OACB launches statewide community employment training program

By Erich Hiner,
Published Wednesday, April 13, 2016 12:00 pm

The Ohio Association of County Boards of Developmental Disabilities (OACB) has launched a statewide program to train county board support professionals on ways they can most effectively help people with developmental disabilities find and keep jobs in the community.

Data show that many people with developmental disabilities are interested in competitive, community-based employment. However, these people often lack chances to explore community employment in a meaningful way because their support professionals lack resources to connect them to job options that fit their needs. The goal of this new program, called the Employment Navigation Project (ENP), is to train service and support administrators how to use community resources, work with local businesses, and access funding for supported community employment without affecting the benefits of people served by county boards of DD.

The program will consist of on-site trainings, monthly webinars, and technical assistance with individual county boards designed to support board staff to develop and build relationships in each county with key players from local partner agencies. The trainings will be led by four employment navigation technical assistance liaisons, or ENTALs, who will be contracted DD service professionals with experience in community employment and integration. ENTALs will be chosen by OACB and overseen by a project manager. In-person training sessions are scheduled to begin in summer 2016 with webinars and follow-up meetings to be held throughout late 2016 and early 2017.

The Employment Navigation Project is a partnership between OACB and Ohio Employment First, a state initiative to help people with developmental disabilities explore employment options suited to their abilities and interests. OACB, which works regularly with organizations at every level of Ohio’s DD system, will use the new program to promote statewide uniformity and best practices for community employment in Ohio as well as expand job opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

If you would like more information about this new initiative or are interested in becoming an ENTAL, contact OACB Community Opportunities Director Scott Marks at

Send this page to a friend