The principles of occupational therapy practice, as they relate to the vocational process, are applied through the provision of a planned and orderly sequence of services designed to prepare the individual for vocational evaluation, training, and eventual employment or the highest degree of independent function.
The occupational therapist conducts an initial screening interview to obtain a history of occupational performance related to work, self-maintenance, leisure, and social roles. This preliminary assessment will guide further evaluations needed to determine the nature of the client’s functional capacities, performance skills, and future vocational goals.
Evaluative methods are employed to identify the individual’s capacities and deficits in the motor, sensory integrative, cognitive, psychological, and social components of performance. The assessment of the client’s ability to perform specific tasks, as required in self-maintenance, leisure, and work-related goals, is undertaken. A summary of the client’s capacities, goals, and task performance is prepared, and a statement of short- and long-term goals of occupational therapy intervention is recorded.
The treatment process involves the use of selected activities, assistive devices, and educational techniques to restore the client to the highest level of independent function. The application of activity to treatment is directed toward improving muscle strength. range of motion, coordination, endurance, and sensory function. Activities are also used to improve working capacity, cognitive functions, social relatedness, personal habits, time management, and role function. The specific aims of the occupational therapy treatment are to assist the individual to recover or to develop competence in the physical, psychological, social, and economic aspects of daily living and to provide opportunities to learn those skills needed for adaptation in educational, work, home, and community environments.
Once the restorative phase of treatment has been completed, the need for pre-vocational assessment of clients with residual disabilities is considered. Preparation for the prevocational phase of rehabilitation involves a determination of whether the client can return to a previous occupation or whether vocational evaluation and training will be required to achieve gainful employment.
|Prevocational Training||Supported Employment|
|– Services to prepare the client for placement in mainstream competitive employment
– Funded by a government agency
|– The client chooses where they would like to work and then they receive support such as on-site job training and assessment as long as it is needed.
– Funded by the government
|Services Offered||To help adolescents or adults develop skills that are prerequisites to competitive work: task skills, cognitive rehab (selective attention, memory, problem solving etc.), skills training (how create a resume, how to find a job, what to wear at work, how to stay employed, etc.), life skills (ADLs), social interaction skills, learn work habits, interests, and aptitudes
1) improvement in task skills and social skills that is prerequisite to vocational training or work
2) development of work habits and abilities
3) exploration of work interests and aptitudes to ensure discharge to a relevant vocational training program, school, or work setting
|On-site job training for specific skills directly related to their current role|
|Settings that offer these services||These pre-employment placements are made possible by contract agencies that provide rehab services:
Sheltered employment: open to individuals with disabilities (developmental or psychiatric), in a separate environment from usual work-site, payment is below minimum wage, provides supervision
In-house jobs: psychosocial day treatment program or clubhouse model where clients work with staff to manage and take care of the clubhouse; can obtain transitional employment with a community employer (who has an arrangement with the clubhouse or other psychosocial agency) which is paid but temporary to further learn skills necessary for mainstream competitive employment
(Transitional employment programs (TEPs) are generally time limited (3-6 months) with discharge to sheltered employment, supportive employment, competitive employment)