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What are community rehabilitation providers?

Community rehabilitation providers (CRP) are local community organizations that provide services to adults with disabilities. Typically CRPs provide three main types of day services: (a) employment services leading to integrated employment in the general labor market (b) work opportunities in a sheltered workshop with other workers with disabilities or (c) non-work day activities in either a program facility or in the community. In this article we focus on CRPs for their contribution in assisting people with disabilities in gaining integrated employment in the general labor market.

For people with Autism, what needs to be considered in community rehabilitation provider?

If you are interested finding employment, make sure that the CRP of your choice has been effective at finding good jobs for individuals, including for individuals who have Autism.

Why are community rehabilitation providers important?

CRPs are important because, if you are looking for a job, it is very likely that you will need their services. A job seeker will work with employment support professionals who are also known as employment specialists, employment consultants, or job coaches. CRPs are available almost everywhere in the nation. In fact it is likely that there is a choice among more than one CRP in most areas.

I’m not sure what a CRP is. What should I do?

  • CRP services are mostly funded by state agencies such as Vocational Rehabilitation or the state IDD agency. You can ask your Rehabilitation Counselor, Case Manger, or Service Coordinator to provide a list of CRPs in your area. Ask for a complete list, and ask which ones find more integrated community jobs.
  • If you are a person with a disability: If you are interested in receiving assistance in finding employment, you should contact a CRP and inquire about the services offered there.  When a job seeker applies to a CRP, you are assigned to an employment specialist who will meet with you and the people who know you to learn about your dreams, hopes, interests, and capabilities. Then he or she will assist you in looking for jobs that match your characteristics while at the same time coaching you about how best to interview with employers or deal with the search process. If you need some support after you are hired, the employment specialists will assist you with the logistics, including ongoing support to perform the job. Finally, the employment specialist may help you with identifying funding sources for the services you need as well as connecting you with a benefit specialist who can help with maximizing the financial benefits of your new income.
  • If you are a sibling or a parent: If you would like to assist your sibling, son, or daughter, you can initiate the search for a CRP and discuss with the assigned employment specialist how to proceed.

Where can I go for more information?

  • CRPs are local programs and, therefore, most information is through their individual websites. To find information about CRPs in your area talk to your Rehabilitation Counselor, Case Manager, or Service Coordinator, Google using key words such as community rehabilitation program, employment programs. Make sure that you include the town where you seek services in your search.
  • You may also explore the website of your state agency on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities or the state Vocational Rehabilitation program to see if they provide a listing of CRPs in your area.
  • Another source of contact information is CARF, an accreditation program for human services. Find accredited CRPs.

Overall Tips

  • Take the time to learn about all CRPs and service options available in your area. Knowing more will allow you to be in the “driver’s seat” rather than passively accepting what you’re being told. Make sure to shop around for the best services.
  • If you are looking for employment services, make sure that the CRP of your choice is stronger on providing this type of support. Many CRPs also provide non-employment related day services such as work that pay less than minimum wage and lack opportunities to integrate in the local community, and you want to choose a CRP that has a strong focus on integrated employment.
  • Check in with your local IDD and VR agencies to ensure that they support with funding the services provided by the CRP of your choice.
  • CRPs that offer employment services are also called supported employment programs or simply employment service providers. CRPs are mainly funded by agencies such as the Vocational Rehabilitation program, state Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities, and the Social Security program (e.g. Ticket to Work).
  • CRPs are typically private non-profit organizations, but they can be public and or for profit.

Financial Tips

Remember, CRPs services are at no cost to you although funding must be coordinated to ensure that CRPs are reimbursed. Also, depending on your financial resources, you may be asked a contribution to pay for some services.

What can I do now? Where can I find help with this?

  • You may inquire with your local University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) Education, Research, and Services. There is one in each state.

Also, talk to other individuals who use CRP services and their families about their experiences with local CRPs.

Date posted: May 23, 2012. Content created by The Institute for Community Inclusion at University of Massachusetts Boston. Last updated: June 20, 2013.

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