Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, RI College (Rhode Island)

Supporting Meaningful Employment (SME)

National ACRE Certificate Program (Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators)

Supporting Meaningful Employment: A Person-Centered Approach to Career Planning, Job Development and Retention is 42 hour course presented in 13 sessions beginning September each fall. The program is offered by The Sherlock Center on Disabilities, RI College and co-sponsored with the RIDHS-Office of Rehabilitation Services.

To receive ACRE Certification participants will complete fieldwork assignments addressing Person Centered Employment Planning, Job Development strategies and Job Retention planning and have satisfactory attendance.

Past SME graduates report a 40% increase in job placements, a 60% increase in employer contact and improved practices such as: use of community resources, facilitating job seeker self determination and individualized job development strategies.

What Past Participants have to say?

“The course was fabulous, my questions were answered, obtained great resources and I’m getting more people meaningful jobs!” SME graduate, youth population

“The instructor is very knowledgeable and made the content of the course interesting and engaging.” SME graduate, MH population

“I have a whole new outlook on my job! I have more to offer my job seekers and employers.” SME graduate, DD Population

The core competencies of Supporting Meaningful Employment include:

  • Develop understanding of ADA implications for the hiring process, retention and process for pursuing discrimination complaint.
  • Developing person-centered career plans that focus on personal abilities and interests;
  • Developing strategies to access an individual’s natural supports to develop and implement a career plan;
  • Developing proven strategies that promote and expand relationships with businesses (e.g. networking, job development, job shadowing and situational assessment);
  • Presenting applicants who have disabilities to employers in a manner that promotes the individual’s competence and meets the needs of both employers and employees;
  • Negotiating with employers to modify or restructure jobs, or to create jobs that match individual attributes
  • Evaluating the quality of jobs based on the individuals employment goals and needs;
  • Developing professional skills that support:
    • career assessment – tools and resources, report writing
    • job choice – using information about labor market and job qualifications
    • job development skills-organized approach, employer presentation strategies
    • job retention –job accommodation, job coaching and employer support
    • SSA Work Incentives, Medicaid Buy-In and role of Benefits Specialists
  • Understanding the resources available in Rhode Island
    • Department of Labor and Training-labor market information
    • netWORKri
    • VR- Office of Rehabilitation Services
    • RI Governors commission on Disabilities

For more information, view Supporting Meaningful Employment Course (PDF file) or contact Vicki Ferrara, M.A. Employment Coordinator, Sherlock Center on Disabilities (401) 456-8092 or .

Rhode Island
Training Format: