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Center for Disabilities Studies : TEEM Unit

Transition, Education and Employment Model


Swank Employment Services


The goal of Swank Employment Services is to develop job skills, vocational training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities at the University of Delaware and in the surrounding community. Services include:

  • vocational evaluations
  • career exploration
  • job skills training
  • work readiness skills classes
  • job site accommodations
  • job coaching
  • 13-week internships
  • real work experiences

As a component of the CDS Transition, Education and Employment Model (TEEM), Swank Employment Services uses a person-centered approach to help young adults and adults with disabilities develop an individualized plan for employment based on their skills, desires, and goals. The ultimate goal is to ensure that all participants work in jobs they enjoy that are of their own choosing.

Swank Employment Services has become a provider of employment services through partnerships the Center for Disabilities Studies has established with three Delaware state agencies:

These agencies support a variety of programs for people with disabilities who qualify for services leading to employment.

One program is Early Start to Supported Employment (ESSE), which was developed by DVR, DDDS and other state agencies to provide a more seamless transition for students who need supported employment services for job success. ESSE targets young adults – students in 18- to 21-year-old school programs – and helps them choose an adult service provider. If the student and his/her family choose CDS as their provider, Swank Employment Services staff members immediately begin working with the student on the transition from school to work.

The young adult begins by completing three community-based work assessments, which determine the individual’s interests and how his/her skills match with various occupations. Swank Employment Services staff members also conduct vocational evaluations and job skills training and engage in career exploration with the student. When this process is completed, the next step is for the student to be hired as a paid employee before graduating or exiting from school. Once the student is hired, CDS provides a coach for 90 days to provide for a smooth transition and to help establish natural supports in the workplace. After this period of time, the coach gradually withdraws support until the employer or individual determines support is no longer necessary.


For more information:

Wendy Claiser




Swank Employment Services in delAware

The theme of the Summer 2010 issue of delAware is transition.

It includes an article about Employment Services.