What is a Work Evaluation?
“The main question to be answered; Can this client do meaningful work?”
Things to be looked at include:
- Attendance & Punctuality
- Effort Appearance
- Physical Stamina
- Perseverance Teamwork & Cooperation
- Social Behavior
- Ability to Accept Criticism
- Ability to Accept Supervision
- Attention to Detail
- Neatness in Work Performed
- Care with Materials & Property
- Emotional Stability
- Meeting Work Schedules
- Safety Awareness
Chattanooga Goodwill Industries (CGI) was the provider chosen by Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) to do Jessica’s vocational evaluation. During a meeting with specialists at CGI, we were encouraged to not delay in having Jessica evaluated because “we were on track with our timing” because Jess was “eligible for services (training) before graduation.”
According to CGI, a work evaluation had to happen first, THEN, if recommended, a vocational evaluation would be administered next. After both evals, a work plan would be written at an IEP meeting if she was deemed capable of competitive employment.
Here was the catch. The CGI reps openly told us in a meeting that they were experimenting with adding the mild to moderate intellectually disabled student population evaluations to their repertoire: meaning, they had no experience doing them before, and the were not even sure they would continue. So, Jessica’s eligibility for job training through VR depended on the outcome of an eval by an agency that had no experience at this level. How comforting.
We were also told that it was very likely that she would be deemed eligible for competitive employment. (Hmm… Like, as in, let us evaluate her and we’ll say she’s capable? No, surely not.) He also described a 6-7 week program they had where students could come to Goodwill for work training.
The work evaluation lasted 10 days and included observing Jessica in her Community Based Vocational Instruction (CBVI) through school, as well training and observation at CGI.
My Summary of the Written Summary
ACCOMMODATIONS – Pre-positioning of work, assistance with fine motor needs, initial familiarization with the facility and regular redirection towards tasks.
VOCATIONAL INTERESTS – She would like to “help people.” Be a nurse.
CASE NOTES – Jessica was excited and repeatedly said, “I’m going to have a real job…for two whole weeks.”
Day 1 – Her first job assignment was making bundles of 100 price tag tickets for Goodwill stores. After a couple of bundles, she was able to work efficiently.
Day 2 – Entire shift she folded tickets.
Day 3 – First half of the day folded tickets. Then, they worked on administering a cognitive test for the blind, but Jessica was very distracted with the idea of returning to work. After lunch, she went back to folding tickets. They talked to her about trying some different tasks and she was reluctant. Finally, they had her place “rubber gaskets within the cast iron flanges…”
Day 4 – First part of her day working on…(you guessed it…) tickets. Then, they taught a new task of putting four plastic, inch-long tubes into a plastic bag and putting the bag in a bin. She grasped the concept quickly.
Day 5 – Continued the “tubes” project. They had a cookout and she interacted very well with co-workers and spent the majority of her time talking to other staff members.
Day 6 – Tubes project. While she was being observed, she talked to the evaluator about her friend from the bus. Later that day, she got in trouble for throwing a cup of water.
Day 7 – She was worried because her friend did not ride the bus that morning and Jess was afraid something bad may have happened. She couldn’t concentrate on her work and even cried for a few minutes. At lunch, she called and talked with her teacher, settled down, and was able to work without further interruptions.
Day 8 – An emotional day. The friend Jess had become attached to was having family issues, and the friend’s mood was affecting Jessica’s ability to focus on work. Jess was upset about her friend. So Jess was moved to someone’s office for some exciting work of… (wait for it… wait for it…) folding tickets. She remained stressed and also started talking about her aunt who was in the hospital and sick. The report says, “Once Jessica fixes on an idea, she seems to become very obsessive about it.”
Day 9 – (Can you guess what Jess worked on? Yep.) Tickets.
Day 10 – On Jessica’s last day of the work eval, she was in a good mood while working on folding tickets. “During her exit interview, she constantly repeated that she wanted to be a Nurse and help people.” (Exactly what folding tickets translates into.)
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS – Work performance, with accommodations, was reasonable. However, she would become obsessed with an issue and be unable to concentrate upon the task.
RECOMMENDATION – Work Adjustment Training – Jessica demonstrated several serious work behavior issues that could be addressed through a period of Work Adjustment Training. These include staying on task, throwing of objects, emotional outbursts and inappropriate social behavior: clinging. This prolonged exposure to the world of work could serve to build confidence and independence.
Supported Employment – Jessica’s multiple barriers to employment suggest the need for long-term support in daily living and employment. The assistance of a Job Coach to ease the transition into the workplace can be expected to be necessary… Jessica’s desire “to help” could be addressed through appropriate employment within a nursing facility.
up next… You’re Fired!