Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is A Developmental Disability?
A developmental disability is defined as a disability that occurs before the age of 18, is substantially disabling for an individual, and is expected to continue indefinitely. Developmental disabilities include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism. Also included are disabling conditions closely related to mental retardation or requiring similar treatment.
2. What is a Sub-Contract group?
A Sub-Contract group is a community based work site where three or more adult consumers work as part of a group with 100% job coaching. This setting offers consumers who have had some difficulty with, or who are not quite ready for a direct-hire group or an individual placement, an opportunity for training in a fully integrated environment. Consumers continue to learn various job skills with the added feature of community interaction. Although they work at the community work-site, consumers in these sub-contract sites are paid by Stepping Stones based upon the quality and quantity of work performed, as determined by regular productivity testing. The employers of these groups pay Stepping Stones a sub-contract fee monthly for the work performed.
3. How many Sub-Contract groups does Stepping Stones presently have?
Stepping Stones currently has two sub-contract community work-sites. Both of these sites are based at Longs Drug stores in Oakland, one in the Rockridge section that began in 1995 and one in the Fruitvale section that began in 2000. The largest of all Stepping Stonesâ€™ groups is Longs Rockridge where there are presently over 20 consumers, divided into five groups. Consumers at both Longsâ€™ sites are employed as Utility Clerks and perform such tasks as bagging, facing (straightening products on shelves), cart retrieval, customer service, product setups and cleanup. Groups work at the Rockridge store seven days a week and the typical consumerâ€™s schedule consists of 4 to 5 workdays from 10 am to 5:30 pm. The smaller sub-contract group at Longs Fruitvale has four consumers who work Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. For more information about these programs, please contact the Director of Field Operations, Bob Robichaud, at (510) 567-2625.
4. What types of consumers are traditionally employed at the Longs Sub-Contract worksites?
The consumer make-up of the Rockridge and Fruitvale Longsâ€™ programs has historically contained three categories: 1) Those who have had difficulties in less supervised programs and who require more concentrated training/assistance with correctable behavioral problems; 2) First time job placements needing a more forgiving training environment that instills a strong foundation for future direct-hire employment; and 3) More challenged consumers who have traditionally been â€śharder to placeâ€ť in community integrated settings (ex. slower learning, physically frail, Autistic, Down Syndrome, etc.).
*Because of the independence needed due to the large store size and also, because of the risks to job security for established consumers, referrals to these sites must be completely honest as to the degree of physical and/or mental disabilities of the applicant. For example, consumers with violent/aggressive behaviors are not appropriate candidates for community assessment at these programs.
5. How do I get into a work program at Stepping Stones?
Consumers who are interested in learning more about Stepping Stones and the various programs should contact their Regional Center Case Manager and request an Intake meeting with the Director of Intake and Assessment. In addition to requesting a meeting, the consumer should ask the Case Manager to send a collateral packet of information to the DIA (Director of Intake and Assessment.) Once the information has been received, the DIA, Case Manager and consumer will coordinate a meeting.
6. How long does it take from the initial intake meeting to a job in the community?
The employment process can be a long one. Stepping Stones does not keep an open inventory of jobs. We compete with all the other job seekers looking for employment. The length of time depends on a variety of things, but primarily the type of job you are looking for and the employers hiring process determines how long it will take for you to become employed. The process can take a few days to a few months or even longer. The process takes patience and cooperation from all parties involved.
7. What type of jobs do you help people get?
When the consumer meets with the DIA, the consumer discusses jobs that are of interest. We attempt to meet the needs of the consumer. Jobs range from stocking/merchandising, parking lot attendants, file clerks, office assistants, and grocery and store clerks. Those are just a few of the jobs. Our goal is to find a job of your choice. However, that is not always possible. The DIA reviews the job market, job availability and the consumerâ€™s ability to perform the required job.