To assist people with autism into work by building up a relationship with the job seeker, carrying out one-to-one job search, approach employers and arranging interviews, escorting client to interview and act as their advocate. When client has a job, be with them in the workplace until they are settled in. Follow-up as necessary.
Becoming a Job Coach for people with autism can be a rewarding and fulfilling career choice, especially if you enjoy helping others and working directly with people who have special needs. Job Coaches work one-on-one with their clients or in some cases, in small groups. Job Coaches provide job readiness training, help clients find suitable employment and offer on-the-job support to clients to help them adjust to the workplace. As clients become more proficient at their jobs, the job coach spends less time on-site, but continues to monitor the employee and offers support when needed.
A Job Coach or Job Trainer may come from a variety of backgrounds to include teaching, rehabilitation, or business and be responsible for assisting an individual with a disability in obtaining a job by creating a positive job match; maintaining a job through on-site assistance and other workplace supports and advancing careers with career development. In many cases the job coach will spend time at the workplace to learn the job duties and industry standard and then assist the new employee to build proficiency over time. They will often carry out some ASD staff awareness sessions with an employer.
Who do Job Coaches Support?
Job Coaches supports both the individual with a disability as well as the employer. These are the primary customers for a job coach. However, they will interact and provide consultation services to parents, community funding agencies, other community support programs etc.
What are some of the duties of a Job Coach?
Job Coaches do a variety of duties in the course of assisting someone both on and off an employer’s premises.
Below is a list of duties for a typical job coach.
- To engage fully with the person who requires support working to identify their key strengths and development needs relating to specific job skills required to move them closer to sustainable employment or to support them to maintain current employment.
- Gathers assessment data by interviews, reading any reports available and assisting the person with ASD to identify and develop a list of interests, skills and potential skills.
- Establish lines of communication with client’s parents or person they nominate and employer where appropriate.
- Understand how the client’s disability affects them personally and considering how these could be accommodate in the workplace.
- To provide training, coaching and support that will improve their circumstances, increase their capabilities and enhance their motivation to find sustainable employment.
- Travel train client where necessary to use public transport on their own.
- To provide support as appropriate to improve job search skills.
- Ensure the client has one or more up-to-date CVs and covering letters appropriate to their job goals. Carry out mock interviews with positive feedback.
- Introduce client to a Social Groups to build up their social and communication skills.
- Make referrals to in-house Counsellor if necessary.
- Consult with in-house psychologist if necessary.
- Be prepared to discuss client’s progress with other team members in team meetings.
- Assess client’s on a regular basis to enable them to access and sustain suitable employment.
- Identify reasonable adjustments for the job seeker in the workplace and negotiate / advocate for these adjustments with the employer.
- Gathers employment information by conducting a detailed job analyses at the employers premises in order to job match a person to the work.
- Provides one-to-one training in the workplace to overcome or minimise barriers due to disabilities.
- Provides job retention services to the employer and person with autism. Follow-up with employee and employer for a period after the initial job coaching ends.
- Maintains evaluation data for performance reporting.
This is a broad outline of the job coach duties and responsibilities that may arise and it is essential to be flexible in order to provide the customised support that is often needed for each individual.