Kessler Foundation has awarded a two-year, $450,000 Signature Employment Grant to JEVS Human Services in Philadelphia to pilot Road to Employment, a new mechanism to help motivate people with disabilities to pursue employment, connect them to long-term support services, and reduce public benefits dependence.
After the pilot proves the intervention’s effectiveness, JEVS Human Services will scale it throughout Pennsylvania’s managed care system to maximize its reach.
The grant is part of the more than $2.4 million in grants that Kessler Foundation has awarded to organizations across the US in 2019 to support initiatives that create and expand job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, Kessler notes in a media release.
“JEVS Human Services will develop several interrelated tools to support the project,” says Stephanie Koch, senior vice president, business development at JEVS Human Services.
“This includes a roadmap guiding people with disabilities through the complex consideration of working and receiving public benefit assistance; an interactive app with benefits calculator illustrating the long-term financial impact of multiple employment scenarios based on earnings alongside public benefits, and a training curriculum.”
JEVS believes the Road to Employment program will increase the number of people with disabilities who are employed. As a result, participants will experience improved health outcomes and significant monetary gains due to lower health costs and more wages, per the release.
“Many people with disabilities do not pursue employment that could provide them with a higher quality of life—sustainable incomes, health benefits, and socialization opportunities—than public benefits affords them,” explains Elaine E. Katz, MS, CCC-SLP, senior vice president for grants and communications at Kessler Foundation.
“The support services and managed care being offered in this model has the potential to embolden people with disabilities to enter the job market.”
In the short term, the hope is that individuals will learn to advocate for themselves more effectively and employers will experience a change in attitudes regarding people with disabilities. Longer term, JEVS will seek to measure the number of managed care organizations across the Philadelphia region and the nation that adopt this approach.
[Source(s): Kessler Foundation, PRWeb]