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What is Supported Employment
Supported Employment = Paid Employment with On-going support in Integrated Work Site
Supported Employment was developed to change the employment opportunities of persons with significant disabilities that have been limited to separated and sheltered employments, even though many of them have potentials to work in open and competitive employment with reasonable accommodations and support.

Supported Employment was initiated in 1970s in the United States. It has since spread its impact to many other developed countries to promote employment for persons with significant disabilities. As shown above, Supported Employment has 3 key components, i.e., Paid Employment, On-going Support, and Integrated Work Sites.

Paid Employment: Persons with disabilities should receive same salary and benefits as other employees. Persons with disabilities should be given not only equal opportunities in employment but also non discriminative salary and benefits.

On-going Support: Provision of on-going support for persons with disabilities and their employers to retain employment is one of the important features of Supported Employment.   

Integrated Work Sites: Inclusion and Integration are the key features of Supported Employment. Persons with disabilities should be included in same work site with others.

Supported Employment aims to promote not only financial independence for persons with disabilities, but also their participation and self-actualisation in the aspect of employment.

Supported Employment

Supported Employment assists people with significant disabilities (physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory and hidden) to access real employment opportunities, of their own choice, in an integrated setting with appropriate ongoing support to become economically and socially active in their own communities.

European Union of Supported Employment
(* Terms “psychiatric” and “mental retardation” are referred as inappropriate expressions recently and not recommended used. Instead of these, “psycho-social” and “intellectual disabilities, learning difficulties, developmental delay/disability” are recommended.)

Supported Employment Model and Readiness Model

Supported Employment approach is different from traditional approach in employment, so-called readiness approach/model

  Supported Employment Model Readiness Model

Model of Disability:

Employment + Support
Company & PWDs
Social Model

Training → Employment
PWDs only
Individual Model

Supported Employment focus on abilities of individuals (i.e. what she/he can do), rather than inabilities (i.e. what she/he cannot do). Key element in the process of Supported Employment is to provide supports to both PWDs and companies in which includes changing working environment and creating supportive atmosphere in the company, rather than mere training to PWDs. Job Coach plays a key role to implement Supported Employment.

Contact us
Job Coach Network Malaysia
Department of Social Welfare
Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development
6th floor, No. 55, Persiaran Perdana
Presint 4, 62100 Putrajaya , Malaysia
Tel: 03-83231000 Fax: 03-83232063