Further to the article on VDACL – Venture Training, I would like to respond to the issue of “Real Work for Real Pay.” We at Venture value and respect the efforts and contribution that all our participants give, no matter where they work.
For the record, Venture has been supporting individuals with “real jobs” for the past 25 years. Currently, 30 individuals are employed in the community. This is in addition to the Supported Work Crews and Training Programs the public is more familiar with. Community Employment is just one of the many services and program choices that we offer.
During the past three years we have worked closely with CLBC to redesign residential and employment services to individuals. Venture is always evolving and growing as needs, wants and desires change. Our ability to change and evolve with the times is one of the reasons that Venture has provided services to individuals with developmental disabilities for the past 58 years, in this community.
The organization is proud of its heritage and its ability to change to meet the needs of individuals, the community and government, even with a reduction in funding.
In the ideal world it would be wonderful if all the participants on our work programs could work in the community, but without additional funding to provide support for the individual and training and support for the employer it is not always possible. Many of the individuals we assist in finding community employment return to the programs because they feel isolated and lonely when they are in the community. It is not the fault of the workplace but without sufficient funding they do not have the support they need to succeed.
When difficult times affect business it is usually the individuals that we do support who are laid off first.
However, when the perfect match is found and the investment in time is made to provide the supports that everyone needs, the partnership can be long lasting and rewarding.
In an inclusive community we should look to provide the broadest range of supports and the highest quality of services that we can, for all individuals.