Community Link offeres a range of developmental disability services, including the following:
Individual Employment Services
For individual job seekers we offer career-counseling, assessment, job development, job placement, on the job training and ongoing customer service. Currently there are (40 – B, 27 – D) people working in jobs in the community through Employment Link. Our Individual Marketing Profile and Career Planning Procedures assure that job seekers are more accurately matched to job opportunities. The current state budget crisis has limited funding for these services.
We offer volunteer opportunities to small groups of customers in community integrated work settings. This provides individuals with the support of an Employment Link staff person while they develop work and social skills. It also offers the opportunity to develop community social relationships. Jobs may be short or long term and are developed based on each individual’s preferences and abilities. Organizations with whom we partner include Boulder County Housing and Human Services, Boulder and Longmont Meals on Wheels, Elder Share, Boulder County Open Spaces, University of Colorado, Boulder County AIDS Project, Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center, Longmont Council on the Arts, Boulder Public Library, Longmont Humane Society, Longmont YMCA, Rocky Mountain Christian Church and WOW! Children’s Museum. Community Connection services are currently offered only in Boulder County.
Employment Link offers a community based day program for people with disabilities who are of retirement age. The seniors participate in a variety of recreational and volunteer activities in their community. The program is designed to link seniors with non-disabled peers who share common interests. The type and degree of support provided is responsive to each person’s needs. Regular activities include delivering Meals on Wheels, writing to pen pals, activities at the Senior Center, bingo, yoga, shopping, and bowling. These services are currently offered only in Boulder County.
Beginning in 2008 Employment Link became the statewide coordinating agency for Project SEARCH, an innovative school to work transition program. Students are immersed in the work culture of a “host company” that provides three ten-week internships in those areas of the company that interest the student. The purpose of this project is to have each student gain a job with the host company or other cooperating companies. Present programs include the Poudre School District / Columbine Health Systems project in Fort Collins and the Aurora Public Schools / Children’s Hospital Colorado project in Aurora, and in the 2011-12 school year, Boulder Valley School District / Boulder Community Hospital was added. This effort is supported through a grant from the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council.
Beginning in 2009 Community Link began offering residential services and supports. The support model is developed on the basis of stated preference and individual need. Both “host homes,” when a person / family provides a home for an individual and “companions” when a person shares an apartment/home with an individual are presently used. Because Community Link is committed to community integration, no group homes or congregate living arrangements will be provided.
Family Link is Community Link’s newest service which has been created to assure people with disabilities can “live a good life.” By “a good life” we mean having a home we are comfortable in, and having rewarding relationships and friendships. It means making choices about what we want to do and when we do it. A good life in our view is also characterized by giving back to our community, by making a contribution through work, sharing, and/or assisting others. Family Link services are guided by four values: family leadership and control, safety and security through relationships, self-sufficiency of funding (non-governmental), and personal contribution equals citizenship.
Family Link services include person-centered planning, social network development, financial planning and being secure that our family members with disabilities will experience quality of life even when parents are no longer living. This service is being developed and guided by a local group of families who have been meeting and planning for more than a decade.