may have to guide the individual through the process of using a tool such as a shovel or rake. As well as work related tasks, co-workers are also responsible for ensuring that the individual has access to others without disabilities and is frequently given the opportunity to socialize.

To allow for regular interaction with other individuals, the individual and the co-worker will often go out to eat at a restaurant of the individuals or his choice. Likewise, the role of the co-worker involves being aware of the individuals basic needs and allowing these needs to be met. For example, the co-worker must provide transportation to and from the individuals workplace. They must also arrange for the individual to return home if he/she becomes ill during the working day. The job of co-worker, includes many exciting opportunities and benefits. The co-worker is given the chance to attend team meetings and to possibly become an advocate for the person they are supporting. The salary of a co-worker ranges from approximately $8.87 to $10.18 per hour and the individual is entitled to certain benefits.

For example, each co-worker is presented with a group plan which they can pay into in order to receive dental and medical insurance. Co-workers are also granted an annual leave(fourteen to thirty days) and a family leave(five days), depending on the level of seniority of the co- worker has attained. To become a co-worker, one must demonstrate particular skills, personal qualities, training and an educational background. For example, when supporting someone with a disability, one must show the skill of patience in order deal with certain behaviors that may arise, or to repeat tasks until the individual with a disability can successfully master them. One must also acquire certain personal qualities.

For example, when dealing with a person with a disability, one must be sensitive, taking into consideration the tone of voice and rate of speech used when speaking to a person with a disability. Also, one must have trained in the areas of crisis intervention and first aid, to allow workers to deal with both crisis and medical situations. Furthermore, To be a successful as a co-worker, one must have an educational background in the field of disabilities. A college diploma or university degree is attainable through a Community Studies program at the College of the North Atlantic, or the University College of Cape Breton. Additionally, the corporation offers much opportunity for advancement. The agency can grant a leave of absence to individuals wishing to undergo educational pursuits.

Those who have furthered their education, may in future, wish to branch into other related disabilities areas. These areas may include placement officer(finding employment for individuals with disabilities), director for residential support(finding suitable living arrangements for persons with disabilities) and behavior management specialist(helping to manage or control unacceptable behaviors sometimes displayed by individuals with disabilities). In Conclusion, the role of co-worker is most suitable for one who possesses the skills, training and educational background mentioned above. As well, someone who enjoys interacting with and desires to make a change in the life of a person with a developmental disability. References Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation (1999). Draft Policy Document Stephenville, NF: Bay St. George Community Employment Corporation. Psychology Essays.