Monday, January 25, 2010

Giving Tip #4 - Consider Gifts to Human Services Charities

Continuing our series of tips from Charity Navigator:“Giving Tip #4 - Consider gifts to human services charities: Charities that provide direct services to people in need experienced the largest drop in donations last year. Yet these are the very charities that experience the largest increase in the demand for their services during a recession. If you are passionate about helping the less fortunate in your own community, consider supporting these groups so that they are not forced to cut programs and services.”

For AtWork! there are two groups of individuals we serve who are most directly impacted by the poor economy and most at risk of losing services: students in transition from school to work and individuals whose employment support has historically be provided by the state.

Employment transition services for high school students with developmental disabilities help support young adults gain and maintain employment after graduation from high school. Job support needs are determined individually, and can vary significantly from person to person. The amount, duration, and intensity fluctuate depending on the needs of the person, the job tasks, and the work environment. Once employed, persons with developmental disabilities typically need support from trained job coaches for a number of reasons that may include a change in the workplace or business, a change in supervisors or co-workers, the addition of new tasks, communicating with the employer.

Long term follow-along support is essential for successful employment – for the individual, as well as the employer. This very important transition program will not be funded by the State of Washington and yet statistics tell us that individuals who do not have a job by the time they graduate from high school are must less likely to ever be employed. AtWork! is committed to finding the resources to continue this very valuable program and your help is critically needed.

Washington State has one of the most successful and cost-effective supported employment programs in the nation. As an example, King County delivers on average almost $2 in wages for every $1 spent on individual employment programs. People with developmental and other disabilities rely on supported employment services for the training, guidance and follow-along support they need to stay employed. Employers have been promised the sustained delivery of these services as a critical component of hiring decisions. Many people with disabilities have been employed at long-term jobs because of the supports they receive funded by State only dollars. These people have done everything right—followed the school to work transition model and become successful working adults through supported employment.

Now, because they are not on the Federal waiver and its guarantee of funding, they are in jeopardy of losing the very supports that have led to their long-term successful employment. AtWork! is committed to doing everything it can to keep those supports in place, but we can’t do it without your help.

posted by AtWork! at


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