Meet Sean: Age 52, DD Waiver and VRS

Through collaboration, state and federal funds can be used together in creative ways to help people with disabilities achieve competitive integrated employment. To see an example of this collaboration in action, meet Sean — a 52-year-old with a Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver and Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS).

Sean's story

Sean had been in a center-based work setting for many years and was paid through his DD Waiver. When Sean expressed a desire for employment in the community, he worked with waiver-funded Supported Employment Services (SES) staff to better understand his skills and interests for competitive, integrated work.

Sean wanted to try some jobs to see what he liked. SES staff and Sean's county case manager had heard about work and training options available through VRS and wanted to explore those options, so Sean applied for VRS. Thanks to verification of Sean's Social Security benefits and documentation of his disability, Sean's eligibility for VRS was determined immediately at the VRS intake meeting.

Team approach

Based on Sean's skills and interests, VRS and SES staff identified manufacturing as a possible career path for Sean. Then, through benefits planning with a benefits specialist from Disability Benefits 101, they discovered that Sean would make more money working in the community. In turn, an SES staff member contacted a local manufacturer. After a conversation about Sean and what he could bring to the business, the manager of the plant was open to exploring a position for Sean. Because Sean hadn't worked in the community for many years, he and his team thought job shadowing would help Sean better understand if he'd like the job.

Sean did a one-day job shadow funded through VRS. The job shadow was a success, and Sean was interested in the job. Because Sean would need support to learn more about the required tasks and skills before moving directly into the job, a 280-hour paid internship at the manufacturer was arranged through VRS. To ensure a successful internship, the county case manager authorized job coaching from SES through the waiver for job coaching.


Upon completing the internship, Sean was offered a job at the manufacturing plant. VRS purchased the steel toe boots Sean needed for his position. He currently works at the plant for 15 hours a week and continues to attend the center-based day program on his days off. Sean also receives four hours of job coaching a week, funded by SES.

See Sean's story shown as a collaborative model.

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