Employment & Day Services

Please note that some services have limited capacity and may not be immediately available.  Your Care Manager will be able to provide more information on accessing the various OPWDD services listed here.


OPWDD values the abilities and talents each person contributes, and supports people with developmental disabilities in preparing for working and volunteering in integrated community settings. In addition, OPWDD provides supports and services for individuals so that they can participate in community activities that interest them. Individuals who participate in day services can also participate in employment services.

Prevocational Services

OPWDD prevocational services offer people with developmental disabilities an opportunity for career exploration and volunteer experiences to identify their skills, abilities and interests.

  • Pathway to Employment is a time-limited service that helps you develop a plan for employment success using Person-Centered Planning to identify your job interests and goals, try various jobs to determine which tasks and work atmosphere you like best, and learn work-related social and communications skills. The outcome of this service is a Career and Vocational Plan that identifies the next step in your path to employment. You may be eligible for Pathway to Employment if you are receiving day habilitation or community prevocational services, or are a student leaving high school, or someone who is interested in creating a career and vocational plan.
  • Community Prevocational Services help people with developmental disabilities learn social and communication skills related to work as well as other work-related skills such as task completion, time management, problem solving, following directions and safety skills that will increase their independence in the community.

Employment Services

OPWDD employment services can help people with developmental disabilities obtain and maintain competitive employment. People with developmental disabilities work in all types of community businesses including banking, education, technology, health care, hospitality, food service, retail, not-for-profit corporations and government. Some people have also started their own businesses.

OPWDD offers several employment services to assist individuals with varying support needs. All employment services provide employment staff or job developers and coaches to help individuals with developmental disabilities be successful at work.

  • Supported Employment (SEMP) supports people in getting and keeping paid competitive jobs in the community. Once a person-centered career plan is developed through Pathway to Employment, Community Prevocational Services or another method, OPWDD service provider agencies offer job development services. OPWDD service provider agencies also offer services to assist with maintaining employment. These services include helping the individual adapt to the workplace, retraining when job requirements change, and travel training. 
  • The Employment Training Program (ETP) offers people an opportunity to work in a paid internship in a community business. ETP participants receive enhanced job coaching and attend job readiness classes that cover topics like conflict resolution and how to dress for work.

Day Services

OPWDD day services help people with developmental disabilities increase their independence, gain self-confidence and develop relationships in their community.

  • Community Habilitation (CH) helps people who live independently or at home with family learn about and experience community-based activities. Community Habilitation is a service available at home and in the community. It can be either self-directed or agency sponsored.  Community Habilitation staff help the person learn and keep the skills they need to live safely and more independently, maintain or improve their health, work toward other personal goals, meet people and make and keep friends, take part in community activities, and be part of their community.
  • Day Habilitation services help people learn and keep the skills they need to live safely and more independently, participate in community activities, identify interests, develop talents and skills, make and keep friends, learn basic life skills, and be a valued member of the community. Day Habilitation activities take place at a set location or within the community (referred to as Day Habilitation Without Walls).
  • Respite services help families who care for their loved ones in the family home, even if the individuals have more serious health issues or more challenging behavioral needs. These services give caregivers needed breaks. The kinds and locations of respite service available include in-home, camp, recreational and site-based.

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