Opportunities for Meaningful Work and Life Skills DevelopmentIn order for anyone to be successful doing a job or to conduct daily living activities in the community, he/she must learn basic tactical skills as well as interpersonal, social and teamwork skills.
Quest’s vocational services programs provide supports and options for individuals with developmental disabilities seeking meaningful work opportunities as well as life skills development activities that meet their specific needs and align with their life goals. Quest offers vocational and adult daily living skills supports through the following programs:
• Quest, Inc. Training Centers
• Project SEARCH
• Enclave Programs (small group employment)
• Supported to Independent Employment
Quest, Inc. Training Centers
At Quest, Inc. Training Centers (QTC) in Apopka, Orlando and Tampa, individuals are provided with a comprehensive offering of skill development and vocational program services to meet their goals. Personal goal achievement is accomplished through the development of an individualized plan created with input from the program participant, caregivers and QTC team members.
Skill development is a key component for individuals with developmental disabilities to have successful, meaningful and enjoyable experiences and to improve their quality of life.
Individual participants at QTC in Apopka, Orlando and Tampa gain skills and/or receive support services in four dedicated skill development areas:
• Vocational Skills Development
• Life Skills Development
• Healthy Living and Cultural & Social Development
• Therapy Services
Vocational Skills Development: Teaching individuals the pre-employment skills necessary to be successful in a supported employment environment.
• We strongly believe it is a right of each individual, who may need additional skills training before attempting competitive employment within the community, to have the ability to participate in vocational skills development training in a smaller, monitored environment within a training center.
• Solutions to any challenges attaining successful employment are identified and individuals are offered programs to help them enhance these skills to increase their employability.
Due to the severity of the disabilities of some program participants, competitive employment in the community may not be a realistic goal. The individualized plan process enables individuals to align their tangible skills with their practical abilities to achieve a successful outcome.
• For individuals pursuing vocational goals within the QTC program, skills that will be transferable into the workplace are emphasized. Opportunities for individuals to earn a paycheck to provide them with supplemental income as they reach their full potential is integrated into daily programming.
Life Skills Development: Teaching individuals the life skills required to become more independent, confident and competent in performing activities of daily life.
• All program participants receive opportunities to learn the life skills necessary to function independently in their home, community and/or workplace settings.
Healthy Living and Cultural & Social Development: Teaching the values and benefits of participating in opportunities surround the areas of Arts, Fitness, Social Education and Adult Education.
• In conjunction with the Skills Development programs, QTCs emphasize the importance of exposure to daily shared community activities, such as art, fitness and social and community volunteerism. These areas of community life are often limited or not available to the individuals we serve. We provide access to these much-needed opportunities through our QTC programs.
Therapy Services: Additional services required to meet the specialized needs of the individuals served in QTCs.
• Quest Training Center facilities' team includes certified Behavior Analysts on-site to ensure the application and principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in the areas of skill acquisition, behavioral modification and reactive strategies for the individuals we serve.
• Additional therapies such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy are available through contracted partner agencies to provide individuals an inclusive program offering.
Repositioning/Personal Care Services: Individuals with increased direct care needs are provided to ensure repositioning occurs to maintain physical status.
• Advanced personal care services are also available to individuals in areas of eating, toileting or general hygiene needs.
Nursing Services: On-site nursing staff provides oversight and expertise to assist individuals with medical needs.
For location-specific criteria, please see below:
|Vocational Opportunities/Job Skills|
|Work Crews - Minimum Wage Opportunities||X||X||X|
|Piece Rate Contract Work||X||X|
|Behavioral Assistance Needs|
|Behavior Therapy - High Intensity||X||X|
|Behavior Therapy - Low Intensity||X|
|Personal Care Assistance Needs|
|Direct Care Assistance (i.e. toileting, eating, etc.)||X||X|
For more information, contact Rob Cage, Vice President of Client Advancement & Skills Development , via email.
Quest’s Project SEARCH
The award-winning Quest Project SEARCH program supports the transition of high school students with developmental disabilities into meaningful employment.
Quest’s Project SEARCH is a collaborative, strategic partnership between Quest, Inc. private employers, local school districts and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Quest's Project SEARCH is a one-year, unpaid training program that provides competitive employment opportunities to high school students with disabilities. Project SEARCH is modeled after a national high school transition program founded in Cincinnati that places students in internships at local businesses. They obtain work skills and training with the goal of eventually securing employment in non-traditional jobs for people with disabilities.
For more information, contact Belia Coakley, Project SEARCH Manager, via email.
Enclave Programs (small group employment)
Quest offers unique opportunities to individuals who work better in a group setting. This program allows individuals to work on a variety of projects out in the community while developing social and workplace skills and increasing their financial independence and self-esteem. In addition to the skills needed for various roles including grounds keeping and custodial duties, they learn safe work practices and teamwork.
Supported to Independent Employment
The supported employment program works to identify job opportunities, develop success plans, and provide ongoing support for individuals. Our programs in Orlando and Tampa provide a comprehensive set of services including vocational evaluation, job development, job coaching, follow-along services and travel training. Individuals learn about vocational options, explore and identify realistic opportunities for competitive employment and develop plans for success.
After suitable employment is attained, a Quest employment specialist is available for individuals who need one-on-one training at the workplace. During the initial phase of employment the specialist provides the individuals with support to ensure success. To help maintain employment, regular visits are available if additional support is needed.
For more information, contact Mindy Nguyen, Director of Employment Services, via email.
Quest Serves Individuals
Karen came to Quest employment services with the hopes of finding a job that would match her interests. An avid animal-lover, she hoped to work in an environment that embraced animals.
Karen celebrated a huge milestone in her professional career this year as she experienced her 19th- year anniversary at SeaWorld Parks and Resorts in Orlando.
More than a decade and a half of employment is a momentous occasion for anyone, but for Karen, the accomplishment is also helping to shatter myths about working while living with a disability.
Karen is an important part of the SeaWorld Parks and Resorts family and has worked as a restroom attendant for the last few years. She performs her job well and has great interaction with the management team and her coworkers.
Quest’s employment specialists have worked with Karen to successfully increase her speed and improve communication with her managers. She even accompanies new hires with their trainers because of the quality of her work.
She recently bought her first house and has been hard at work sprucing it up. Her longevity at work, saved earnings, and having the right supports from family and Quest helped her reach her personal and professional goals.
What Parents Say
“The future may be unknown, but it is much brighter and we would never have been able to meet these milestones without Quest.”
What Parents Say
“My daughter loves it. She loves the staff because they take good care of all of the campers that go there. She starts preparing to go back to camp the day I pick her up! I feel very comfortable; she’s safe and I’m satisfied.”
What Team Members Say
“The work environment at Quest is one that is unparalleled. Fellow employees are always willing to help and inspiration is constantly provided by leadership.”