Read the answers to some of our most common questions:
How do I know if I qualify for Connect’s services?
Connect’s mission is to support adults with intellectual disabilities to work and participate in the community. Any person who has been assessed with an intellectual disability prior to the age of 18 can qualify for our services. Assessments typically are done while a person is in school, or they may be assessed through a department of the government called the Department of Families. Usually people are referred to us by a social worker from the Community Living disability Services (CLDS) program or the Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities program (EAPD). In some case we can also accept self-referrals, or referrals from schools.
Is Connect Employment services a day program?
Connect Employment Services is not a day program. A day program for people with intellectual disabilities provides a physical location for them to attend outside of their home, where they may participate in a range of planned activities often with a recreation or skill development focus. Day programs typically operate on a similar schedule to schools, offering participants a place to go Monday to Friday during daytime hours.
Connect Employment Services is a service organization, that provides assistance to people with intellectual disabilities who want to work in the community. Participants in our programs do not come to our office every day. Instead, they participate in scheduled appointments with a Connect staff while seeking work in the community or they attend work based on a schedule set by their employer.
If I find a job, how long will it take for me to become independent?
When you find work, Connect will offer you and your employer supports to help you learn and adapt to your new role. Everyone learns at a different pace, so how long it will take for you to become independent will depend on many things, including your learning style, and the complexity of the job you are learning.
How is Connect different from other employment agencies?
Employment agencies match workers with jobs at other companies. Employment agencies usually charge fees to the companies and/or the workers.
Connect does match workers with jobs at other companies, but we specialize in helping workers with intellectual disabilities.
Connect also provides jobseekers with help preparing their resumes, searching for employment, job coaching, career counselling and more. Connect also provides many services to employers. Connect is a non-profit organization, and we do not charge any fees to workers or employers who use our services.
I know someone who could use your help. How do they sign up for help?
If you know someone who might need our help, the first step is to call or email us. We will ask some basic questions about the person to decide if we have services to offer. The next step is usually inviting the person to a meeting, where we can learn more about their needs, and we can share more information about our services.
Is there a waiting list for your services?
We offer several services and programs, and yes some of them do have waiting lists. The length of the waiting lists is different for each program, and may change throughout the year.
What does a typical day look like?
That’s a tough question to answer! A typical day looks different for each person, depending on their needs, and what stage they are in looking for work.
How much support can you give me, and how long will it last?
Connect has a policy to try and provide supports to people for as long as they need them. There are some things that may affect how much support we can provide and for how long, including:
- The funding you are eligible for
- Your personal support needs
- The supports available from other sources, like an employer
If you are accepted into services, we will discuss the supports available to you, and make a plan together to meet your needs.
My adult daughter is interested in joining your agency. How can I be involved and informed about her progress or challenges?
Many of us rely on the support of our family and friends to help us as adults. Connect knows the important role that families and other support services often play in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, and is committed to including you however we can. Our work is founded and guided by The Vulnerable Persons Act (Province of Manitoba | fs – What is the Vulnerable Persons Act? (gov.mb.ca), which is a law that recognizes the competency of people with intellectual disabilities, and defines guiding principles that we must follow. If your daughter consents to your involvement and for us to provide you with updates, we will happily do so.
How do you decide where I can work?
Finding work can be a complicated process. We have a process that we follow with all people we support, that helps us to learn about your goals, interests and challenges. We will then create a plan with you, called a Workplan, that will guide us in finding work that will be a good match.
How long does it take to find work, and will I get paid?
Each person we support is different, and how long it will take to find work will depend on many things including:
- The types of work they are interested in and willing to do
- The locations they are willing and able to travel to
- The skills and amount of experience they have
- The amount and types of support they need
Also, not everyone who joins Connect is ready, or wants to find a paid job right away. Some people want to do volunteer work, and some people may want to explore career paths before deciding what type of job they want. For these reasons, we can’t guarantee how long it will take to find work, or whether it will be paid right away.
How will I get to work?
Connect supports people who want to work and become independent in the community. We do not offer a transportation service, but we can offer you transportation training to learn how to take the bus. Some people we work may also use other forms of transportation, such as driving or riding a bicycle to work.
Do you have a job bank of work opportunities that I can choose from?
Connect does not have a selection of open job opportunities that are ready to choose from. As you can imagine, when an employer is hiring, they usually need to fill that job right away, and they don’t have open jobs just waiting for someone who wants them.
We do have many partnerships with employers in the community, who we can reach out to when seeking work for you. We take a very personalized approach to looking for work for each person, so finding the right match for you also may mean looking for new employers and opportunities.
What employers do you work with?
The list of employers we work with is always changing, because we are constantly finding new jobs for new people we support. If you take a tour of our website, you will find examples of many employers we have worked with. Check out the Success Stories, Testimonials and Partners areas of our website to learn more about some of the businesses who have worked with us.