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:
• Project SEARCH
• Adult Day Training Center
• Enclave Programs (small group employment)
• Supported to Independent Employment
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 Daniel Mercedes, Project SEARCH Manager, via email.
Quest’s Adult Day Training (ADT) Centers
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 and skill development programs in a smaller, monitored environment within an Adult Day Training Center.
At Quest’s Adult Day Training (ADT) centers in Orlando and Tampa, individuals are provided with a comprehensive offering of program services to meet their goals. An individualized plan is created with input from the program participant, caregivers and ADT team members. Solutions to any challenges to attain successful employment are identified and individuals are offered programs to help them enhance these skills to increase their employability. We recognize that due to the severity of the disabilities of some program participants, competitive employment in the community may not be a realistic goal.
For individuals pursuing vocational goals within the ADT program, skills that will be transferable into the workplace are emphasized. Opportunities for individuals to earn a paycheck to provide them with needed income as they reach their full potential is integrated into daily programming.
All program participants receive opportunities to learn the life skills necessary to function independently in their home, community or workplace settings. In conjunction with the skills development programs, Quest’s ADTs 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, therefore, Quest provides access to these much-needed opportunities through our ADT programs.
For more information, contact Rob Cage, Sr. Director of Training Centers, 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 Sue Koziol, Vice President of Vocational Business Services at 407.218.4300 ext. 4315, or 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.”