EDCO Blog

Scott Key Center’s Mission to Find Employment for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

EDCO – Equipment Development Company is proud of the Frederick, Maryland, community we live in with the various organizations, groups and people that exist in our vibrant city. One aspect of the Frederick community we are proud to support is the Scott Key Center.

When individuals with developmental disabilities reach adulthood, they search for employment and other opportunities to contribute to the community they live in. Frederick County’s Scott Key Center connects with those adults to help them with that pursuit.

The Scott Key Center’s mission is to “foster person-centered, integrated employment opportunities and community involvement for individuals with developmental disabilities in Frederick County.”

Established in 1966, the Scott Key Center continues to evolve with the changing times of the education, inclusiveness and betterment of those with developmental disabilities. The center is currently in the midst of a transformation in that places a larger emphasis on integrating the individual into the community.

For some time, the Scott Key Center offered facilities-based services, which included day habilitation, supported employment, and vocational services within the center itself. In the model they’re moving towards, which Is called community-based services, individuals will be directed more towards employment within the community with local businesses.

Through a process called “discovery,” the Scott Key Center works directly with the individual to find their skills, interests, and conditions of employment. Next, the staff and individual engage in job development to find the absolute best employment fit for that person after a worthwhile investment of between approximately 30-60 hours in a community-based setting.

“Instead of building a program and seeing who fits in it, now we’re taking everybody who’s under our support mechanism and we’re trying to find something individually,” said Job Development Specialist Shawn Dennison.

As the job development specialist, Dennison works with the staff to compile a list of 15 to 20 local businesses that potentially fit the individual’s skills, interests, and conditions for employment.

Through internships, apprenticeships, job trials and job shadowing, the individual and business become acclimated and determine their fit with one another. Another component to the center’s employment search is “Employment Customization,” which entails creating a job description that meets the employer’s unmet business needs where an individual can effectively perform.

As the community-based services model becomes the forefront of the Scott Key Center’s mission, Dennison hopes to build a strong network of local businesses to find opportunities. Frederick County businesses have leaned on the center for their facilities-based services for years and as the transition continues, the Scott Key Center works to ensure that the opportunities are abound and plentiful for the 120 individuals at the center.

“Everybody– every single human– has something to offer,” Dennison said. “We have to go off that premise and support them.”

The Scott Key Center has helped EDCO with some of their facilities-based services including printing product manuals that go with our machines.

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