What is SHEP Employment Resources?

SHEP Employment Resources (S.E.R.) is a program established with Sight Hearing Encouragement Program and the state of Oklahoma that enables individuals with disabilities to become employed.  The model of employment that supported employment follows is one that is appropriate, ongoing support that is necessary for success in a competitive work environment.  The goal of our S.E.R. program is to assist individuals with disabilities to remain within and contribute to their community. 

SHEP Employment Resources provides families, advocates, and most importantly individuals receiving services would soon identify numerous other core values that would help define the concept and intent of supported employment. Some of the most significant and widely recognized concepts associated with supported employment include self-determination, competitive employment, equal wages, community inclusion, and a focus on capabilities rather than disabilities. These values largely represented what people felt were absent from facility based services. Whereas, sheltered programs focused more on skill deficits, limitations, and rehabilitation, supported employment emphasized individual strengths, preferences, skills, and abilities. The roles of these values are critical to the delivery of quality supported employment services. Our program is guided by the principles of self-determination, individual choice, competitive employment, and community integration to incorporate the fundamental values that embody quality employment programs. 

We include integrated settings so that individuals with disabilities work in settings where individuals without disabilities work. Individuals with severe disabilities can learn work skills and become valuable employees. Work experience should always be conducted with an eye on the future so we can use the experience to determine the services and supports the student will need that are appropriate to the work performed. Our program is designed and aware to understand that just as each employees vocational coaching needs vary, what they will need to maintain employment will also vary greatly from employee to employee. We work on integration skills that take into consideration what the client will need to transition into the world of work.

**Sight Hearing Encouragement Program supports and complies with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).



Values and Description

  • Informed Choice - The individual seeking services is given choices when it comes to service provider selection and type of services provided.
  • Control - Similar to choice, individuals are provided control as to where, when, and what services they receive.
  • Careers - The concept of a career path as opposed to simply having a job is a defining value among quality service providers
  • Full Inclusion - Full inclusion means not only involvement in the work place but also in other areas of an individual’s life, such as residential arrangements and community activity.
  • Long-Term Supports - Identifying and implementing long-term supports is a critical factor for long-term employment success
  • Assistive Technology - Use of suitable assistive technology is key to employment success for many individuals with severe disabilities
  • Self-Determination& Person Centered Services - Focus is on the individuals’ wants, needs, and desires, and forms the appropriate services around such information.
  • Quality Assurance - Service providers use a total quality management system to determine if they are successfully meeting the needs of all their primary stakeholders. This information is shared with everyone involved in their supported employment services including the individual, family, funders, agency employees, employers, and community representatives.

For more information about or to make a referral to SHEP Employment Resources, please contact Timothy Oakes at 405-898-4660 (voice),  or email timothy@shep-ok.org