Throughout the world, paid work is a crucial aspect of culture and identity, with many individuals organizing their lives around employment. Employment helps define an individual’s place in the community. As is true for those without disabilities, people with disabilities have a right to fair and equal wages, working hours and opportunities, and the cultural benefits of being employed in the community.
Since employing people with disabilities has a positive impact on employers, increases in customized and supported employment will not only help individuals with disabilities, but also benefit the workforce and society as a whole. Unfortunately, throughout the world, individuals with disabilities remain employed at lower rates than people without disabilities. According to disabled-world.com, only 32 percent of Americans with disabilities, aged 18 to 64, are working. Two-thirds of those unemployed have expressed a desire to work. This is where Insite Training Systems comes in. Insite is the Community Employment Division of Sertoma Centre.
This past year Insite has focused on developing employment training programs in addition to assisting individuals obtain and maintain jobs in the community. Consumers are training and learning work skills at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in the areas of clerical and janitorial skills. We are working with a national chain for a job readiness program and recently started a training program with a major department store. At South Suburban Hospital, consumers learn clerical skills by organizing and filing patient emergency room records while other participants learn janitorial skills by cleaning hallways, stairwells, and program rooms.
Most recently, Insite began working with the major department store where consumers participate in a 6-week training in the store learning retail tasks. Participants will be considered for employment at the conclusion of each training session. There are plans to expand to other stores in the area.
Future plans include continuing to expand these training and volunteering opportunities as well as establishing on-going relationships with employers. The future is very bright at Insite Training Systems.