Unique Options, LLC is proud to be a presenter at this year's International Conference on Paediatric Acquired Brain Injury in Liverpool, UK!
Successful Transition for Adolescents with ABI from High School to Employment via a Non-Traditional Sheltered Workshop
The purpose of this research is to showcase the effectiveness of transition from high school to a non-traditional sheltered workshop/vocational center, versus a traditional sheltered workshop for adolescents with ABI (Acquired Brain Injury). Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or otherwise known as ABI, is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two age groups at greatest risk for TBI are ages 0-4 and 15-19. The physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments that are associated with sustaining an ABI in adolescents cause teenagers to face additional challenges when seeking gainful employment.
With over 10 years of data, Unique Options, LLC has been able to provide adolescents with ABI the ability to transition from a school environment to a supportive employment environment in a non-traditional vocational setting, by offering more competitive advantages than a traditional sheltered work. These advantages include: a job coach and support team (Limited License Psychologist, Registered Nurse, Occupational Therapist, and Masters level Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors), only working with other ABI clients, real work (i.e., sorting, packaging, inspection, data entry, custodial training), Michigan minimum wage ($8.15 per hour), and the ability to earn higher wages. Unlike several other programs who state they provide Vocational Rehabilitation, our clients do not participate in arts and crafts, earn paid holiday bonuses, and pay into the Social Security system. Our data documents the skills they entered our program with, the skills they acquired, and whether their skills allowed them to be recommended for a Unique Options, LLC enclave placement or our Community Placement Program. Information regarding productivity rates and accuracy is tracked on every client for every job, as are inappropriate conduct and core work behaviors.
Our research indicates that Unique Options, LLC offers more successful options and prospects for providing realistic long term employment opportunities for adolescents who have sustained ABI's and are attempting to transition into the real world of work, as opposed to a traditional sheltered workshop. Our data supports the thesis that with supported vocational rehabilitation, quality and long term successful employment opportunities are possible for adolescents who have sustained ABI's.