7. Natural Supports

Employment supports are as unobtrusive as possible and (may) fade over time by building on community support and social capital.

Seek a range of preferred learning and support strategies, which are discreet and may naturally fade in time. Natural supports are the supports that are typically available in the workplace. Use natural supports to minimize artificial service interventions in the work setting. Everyone uses natural supports at work, no one works entirely alone in isolation of help from co-workers.

Families and support networks are a great potential source of support and information for the individual in employment. They are the experts on the individual and can provide useful information about interests, past experiences and abilities. They can also provide supports or assistance outside of work hours that help the person get and keep their job.

Support needs to be flexible and may include assistive devices, checklists, or workplace adjustments. Workplace independence and career enhancement is encouraged and supported.

The level of support changes over time, as skills and confidence build or new challenges emerge. Be ready to provide information, orientation, training and support for employers and co-workers.

Act as a consultant and facilitator by building on supports that already exist in the workplace and in the person’s life. Access the expertise of the employer, co-workers and personal support network to sustain the person’s success.