Pilot, Adjust and Implement

The Pilot is a two week test run where all of the planning and preparation starts coming together. Small groups begin to attend work and activities in the community, feedback is collected and adjustments made to address any problematic issues that may arise.

The staff tools that are discussed in this section are designed to help shape a confident, highly productive and dedicated workforce. Staff training tools are important in developing leadership excellence, employee engagement and quality service delivery, which are necessary characteristics of staff that will be working independently in the community.
Planning for the Pilot
  • Interpret data from community site assessment to make appropriate matches. View community site assessment
  • Interpret data from consumer interest survey to make appropriate matches. View interest survey
  • Schedule site or activity and coordinate transportation that can accommodate all participants including wheelchairs if needed.
  • Identify 2 staff with the necessary trainings, licenses and ideally, familiarity with the individuals they’ll be supporting and the site they will be attending.
  • Identify a small group of 6-8 individuals to participate in the activity or work experience based on shared interests. You may wish to consider choosing a cross section of individuals with different support needs to gauge your level of preparedness.
  • Coordinate schedules and notify the individuals who will attend and their appropriate staff and team members. Communicate necessary information and logistics (pick up times, appropriate dress for the activity, medications, behavior plans etc.) to all appropriate stakeholders.
  • Equip staff with cell phones, workshop in a bagcommunity cards, protocols, critical information, emergency contacts and medication protocols.
Going Out Into the Community
  • Staff should facilitate and participate with the activity and ensure all participants have a safe and enjoyable time.
  • In the event there is any kind of issue in the community, have staff follow proper procedures for communicating problems and minimizing impact in the community.
  • Have fun!
Gather Feedback and Make Course Adjustments
  • Survey participants and staff after being out in the community, track what went well and what didn’t. Make necessary corrections.
Launch Full Scale Implementation
  • After the two week pilot meet with sub-committees and report back all success and challenges, modify as necessary and introduce new individuals and activities until you have reached your end goal.
  • At this point, you have worked out all of the kinks and the majority of the individuals formerly in sheltered workshops are now working and participating in activities in their community.
Follow Through
  • Stick to the deadlines you have established
  • Revaluate activities every quarter to ensure they are still appropriate have value.
  • Communicate progress and success stories to stakeholders. Improve buy-in by demonstrating all of the positive aspects of the new programming.
  • Continue developing new opportunities and relationships with businesses and sites in the community
  • Create an annual calendar to accommodate seasonal activities and events

Ongoing Things to Consider

  • Cost of each event and budget
  • Ensure you have the necessary insurance for each site and location
  • Have contact information available for staff and site manager
  • It’s always wise to have a backup activity for the group to do in case there are any cancellations or problems with the site. It’s important to be as flexible as possible and be prepared for any contingency that may arise surrounding staffing, individual ratios and changes with the site or activity.
  • Compile list of all activities and when sites are available for use.
  • Schedule individuals for activities based on interest and availability.
  • Utilize all staffing and transportation resources available (i.e. if all of the individuals living in a residential program home are participating in work and activities in the community, consider utilizing that home’s staff and vans to support groups in the community).
  • For those individuals working part-time, consider balancing their schedule with non-work activities of their choice to create a “Blended Day” consisting of work and recreation.
  • Maintain ongoing and open communication with individuals participating, their staff and all stakeholders.