oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services

Community Based Employment Services

The Employment Support Services Unit (ESS) oversees several specialized job placement programs and projects serving individuals categorized as having significant or most significant disabilities. The unit develops new placement services and provides technical assistance and training to agencies under contract to deliver employment services to DRS consumers and to DRS staff. The EES unit also develops contracts with employment vendors statewide.

ESS oversees the supported employment program, which is a specialized type of job placement for people with the most significant disabilities. DRS contracts with vendors across the state to provide intensive, specialized on or off site training that assists the individuals to choose jobs, learn the tasks and keep the jobs.

Employment and Retention services is a job placement program designed for individuals with significant disabilities who require short term on and off site training beyond what is available in typical job placement programs.

The Job Placement contract provides assistance to DRS customers who require some assistance in finding employment in the community consistent with their strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests and informed choice.

The Support Services for Employment contract was developed to provide employment support assessment, life skills management, community integration and housing modifications. It may be provided to DRS customers with significant disabilities to augment other traditional case services.

ESS has developed Rural Employment contracts which provide Supported Employment and Employment and Retention services to rural areas of Oklahoma.

ESS' Oklahoma Milestone Payment System received awards from the Ford Foundation and the Harvard School of Business, as well as other government groups, for cutting government spending, improving service delivery and increasing consumer satisfaction by linking payment for contract services to a series of checkpoints, or milestones, on the way to specific goals or outcomes, such as employment. Many states have used our milestone payment system as a model to develop their own. The Social Security Ticket to Work program, commonly referred to as Ticket Plus, is modeled after Oklahoma's Milestone Payment System.

United We Ride promotes interagency cooperation to minimize the duplication and address gaps in transportation services. A governor-appointed council that focuses on statewide transportation issues, especially related to the needs of people who depend on public transportation. The Employment Support Services Unit represents DRS on the governor's council as lead agency.